General Information

Villa Monastiraki sits on a hillside in the village
of Rovies overlooking the Euboean Gulf
on the north western coast of the island of Evvia,
or Euboea, in Central Greece.

This beautifully renovated family house is
available for rent to friends. It sleeps 6 people
at any time of the year.

‘Monastiraki’ offers a unique space for holiday-making,
for creative retreat, simple relaxation or rejuvenation
next to the sea.


Description of the house

‘Villa Monastiraki’ comprises two houses*
connected by a series of steps and terraces.
Designed in the 1960’s by the British architect
and artist, James Cubitt, the building blends
with the local village, surrounding pine forests,
olive groves and an impressive backdrop
of hills and mountains.

A British artist recently completed a residency
at the house in association with the Athens Biennale.
Other artists, musicians, poets and writers
have also found inspiration here.

*The smaller, adjoining house is temporarily out of use.

‘Villa Monastiraki’ includes three air-conditioned
double bedrooms, a large kitchen/diner,
2 bathrooms, a spacious split-level living area
and extensive outside terraces and garden areas.

There are comfortable double and single beds
with complete linen provision for 6 people.
Additional visitors can be accommodated on both
the sofa-bed or a folding bed in the living area.

The area around Rovies on Evvia is beautiful in the spring with its mountains, forests and meadows presenting a wonderful show of colours. In the summer, the population more or less triples as Greeks return to their village with friends and family, creating a vibrant street atmosphere. Generally, English is not widely spoken as this area of Greece is not well known to foreign tourists. In the autumn and winter, Rovies moves into ‘every-day mode’ as a working village based mainly on olive production. Olives from Rovies are exported to Britain and are available in a number of supermarkets.   Although the climate gets colder and wetter in the winter months, there are often beautiful, clear and unexpectedly warm days. On colder days, a wonderful log fire and under-floor heating make Monastiraki a reflective place to be for an autumn or winter retreat.

Places of interest
In and around Rovies there are pebbled beaches, olive groves interspersed with pines, walnut and fruit trees. There are plenty of mountain walks and waterfalls and attractive harbour towns to visit.  In summer, the area offers relaxation and rejuvenating exercise. For example, it is ideal for swimming, casual snorkeling or fishing, star watching or simply sitting in a taverna by the sea with a book. In spring or autumn, hiking in the nearby mountains is highly recommended as well as bathing in the hot spas in the nearby spa town of Edipsos or in Ilia – a neighbouring village where a natural hot spring flows directly into the sea.

More detailed information and leaflets on recommended walks or hikes, beaches to visit, tavernas and the surrounding villages and towns and ancient Greek sites are available in the house and in local hotels.
It is worth noting that Delphi, the famous site of the ancient Greek oracle is within driving distance and makes a worthwhile day trip (it requires crossing to the mainland on the ferry via Edipsos and is less than 3 hours drive). Arachova, a picturesque mountain town on the slopes of Mount Parnassos and en route to Delphi is also easily reached by car from Rovies. Arachova is now a popular ski resort in winter. It is also a centre for a wonderful range of locally woven rugs and carpets available all the year round.
Day trips or overnight visits to the islands of Skiathos and Skopelos [also reached from nearby Edipsos] are good adventures offering sandy beaches, clubs and water sports. 
Rovies itself offers a more relaxed, low-key night life with numerous tavernas and bars serving excellent local dishes and light local wines with atmospheres for both young and old.

Nearby monasteries
Moni Aghiou Georgiou (Monastery of Saint George), a famous nunnery located very high above the village of Ilia on the coast road to Edipsos. Ilia is about 12 minutes drive from Rovies but the drive up to the monastery, which is steep and winding, may take another 20 minutes or so.  We recommend a visit to Moni Aghiou Georgiou which offers amazing views across the gulf and a chance to feel ‘monastic’ tranquility in a high mountain setting. The nuns are very welcoming.

Moni Osios David (Monastery of Holy David) is a 16th century monastery for monks. It lies in the hills above Rovies and is only about 20 minutes drive away. It is popular with pilgrims from all over Greece all the year round and is said to have miraculous waters.

