Halkidha (ancient Halkis) is a heavy industrial town, and not a pretty island port, but it has some interesting features. Its names derives from the Greek word for copper, and by extension to bronze, which was manufactured here in antiquity.
An important ancient city-state, Halkidha had colonies in various parts of the Mediterranean. Kastro is the old Ottoman district, as well as the area near the fortress above the train station.
After crossing the bridge into town, you’ll find the entrance to the kastro on the right, with a locked mosque making it obvious, and then an Ottoman fortress, an aqueduct and the church of Ayia Paraskevi.
Finds from all over the island can be seen at the archeological museum, which is at Venizelou 13 (Tues-Sun 8am-2:30 pm;1.50 euros). There was a large Jewish community in Halkidha, dating back around 2500 years. Nearly all of them survived the Nazis, due to the heroic action of the bishop of Halkidha who put himself at risk by ordering the Christian population to hide and feed them.
A church was built to honor him: the Church of Ayios Ioannis Rosses, and there a St. John’s Festival on 27 May, is attended by pilgrims. Prokopi is referred to locals as Akhmetaga, which was its name when it was a Turkish fiefdom. After the War of Independcence, it was purchased by an Englishman nobleman, Edward Noel, cousin of Lord Byron, whose descendants give summer crafts seminars in the old manor house.
The largest village of northern Evia is a little farther north along a beautiful stretch of road. This is Mandoudhi. From there you can continue north to the resorts on the northernmost part of the coast, or to the fishing village of Limni on the west coast. A town built with the wealth from the nineteenth century shipping industry, it is replete with neoclassical houses with tiled roofs, lovely narrow lanes, and a very pretty waterfront. There are plenty of rooms and good eating places and the place is relatively quiet considering its beauty. There is an interesting convent to visit, 7 km. to the south, the convent of Ayhiou Nikolaou Galataki, sits on the the slopes of Mount Kandhili, above the Evvian Gulf. The convent was once a temple to Poseidon (god of the sea); later a Byzantine church, and still has the thirteenth century tower which was built for protection from pirates. There are frescoes as well, dating from the sixteenth century. The gates shut in the afternoon, so best make your visit early in the day. There are nice beaches at Glyfa, with paths to some, while others can only be reached only by boat.