SKIATHOS



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Skiathos - South of Chora - general

South of Chora

To the south of Chora, the main road runs along the coast and passes successive sandy beaches which are protected from the north wind, but have little atmosphere because of the proximity of buildings and of traffic. The road never really emerges from an area of unrelenting conurbation. The tracks that deviate towards the right, by contrast, soon climb deep into the forested valleys of the interior. Just before Troulos (7km) a metalled road heads to the right (north) for the bay of Aselinos and the monastery of the Panaghia Kouni­stra (11km. Open 8.30–12.30 and 4–7.30). After the busy activity of the coastal strip, this oasis is a joy to find—isolated on a green hillside, looking north towards Mount Pelion. The date of 1798 over the main door must refer to the building of the narthex only because the catholicon dates from the 15th century or earlier. Lying near to the entrance there are early Byzantine marble fragments which would suggest that there was a much older foundation here before. The church has a simple dome-on-cross form. The interesting wall-paintings, which cover nearly all the interior surfaces, are severely blackened with candle soot, except in the cupola where they have suffered the worse (and irreversible) fate of being drastically over-cleaned at some point in their history: this has upset the chromatic balance of the Pantocrator and the Panoply of Heaven. On the walls, it can be seen that the halos of the saints are made in an unusual fashion for wall-paintings, namely in silver/tin alloy which has been adhered to the surface of the wall. A breach in the plaster, just to the north of the door of en try, shows just how thin the plaster is, and how humbly it has been prepared, with straw to bind it. The 17th century iconostasis of carved wood displays two beautiful icons: the Presentation of the Virgin, and Christ Enthroned. The monastery now has one resident nun.
   Three kilometres west along the main road beyond the junction at Troulos, is one of Greece’s most famous beaches—the pine-bordered strand of Koukounaries (10km), which extends in a gentle sweep to the west, with a land locked lagoon behind it. The area of the beach is now the object of strenuous conservation and protection. Fewer crowds and a beautiful open view across to Cape Artemision on the north of Euboea, is provided by the smaller, sandy beach of Aghia Eleni (11.5km) to the west, from where it is possible to contemplate, towards the left of the field of vision, the open arena of sea in which the Battle of Cape Artemision between the Greek and Persian fleets took place in August of 480 bc. Herodotus VII, 175–195 & VIII, 1–18, is the appropriate beach reading-material here. The southwestern point of the island at Pounda is the site of an ancient watch-tower, perhaps the successor to the signalling station mentioned by Herodotus.


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


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

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