SIGHT-SEEING ON SKYROS
| Welcome to Skyros. The boat brought you to Linaria, the port of Skyros, a lee and safe port on the west side of the island. It shows a wonderful picturesque village built on the side of the hill, which was deemed as a historical landmark monument by decision of the minister.|
There are two versions on the name of the port. The first is related to the cultivation of linen and processing of linen fabrics in the old days. The second is related to the Nymph Lino (Ληνώ, li`no) and maybe this area was a place of worship of the Nymphs in ancient times. There are two versions on the name of the port. The first is related to the cultivation of linen and processing of linen fabrics in the old days. The second is related to the Nymph Lino (Ληνώ, li`no) and maybe this area was a place of worship of the Nymphs in ancient times.
According to the 2001 population census, it is inhabited by 319 people occupying themselves with tourism and fishing. The poet Georgios Drosinis was a devoted lover of the area and spent there many summers. That is the place where he was inspired and wrote poems and prose, the famous fisherman's stories.
Leaving Linaria behind, some 1.5 km on the main road to Chorio, the first beach on the right is Acherounes. On 1.5 km away from there, on the same road, there is a left turn which leads after about 3.5 km to Pefkos, one of the best beaches of the island. Fine clean sand with hills all around and large blocks of marble scattered here and there, once ready to load from the local quarry, adding a very special eccentric trait to the scenery. 3 km away from Pefkos, through a pine-clad medium difficulty dirt road is the beach of Aghios Fokas. 6 km from there you can get to Atsitsa.
4 km before Chorio lies Aspous settlement with Melaos beach. Just before the settlement, a right turn on the crossroad leads to Kalamitsi beach, after bypassing Achilli beach which is no longer offered for swimming. It's a 5 km ride to the largest beach of the island. If you stay in Linaria, the shortest way is from the road above the settlement.
After 5 km and past the famous Nyfi spring, one gets to Kolymbada bay with the homonymous beach. Farther away lies Renes beach, between Tris Boukes and Lithari bay, but only for those daring enough and well equipped with an off road vehicle for the difficult dirt road. On the location of Aghia Triada, near Tris Boukes, anchorage of the Brittish and French navy, the great friend of Greece was buried. His mother did not permit his burial in England respecting her son's wish. "Leave him on the place he chose for himself. Let him see forever the Greek sun" she said.
Built on an out of sight location, on a limestone rock from people needing to protect themselves against pirates, Chorio is an unforgettable place with houses like a white bunch of flowers. Only the terraces of the houses are dark in color, because they are coated with a special pottery like loam called "melagri", for protection against the sun. Chora is traversed by Megali Strata ("large road") leading to the Castle. On the north edge of the village lies the plaza of eternal poetry with the statue of the English poet Brook and the two museums, the Faltaits archaeological and historical museums. Next to the Castle is the monastery of St. George, guardian and protector of the island. It stands dominating with its presence a little lower than the Castle, on top of the steep rock above Chorio. Near the Castle are the Pano Strata, Aghios Vasilios, Kochilia, Atsipas, Skordas and other quarters. A bit further below, toward the beach is the prehistoric graveyard carved in rock. In winter 958 during Nikiforos Fokas' campaign to reoccupy Crete from the Arabs, the Byzantine fleet had to anchor in Skyros to protect itself from the rough sea. Holy Athanasios Athonitis was with the emperor at the time, who promised him that should they triumph over the Saracens, he would donate part of the island to build a monastery. Holy Athanasios stayed in Skyros in a cave NE of the Castle, at a place where a church is built today in his name. Fokas won in the end and kept his promise. Today, according to the 2001 population census, Chorio counts some 1748 inhabitants.
Two settlements united at the NE of Skyros, about 2 km from the region Skyrians also call Gialos, counting 134 inhabitants according to the 2001 population census. This settlements dates back to the Turkish domination when the first "magazia" where created there, namely the first warehouses for the trade of the island. Later on, houses were built and many inhabitants of Chorio changed their residence to go near the beach. This is the area where there is nowadays most of the tourist accommodation.
From Chorio to Atsitsa.
Atsitsa is 18 km away from Chorio, a northbound route along which there are many beaches, each one with a special characteristic of its own. Quite close, north from Chorio are located two settlements with most of the available accommodation, Magazia and Molos. This is the starting point of the adjacent beaches of Magazia, Molos, Pouria, Gyrismata and Kareflou.
In Pouria lies the ancient quarry and the church of St. Nicholas carved in stone at an area very close to Vrikolakonisia ("vampire islands"...).
Gyrismata are 3 km away from Chorio and are one the much-frequented beaches of the island.
Some 14 km on the way from Chorio is the junction leading the 4 km easy dirt road to the beaches of Aghios Petros (St. Peter) and Theotokos. Should one skip the detour, there is also the beach of Kyra-Panagia 2 km further down the road. That leaves us with just 2 km to Atsitsa and the difficult dirt road (intended for the adventurous, as mentioned earlier...) to the beach of Aghios Fokas.