About Skopelos island
About Skopelos island
- The Sporades are a group of islands on the prefecture of Magnesia and are comprised by the islands of Skopelos, Skiathos, Alonnisos and Skyros.
Skopelos is the second biggest island of the Sporades with a population of 6000 residents, an extent of ground of 96 square klms and a length of beaches of 68 klms. The ground is mountainous and around three quarters of the ground are covered by pine trees.
Skopelos is the greenest island in Greece, “the green and blue island” as formally declared by the international organization of Biopolitics. It is a diamond that adorns the Aegean with an ideal environment where the green pines and dense forests blend with the light blue sea and sky creating a picture of incomparable natural beauty. Apart from pine trees there is also a rich flora as a great number of rare plants adorn the rich nature. The main road network of Skopelos is a distance of 35 klms. It stretches from the Hora to the port of Glossa (Loutraki). To enjoy all the beautiful sights of Skopelos it is helpful to have the use of a car or motorbike. If you don’t have one of your own you can rent a vehicle on the island or use the local bus or taxi service.
The roads are in good condition and the ride through the forests is particularly enchanting. Nature has endued the island with some characteristics that are hard to find elsewhere. The island is touristically developed and this offers to the visitor the ideal solution for holidays, as it is suited to nature lovers, adventure lovers but also to those who just want to have fun and enjoy nightlife.
The crystal clear waters, the rich vegetation, the picturesque villages, nightlife, the taverns by the sea, the various shops that’s ell local art, the local flavours, the paths that are ideal for walking , the many graphical creeks that are ideal for sailing, the various beaches, are only a few of the reasons why you will fall in love with Skopelos.
Bars that play all types of music from rock to greek music are built by the sea or on slopes. Tavernas and ouzeri can be found in the narrow streets or by the sea. Cafes, internet cafes, clubs with live greek music make entertainment in Skopelos exciting and unique.
The main road network of Skopelos is a distance of 35 klms. It stretches from the Hora to the port of Glossa (Loutraki). The local busses stop at most beaches and travel often, especially during the summer. There are also a lot of taxis. The roads are in good condition and the ride through the forests is particularly enchanting.
- Skopelos has been inhabited since the prehistoric era. The island’s ancient name was Peparithos. It was named after Peparithos, one of the two sons of Dionysos and Ariadne, and grandson of the legendary king of Crete, Minoas.
The first inhabitants of the island were Cretans who were led there by Stafylos, Dionyso’s second son, around 1600 BC. Stafylos became the first king of Peparithos. In 1936 in the bay of Stafylos, which was named after him, archaeologists found the royal tomb in which they also found golden jewellery, ceramic vessels, as well as his sword with the golden handle.
From 800 to 750 BC. the island was occupied by the Halkideis who had created three colonies: Peparithos which is the present Hora, Panormos located where the Panormos bay is located today and Selinounta which is called Loutraki today.
Next, the island was under the control of the Athenians, later of the Macedonians and in 146 BC of the Romans , like the whole Greece.
The name Skopelos is first mentioned in the 2nd century and has been used ever since. The name is mainly due to the fact that in the north coasts there are a lot of reefs (Skopelos in Greek).
Until 1453 Skopelos had been part of the Byzantine empire. From 1453 it was under the Venetians’ control, after a decision taken by the inhabitants themselves.
In 1538 the Turks led by Pirate Barbarosa occupy the island, plunder it and kill the inhabitants. During the 17th century the island was depopulated for many decades, and was again inhabited in the early 18th century mainly by Thessalians and Macedonians, and Skopelos became alive again.
In 1821 Skopelos was among the first to join the Greek revolution and helped significantly by supplying its naval force. In 1830 Skopelos became part of the newly created Greek state.
There are several sights on the island that can impress the visitor. Some of them are the following:
● The numerous churches, chapels and monasteries which are more than 365. The most famous monasteries are those of Evaggelistria, Prodromou, Metamorfosis tou Sotira and Santa Barbara.
● The picturesque chapel of Agios Ioannis in Kastri. It is located in the north side of the island on the peak of an imposing rock that stands in the sea. To reach the chapel you should climb the one hundred stairs carved on the rock. Meryl Streep climbed those stairs in the well-known movie “Mamma Mia”.
● The ancient cities of: Peparithos in Skopelos town, Panormos near Panormos bay, Selinounta and Roman baths in Loutraki. The ruins of these ancient cities can still be seen today.
● The famous Sentoukia which are ancient tombs carved in the mountain Karya.
● Episkopi, a Venetian castle built around 1200 A.D. , intended for the Bishop of Skopelos but it remained unfinished because the island was occupied by the Turks.
● Asklipeio is an ancient temple (4th century B.C.). Its ruins can still be seen today.
● The Venetian castle over the town of Skopelos.
● The house of the well- known writer Pavlos Nirvanas, which is now a museum.
● The folk museum of Skopelos where you can see traditional outfits and other exhibits that highlight the cultural heritage of the place.
Skopelos (Hora). It is the capital town which is located in the northeast part of the island. The cobblestone alleys, the houses that are build amphitheatrically next to each other with their tiled roofs, the verandas that are full of flowers, and the numerous little churches that are scattered in the narrow alleys are a few of the main characteristics of Hora.
Agnontas. It is a little coastal area with fish taverns and a beautiful beach.
Panormos. It is a small coastal settlement with many restaurants, fish taverns and a big beautiful beach.
