Greece the ideal destination












Sporades Islands the Ideal Destination

Location

Sporades Islands

The Sporades island complex stretches out into the Aegean, east of the Pelion peninsula. With its dense vegetation and mountainous terrain, it seems almost like a continuation of the mainland. There are over 700 islands in this pine-forested northern archipelago ? some the size of rocks, while others are much bigger. Of these the four larger are Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos and Skyros.

Transportation

Sporades Islands

The island of Skiathos has an international airport, connecting it with Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as to many European cities by charter flights. Skyros airport also receives frequent flights from Athens, especially during the summer. Skiathos, Skopelos and Allonisos can be reached by ferry and hydrofoil throught the ports of Agios Konstantinos and Volos, while Skyros is connected to the mainland by the port of Kymi in Evia.

History and culture

Sporades Islands

There is constant human presence in the main islands of the Sporades since the Paleolithic period. According to Greek myths, Skyros was the island were Theseas, the hero of Athens, was assassinated by the king of this island Likomides. According to Homer the same king had been entrusted by Thetis to hide her son Achilles ? disguised as a girl ? in order to keep him away from the Trojan War, but Odysseus uncovered their deceit. A significant point in the islands history was their participation in the Athenian-led alliance of 478 BC. Later they submitted to the Romans followed by the Byzantines. From 1207 Sporades are dominated by the Venetians, who remained there up to the Turkish conquest of 1538. All the islands were all liberated in 1830, joining the Greek state.

Sightseeing and monuments

Sporades Islands

Skiathos town, gifted with a picturesque mixture of red tile roofs, white buildings and bell towers, is a main attraction in it self. The only "sight" as such is the well-preserved home of the island?s most famous son; the 19th century poet Alexandros Papadiamantis. From the port you can pick up the daily boat tour, stopping briefly at the Blue Cave - a sea cave on the east coast, and at Kastro, site of the medieval centre of the island. Skopelos on the other hand, boasts a fair number of ancient ruins. Apparently, the island was a Cretan colony and its first king and settler was Stafylos. His grave was discovered by a cove bearing his name. It contained weapons, a gold crown and funerary offerings, among other findings, all of which are housed today in the Volos Museum. The 9th Century chapel of Agios Athanassios has been built on the ruins of an ancient temple. There are also the ruins of a Venetian fortress, the Kastro - a vantage spot for a sweeping view all round. Very interesting is the sight of the old hilltop capital of Alonissos, called Chora, which was deserted after a disastrous earthquake in 1965 left it in ruins. Most inhabitants where moved then to the modern capital of Patitiri. In this port you shall find excursion boats for a tour to the Alonissos Marine Park. The town of Skyros climbs to an impressive Venetian castle, with superb view over the island, housing as well a small archaeological museum. In the town there is also a folk museum in the form of a traditional house, decked out with examples of the island wares. Those acquainted with English literature will not omit to visit the grave of the early 20th century poet Rupert Brook, which is set in an area called the "Pirate bay", on the southern shores of Skyros.

Alonisos Hotels

Skiathos Hotels

Skopelos Hotels

Skiros Hotels

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