FIRST KNOWLEDGE ABOUT OUR ISLAND
WELCOME TO SKOPELOS ISLAND GREECE.
Skopelos is the greenest island in Greece. Here, where the green of the pines and the thick forests meets the deep blue of the sea and the sky, creating an image of incomparable natural beauty, the visitor will find himself in an idyllic place, a small paradise in the heart of Greece.
The island of Skopelos is characterized by its dense forests and the blue of its seas, and this is why it was formally declared a green and blue island on 5/5/97 by the international organization of Biopolitics.
It is characteristic that the largest part of the island (more than 67%) is covered by a virgin pine forest. A forest that will require your love, care and attention when you visit, so that it can remain as is.
The town of Skopelos has also been characterized as a traditional settlement (19/10/78 presidential decree 594, 13-11/78), mainly due to its architecture , a mix of various architectural rhythms , which gives a stately look to the capital of the island.
SKOPELOS SIGHTS. Travelling around the island of Skopelos is a joy for the visitor, an oasis for the person looking for beauty in his every step. History is alive and celebrating today, and this marriage makes the island something more than a simple tourist destination.
Ever-green on a blue background, Skopelos impresses its visitors with the richness of its nature. There are pine trees in every single remote corner. Even the lonely rocks in the sea host some tree or bush on their small surface. Skopelos mountains, with their many sources and pines are one more jewel of the island, as well as its picturesque gulfs, wonderful beaches and unique landscapes.
The supremacy of the green is interrupted by the white of the settlements, especially the traditional ones, such as Chora and Palio Klima, and also by the impressive number of monasteries and chapels, while the various territories of sea and pine are delimited by the also white sands and dark rocks.
An important feature of the island is the variability of the landscape depending on the time of day, the light and the weather conditions. This is due to the geographical position of Skopelos, which looks towards all the points on the horizon – the visitor can marvel at the sunrise at the Castle in Chora and the sunset at the picturesque harbour of Loutraki. On Skopelos, with its multitude of magical corners, the visitor will never be bored and this is definitely due to the fact that the landscape seems different every moment.
The myths and legends with gods, semi-gods, mythical kings, pirates, dragons and saints give the image of the island its mystical dimension.
All these myths begin from when Peparethos, the son of Ariadne and Dionysus and grandson of Minos, the king of Crete, gave his name to the island; from when his brother, Stafylos, first resided on the island in the years of the Minoan Thalassocracy; from when Dionysus reigned in the culture and the tradition of Peparethos, to form the belief in our days that wine was used to build houses and churches; from when a dragon dominated Skopelos, until its Patron Saint Riginos killed him.
All these stories are imprinted in the toponyms of the island, such as, for example, Stafylos or Drakontoschisma.
The places someone can visit on the island of Skopelos are infinite:
The traditional –formally characterized as preserved- settlement of Chora with its numerous churches and wonderful ecclesiastic monuments. Wandering round the spotless picturesque lanes in Chora is a unique experience!
Even in the island’s capital, there is the Venetian Gkizi Castle, the old Episcope, the Folklore Museum, the Ancient Asclipieio at Ampeliki, the house of writer Pavlos Nirvanas..
A different experience is the visit to the workshops of the traditional artists of the island, who have been working for centuries on clay, wood, glass, metal.
Dishes such as the traditional Skopelos cheese pie made in the island’s traditional ovens are unique.
The promenade in the picturesque lanes of the islands can be combined with shopping from the beautiful stores of traditional folk art and not only; hand-made ceramics, jewellery, clothes, but also decorative items are some of the choices the visitor has.
Also, the choices relating to entertainment are truly special, as many of the cafés and bars on the island have a special atmosphere and character. Needless to say, one can enjoy wonderful and not expensive food in the taverns and restaurants on Skopelos.
Apart from the Chora of Skopelos, it is worth visiting the other picturesque settlements of the island; Glossa, Palio Klima and Elios.
Also, the many monasteries on the island and in particular Evangelistria, Sotiras, Prodromos monastery, Panagia Eliotissa, Agios Taxiarchis at Vatos, Agia Varvara.
It is worth visiting the wonderful forests on Skopelos, ideal for walks, but also the unending beaches, so much on the southern, as on the northern –wilder- side of the island. Everything the island gives out plentifully to its visitor is what we are looking for… what we expect for our holidays.
If you have a vessel or rent a boat, you will have the privilege of swimming in wonderful secluded beaches, while you can travel by car, motorbike or public bus, which covers the route between Skopelos and Loutraki continuously, to the vast Milia, possibly the most beautiful sandy and pebbly beach on the island, at 21 km from Skopelos, little Antrines, which you can reach via an easy footpath, Kastani, Chovolo next to the village Elos, Limonari, which took its name from its still waters, Stafylos, 4 km from Chora, and Velanio, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, which is also suitable for nude bathing.
At Panormos, with its large pebbles at 18 kms from Chora, bathing at dusk is an unforgettable experience, since you think you are swimming in a river of golden waters while the sun is disappearing on the depth of the horizon. Glyfoneri, Velanio, Perivoliou, Aggeletou, Armenopetra, each better than the others; beaches that you will remember for ever..
We must also mention that Skopelos gives its visitors the chance to follow beautiful routes in the countryside and the forests on the island, so much on the southern side as on the northern –which is wilder, but possibly more impressive. The walker will have the opportunity to marvel at the unique biodiversity on the island.
Evergreen Skopelos is full of olive groves, pines, sycamore trees, fig trees, almond trees, plum trees, walnut trees and other fruit trees. Running waters and ravines give a special note to the landscape and a meeting with herds of the famous Skopelos goat, unique in Greece for its brown-red coat, is a pleasant surprise.
Lastly, Skopelos offers the visitor one more important possibility. It can be the base for a meeting with the sea park of the Northern Sporades, the protected area hosting one of the most threatened mammals, the monk seal.
Boats set out from the port at Chora and make day cruises to the beaches and to Patitiri, the Alonnissos port, to the islands Kyra Panagia with the Byzantine monastery, to Gioura, to Psathoura and to Alonnissos Blue Cave with the stalactites.