If your ideal vacation includes time to spend on a classic, old-fashioned, and quiet Greek island, then Skyros, or Σκύρος in Greek, located in the Sporades islands, is the place for you. Skyros Island has a special energy that can be felt in the genuine interactions with the sandal-maker in the central village, and seen in the stone houses on the walk to Chora’s mountaintop.
Skyros Diverse Landscape
You’ll notice the diverse landscapes on Skyros – the result of a time when it was two separate islands. The island now connects by a 4 kilometer-long sandy, windswept path. If you look at a map, you will be able to distinguish the two sides. The south is rocky and full of mountains, giving you the sense of being on one of the Cyclades Islands. The north, on the other hand, is more like the Sporadic islands and is full of wooded and fertile greenery.
Don’t leave Skyros without at least one jar of honey, as it’s some of the best in Greece. You will also find that Skyros and its surrounding islands offer you a wide variety of fresh, aromatic herbs and rare flowers.
Skyros isn’t only magical, but it’s also home to compassionate and welcoming people. When you find yourself in the island’s main town, Chora, the cobblestone roads will transport you back in time, as you explore the restaurants, traditional shops, and charming night spots, and notice that you are surrounded by Greeks mostly from other parts of the country. Though there are many white houses, if you keep your eyes peeled, you will spot magnificent stone-built homes, which reflect the classic and traditional style of the Sporadic islands.
Read also: 3 Fun Things to Do on Skopelos Island
Skyros Traditional Foods
Make sure you visit Skyros with an appetite, as there is a delightful culinary culture into which to sink your teeth. Whether you choose the rich and fresh Lobster Spaghetti from Linaria, the traditional, home-cooked classics at Chora’s tavernas, or the various seafood specialties from family restaurants, your palate will be pleased. You can even sit down fresh from a swim at a taverna on the beach, and eat the freshest catch of the day! Don’t forget to fill your table with sides like fresh greens, shellfish fritters (agalipokeftedes), and pumpkin pie.
Explore Skyros Beaches
When it comes to beaches, you will be pleasantly surprised to see just how clean Skyros is. You can stick to visiting Magazia and Molos, which are near Chora, or take time to explore some more peaceful beaches such as Aspous, Acherounes, Kalamitsa, Pefkos, Agios Fokas, Atsitsa, Kira Panagia, Agios Petros, Agalipa, and Girismata.
For a dose of pure, undisturbed beauty, be sure to visit the caves on the eastern coastline of the island by just catching a boat from one of the various ports. If hiking is more your speed, you will find yourself lost in forests and coming out onto secluded, almost secret beaches.
Things to Do in Skyros
At the top of a hill, you will find a monastery and old castle, which are currently under construction, but the views of the beaches cannot be beaten. Just a bit lower, you will find Brooks Square, an area which honors a British poet who wanted to be buried on the island. Just off Brooks Square are the island’s archaeological museum and Faltaits museum – both worth visiting for a deeper understanding of the island’s culture and history.
Not to be forgotten, during your Skyros Greece holidays is the island’s famous carnival, at which you will feast your eyes on elaborate costumes, mysterious figures, and absorb the overall Dionysian feeling. Attend the carnival and watch the magical rituals, theater in the open air, and distinctive dances. Another thing to check out when you travel to the island of Skyros is any religious feast that may be held by a local church. They are classic Greek-orthodox style and will have lots of traditional foods, drinks, and dancing!
Last but not least, you’ll want to visit the small port of Linaria, 10 kilometers from Skyros Town. If you decide to come to the island by boat, you will see it right away. Take some time to explore the fish tavernas situated close to the island’s beaches. You’ll appreciate the care taken by the port authorities to keep everything environmentally friendly and stay on top of sewage collection and sea pollution control services. You’ll find tanks for used mineral oils, cooking oil, fuel residues, bilge water, and various other recycling services.
Keep up the good work Linaria Port!