SKOPELOS



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Skopelos - general

General

In the last half-hour of the boat journey to Skopelos from the mainland, the ferry rounds Cape Gourouni and sails parallel to the eastern shore of the island, past bay after bay of steeply sloping pine forests and rushing streams. Scarcely a track or a dwelling is visible. A cliff-top chapel perhaps is glimpsed, then nothing again—just dense green slopes and the astringent scent of pine and of the sea. From the viewpoint of our city-centric culture, we have traditionally seen the islands as remote and peripheral, as places of retreat. Indeed their isolation is what gives us pleasure. But, in historical terms, we see things inside out: in prehistory and Antiquity, it was the sea that connect ed, facilitated and brought communities into life-giving contact with one another, and it was the land-mass of the mainland that was peripheral. This deserted and beautiful coastline was a busy thoroughfare of Antiquity; tiny craft with obsidian and minerals from Milos in the 3rd millennium bc, Minoan metal traders in the 2nd millennium, and in the first millennium bc barges laden with amphorae containing the island’s prized wine, destined for the Black Sea, all plied up and down this same coast. And what we see of it today has changed little over 5,000 years from what was seen of it then by those early voyagers.
   It is remarkable how well-preserved Skopelos is at the be ginning of the 3rd millennium ad; it seems to have found a just balance between the busy normality of its Chora, a contained amount of tourism, and the preservation of its large areas of mountainous forest and coastline. Skopelos has the greatest depth of all the Northern Sporades is lands—a richness of architecture which Alonnisos lacks, a clear identity and self-sufficiency which Skiathos has surrendered to tourism, and an economic importance and commercial vitality which have passed Skyros by. There is the appealing wooded coastline with coves and beaches down the west side of the island, and deep forest valleys in the interior. The town has an attractive and varied domestic architecture and an unparalleled number of interesting churches with paintings and fine wood-carving. In the hills to the south, east and west of the Chora are over a dozen monasteries, dating from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century—amongst which, the remote and tranquil hermitage-monastery of the Taxiarches. Of the island’s vitality in Antiquity, and its three cities of Peparethos, Panormos and Selinous, the visible remains are scant, but there is an enigmatic site high on the slopes of Mount Delfi at ‘Sendoukia’, where a small and curious necropolis occupies one of the most magnificent positions in all of the Northern Aegean.


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


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

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