Moni Aghiou Nikolaou Galataki (known locally as Galataki). This monastery is located south of the Port of Limni. It is a good 40 minutes drive from Rovies. There are numerous excellent, albeit stony, beaches to swim at and places of interest on the way.

The monasteries are usually open in the morning from and later in the afternoon or early evening although their times vary in Winter.

Getting to Rovies
There are several ways of getting to Rovies from Athens.

Car hire: is the most straightforward way to get to Rovies from Athens International Airport. Having a car also allows you to visit places of interest, beaches and mountains near Rovies, in Evvia generally, on the mainland and on other islands. You can hire a car locally from nearby Edipsos. (
A good road map of Greece and Evvia (preferably a satnav) is recommended. The journey from the main airport takes between 2.5 and 3 hours.

Taxis: are very expensive from the airport to Rovies, costing between 200 –250 Euros one way. However, we can arrange for a taxi from the village to meet you at the airport if required. Once in Rovies, there are several taxis available to take you to local places which are less expensive.

Buses: generally buses are very good in Greece. You can travel by bus to Rovies starting from the Northern Bus Terminus in Athens (Also known as ‘Liossion’) The bus takes the mainland motorway E75 to the village of Arkitsa about 130km (2 hours) north of Athens where it meets a ferry to Edipsos, the fascinating spa town on the north west side of Evvia. From here, Rovies is a 25-minute taxi ride south along the coast road.
During daytime this is an excellent alternative, though longer, driving route from the airport.  This route has the advantage of not having so many mountainous twists and turns and it includes a beautiful 45 minute ferry trip to the island of Evvia. Taking this route by bus may mean an overnight stay in Athens because of bus and ferry timetables. Depending on traffic, it can take an hour or more to get to the Bus Terminal from the airport and there are no late buses from Athens to Edipsos.

During the autumn and winter, the ferries at Arkitsa are less frequent and tend to stop by early evening. If you choose this route, the information desk at the airport should provide details of how to get to the Northern Bus Terminal from the airport [there are regular buses] and what time the buses and ferries leave for Edipsos.

Directions to villa ‘Monastiraki’ in Rovies.
The house, known by the family as ‘Monastiraki’ or small monastery (this is a family name - if you ask local people for ‘monastiraki’ you may be misdirected to a real monastery!) is located on a hill at the north-western end of the village, just above the village school. There are hotels clustered nearby and a carpenter’s workshop just below the house.  The house looks out over the sea and is an easy 5 minute walk down to the beach and a slightly longer walk back up!

If you are arriving from Athens via Limni, follow the ring road round the village instead of turning left at the first junction into the village. Then take the exit to the left, at the second major junction, signposted Rovies ‘[Pobies’ in Greek]. When you reach the first houses on your left turn right onto a dirt-track lane. Follow this straight up until you reach the house at the end.

If you take the first junction and drive through the village continue straight, past the main village square until you reach the basketball/football court beneath the primary school. From the basketball court go towards the school building, taking the small tarmac road running alongside the right of the school, for 50 meters or so up an incline. There are houses on your right. As the tarmac turns to dirt track, follow it sharp left continuing uphill for about 150m until your reach ‘Monastiraki’. 

To enter the main upper house, pass the car/boat garage on your left and enter by the double doors at the far left corner of the courtyard. Arrangements will be made to leave keys to the gates and front door in a safe place.
The steps on the right lead up to the kitchen and terraces.

See link to google maps showing location of the house and nearby monasteries:

Monastiraki was recently renovated by a family friend and architect, Chris Green, from the original 1960’s designs of James Cubitt. There are two houses, the all-season upper-house and a lower unused house. The two are connected by a series of steps and terraces.

Health and Safety: It is important to know that inside and outside the house there are some wide-open stairs with no handrails, numerous stone steps and open-sided split level floors and terraces. 

