The Beautiful Realm of Skyros
Skyros (Σκύρος) is an island in Greece, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea.
Around the 2nd millennium BC and slightly later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes (an ancient Greek tribe). Its later names are Pelasgia and Dolopia.
At 209 square kilometres (81 sq mi) it is the largest island of the Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000 people(in 2011).
According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros when he was thrown from a cliff by the local king Lycomedes. The island is also famous in the myths as the place from where Achilles set sail for Troy after having been discovered in the court of Lycomedes by Odysseus. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros (or Scyros, as its name is sometimes transliterated), as told in the play by Sophocles, Philoctetes . There is a small bay named Achili on the east coast of the island that is said to be the place from where Achilles left with the Greeks, or rather when Achilles landed there during a squall that befell the Greek fleet following an abortive initial expedition landing astray in Mysia.
Rupert Brooke, the famous English poet, is buried on Skyros, having died on board a French hospital ship moored off the island in 1915, during the First World War.
In 1941, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Karl Shapiro wrote the World War II poem Scyros, which he set on the island Skyros “because it was a tribute to and irony upon Rupert Brooke.”
Skyros, The Heart Of Aegean Sea, is the biggest island in the North Sporades.
The island is famous for its sandy beaches, such Magazia, Gialo, Molos, Agios Petros, Kyra Panagia, Atsitsa, Agios Foka, Pevko, Acheroynes, Kolympada, Tris Bukes, Achilli and many others. Pine forests cover 32% of Skyroy . The biggest town is Skyros (Chora) where is concentrated the 95% of the population.
Each Skyrian house is like a small museum keeping traditional style alive. The streets are unique, narrow, built centuries ago.
The greatest treasures are the local folklore and archaeology, with deep roots in history and mythology, giving the Skyrian people great pride in their origins.
There are many natural attractions such as the imposing and spectacular Mount Kohilas, a superb bird-watchers paradise.
The Kastro (castle) – originally an Acropolis in the Bronze Age, but now a fortification built in the Byzantine and Venetian eras.
The monastery of Agios Georgios Skyrianos (St. George of Skyros), built in the 10th Century, as well as more than 200 other churches on the island.