The most wooded Greek island of Skopelos has remained untouched by the hordes of curious tourists. It has become a refuge for those tired of modern civilization and in love with untouched nature.
Skopelos is an island located in the center of the northwest Aegean, east of Pelion and north of Evia. It has approximately 5,700 inhabitants and is the second largest among the so-called Northern Sporades. It belongs to the province of Magnesia, and the main and only town of Skopelos has 4,000 inhabitants. There are several other villages on the island, among which, due to their importance, we single out Glossa, Klima and Elios.
How to get to Skopelos
You can get to Skopelos in several ways, and the best is by plane to the nearby and much more famous Skiathos, and then by ferry. For those who want to come with their own transport, there are several options, with ferries sailing between Skopelos and the ports of Volos and Agios Konstantinos daily during the season. The island has three ports: in Skopelos, Loutraki (Loutrakis) and Agnontas, and the last one is used when strong winds from the north prevent landing in Skopelos.
The northern port of Loutraki on Skopelos can be reached by ferry in 15 minutes to half an hour, or the main port of Skopelos, which takes between 35 minutes and one hour. If you are traveling by car, during the summer there are regular services between Skopelos and Volos, and Skopelos and Agios Konstantinos.
Information about the island of Skopelos
Due to the lush green forests and the blue sea, the island of Skopelos is one of the most beautiful in Greece. More than 50% of its territory is covered by a dense pine forest that is more than 4,000 years old. Skopelos owes its lush vegetation to a good climate. It rains often, and even in summer two or three showers will cool the land and wash away the pine forest that slopes down to the beautiful blue-green coast on the west and south sides.
In general, Skopelos has a warm climate, but thanks to the large forests, the heat is bearable. In August, the summer wind blows in the evenings, so we recommend you to bring a light sweatshirt or sweater. It rarely snows in winter, but when it does, the island becomes almost surreally beautiful.
The capital of Skopelos - Chora
On the north-eastern side of Skopelos there is a really nice little town of the same name, Skopelos or Chora, which is characterized by densely packed houses surrounded by a fortress. The fortress was built by the Venetians, and is located on the site of the oldest settlement on the island, Peparethos.
It is visible from any part of the city and can be reached by climbing the stairs from the Panagitsa tou Purgou church on the very edge of the harbor. Today it is extremely interesting for both archaeologists and tourists.
Between the houses there is a large number of small churches, which the citizens of Skopelos treat with special care, continuing to respect religious traditions that are centuries old. Until recently, strictly painted dark brown doors and window panes have been painted in much more cheerful and colorful colors.
Stroll through the streets around the Little well, from where you can climb up to the fortress, which offers a beautiful view of the city and the bay. If you get lost in one of the many alleys, just go downhill and you'll come to the port, from where you'll find your way around more easily. The walk from the Panagitsa tou Purgou church, which is one of the most picturesque details of the island, to the fortress is truly inspiring. It feels like you are traveling back in time. Beautiful churches, picturesque alleys and crystal clear sea that tempts you to dive. Because of all this, this city will win your heart and admiration at first sight.
To enjoy the beauty of Skopelos it is best to use a car or a motorcycle. If you don't have them, you can rent them on the island or use the well-organized bus service that takes you to the most popular beaches and villages. All major roads are in good condition and are asphalted, while minor roads are of somewhat poorer quality, so you can often come across gravel. If you decide to visit a more inaccessible beach, be sure to bring a GPS, although the road signs are good.
Picturesque places on Skopelos
From the town of Skopelos, the road leads us to Mount Palouki, among whose hills is the Evagelismos Monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was built on a place with a magnificent view of the town of Skopelos and is one of the most beautiful on the island.
A cross is embedded in its base, and at the entrance there is a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary, which is said to be miraculous. The icon is called Pamakaristos and according to traditions, it was brought to Skopelos by two monks who came from Constantinople. The display on the altar, the wood carving, is also very interesting. Today, the monastery is guarded and maintained by two nuns who are always willing and kind to open the heavy monastery doors wide and offer visitors cold water and lead them through the sanctuary during worship.
Since the 16th century BC, when the Cretans moved to the island and brought with them a special way of growing olives and vineyards, the island has been inhabited by many different ethnic groups. This tradition continues today, as many foreigners choose Skopelos as their home, especially retired Englishmen. Most of them are there during the summer season, and they usually choose Klima as their place of residence.
Klima is one of the most picturesque villages on the island, and is located near Glossa, that is, on the southwest side of the island facing Skiathos and Evia.
Until the beginning of the fifties of the last century, Klima was divided into two parts: upper and lower. According to the locals, Donja Klima is older. In the lower part of the village there is a square called Tsitsiraflos, and an imposing old tree stands proudly on it. From this square you can see Glossa, Loutraki, Pelion and Skiathos.
The main characteristic of the inhabitants of Klima was their enthusiasm and hospitality. Whether it was a festival, whether it was a wedding or just an ordinary Sunday, there was always dancing and celebration in the village square under the oak tree, often joined by the residents of nearby Glossa.
Unfortunately, the place was abandoned after a strong earthquake in 1965 when it was destroyed. A little later, in 1981, people moved to the Elios region, where a new settlement was built for the inhabitants of the destroyed Klima, which was simply called Neo Klima (New Klima). The village was built right on the coast and today is one of the favorite places visited by tourists. It is located right under the forest of Vathia at the foot of Mount Delphi, 18 kilometers from the town of Skopelos.
This is one of the most beautiful parts of the island, and the beautiful Hovolo beach stands out in particular. It stretches across the entire width of the village, partly made of fine and partly coarse gravel, with stones or sand.
North of Nova Klima is Glossa, the second largest place on Skopelos, which together with the port of Loutraki forms a whole. It really exudes island tradition. Beautiful beaches and clear sea are a good invitation for all tourists, and when you are here, do not miss the "Agnanti" restaurant. It is an indispensable point for all tourists who want to enjoy traditional Greek specialties..
The most beautiful beaches on Skopelos
The most beautiful beaches are far from the capital of the island, where, by the way, most tourists stay. The closest beach to the city is Stafilos, near which - hidden by rocks - the nudist beach of Velanio. The position of the best beaches in relation to the town of Skopelos looks like this:
- Milia is the most visited and is located 13 kilometers west
- Glysteri is located four kilometers north
- Hovolo is located 19 kilometers west
- Perivolu is located 27 kilometers northwest
- Panormos is located 12 kilometers west
Sights of Skopelos
Skopelos is full of historical monuments. Admittedly, they are not quite as readily available as we would all like. That's why you can combine interesting walks in search of these places. Thus, the Tombs of the Pirates were cut deep into the rocks at Sedoukia, on Mount Kariya in the interior of the island. You will reach them if you follow the dirt road towards Karija. There are wells with the cleanest and best water on the island.
You will hardly get lost on the road, as there are numerous road signs that help travelers not to get lost. Eventually, the road gets lost and the rented car or Vespa should be left behind and set off on foot. In order not to get lost, follow the red spots on the rocks along the path and you will soon reach Sedukia. From there you have a beautiful view of the islands of Alonissos and Evia, and if the weather is clear you may even be able to see Halkidiki and Olympus.
If you want a peaceful vacation surrounded by untouched nature, clean sea and beautiful beaches, then Skopelos is just the place for you.
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