Skyros is 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.
a. By plane : (local O.A. office tel. 0222 91123) from Athens, five flights weekly.
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.
 

Skyros - Towns & villages
- LINARIA:
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.
- CHORA: 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.
- MAGAZIA: A small 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 villages.
 

Skyros - Beaches
- Molos:
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 top.
- Atsitsa: 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.
- Spilies: A fantastic rocky bay in the steep southeast coast, near Kochila. It is rather inaccessible, the only means being by kaique from Molos.
- Pefkos: A huge bay hidden behind the dense foliage of pine-trees, reached by a descending path among figtrees.
- Tris Boukes: 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.

Skyros - Art
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.
 

Skyros - People
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:
*The 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).

Skyros - Food
- Local aubergine salad: Baked aubergines with grated cheese, almonds and nuts.
 

Skyros - History
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 the sultan.
Officially, Skyros has been a part of the Greek state since 1832.
 

Skyros - Ecology
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 scattered beaches.
Ecological sights
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).

Skyros - Monuments
The 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.
 

Skyros - Shopping
- 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 beautiful.

Skyros - Sports
- Water sports: At the beach of Molos you can find organised units and equipment for wind-surfing, water-skiing and sea-bicycling.
 

Skyros - Vips
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.
 

Skyros - Excursions
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.
South route: 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 situated.
By kaique:
* Linaria - Pefkos: To the northwest of the port.
* Molos - Spilies: To the southeast of Chora.
* Molos - Girismata Bay: To the northwest of Chora.