Chestnut forest ('Kastanologos')
The Chestnut-Forest ('Kastanologos') is located below the peak of Ochi at 900 to 1100m. altitude. It includes a small age-old forest of wild chestnuts with an area of about 600 acres. Kastanologos is a natural monument and museum together where every age-old tree looks like a sculpture, sculpted by nature for hundreds of years. Aged chestnuts even bloom and offer a thick shade in summer, while in winter the ground is covered with a thick layer of fallen leaves. The hollows of the trees offer shelter to insects, reptiles and birds. 59 species of birds have been recorded in the wider area, of which 16 species nest in the forest. Inside the forest there are still small springs, seasonal streams and small meadows that offer their services to wildlife.
From 1962 onwards, the forest became a pasture for the local cattle breeders who, in combination with fires, caused its gradual shrinkage as well as the obstruction of the natural regeneration. Kastanologos is perhaps the only chestnut forest with such old trees in our country and the last pure chestnut forest in southern Evia. The Agricultural University of Athens in collaboration with the local Forest Service and the Municipality of Karystos started in 2012 the elaboration of a study for the protection of the forest. The protection of Kastanologos is now imperative because the trees have grown old and are falling one by one.
Access to Kastanologos is by road from the forest road that starts 4km after the village of Metochi. On foot, we can reach, by taking the path from the village of Myloi to the peaks of Ochi. On the borders of Kastanologos is the mountain refuge of Ochi.