Recreation & Outdoor Adventures
The island of Skyros is a place of immense natural beauty and there are a wide range of activities that you can enjoy when you visit. The combination of lush rich forests in the north and the rocky barren landscape of the south make Skyros an island of two halves – each with its own charm and beauty, and a great place for venturing out and exploring.
One of the most popular activities on Skyros is sailing. The coastline of the island offers a unique and inspiring setting and taking a sailing boat around the island is a great way to see the magical sea caves, gorgeous beaches and visit some of the small nearby islands that offer pure peace and tranquillity.
From Linaria you can find boats that offer day trips as well as others that offer you a full sailing holiday on the waters around the island. Whether you want a full holiday onboard a comfortable sailing boat, or an afternoon sail around the coast, you will be able to have whichever you desire.
Another activity that many people on Skyros enjoy during their holidays is diving. The Gorgonia Diving Centre in Acherounes provides visitors with the chance of scuba diving and gives you the chance to experience Skyros from underwater instead of above it.
There are some great diving sites around the island where you can dive and the instructors are able to offer dives for all levels of diver, whether you are a professional or a first-timer. You can find more information about the diving centre by calling ( + 30 ) 22221 00016 or visiting their Facebook page
If you enjoy windsurfing then head over to the beach at Kalamitsa which has a windsurfing centre and is one of the most popular locations for windsurfing on Skyros. Another destination that is ideal for windsurfing is Atsitsa.
The diverse landscape of Skyros made it a great place for mountain biking. There are a number of cycling routes on the island and it is a great way to enjoy the rich natural beauty of the island. A popular route is crossing from the east to the west side, passing through the capital town of Chora.
Mountaineering is another popular activity in Skyros with the two mountains of Olympus and Kohylas being ideal for the sport. The Olympus mountain in the north of Skyros has a peak of 367 meters, while Kohylas mountain in the south has a peak of 792 meters. You can also arrange to have a mountain guide with you if you so wish.
Skyros is the perfect holiday for hikers and its beautiful natural scenery make it an island that cries out to be explored. The rich and diverse vegetation found on the north of the island creates the perfect setting for you to enjoy hiking and walking around the various paths and routes.
In the north of the island you can walk among the beautiful dense pine forests and enjoy all of the sights and scents of the region. You can walk past the olive groves, down to the beaches and everywhere in between passing magical scenery, small churches and enjoy the nature and wildlife that thrives here.
In the south the landscape is much more rocky and rugged, though equally beautiful. The famous Skyrian horses live in the south, and you can see them in small groups in their natural environment if you are lucky enough. Mount Kohylas belongs to the “Natura 2000” areas, which is a European Ecological Network for the protection of wildlife and plants that are endangered or very rare.
Bird watching is another very popular activity with visitors to the island of Skyros, as the island is the perfect environment for thousands of migratory birds, and is a major shelter and station for them. In the mountains of Skyros you will have the chance to see a number of endangered species including the Little Owl, Bonelli's Eagle, Eleonora's Falcon, Cory's Shearwater and many others.
The wetlands of the island are another important locations for the birds to stop during their journeys, and some you can see here include Herons, the Marsh Harrier and the Red Footed Falcon. If you are interested in the conservation project for the biodiversity of the island of Skyros, head over to www.skyroslife.com and read more about the project and the Skyros Life Program.
Culture & Traditions
If you are interested in getting to experience first-hand some of the Skyros traditions such as weaving and embroidery, pottery and wood-carving ( for which the island is known throughout Greece ), then you can pay a visit to one of the workshops on the island where you can have a go for yourself. You can also take part in a cooking course where you can learn to cook some of the local Skyrian dishes as well as other Greek cuisine.
The traditional look of the Skyros House is an important part of the culture and traditions of the island. The houses used to be small in size and lacked proper storage space, which is why many kitchen utensils and metallic plates were hung on the walls, leading to them taking on a decorative value, as well as a practical one. The small size of the houses is also something you will see in the beautiful wooden furniture, especially the small wooden chairs that are an integral part of the home.
Inside these traditional houses, the unique decorations, wood furniture and embroidery on items such as cushions and pillows offer a wonderful insight into these traditions that not only have been preserved throughout the years, with the skills and knowledge passed down through the generations, but which define the identity of the island.