Wasp-waisted Skyros is the odd one out in the Sporades chain of islands that lies off the east coast of Greece. One of the largest islands in the Sporades it is also the most remote and somewhat off the main tourist trail and thus the least visited of this island group.
Skyros' isolation has helped it preserve its distinctive Greek character and customs - foreigners, for example, are banned from owning houses here. Tourist beds also number only around 1,000 and the resolutely traditional Skyros islanders seem intent on having no more, although visitors who make the effort to mix are very warmly welcomed.
Skyros stands so much apart from the rest of the tourist-hungry Sporades group that there is no direct ferry link from neighbouring islands. The landscape is green and densely wooded in the north; much more dry, rocky and barren in the south.
Traditional festivals and occupations play a large part in island life and Skyros has long been noted for its arts and crafts, its beautiful pottery and for its hand-carved furniture.
Most inhabitants live in and around the island capital of Chora and Skyros has a permanent population of around 3,000 people, mostly engaged in farming and fishing.
A tomb in the southern half of Skyros island is renowned as that 'corner of a foreign field that is forever England'. It is where the verse's author, the poet Rupert Brooke, was buried in 1915, brought ashore from a passing ship. His grave is one of the island's main tourist attractions.