Skyros. A greek island treasure for few…
On Skyros one can find beautiful villages, crystal clear waters, golden sandy beaches, stunning landscapes and the famous local horses, the Skyrian ponies; their height does not exceed 1.10 meters.
The island lies almost in the center of the Aegean Sea, and placed in Sporades island complex, although the distance is greater than the distance of the island of Evia, which lies about 35 kilometers east (22 nautical miles). Its area is estimated to be approximately 210 sq. km. miles, while its population is about 3,500 residents.
Enwrapped by the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, with lush vegetation and spectacular morphology, it is the perfect destination for pleasure and enjoyment. Several myths of Greek Mythology referring to legendary heroes such as Lykomedes, Theseus, Achilles and Neoptolemus, are connected with the island of Skyros. A plethora of conquerors left behind their traces over the centuries, which is perfectly illustrated on the island’s traditions, customs and architecture.
On the north of the island are small bays, rolling farmland and pine forests while the south features arid hills and a rocky shoreline. Whether you are an action lover or desperate for carefree moments under the sun, Skyros has a unique experience to offer!
Whatever time of the year you visit the island of Skyros, you will surely be impressed by the multitude of colours. Picturesque villages are scattered mainly in the northern part of the island and coexist in total harmony, each one with its own distinctive beauty.
Its capital is the Village or Skyros (Hora), which is located in the north-eastern part. It is amphitheatrically built around a Byzantine castle that occupies the site of the ancient citadel (acropolis). Walking through the cobbled alleys, one can admire the Skyrian houses with their unique architecture; their flat roofs is a typical example of traditional island architecture, yet featuring local elements, particularly as far as interior decoration is concerned. A walk around the cobbled alleys of Chora also reveals impressive monuments and sites like the Byzantine castle, the Folk Art Museum, the Archaeological Museum, Palaiopyrgos (Old Tower), the little stone theater which hosts important cultural events in summer, and “Megali Strata”, which leads to Kyprou Square (known also as Brook square), dominated by the statue of the English poet and philhellene Robert Brook, made by the sculptor Michael Tompros.
Adjacent villages of the country are Magazia, Molos, Gyrismata and Pouria, which extend to the levels north of the capital to the sea. At Pouria the rocks and the remains of the ancient Skyrian quarry create an awe-inspiring and serene landscape. On the north coast, south of the town are also Aspous and Achilli, while the northern part of the island there are also settlements Trachi, where is the airport of Skyros and Atsitsa on the western coast where the pine trees reach to the turquoise waters of the sea. The main port is Linaria, on the southwestern coast of the homonymous bay, where the island is connected with the rest of Greece. In the next bay extends the settlement Acherounes and west Pefkos. East of Linaria is the settlement Kalamitsa the homonymous bay.
Other sights & activities
On the south side of the island, where the environment is wild and reminiscent of a mountain, the Skyrian ponies used to live, a hallmark of Skyros, which today are threatened with extinction. The combination of mountain and sea gives one the possibility to practise at many sports such as hiking, climbing, biking, wind surfing and water skiing, while it is ideal for off-road trail with motorbikes or 4x4 vehicles.
Around the island there are many Byzantine churches, monuments of the Byzantine era, while the monastery of Saint George, stands proudly over the centuries, perched on the rock, full of memories and information about the place and its life. Skyros is also famous for its ceramics, wooden furniture and special interior architecture of its houses. The agricultural products of Skyros are especially fine because of the traditional production methods which are largely used. Cheese, honey, herbs, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and seafood are the raw materials for the Skyrian kitchen.