If you are looking for the ultimate summer vacation spot and want to plan and organize in details the greatest summer holiday on the Mediterranean, the Sporades are one of the places you should definitely think about.
Being the largest of them, the island of Skyros is a hidden gem with a population of about 3000 people.
With between 300 and 330 sunny days per year, the island is the perfect place to spend your beach holiday.
The island is well known for its contrasts.
The north is green and forested, covered mostly with pine forests.
The south is completely different – dry and barren.
The coastline is very diverse too. Coastal cliffs alternate with outstanding stretches of fine white or golden sand and crystal clear waters.
Small coves with turquoise water are surrounded with lush forests or barren and dry hills but one thing is for sure – this is your place if you need to relieve the stress and to feel brand new.
1. Explore the old town of Skyros
Compared to other capital towns on the Cyclades, Skyros town offers nearly the same architecture but with the only difference that it is somehow greener, and it is easier to find some shade during your summer walk.
The centuries-old town is enchanting with its stone-paved and narrow winding streets.
The buildings are all whitewashed and flat-roofed, built in a traditional Cycladic style.
On the first floor in most of the buildings are situated small cafes, restaurants or craft shops.
2. Discover the beauty of the northwest coast (Agios Petros Beach)
One of the main reasons why most of us visit Greece is, of course, it’s outstanding beaches.
If you want to discover the best stretches of sand in Skyros, you should go in the northwest of the island.
Surrounded by green forests, Agios Petros is one of the top beaches to visit on the island.
It is well known for its emerald sea and incredible visibility under the water. It is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
3. Don’t miss Manos Faltaits Museum
Manos Faltaits is a museum housed in an old historical building.
It is considered one of the most interesting attractions in the capital of the island.
It offers a rich and diverse collection of pre-Bizantium artifacts.
The Folklore Museum, as they also call it, shows different aspects of the everyday life of the pre-Bizantium era people.
Here you can see decoration, work crafts, sculptures and many others.
4. Visit the castle of Lycomedes
Also known as the castle of Skyros, Lycomedes is an old fortification situated on the top of a hill overlooking the town of Skyros.
It is situated on the place of an ancient acropolis and is one of the main attractions on the island.
The castle is opened for visitors and is a must if you have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Cycladic island.
Its stone walls are decorated with a very beautiful white marble lion.
If you want to reach the castle, you have to cross the yard of the monastery right next to it and pass through a narrow tunnel.
The view from the castle is really worth it.
5. Molos Beach – the best on the island
Molos Beach is often described as the best one on the island.
It is located 2 and a half km north of Skyros town and stretches about 2 kilometers along the coast of the village of Molos, which is a popular tourist attraction.
Molos Beach is covered with fine golden sand and is equipped with all the needed modern facilities you can expect.
Because of the large size of the beach, it is sometimes busy but never too overcrowded.
6. Try local wine at Stamatis Nikolaou Winery
If you love good wines, Stamatis Nikolaou Winery is a place you will really like.
The winery is located in a scenic and fertile valley in the central part of the island and is definitely one of the most popular in Skyros.
This is a must-visit place not only because of the opportunity to try the incredible taste of the alcoholic drink, but also if you are looking for a place to buy a bottle of high quality wine with deep taste for your family and friends.
7. Go to Saint George Monastery
Saint George is a Byzantine style monastery from the 13th century.
It is scenically situated on the steep slopes of a hill, overlooking the town of Skyros.
It is one of the important landmarks on the island and is situated right next to the old Venetian castle.
The panorama which reveals from here is breathtaking so the walk to the monastery should be one of the priorities in your to do list while on the island.
8. Paralia Agalipa – one of the hidden gems
Paralia Agalipa is a very small but wonderful beach.
Quiet and secluded, it is nestled on the northwest coast of the island.
The stretch of sand is white and fine, the bottom is mostly covered with sand.
The beach is sheltered and good for swimming even in windy weather.
Paralia Agalipa is irresistible with its smooth surface and great visibility underwater.
It is a good choice for people who love snorkeling and swimming.
In addition to the irresistible turquoise waters, the beautiful and fragrant pine forest reach the coast itself.
9. Visit the Brooke Monument
Known for its good looks and incredible writing style, the British poet Rupert Brooke died from sepsis after a mosquito bite on the island of Skyros.
Nowadays the monument of Brooke is one of the landmarks on the island.
The beautiful bronze statue can be seen in the town of Skyros (the capital of the island).
The monument of the popular writer is located in one of the corners of a small panoramic square which reveals a breathtaking view to the town.
10. Discover the beauty of Glyfada Sarakino
Less than a kilometer south of Skyros lies a small and beautiful uninhabited island, called Sarakino.
It is a popular stop for day boat trippers exploring the southern coast of the main island.
The most beautiful place along the coast of Sarakino is called Glyfada Sarakino.
This is an outstanding turquoise lagoon which is nestled in a sheltered bay on the south coast of the island.
Quiet and secluded, the bay is a great place to escape from it all, enjoying the shallow limpid waters while swimming or snorkeling around.
11. Windsurfing in Kalamitsa
Skyros, as many other Greek islands, is a wonderful place to windsurf.
Flat waters and refreshing breezes turn the country into a windsurfing paradise.
