Shortly before landing at Marathon, Herodotus notes, the Persians landed near Karystos on the island of Euboia
and "devastated their farmland" by cutting down the crops.
In the skirmish we may note three details: the Athenians who escaped Persian pursuit made for the Peneios delta, which suggests they were surprised north of it or very close to it;(14) they got away through Thessaly, which suggests that the area was not yet occupied (their pursuers could otherwise have landed and chased them towards their own forces); and they were conveyed to Athens rather than to Artemision or Khalkis, which suggests that at the time there was no Greek fleet on station in north Euboia or near it.
In this stretch there are two good beaches, both on north Euboia, one soon after turning the corner, at Artemision (the Ant gives a good line for sailing across to it), and the other half way down, at Histiaia; the beach at Histiaia is better protected from a meltemi wind funnelled down the straits.
The storm four days later which troubled the Persians at Aphetai and destroyed the ships sent round Euboia was different, though just as clearly etched on the memories of Herodotus' informants.
If the Greek fleet had been nearer Thermopylai, then the Persians could have gone for the beaches of north Euboia, which offer the best anchorages within the straits of Trikeri.
If the ships selected to sail round Euboia were to leave Aphetai as soon after their arrival as they could, more ships could have been brought to the beach than it could accommodate; for those who stayed, the position had been fortuitously eased by the losses off Pelion, but it is not a well-sheltered anchorage, despite being round the corner from the open sea and somewhat indented.
The circumnavigation of Euboia seems to have been ill-considered as well as unlucky.