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Skyros
 
 
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Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO)

 

Skyros Travel Guide

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Getting to and around Skyros

Ferry Boat to Skyros

The most convenient and easiest is by the ferry boat that arrives and departs from the port of Linaria on a daily basis. The ferry boat is operated by the "Skyros Shipping Company" that operates between Skyros and the port of Kymi on the nearby island of Evia. The ferry boat "Achilleas" is a very moden and comfortable boat, that can hold a large number of passengers and vehicles.

If you are planning to visit Skyros with your car, then this will be the only option you can take.

Alternatively, you can travel on the ferry boat as a foot passenger, and rent a car once you arrive on Skyros. The port of Kymi is located on the west side of Evia.

Getting to Evia can be done by either car or by the KTEL National Buses that operate to and from Kymi on a regular basis.

You can reach Evia at a various number of points, either by ferry boat from the mainland to one of the various ports, or by road travelling over the bridge that connects the town of Halkida ( Chalkida ) with mainland Greece.

For more information about the ferry boat service from Evia to Skyros, please see our Skyros Ferry Boat page.

Below are some useful telephone numbers for the ferry boat to Skyros.
Ferry Boat Agency - Kymi Evia: ( + 30 ) 22220 22020 / 22522
Ferry Boat Agency - Skyros: ( + 30 ) 22220 91790
Ferry Boat Agency - Linaria Port: ( + 30 ) 22220 93465

Flights to Skyros

There is also an airport located in the northern region of Skyros, that caters for both domestic and charter flights from across Europe. Flying to Skyros is a popular method of travel for those that are visiting from abroad. The international airport code of Skyros is SKU.

From Athens airport, there are three flights a week, to and from Skyros. These take place on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. From Thessaloniki, there are also three weekly flights that take place on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.

Below are some useful telephone numbers for domestic flights to Skyros.
Olympic Airways Athens Airport: ( + 30 ) 210 966 6666
Olympic Airways Macedonia Airport: ( + 30 ) 231 368311
Olympic Airways Skyros Airport: ( + 30 ) 22220 91625

 

A car would be neccessary in order to explore the beatiful island and the impecable beaches.

Rent a car is available on the island.

The History of Skyros

Skyros at the southern part of the Sporades island cluster lives its own life somewhere between the past and the future. Its geographical position was simultaneously a disadvantage and advantage during its history. In the heart of the Aegean sea it maintained its natural beauty and its rich traditions in popular arts. Skyros appears on every page of the Greek History. It was an important center in the copper age (2500-1800 bc) verified by the archaeological excavations at Palamari. It is the island that bride Thetis chose to dissuade her son Achilleas from going to the battle of Tria to fight for the honour of beautiful Helen. According to the myth Achilleas was dressed in woman clothes and lived in the palace with the daughters of king Likomidis. But the diviner disclosed this information to Ulysses who shipped to Skyros in the hold of a ship owned by a weapons and gold dealer. So when the women where choosing gold jewellery Achilleas surrended having chosen one of the swords provided by the arms dealer. Until today the bay from witch Achilleas sailed off to Tria is known as Achili. At 470bc Skyros was conquered by the Athenian general named Kimon, who established an Athenian colony on the island bringing Athenian settlers with many ships. In doing so he managed to eliminate any pirates looting the area. Historical archives reveal that the local colored marbles in the Roman Age where moved by ship to Rome to decorate many public and private buildings. The beautiful Byzantine churches, the famous wood-engraved designs and the charismatic melodies of the local songs have a Byzantine heritage but also stand out for their strict local island influence.

The ancient monastery of Saint George is situated on the top of the castle. It was established by Nikiforos Fokas and Ioannis Tsimiskis at 906 ac. It possesses many rare holy icons and the view is captivating and extraordinary. Letís find out about the capital city of the island, Skyros, which is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a short hill. Let ourselves wonder through the small streets and admire the many houses that look like small cubes. One can be captivated from their internal decoration, their wooden roofs, by the wooden engraved furniture, their pottery and their beautiful woven clothing. Letís be enchanted by the moonlight reflecting on the white walls. Letís hear the soft but never sad song of life, love and youth... Letís purify our souls in a secret secluded beach. The northern part of the island is full of pine trees in contrast to the southern part which is poor in vegetation. On the mountain of Traxilos live the world famous ponies (short horses) of Skyros roaming free in the winter and in the summer the same horses return to their owners for water and care near the Capital city.

The number of churches on the island is approximately 180. The most distinguished one is the church of Virgin Mary. The archaeological and folklore museums are places that one cannot permit to miss. Wonderful sandy beaches full of pine trees one can find at the bay of Atsitsas, Pevkou and saint Foka. The beach of Kalamitsa is one of the islands bests. At Skyros, tradition and modern life, myth and reality coexist in total harmony formulating an ideal place for summer vacations.

Churches and Monasteries on Skyros

Located all over the island of Skyros are a huge number of various churches, chapels and monasteries. These vary in size from large to very small. Some of the religious sites you will come across during your travels around Skyros are very beautiful and inspiring. The Christian religion has been active in Skyros since the 2nd Century AD, and since then, a large number of churches have been built. Many of these churches were actually built on the top of ruins of ancient temples that dated back from the pre-Christian period. Since the Byzantine period over 365 churches were recorded as existing with the majority of them scattered around the large monastery of Agios Georgios.

Today in Skyros, you can find 187 parishes and chapels, 15 of which are deidicated to Agios Georgios ( Saint George ). 7 are dedicated to Agios Dimitrios, 17 to Agios Ioannis Prodromos the Evanglist, 10 to Agios Nikolaos, and 16 to Panagia ( Virgin Mary - Mother of Jesus ).

