Skyros, the largest of the Sporades islands in Greece, is a hidden gem with a non-touristy atmosphere and a fascinating coastline consisting of secluded beaches.
The island has a unique charm, offering visitors a blend of Cycladic and Sporadic styles, as well as a picturesque capital town, Chora, which boasts a medieval castle and stunning viewpoints.
The ideal time to visit Skyros is from late spring to early autumn when the weather is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring this beautiful destination.
The island, relatively untouched by international tourists, features a mix of shimmering bays, laid-back towns, and intriguing traditions, creating a genuine Greek experience for travellers.
While visiting Skyros, guests can immerse themselves in island life and explore a diverse landscape, which encompasses rolling farmland, pine forests, and arid hills.
Accessible by ferries from the port of Kymi on Greece’s east coast, this fashionable yet low-key island is sure to capture the hearts of those who venture here to experience the charms of authentic Greece.
Getting to Skyros
Skyros, the largest of the Sporades islands, is a hidden gem in Greece that offers picturesque spots, unique coastline, and a non-touristy atmosphere. To visit this amazing island, there are two main modes of transport: by ferry and by plane.
Travelling to Skyros by ferry is the most common way to reach this beautiful destination. Ferries operate from the port of Kymi on Greece’s east coast, providing a relaxing passage to the island.
The ferry service runs quite frequently during the high tourist season (late spring to early autumn). Tickets can be purchased at the port or online from various travel agencies, though booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak season. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the weather and sea conditions.
If you prefer to take a faster route to Skyros, the island has a small domestic airport, Skyros Island National Airport (SKU). However, the airport primarily serves flights from Athens during the summer months (late April to late September).
The flight from Athens International Airport (ATH) to Skyros takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. It is advisable to book your flight well in advance, as the number of flights and available seats are limited.
Whether you arrive by ferry or plane, Skyros is a stunning destination waiting to be explored. Its unique blend of tradition, culture, breath-taking landscapes, and hidden beauty offers an unforgettable experience for any traveller.
Where to Stay
When visiting Skyros, you have a variety of accommodation options to choose from. In this section, we will cover three main options: Hotels, Villas and Apartments, and Camping.
Skyros offers several hotels that cater to different tastes and budgets. One option to consider is the Ammos Hotel Skyros, which offers 21 rooms starting from £80 per night. This hotel is conveniently located near the main attractions of the island. Other hotels can also be found throughout the island, offering amenities such as swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and stunning views of the Aegean Sea. To find the best hotel for your stay, consider your desired location, budget, and any specific amenities required.
Villas and Apartments
For those looking for more privacy and independence during their stay in Skyros, renting a villa or apartment is an excellent choice. There are numerous options available across the island, from quaint seaside cottages to spacious luxury villas. This option allows you to enjoy a home-away-from-home experience, giving you the freedom to cook your own meals and explore the island at your leisure. Prices can vary significantly, so it’s essential to shop around and book in advance to secure your ideal accommodation.
If you prefer a more in-tune-with-nature experience, camping is also available on Skyros. Although there is not an abundance of campsites, you can find a few natural camping spots that provide basic amenities and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beautiful Greek landscape. Keep in mind that camping in non-designated areas is prohibited, so be sure to respect the local regulations and environment. Camping can be an adventurous and cost-effective way to enjoy the island while gaining a unique perspective on its natural beauty and charm.
Skyros Village, also known as Chora, is the capital town of the island. It is famous for its medieval castle, narrow cobbled streets, and white-washed houses. Wander around Chora to discover charming spots and beautiful viewpoints. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Monastery of Saint George, located within the castle walls, to take in the stunning panoramic views of the island.
One of the interesting archaeological sites on Skyros is the tomb of famed British poet Rupert Brooke, which can be visited near the small coastal village of Tris Boukes. Another site worth visiting is Palamari, located in the island’s north-eastern part. It is an ancient settlement dating back to the Early Bronze Age. Additionally, explore the ruins of the ancient Kastro which was once a fortified settlement, providing an insight into the island’s rich history.
Skyros is home to a few noteworthy museums, adding a cultural touch to your visit. The Manos & Anastasia Faltaïts Museum, situated in Chora, showcases a vast collection of local artefacts, traditional costumes, and historical documents, reflecting the island’s past. For art enthusiasts, the Brooke Square Gallery exhibits various pieces of artwork and photographs inspired by Rupert Brooke. Lastly, immerse yourself in the world of Skyros’ unique breed of horses at the Skyros Island Horse Trust, where you can learn about their history and conservation efforts.