Skyros is not an exception and is a wonderful place if you want to enjoy the exciting water sport.
Kalamitsa is the best place to windsurf on the island.
It is located on the west coast and is known for its smooth waters and constant wind called “Meltemi”.
The beach is usually very quiet and almost empty so you will definitely enjoy the sport without being disturbed from huge crowds of tourists.
12. Enjoy the little paradise of Limanaki Beach
Limanaki is a little paradise.
This is quite a small but very beautiful beach on the northwest coast of the emerald green island.
It is very quiet and secluded and because of this reason is a good choice to relieve the stress.
Limanaki is well-known for its mirrored surface and golden sand as well as for its limpid waters.
The underwater visibility is between 30 and 40 meters, which is great news if you like snorkeling and diving.
13. Kayaking along the northwest
If you love kayaking, Skyros will be a true paradise for you.
The coastline of the island is outstanding as a whole but most irresistible is the northwest coast where turquoise waters meet emerald green rounded hills.
This part of Skyros offers wonderful beaches, most of which are very remote and isolated.
As they are usually not very easy to reach, they guarantee the opportunity to distract yourself from crowds and noise while enjoying some high-quality time outside.
14. Dive in the past of the island
Palamari is an important archeological site dating back to the 2500 – 1800 BC.
Located on the northeast coast of the island, this place still keeps a large part of surprisingly well preserved ancient fortification.
The fortified walls were created to protect an early or middle Bronze Age settlement, right next to the coast of the island.
If you love to explore old historical sites, Palamari is definitely a must for you.
15. Join a cruise to Skopelos, Skiathos and Alonissos
The Sporades is a piece of paradise which combines wonderful climate, beautiful nature and lovely architecture.
All of the islands in this group worth a visit because you will never be disappointed from what you see there.
You will be able to enjoy the outstanding beaches, to swim or snorkel around as well as to try some typical local foods.
16. Experience the wonderful Pefkos Beach
The west coast of Skyros is full of quiet and beautiful beaches and Pefkos is one of them.
It is situated in a small cove, surrounded by green hills and Mediterranean forests. It is rarely busy and never too crowded.
The emerald green mirrored water in the bay is irresistible.
It is great for swimming and snorkeling.
The bottom is covered by a mix of sand and small pebbles so the water is crystal clear and you can see all the species of marine creatures living in the shallows.
17. Climb Mount Olympus (903 m)
Mount Olympus rises 903 meters above sea level and is the highest point on the island.
Located in the northern part of the island, it is surrounded by a wonderful lush forest which mostly consists of species of coniferous trees.
Actually, the main reason why it is recommended to go to Mount Olympus is the beauty of the surrounding area.
The experience to walk through the forest is really relaxing and is a great way to beat the stress.
18. Snorkeling at Agios Fokas
Located in the western part of the island, Agios Fokas is among the most popular places to snorkel on the island.
The area is quiet and isolated so you will definitely find the privacy you need.
Not many people decide to come here, moreover that the place is not easy to reach without a car.
The bottom is mostly covered by pebbles so the water is crystal clear and great for diving and snorkeling.
19. Buy pottery, porcelain and embroidery
Buying gifts is always tricky and difficult.
However, the island is a place to find some really good traditional goods.
With no matter if you are looking for a gift for your parents, siblings, friends or a partner in life, the chance to go wrong choosing a traditional item is quite low.
The island of Skyros is well-known for its pottery and fine porcelain.
They are traditionally decorated with typical local colors such as white and blue but not only.
There are also some other good ideas such as buying embroidery and textile goods at affordable prices but with very high quality.
Actually, you could be inspired to get some ideas of how to decorate your stylish home.
20. Visit the pre-Lenten carnival
If you have decided to visit the island during the winter season, you should definitely visit the popular local pre-Lenten carnival.
It is considered one of the most colourful in the Aegean as a whole.
The carnival takes place every weekend for four weeks before the so called Clean Monday.
This is a celebration with old roots and traditions, and it attracts both foreign and Greek visitors.
21. Horse riding
The contact with nature is always very special.
The experience is even stronger if you have in front of yourself a highly intelligent and emotional species.
Horse riding is one of the most emotional ways to spend your day outside.
The contact with the animal is special in many different ways.
In fact, between you and the horse appears some kind of connection and friendship.
Riding is a great way to explore some of the more distanced and isolated trails.
The duration of your walk depends on how long you would like to stay outside as well as on the route you are planning to explore.
Horse riding offers a great opportunity to get to places which could be otherwise very difficult to reach on foot.
You should know:
Visitors and atmosphere
If you are looking for a quiet and secluded place to spend your holiday in Greece, Skyros is a good choice.
Over the last few decades the island has remained away from the large flows of visitors.
The lack of large hotels and well-preserved natural beauty are the main proves.
Beach and weather
There are both sandy and pebble beaches, with crystal clear water.
You can go to the beach from April till November.
The average daytime temperatures in mid April are in the mid 20es, while in November are usually between 20 and 25.
Seawater in April is a bit cold, about 17 – 18 degrees but on the other side is irresistibly clean.
In mid summer temperatures are quite high, reaching 35 – 40 degrees in the shade in the peak season.