the largest island of Sporades cluster, situated east of Euboea. It is
famous for its folklore art, that is pottery and woodcut furniture which
have the quality of preserving their original condition despite the passage
of time. The mild Aegean climate, and the peaceful clean sandy beaches make
Skyros an ideal destination for tranquil vacations.
How to go there.
plane : (local O.A. office tel. 0222 91123) from Athens, five flights
b. By boat : (local port authority tel. 0222 91475)from Kymi in North
Euboea, two departures daily during the summer. During the winter once a
day. Also, from the rest of the Sporades daily during the summer.
A lovely clean semi-circular port. Once off the ship, most of the island's
visitors go straight of the picturesque beaches and the traditional villages
of the island, so you will not find many hostels or hotels in Linaria; there
are, however, many tavernas around the port.
A very attractive island capital, which reminds one more of the Cycladic
landscape. The cobbled main street goes up among the intact by time
traditional houses, ending at the top of a huge rock where the ruins of a
castle are found, along with the monastery of Ai Ghiorghis. In the city you
will be admiring some Byzantine and post-Byzantine buildings, as well as the
famed interior architecture of the houses with the wood-carved furniture and
the painted earthen plates of Skiros. At a point offering a panoramic view
of the horizon, the Folklore Museum of Manos Faltais is situated, with
replicas of home interiors and typical everyday utensils. The carnival held
on the island is also celebrated, when the islanders take part in wild
traditional feasts, dancing endlessly and wearing the traditional costumes
of the island.
seashore settlement in the south of Chora; it is considered as an extension
of Molos, which is situated in the north. At winter, when the last tourists
have left, most houses remain empty and the islanders move to the mountain
A long beach with water sports facilities, reaching to the north the sea
fjords and to the south Magazia. Sitting at the small tavernas you will
enjoy the unique view of the immense rock of Chora with the castle on its
A big picturesque piney bay with rocks, near the seashore little village. In
the sea one sees a coneshaped islet, while at the right end there is a small
beach with crystal-clear waters.
A fantastic rocky bay in the steep southeast coast, near Kochila. It is
rather inaccessible, the only means being by kaique from Molos.
A huge bay hidden behind the dense foliage of pine-trees, reached by a
descending path among figtrees.
An immense endless beach in the southest bay of the island. At its mouth the
islands of Platia and Sarakiniko dominate as natural breakwaters. In the
east there is the grave of the English poet Robert Brooke and a memorial
dedicated to him. Standing at this point, you shall witness the dreamy view
of the island and particularly of the nearby beaches.
The traditional architercture of Skiros with the white houses is typical of
the island. What is most impressive is the interior decoration of the
houses, with the beamed or caned ceilings and, of course, the embroideries,
the textiles and the typical local furniture. The pebbled house yards are an
additional evidence of the good taste of the islanders. The island is also
famed for its folklore art. The carved furniture made of dark wood are
excellent samples of wood-carving.
The renowned local ceramics are decorated with lovely representations mainly
of flowers and birds. The embroideries are also very interesting: exquisite
pieces of handiwork, curtains and other items are an inseperable part of the
traditional house in Skiros.
The islanders have a rich tradition in folk art, and live in quaint houses,
magnificently decorated. Many of the older people still dress in their
traditional costumes, while the younger ones engage in pottery, making
cheese , gathering honey and manufacturing magnificent carved furniture.
Women make beautiful embroideries and textiles woven in looms. Weddings take
place in a traditional atmosphere. The bride, along with her female
relatives also called brides, dress in the old traditional costumes made of
embroidered silk taffeta.
Significant local celebrations:
carnival, which is related to the ancient worship of Pan and Dionysos. The
islanders are dressed up in sheepskins covered with hunging bells, and go
around the village dancing singing and teasing people. The last Sunday of
the carnival, the custom of "trata" takes place; the islanders dressed as
fishermen go around the village seated in a boat on wheels, satirising all
improper situations (Skyros).
*The devout celebration of Ai Ghiorghis (the 23rd of April - Frourio).
*The Aghios Panteleimon festival (the 27th of July - Trahy, Marmaro).
*The Aghios Mamas' festival (the 2nd of Septemper - Kalikri).
- Local aubergine salad: Baked aubergines with grated cheese, almonds and
The first inhabidants of Skyros were the Pelasgi and Karres who were
considered pirates. For a short period of time the island was colonised by
Minoan Cretans who were expelled by the Dolopes of Thessaly. According to
Greek myth, when the Greeks were preparing the campaign against Troy in
order to save the beautiful Helen, the goddess Thetis, mother of Achilles,
knew that her son was about to be glorified or killed. Therefore, she
dressed him up like a girl and sent him to Skyros along with the women
escorting King Lykomedes. Achilles was recognized there by Ulysses who
persuaded him to follow the campaign.
Later, Thisseas found refuge in Skyros when he was expelled by the
Athenians. However, the treacherous Lykomedes was afraid that Thesseus might
dethrone him. So, Lykomedes got Thesseus drunk and threw him over a cliff.
The Athenians, moved by the story, conquered the island in 468 B.C. The
Athenian general, Kimon, discovered the bones of Thesseus (guided by a
female eagle) and returned them Athens. Skyros remained loyal to Athens
until 322 B.C. when it was conquered by the Macedonians. It was then taken
over by the Romans who returned it to Athens in 196 B.C.