The other 84 are dedicated to various saints such as Agios Mamas, Agios Panteleimon and Agios Artemios.

In the capital town of Chora, you will find several churches and chapels located within the winding narrow streets of the town. Inside these churches, you can see the beautiful religious artwork and icons that are on display. Located on the highest point of Chora, overlooking the entire town is the famous monastery of Agios Georgios ( Saint George ).
In 895 AD ( the Byzantine period ) on the top of the castle a temple dedicated to Kimisis Panagia Theotokou ( Sleep of Holy Mary - Mother of God ) was built there. Several years later in 960 AD, on the top of the castle, another temple was erected in honour of Agios Georgios ( Saint George ). This was built with the financial help of Byzantine emperors Nikiforos Fokas and Ioannis Tsimiskis.

Up until 2001, this was a fully operational monastery. However, the devastating earthquake of that year caused a great deal of structural damage to the monastery, and it was closed off for safety reasons. Just recently, the lower part of the monastery has been reopened, and visitors to the island are permitted to visit this section of the monastery. From the balcony along the west side of the monastery, you can admire the stunning panoramic views that stretch westwards towards the mountains. This section of the monastery is open at various points during the week. The monk who operates the small chapel next to the monastery opens the main doors at the entrance point several times a week. If you are passing by, and see these main doors open, you are more than welcome to step inside, and visit this reopened part of the monastery.

One unique church that is worth visiting is that which is located within a large rock on the coast of the area of Pouri, in the north east of the island. As you approach the church, you will at first see just a large rock, gutting out of the ground, with a white cross on top. However, as you approach this rock, you will see the small blue door to the chapel. Inside, is a very small, yet very impressive chapel, with a variety of beautiful icons on display.

There are also several other churches right next to this one, including the chapels of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Ermolaos. One of these chapels is actually located on a small islet across the water from Pouri. On the name day of this saint, villagers make the brief journey across by boat, and celebrate the name day of the saint.

All over Skyros are many churches and chapels, each of which has it's own unique charm and beauty. Some are easily accessible, others more difficult. However, as you enjoy your travels around the island, you will come across many of them along the routes that you follow.

Next to the monastery inside the castle in Chora are the churches of Agios Georgios and on the left side of the castle is Agios Athanasios from Athos. In the center of the village is the chapel of Agia Anna, while in the hamlet Kohilia is a church that is dedicated to two saints, ( Dysypostati ), the saints are Agios Antonios and Agios Haralambos, where also close by is the church of Agios Ioannis.

In the market is situated the church of Panagia Melicarou, which is named because on the name day of the church is when the Melikaria, big white lilacs, blossom.

At Pergos is situated the church of Panagia Tsara Psomou, which in local dialect means "The lady of the bread", because on the name day bread is offered. In the center of Chora you will find the Arhontopanagia.

If you have the opportunity, it is well worth paying a visit the chapel of Agios Mamas on the top of the mount Kohylas, or the chapel of Agios Panteleimon which is situated on top of a green hill, above the village Pefkos. Both chapel are very picturesque and have impressive hagiography, while the spectacular views from the church yards are simply breath taking.

Beaches on the island of Skyros

Skyros is home to a wonderful selection of beaches, spread out around the northern half of the island. From the popular beaches around the capital of Chora, to some hidden and isolated beaches along the coast, Skyros is perfect for your summer holidays.

The coastal resorts of Molos and Magazia, located below the town of Chora is one of the largest and most popular beaches on Skyros. The crescent shaped beach stretches a great distance, and here you will find golden sand and the crystal blue waters of the Aegean, lapping gently onto the beach.

Molos and Magazia are both developed resorts, and are well suited for tourism. In these two towns you will find a great selection of accommodation, as well as a choice of tavernas, cafes and bars where you can enjoy a meal or drink.

Along the coast of the northern side of Skyros, you will find a great choice of beautiful beaches, where the tranquil pine trees and the rich green vegetation reach all the way down to the beaches, creating a ver relaxed and tranquil setting.

Another nice beach on the north coast of Skyros is that of Palamari, which is located next to the site of ancient Palamari. Here you can enjoy a very relaxing and peaceful swim, with the ruins of the ancient town right next to you.

One of the most popular beaches on the north coast of Skyros is that of Gyrismata. This long and sandy beach is extremely popular during the summer season, and here you can enjoy bathing and relaxing in a wonderful setting.

To the north west of the island, approximately 18.5km from the town of Chora, is the delightful region of Atsitsa. It is here that you will find the beautiful bay of Agios Petros, with it's lovely sandy beach that is surrounded by cedar trees.

There are also some very nice beaches at Kira Panagia, Petritsa and Theotokes.

Around the port of Linaria, you will come across some very nice beaches, such as those of Kalamitsa, Acherounes and Pefkos. These beaches are very popular with visitors to Skyros, and there easy access from both Linaria and the town of Chora, make them the perfect destination for a relaxing day at the beach.

Around Skyros are several small islets, on which you can find some truly magnificent beaches. One such beach is that of Glyfada, which is located on the small islet of Sarakino.

From the port of Linaria, there are daily trips taking place to some of these charming islets. These trips are well worth taking if you have the opportunity. You can also visit some of the beautiful sea caves around the coast of the island such as the unique caves of Diatrypiti and Pentekali.

The beautiful beaches of Skyros each have their own unique charm and beauty. Close to some of them you will find cafe bars or accommodation. Others are much more isolated, and offer nothing more than a perfect setting, in which to enjoy your time on the island.

 

 

 
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