Security:  Although crime is very unusual in this area, please make sure the house is locked up at night and when you leave to go out at all times. You should keep the main entrance double-door keys on you.
Heating in autumn/winter: The special under-floor heating is set at 20 degrees. The thermostat is in the kitchen by the far back door (leading to an outside toilet).  The renovation ensured a sustainable heating source through large solar panels feeding a dual system boiler.

Please contact us by phone or text if there is any problem with the heating. We will arrange for the local technician to come and deal with it.

In winter, the open fireplace may be used in the house and there are usually lovely open fires in the local tavernas along the sea front or other parts of the village. Fire wood for your use  is available and stored…

­Air-conditioning: there are air-conditioning units in the 3 bedrooms. Follow the instructions to be found in each room. They should be set at 24 and no higher.

Cooking: There is an electric oven with hobs, which are self-explanatory. If needed, instructions can be found in the set of drawers to the right of the cooker.

Bedding: All double bedrooms will be prepared with fresh linen for your arrival. Sheets will be changed by the caretaker once a week unless otherwise specified.

Cleaning and maintenance: The caretaker will clean the house before you arrive and following your stay. This is included in the rental price. If you do wish to have additional cleaning, please let us know in advance and we will arrange a cleaning service for a fee.

Rubbish is collected from outside bins [beyond the garage] once a week.

There is a washing machine in the kitchen and brooms, dustpan and cleaning materials can be found in the outside toilet just beyond the kitchen backdoor.  A dishwasher is also available in the kitchen ‘island’. Instructions for utilities are in the bottom drawer to the right of the cooker.

Please help us by respecting the newly renovated family house!

Telephone: There is a house phone. This should be used only to contact Marie-Louise or Tim Eastop in London about particular problems. It may also be used for local calls.

The phone should not be used to make any international calls unless it is an emergency. However, your family and friends can call the phone if you wish them to make contact with you. The number is [coded from UK]   00 30 22270 71262

NB Phone calls are monitored and you will be asked to pay for excessive or international use.

Mobile phones: It may be useful to pick up a local sim card at the kiosk in Rovies for local mobile calls.

TV, Radio and Internet access: Broadband has only recently reached the village and the house has not yet been connected. There is no TV or radio. Internet cafes can be found in the nearby towns of Limni and Edipsos and some of the hotels in Rovies have wireless broadband connection, which they may allow you to access.

Shopping: There are several grocery stores/mini-markets in the main and back streets of Rovies. Fresh meat is found at two excellent local butchers and two wonderful bakers offer warm fresh bread, pastries etc on a daily basis. Often, vans with fresh fish, vegetables and fruit drive through the village, announcing their presence with loud speakers.

The nearest town is Limni – a very pretty harbour town, 12-15 minutes drive from Rovies. There is a local bus service to Limni from Rovies. Limni has supermarkets, fishmongers and wonderful seafront cafes and bars and a maze of back streets to explore.
Edipsos, the well known spa town, lies north of Rovies, about 25 minutes drive away, and offers a good range of shops and services and a unique restorative spa experience.

Pharmacy: There is a pharmacy and a doctor’s clinic in Rovies and in the nearby towns of Limni and Edipsos. The pharmacy is at one end of the village square and the surgery is near the church. There is also a dentist located near the church.

Cash: Most shops and hotels only deal with cash. The nearest cash machine is in Limni.

Key Contacts

Rovies House landline: 00 30 22270 71262

In London:
Please email, ring or text mobile or call landline for any matters concerning the house during your stay.

Marlen Taffarello
PO Box 1166
Stamford PE2 2HL

M: 07789533791
L: 0044 (0) 1780 481689

General emergency numbers in Greece:
112 is a single European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.

100 Police-Immediate Responses

166 EKAB Ambulance Service

199 Fire Brigade [excluding Easter holidays]

Insurance - Travel & limited liability insurance:

You will need to sign a Rental Agreement which includes a liability clause confirming that in no event shall the owners of Monastiraki be liable for any personal injury, loss, claim, damage, or any special, incidental or consequential damages or injuries of any kind. The Agreement will ask you to confirm that you have sufficient travel and medical insurance during your stay in the villa.