Skyros is an idyllic destination for those who seek outdoor adventure. The island offers a range of opportunities for visitors to experience, including pristine beaches, scenic hiking trails, and exhilarating water sports.
Visitors to Skyros have several beaches to choose from during their stay:
- Molos Beach: A popular sandy beach with crystal clear waters, perfect for families and sunseekers alike.
- Agios Fokas Beach: A quieter, more secluded option for those looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
- Kalamitsa Beach: An ideal spot for windsurfing and water sports, with a laid-back atmosphere and stunning scenery.
- Paralia Pefkos: Offering both sandy and pebbled areas, this beach is a great choice for a lazy day or a swim in the calm, clear waters.
- Παραλια Αγαλιπα,Σκυρος: This less-known beach provides a tranquil atmosphere away from the tourist crowds, perfect for a peaceful retreat.
Skyros offers various hiking trails for nature enthusiasts:
- Sailing: Take advantage of the island’s favourable winds and clear waters to experience sailing around the coastline.
- Diving: Discover the hidden depths of Skyros with a dive into the surrounding waters, where you can explore a range of marine life and underwater landscapes.
- Cycling: Engage in the popular activity of cycling around Skyros, taking in the island’s diverse landscapes and hidden gems.
There is no shortage of water-based activities for thrill-seekers:
- Windsurfing: Due to the excellent wind conditions, Skyros is an excellent destination for windsurfing enthusiasts.
- Snorkelling: Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters and encounter a variety of marine species while snorkelling.
- Kayaking: Explore the coastline by kayak, getting up close to hidden coves and picturesque bays along the way.
When embarking on any outdoor activity in Skyros, ensure you are well-prepared and adhere to local regulations and safety guidelines.
The cuisine of Skyros is primarily traditional Greek, but as an island, it has its own unique recipes and specialties. A significant factor in the local cuisine is the engagement of many residents in stock-breeding, leading to a wide use of local meat and dairy products in the island’s tavernas.
One of the emblematic dishes of Skyros is kid (mountain goat) and lobster spaghetti (sea), reflecting the island’s diverse landscape and abundance of seafood. Ladopita is another local favourite; this oil pie consists of a large piece of fluffy fried dough, often garnished with xynotiri – a soft grained cheese with a slightly sour taste, also known as “Skyros pizza”. Another cheese produced on the island is graviera, made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, and often served fried.
While there are numerous restaurants in Skyros, here are a few highly recommended options for experiencing the local cuisine:
- Agios Petros Tavern: Known for their steaks and Mediterranean offerings, this tavern receives rave reviews and is a must-try choice for visitors.
- Ktima Mouries: Featuring Mediterranean and barbecue dishes, this restaurant is praised for its selection of delicious meat and vegetable dishes, served quickly and with excellent presentation.
- Gates of food paradise: A popular spot that offers traditional Skyrian cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood and fresh local ingredients.
Whether you are looking for a taste of traditional Greek cuisine or want to explore the unique flavours of Skyros, these restaurants are a great starting point for your culinary journey on the island.
Skyros, a serene Greek island, offers a low-key nightlife experience without the noisy crowds found on other islands. In this section, we will explore the nightlife scene in Skyros, focusing on bars and clubs, live music, and events.
Bars and Clubs
Although Skyros does not have a vibrant nightclub scene, there are a few bars where you can enjoy refreshing drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. Some popular bars and clubs in Skyros include:
- Aigaioris: A charming bar temporarily closed.
- Neoptolemos: A cosy bar with a friendly atmosphere.
- Oino: A spacious and popular coffee bar, also serving drinks.
Live Music and Events
While Skyros may not be the destination for large-scale concerts and events, you can still find live music offered at some bars and local establishments. Keep an eye out for announcements on social media or posters around town, as these events can add a touch of local culture and entertainment to your stay.
To make the most of your Skyros nightlife experience, remember to:
- Respect the island’s tranquil atmosphere by keeping noise levels in check.
- Check opening and closing times of each establishment, as they may vary throughout the season.
- Dress comfortably and casually, as the island’s vibe is laid-back and unpretentious.
Overall, Skyros’ nightlife presents a calm and relaxing option for those looking to escape the bustling party scenes found on other Greek islands. Enjoy your time in Skyros by immersing yourself in the peaceful evening ambience with a refreshing drink, good conversation, and the occasional live music event.
Born and raised on the sun-drenched island of Crete, Sofia Mavromatis is a seasoned traveler and writer with a deep-rooted love for Greece’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history.