At a glance
Limpid waters and verdant pine forests almost touching the sea, hidden caves and arid hills, small coves and large sandy beaches, wild ponies running free and a strong energy floating across the island, an imposing Venetian castle and a picturesque Cycladic Chora, a long history and many interesting monuments – this is Skyros, the largest and southernmost island of the Sporades.
Until a few years ago, Skyros was an off-the-beaten-track destination, thanks to a kind of “omerta” between the locals (who were not all that keen on tourism) and the island’s devoted fans and holiday home-owners, all of whom preferred ‘their’ island to remain hidden from the mainstream gaze. But no-one can keep a secret forever, so now Skyros is far more open to tourism, with some good hotels and rooms to let (and more and more appearing each year) and three times more bars and restaurants than it had 5 years ago. It has managed to develop as a tourist destination without losing its traditional, authentic and serene character.
This is an island for quality leisure and relaxing holidays, which begin (and end) with Richard Strauss’ epic melody of Zarathustra, booming at full blast from the loudspeakers of the cliff-side bar at Linaria each time the ship enters the port.