The island’s main feature is its distinct landscape; the north part is dominated by lush pine forests and picturesque hamlets while the southern part has a wild beauty. Its rocky landscape is dominated by Kochylas, the island’s highest mountain.
Skyros used to be known as “The island of Magnites” (i.e. the island of the inhabitants of Magnesia). At some point during ancient times, the word “Skyros” appeared due to the geological composition of the island’s soil which includes gypsum (called “skiros” in Ancient Greek). This name became the dominant name over time. The island was conquered by many over the years: pirates, Venetians & Ottomans and they have all left behind their traces over the centuries, which is perfectly illustrated in the island’s traditions, customs and architecture.
Linaria is the port and lies 10km from the Chora. The Chora is on the northeast part of the island and is built on the side of the hill, on top of which are the medieval castle and the Byzantine monastery of Agios Georgios. Walking through the cobbled alleys, you can admire the Skyrian houses; their flat rooves a typical example of traditional island architecture. Here you can visit the Archaeological or Folk Art Museum and Kyprou Square, dominated by the statue of the English poet Rupert Brook. He died on 23 April 1915 on a hospital ship just off the coast and was buried in an olive grove on the island.
A pleasant walk on foot, leads to Magazia, the beach of the Chora. The name Magazia (meaning shops in Greek) was so named during the Turkish occupation, when the area had storage houses with merchandise from the island. Magazia and neighbouring Molos are the most cosmopolitan parts of the island and share a wonderful sandy beach.
Skyros has a population of about three thousand residents, mostly working in stock farming, fishing and tourism. All settlements on the island are small with few permanent inhabitants.
The best beaches in Skyros are spread around the island and include organized beaches like Molos, surfers’ beaches like Kalamitsa and beaches in picturesque bays like Pefkos. Many fantastic coasts are accessible only by boat.
You can access Skyros by boat from Kimi in Evia or by plane from Athens and Thessaloniki.
Where to stay