Neo Klima (Elios). It is an area by the sea full of pine trees. The picturesque port with the organized marina can that accommodate yachts, the newly -built houses and the wonderful beach with different shades of natural beauty are some of the characteristics of the settlement.
Old Klima, one of the traditional villages of the island. Its main characteristic is the old stone houses that are built amphitheatrically, as well as the picturesque narrow cobblestone alleys.
Glossa is the second biggest village after Hora and it is built on the slope of the mountain, offering a wonderful view to the Aegean Sea. Its main features are the cobblestone streets and the houses with the tiled roofs and the small wooden balconies.
Loutraki, which serves as a port for Glossa. It is located by the sea and has a beautiful beach which is of archaeological interest as there are ruins of the Romans baths as well as ruins of the ancient city of Selinounta.
Skopelos island has three ports: The 2 main ports are Glossa port (Loutraki) and Skopelos port(Hora). There is another one, Agnontas port, which is used as a support under certain circumstances.
Milia: Sand and small pebbles constitute the island’s biggest beach. One of the most beautiful beaches, equipped with umbrellas and sun beds, with a view to the little island ‘Dasia’ and the sounds of the music coming from the beach bar.
Kastani: A sandy beach, with many pine trees around and equipped with umbrellas, sun beds and a beach bar.
Neo Klima (Elios): A long beach with sand and pebbles, crystal clear waters. It is equipped with umbrellas and sun beds. There are taverns and fish restaurants by the sea.
Hovolo: it is an expansion of Neo Klima beach. It has fine sand and the waters are of various shades of blue. It is one of the best beaches of the island.
Armenopetra: An isolated, quiet pebbly beach with cool waters.
Agios Ioannis: It is located next to the chapel of Agios Ioannis on the north side of the island. It is a small sandy beach equipped with umbrellas and sun beds. There is a cantina nearby. It is ideal for spear gun fishing.
Perivoliou: It is on the north part of the island and it combines wild beauty and clear blue waters.
Loutraki: It is a quite long sandy and pebbly beach, equipped with umbrellas and sun beds. There are various shops, taverns and cafes within walking distance.
Panormos: A pebbly beach equipped with umbrellas and sun beds The water that gets deep immediately when you enter. There are restaurants by the sea.
Agnontas: A small beach with small pebble and taverns by the sea.
Limnonari: A small calm gulf with a white sandy beach with umbrellas, sun beds and taverns by the sea.
Stafylos: A sandy and pebbly beach equipped with umbrellas, sun beds and a beach bar.
Velanio: If you cross Stafylos beach and walk through a narrow path you find Velanio. It is the official nudist beach. It is a wonderful beach with sand and pebble.
Glysteri: It is in a small gulf on the northeast side of the island near the town of Skopelos. It is a pebbly beach with umbrellas, sun beds and a tavern by the sea.
Due to its location and its terrain, Skopelos produces products of high quality. It is famous for its pure olive oil, which is of excellent quality in taste, aroma and color, its sweet-smelling honey, its rolled cheese pie, its local cheese produced from the local goats, which are considered among the best goat breeds in Greece, its dried plums, the ‘haimalia’, which are sweets offered at weddings and are made of almonds as well as its tasty traditional spoon sweets made of almond, quince, cherry and plum.
You should also look for the traditional ceramic products, the handmade knives, the woodcrafts as well as textile and embroidery products.
- Useful Information
The water on the Sporades is drinkable.
On Skopelos island there are 3 bank stores: National Bank of Greece, Alpha bank and Piraeus bank and 5 ATMS.
Both in town of Skopelos and in Glossa you can find a chemist’s.
There is a Health Centre in the town of Skopelos and a surgery in Neo Klima and in Glossa.
Some useful phone numbers
Skopelos Health Centre: +30 24240 22222
Surgery in Neo Klima: +30 24240 33000
Surgery in Glossa: +30 24240 33504
Police Station: +30 24240 22235
Fire Brigade: +30 24240 24199
Skopelos Port Authorities: +30 24240 22180
Glossa Port Authorities: +30 24240 33033
Citizens’ Service Centre in Skopelos: +30 24240 29064
Citizens’ Service Centre in Glossa: +30 24240 34480
Folklore Museum: +30 24240 23494
Post Office: +30 24240 22203
National bank of Greece: +30 24240 22691
Piraeus bank: +30 24240 22384
- Alpha bank: +30 24240 22700
To visit Skopelos you can chose among the following means of transport:
By plane to Skiathos and then by high-speed boat or ferry to Glossa or Skopelos ports.
By car or by bus from Athens, Kanigos Square (travel agency “Alkion”, Akadimias 97, tel. 2103843220) to the port of Agios Konstantinos and from there by high-speed boat or ferry to Glossa or Skopelos ports. Bus travel times are coordinated with the travel times of ferries and flying high-speed boats.
By plane to Skiathos and then by high-speed boat or ferry to Glossa or Skopelos ports.
By car or by bus to Volos port and from there by high-speed boat or ferry to Glossa or Skopelos ports.
From Volos: By high-speed boat or ferry
From Agios Konstantinos: By high-speed boat or ferry
From Kimi: By ferry
For those of you who are traveling from abroad you can chose a scheduled flight to Athens or Thessaloniki or a charter flight to Anchialos airport (Volos) or Skiathos and then take the high-speed boat or ferry to the ports of Glossa or Skopelos.