SKIATHOS



redline

Skiathos - History and legend

History

Settlers allegedly from Caria, followed later by Thessalians, were the first stable inhabitants of the island. In the 7th century bc colonists from Chalcis in Euboea arrived and later founded a coastal settlement on the Kephala peninsula in the northeast corner of the island, known as ‘Palaiskiathos’. In Classical times a second city succeeded it, with a new site on the low hill in the south west of mod ern Skiathos town, which controlled the bay and its double-port. Sections of the 4th century enceinte of walls are all that remain of this city. Skiathos played its part during the Second Persian War providing solid Greek support at a geographically strategic point on the enemy’s route south, and relaying vital information signals. In the waters off the island, three Greek guardships of the fleet at Artemision were surprised by a squadron of Xerxes’s fleet (providing Herodotus with one of his most realistic details—the capture of the wounded captain, Pytheas of Aegina, who was spared for his valour and later rescued at Salamis. Hist. VII, 181). At the same time, three ships of the Persian advance-guard ran aground on a reef, which Herodotus calls ‘the Ant’, between Skiathos and the mainland of Magnesia, which the Persians subsequently marked with a stone beacon. Skiathos joined the Delian League after the war (paying a tribute of 1,000 drachmas) and became in effect a subject ally of Athens. After the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 bc, the island passed under Macedonian rule and was later devastated by Philip V of Macedon in 220 bc. Freed by Rome in 197 bc, it was gifted to Athens by Mark Anthony in acknowledgement of her help after the Battle of Philippi in 42 bc.
   In Byzantine times, Skiathos belonged to the theme of Macedonia. In 1204, after the Fourth Crusade, the island came under the possession of the Ghisi family together with the other Sporades islands. In 1276 they were driven out by the Byzantine fleet. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the inhabitants sought the protection of the Venetian Republic, which governed the island until it was captured for the Turks by Khaireddin Barbarossa in 1538. Skiathos subsequently was all but deserted: habitation hesitantly returned to Kastro in the 17th century, but then later transferred to the site of the ancient town only in the relative security of the 19th century. The island became part of the newly formed Greek State in 1830. Skiathos was the home of the novelists Alexander Papadiamantis and Alexander Moraitidis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.During the Second World War, Skiathos was a crucial place of refuge for retreating Allied troops (New Zealanders in the majority) who had been cut off by the German advance through Greece. Many sought safety at Kastro while waiting for boats to take them to Turkey. Later the town of Skiathos suffered a torching by retreating German troops: hence the prevailing modernity of its architecture.


Skiathos Island is part of the Sporades Island Group, Greece.


Rating: /5 ( Votes)

access

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

Access to the island is easy both by boat and by air.
By air. Olympic Air currently operates a 50 minute, non-stop scheduled daily service to and from Athens. Charter companies fly direct to Skiathos from all over northern Europe in the summer months. The airport is 2km north of Chora.
By boat. The usual main land port of departure is Volos, from which there are several daily services to Skiathos by fast car ferry and by hydrofoil. There are also less frequent connections (5 times weekly) to the mainland closer to Athens at Aghios Kostantinos, and to Kymi on Euboea. Skiathos is on the boat route to Skopelos and Alonnisos, and all the services which call at Skiathos also communicate with these islands.

Skiathos Travel Guide

beaches

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

Koukounaries beach

Skiathos Travel Guide

eating

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

Of the many good places to eat on Skiathos, a particular favourite with locals and visitors alike is Agnadio, on the road past the airport, on the way to the Evangelistria monastery. Set away from the bustle of the waterfront on Odos Kapodistrias, between the two large churches of the Tris Gerarches and the Panaghia Limniá, is the Taverna Alexandros. It provides good quality, traditional Greek food in a small square, protected from the wind.

Skiathos Travel Guide

further reading

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

A good selection of short stories set in Skiathos by Alexandros Papadiamantis (translated into English by Elizabeth Konstantinides) has been published as Tales from a Greek Island, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.

Another masterfully translated collection of his stories is the volume, The Boundless Garden, published by Denise Harvey, Limni, Evvia.

One of Papadiamantis’s most powerful and celebrated works is the novella The Murderess which has been sensitively translated by the poet, Peter Levi, S.J.

Skiathos Travel Guide

lodging

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

There is a huge choice of hotels on the island. Sophisticated and elegant designer luxury can be had at the Aegean Suites Hotel, 1km west of the main town at Megali Ammos (T. 24270 24069; fax. 24070, www. aegeansuites.com); alternatively, central and economical lodgings can be found on the front in Skiathos at the Hotel Meltemi (T. 24270 22493).
|Many visitors may simply be in search of somewhere away from the noise of Skiathos town at night: on the peninsula of Pounta, east of the town, at a distance of less than 2km from the centre, is the Hotel Emy (T. 24270 24119; fax. 24118) in the peace and quiet of its own garden.

Skiathos Travel Guide

museums

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

 

Papadiamandis' Museum

Skiathos Travel Guide

practical info

Skiathos Island, the Sporades.

370 02 Skiathos: area 47sq. km; perimeter 48km; resident population 5788; max. altitude 433 m. Port Authority: T. 24270 22017. Travel information: GATS Travel (T. 24270 24226, fax 24228; www.skiathos.gr)

Skiathos Travel Guide

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements