The hotel lived up to most of my expectations during a late season, all inclusive week-long stay, except in respect of its immediate surroundings. It turned out to be a convenient base for local, island and mainland discovery during a crucial, fascinating time in modern Greece's evolution.
Owned by a local family, the Miramare is personally managed by the genial, modest, approachable proprietor and his wife (an ex PE teacher), both with excellent English. Their son runs a larger establishment nearby. Staff members, some Albanian, were all extremely pleasant once one had made an effort to establish a personal rapport.
All holiday guests were either Saga specialists (archaeology buffs) or generalists like me. Business visitors mentioned in an earlier report were a bunch of trainee aeronautical engineers from one of the Gulf states who added a surprisingly interesting dimension to my stay. Though they kept a polite distance, when approached they were very friendly, communicative and engaging.
Bedrooms were cheerful, bright and airy, with extremely comfortable beds, ample storage, adequate balcony and clean bathrooms. The restaurant was somewaht underused as most of us ate outdoors on the pleasant (part covered) patio, from which there were views of distant blue mainland mountains. Lunch and dinner consisted of mostly Mediterranean dishes, though chips were evidently a Saga concession. In addition to a soup service, salad bar and dessert table there were plenty of pasta, meat, fish and vegetable options: 8 at lunchtime and 12 each evening.
The indoor bar by reception was never used during my stay, action (ahem!) being focused on the 'all day' pool bar where there were plentiful seating and lounging options. Saga diversions were as anticipated; the Athens and Evia island tours especially appreciated.
However, for those who like to go for an occasional stroll, the Miramare was a disappointment. The hotel's rather narrow grey shingle and pebble beach, pretty deserted in late October, is only about 200 yards from one headland to the other. Behind the hotel there is a network of country roads, set in small orchards and plantations, mostly bounded by rusting chain link fencing, Within a few minutes stroll one reaches two isolated tavernas and a minimarket; the more adventurous could use this route as an approach to distant hill walks (not investigated). As several other contributors have mentioned, the main road has only intermittent verges so could be hazardous.
To compensate the hotel provides an informal but reliable free mini bus service to neighbouring Eretria and Amarynthos, both with miles of seaside promenades. Eretria has it's archaeological sites while the Amarynthos produce market with about 100 stalls was great for social observation.
Sadly the Miramare does not appear in the 2013 Saga brochure, so opportunities for British package tourists to visit Evia will be further limited. A pity, as I really enjoyed the relaxed informality of this hotel, the surprising diversity of green landscapes in the north of the island, the congenial country people as well as the pleasure of being in an area relatively unaffected by mass tourism. If you can find an alternative convenient way of getting here, try to get hold of Sara Wheeler's Evia:Travels on an undiscovered Greek Island - somewhat dated but still relevant.
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