During the Byzantine period, the island became a place of exile for
Byzantine aristocracy. After the fall of Constantinople, Skyros was granted
to Count Baldwin of Flandra and Anonia, the first Franc emperor of
Constantinople, and in 1238 it was granted to the Gyzis, rulers of Tinos. In
1538, the Algerian pirate, Barbarossa, conquered the island in the name of
Officially, Skyros has been a part of the Greek state since 1832.
The island of Skyros is separated into two parts with a narrow isthmus in
between. The popular theory that Skyros was originally two islands seems
doubtful, but certainly the character of the two parts of the island is very
different. The northern part, which covers about 32% of the total area,
boasts a fine pine forest, whereas the southern part is an almost
uninhabited, barren pasture land. Its ground is mountainous with many
a. On the south part, as well as on the islet Skyropoula (access by boat
from Linaria), graze the progenitors of the ponies of Skyros. They are
undersized horses of a unique breed, which until recently used to live in a
semi savage condition.
b. You could visit the rocks of Diatripiti, the caves of Pentakali and
Gherania and the blue caves of Limnionari by boat, which departs from Chora.
To the east of Tris Boukies harbour, there are also caves inhabited by a few
of the seals that still survive in the Aegean. In the surrounding area there
are wild goats. Picturesque sea caves can be seen and admired during the
voyage from Achili to Tris Boukies.
c. The walk from Chora to the springs of the Anavaloussa river is an
enjoyable one where you can admire the gardens and the plane trees.
d. After the airport (on the northern part), the road leads to cape Markessi
and its geological wonders. There are craters, which were created by the sea
encroachment of sandstone, and you can distinguish the layers of rocks. The
sea, turquoise and transparent, allows you to admire a rich sea-bed.
e. There is also a view of deserted marble mines along the seven kilometers
journey, which separates the bay of Aghios Fokas from the bay of Pefkos. Or
you can search for blocks of white crystal. Or maybe take in the many parts
of the island where colourful marble and minerals are visible. A possible
etymology of the island's name is connected to the word "Skirros", which
means plaster (stone).
Byzantine and later Venetian castle dominates Chora at the top of the hill.
Parts of the fortification and a reservoir are still preserved. The castle
was built at the same position where the ancient acropolis of the island
used to stand, some parts of which can still be seen at Paliopirgos, Aghios
Nikolaos, Aghia Paraskevi and Pergos. Near the top of that same hill the
church of Episkopi stands, built in 895 A.D., at the age of Leon Sofos. In
962 A.D., Nikiforos Fokas founded the fortified monastery of Aghios
Gheorghios Skirianos, almost at the entrance of the castle. Even today one
can see in the monastery some unique paintings.
In Chora the two most distinguished churches are Archondopanaghia, where the
gentry and the wealthy people of the island would attend mass and
Eleimonitria for the poor and the shepherds. Other important churches among
the 150 churches on the island are Aghia Triada and the one dedicated to the
Assumption of the Virgin Mary ("Kimissis tis Theotokou") in the castle. In
Eleftheria Square, or else named Brooke Square, there is a statue of Eternal
Poetry, which was made by sculptor M.Tombros, in honour of the British poet
Robert Brooke who died at Tris Boukes in 1915. Recently an open theatre was
constructed near the square where cultural events take place.
The Archaeological Museum of Skiros (open to the public daily, except on
Mondays, from 08:30 to 15:00) exhibits a collection of vessels, funeral
gifts from ancient graves, tombstones and fragments of sculptured items
dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman Age. One of the rooms in the museum
has been turned into a traditional local house. The house of the Faltais
family has been operating since 1964 as a Folklore Museum. What is exhibited
there are everyday utensils, tools, kitchenware, wood-carved objects,
embroideries, paintings and books on the folklore art in Skiros. To the
north west of Chora, at 12 kilometres, the pre-historic settlement of
Palamari has been discovered. Tools made of flint and copper, foundations
and ruins of houses found there date back to between 2,500 and 1,800 B.C.
Nearby there are also the chiselled graves of Markesios.
- Earthen plates: You can purchase the renowned local plates, with the
paintings showing birds and flowers at the shops of folklore art. The plates
are simply decorated and are unique for the light colour combinations.
- Small wood-carved furniture and other fine works of art uniquely
- Water sports: At the beach of Molos you can find organised units and
equipment for wind-surfing, water-skiing and sea-bicycling.
The following people came from Skiros:
* The mythical king Likomedes who killed Thesseus, and his daughter Deidamea,
who was Achilles wife.
* The historian and folklore researcher Manos Faltais.
- Moreover, it is on Skiros that the English poet Robert Brooke died and was
buried in 1915.
North tour of the island:
Linaria - Portes - Aspous - Chora (11 km) - Magazia (12 km) – Molos (14 km)
- Trachi (22 km) - Kira Panaghia - Atsitsa (27 km):
The route from the Linaria port to Chora, across to the Aegean coast, goes
past some picturesque villages of high folklore interest in the island's
inland. Setting off from Chora you will descend towards the nearby coastal
settlements of Magazia and Molos, and then continue to the north, towards
the airport, to finally return to the renowned bay of Atsitsa, where the
Kira Panaghia beach is.
Linaria - Kalamitsa Bay (4 km) - Tris Boukes (9 km) - Renes (12 km):
At a short distance from Linaria the large bay of Kalamitsa is found with
the small islands on its entrance, while further down to the east Renes is
- Pefkos: To the northwest of the port.
* Molos - Spilies: To the southeast of Chora.
* Molos - Girismata Bay: To the northwest of Chora.