SKOPELOS



redline

Skopelos - around the Island - THE NORTH Of THE ISLAND - Mount Delphi and Sendoukia

THE NORTH OF THE ISLAND

Mount Delphi and Sendoukia

From the northern extremity of the peripheral road around the Chora of Skopelos, a narrow road leads north and west into the island’s interior towards its highest peak, Mount Delphi (681m), and its densest woods, the Vathia Forest. (Follow indications for ‘Sendoukia’ and for the monasteries in this area.) After 1km the road runs along the side of a fertile valley with olive trees: on the opposite side, screened by ancient cypress trees, is the small monastery of the Koimisis tis Theotokou (the Dormition of the Virgin). At the western head of this valley (3km), a track leads off the asphalt road to the west, and climbs rapidly through dense pinewoods, past the springs at Karya: taking this track, 600m after the springs, a right hand fork leads down to the extensive complex of the monastery of Aghios Efstathios (7km), a well-preserved foundation of 1596, with a simple and unpainted church of an inscribed-cross plan, with more recently added monastery buildings to its north which are used as a re treat by a community in Thessaloniki. There is a palpable peacefulness in these valleys, broken only by the sounds of goatherds calling. Mount Delphi dominates to the northwest, its massive slopes softened by the thick covering of Aleppo pines and arbutus, broken in the valleys by stands of plane and cypress trees.
   Returning to the junction for Aghios Efstathios, the road climbs on up towards the summit and, at a fork in the tracks (6.5km), the path to * Sendoukia (meaning ‘boxes’ or ‘chests’) is clearly signed to the right and thereafter marked by a series of small stone cairns. It leads eventually to the northern tip of a long limestone out crop on the shoulder of the mountain, which ends with a sudden drop to the east and magnificent * views of Alonnisos. Just by the edge of the drop are four empty graves: three deep and precisely carved loculi (approximately 1.80 x 0.90m, and 0.85m deep), with solid stone roofs of a highly pitched profile, and one shallow excavated rectangular area—probably an uncompleted grave (or possibly the base for a stone monument or sarcophagus which was either never completed or has since disappeared). All are oriented due east. In each of the loculi is a shallow ‘ledge’ at the western end: the rim is also carefully drafted all the way around for the snug fitting of the lid.

A bewildering spread of dates has been ascribed to these graves by scholars, some putting them as early as the Neolithic period, others as late as the early Christian era. The best evidence is the physical appearance of the cutting of the rock. The fine precision of the right-angle corners, the cleanness of the edges, the vestiges of bevelling and drafting, and the density of fine chisel striations on the insides of the loculi would point to a date neither earlier than advanced Classical workmanship (c. 400 bc) nor later than mid-Imperial Roman workmanship (c. 200 ad). The scale, the obvious pleasure taken in precision and proportion, and the kind of tools which appear to have been used all suggest work of the Hellenistic period. The design of the lids, with their highly pitched profiles, also seems to be influenced by designs from southwest Asia Minor of the 4th and 3rd centuries bc. The graves may be part of a larger monumental or cultic area: on the eminence above them (100m due west of the graves) is a conical shaped mound in the natural limestone which shows signs of cutting in the bedrock, possibly for an altar or shrine related to the graves below.
   It is difficult to say for certain why this particular site— and not, for example, the summit of Mount Delphi, or an eminence above the city, or above the coast—was chosen. It is remote and apparently unrelated to any wider human presence There may be significance in the open view to Alonnisos or in the orientation due east into the equinoctial sunrise. We understand little about the reasons for the positioning of sanctuaries and temples in Antiquity, and even less about the choice of burial sites such as this.

From the junction near to Sendoukia, the mountain tracks lead in several directions through the forests on the slopes of Mount Delphi. The track to the northwest skirts the whole mountain (15.5km). From the junction, signposted to Pyrgos, at the southern point of the loop, a winding track leads 6 km down to the west coast at Panormos. Alternatively the same point can be reached by returning to Skopelos Chora and taking the main asphalt road south west to Panormos.


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


Rating: /5 ( Votes)

access

Skopelos Island, the Sporades.

By boat: Skopelos has no airport; access is by ferry (4–5 hrs) and hydrofoil (approx. 2 hrs) from the port of Volos, from which there are several daily services both to Glóssa at the northwestern tip of the island and to the main port of Skopelos, There are also less frequent connections to the mainland, closer to Athens, from Aghios Konstantinos (5 times a week; same journey times as from Volos), and from Kymi on Euboea (2 times a week).
Skopelos is only 70 minutes by ferry or 45 minutes by hydrofoil from Skiathos, which is served by daily flights from Athens: if a good connection is made, this can be the fastest way to Skopelos from the capital. The island lies on the route between Skiathos and Alonnisos, and nearly all of the services which call at Skopelos also communicate with these islands.

Skopelos Travel Guide

eating

Skopelos Island, the Sporades.

The most thoughtful and creative taverna on Skopleos is Agnanti at Glóssa, mixing traditional Greek dishes with new ideas, in a setting with delightful views. Simpler homemade dishes, fresh wine and island-fare can be found at the taverna Terpsis, just outside Stafilos on the road to Chora. The taverna is family run and has a shady garden for eating outside; it specializes mostly in vegetable mezédes and meat dishes.

Skopelos Travel Guide

lodging

Skopelos Island, the Sporades.

Approximately 500m east of the port of Skopelos along the shore, is the Hotel Prince Stafilos, set back in the peace of its own gardens, this is the most luxurious and tasteful of the island’s hotels in the higher price range (T. 24240 22775 & 22744, fax 22825, www.prince-stafilos.gr); alternatively, very central and economical lodgings can be found on the front opposite the port, at the Hotel Adonis, but there is the possibility of restaurant noise at night (T. 24240 22231, fax 23239).
Simple accommodations, a fine view over the town, and very welcoming family hospitality are offered at the Thea Home Studios, at the top of the peripheral road, west of the port (T. 24240 22859, fax 23556).
Alternatively, for peace and a beautiful setting right on the beach, Limnonari Studios are ideal and welcoming (T. 24240 23854, fax 22242, e- mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Also not far from the shore on the west coast of the island, there is the Pánormos Beach Hotel at Pánormos, 12km from Skopelos Chora (T. 24240 22711, fax 23366, www.Pánormosbeach-hotel.gr).

Skopelos Travel Guide

museums

Skopelos Island, the Sporades.

 

Folklore Museum

Skopelos Travel Guide

practical info

Skopelos Island, the Sporades.

370 03 Skopelos: area 95sq. km; perimeter 102km; resident population 4706; max. altitude 681 m. Port Authorities: T. 24240 22180 (Chora) & T. 33033 (Glóssa). Tourist information: Thalpos Holidays, T. 24240 29036, fax 23057, www.skopelos.gr

Skopelos Travel Guide

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements