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Skópelos: plentiful vegetation with stylishness reminding of Hollywood

Skópelos is the greenest island in Greece, as more than half of it is covered with virgin pine forest. The island will leave you impressed with its azure waters on golden coasts, the attractive landscapes as well as the traditional Pelion architecture. Moreover, the island was chosen by Hollywood producers for the shooting of “Mamma Mia” and it was then when Skópelos enjoying international acclaim and became even more famous as a tourist destination worldwide.

Skópelos is part of the group of islands called North Sporades and is consisted of three main ports- Agnóntas, Skópelos and Glóssa.
The capital of the island is called Hóra, similar to many other Greek islands. Before that it was called with the ancient name Peparithos who was the son of the gods Dionysos and Ariadne, and was the first to reside in the island.
The capital nestles on a hill lies around a castle. The castle is antique and has a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea. You can walk around the Hóra and enjoy the beautiful stone houses with picturesque courtyards, as well as the narrow paved streets and a couple of churches from the Byzantine time. You can also visit the Folklore Museum which is located in a renovated mansion built in the 20th century. You can see the varied collection of folklore exhibits. The museum is open Mon-Sat 10:00-14:00 & 19:00-22:00; the entrance fee is €3.

More places for you to explore:
The island’s other settlements are Glóssa, Palió Klíma and Néo Klíma/ Élios.
• Glóssais is the second biggest settlement on the island and lies on 25km north of the capital. “The tall village” according to Papadiamantis is distinctive for its traditional, gracious character and the remnants of antique towers and constructions that were found around the area.
• Palió Klíma is a charming village located near Glóssa. Palió Klíma endured great damage in the 1965 because of an earthquake.
• Néo Klíma or Élios, is a relatively new settlement which was built in 1981 located beneath  the Vathias forest. It is 18 km away from the capital and is quite close to the beach of Hovolos. All your needs will be satisfied with the excellent touristic facilities that the island has to offer.

Sights you should not miss to visit:
• It is worth visiting the Byzantine monasteries like Timiou Prodrómou and Evangelistría. Both of which are built in tranquil locations. The latter one especially was renovated in 1712 and has gained its fame due to the breathtaking view of the capital and the port as well as the fortress-like grounds it has. The old Monastery of Evangelistría is located east of Hóra.
• The “Drakonstóxisma” cliff- meaning Dragon cleft. The cliff got its name from a legend that said that 800 years ago Ayios Riyínos, the saint of Skópelos chased the dragon that was killing the residents and was destroying the islans. While the saint was chasing the dragon a cleft opened up in the side of the mountain and the dragon felt into the abyss and died. Nowadays, the land does actually sink and creates a deep fissure. In fact a steep abyss is surrounded by the sea and is below a church that is situated nearly the rim of the cliff. The beauty of the cliff is enhanced by the  steep rocks adn the pines trees that hang over them. The calm turquoise waters make the picture even more stunning. To get to the “Drakonostóxisma” cliff follow the signs that you will see on the way from Stáfylos to Amárantos- walk towards the dirt track, turn left and then go left again when you reach the first junction).
• Sendoúkia’s pirates graves (olden graves imprinted into the rock).
• The Episcope, a Venetian construction created to function as the seat of the Bishop of Skópelos. However, it remained unfinished because of pirate Barbarossa’s invasion back in 1538.
• Aϊ Yiannis at Kastri, is a picturesque chapel located on the top of a rock. If you climb up the steps carved into the rock you will enjoy the striking view of the Aegean! The wedding scene from “Mamma Mia” was filmed there and the chapel gained its worldwide fame; ever since it has become a very popular preference for marriage by young couples.
You can enjoy the swimming and sunbathing in the amazing golden beaches stretching along the island’s pine covered shoreline.
• Miliá, is a beach covered with white pebbles and bounded by a pine forest. It is thought to be one of the finest on the island. It is located 25 km south-western of Hóra.
• The Pánormos beach is another pebble beach, which has facilities for visitors it is situated 15 km west of the capital and Stáfylos. Furthermore only a couple of kilometres away from Hóra, some of the island’s most famous beaches are located. If you take the route to Stafylos through dense pine forests you will experience the pure magic the place has to offer…Whichever beach go for, the crystal clear waters and the green surroundings will definitely amaze you!
Don’t leave Skópelos without tasting the traditional Skópelos cheese pie, a mouth watering delicacy made of crispy pastry in a spiral shape and local goat cheese. If you have time, spend a day visiting the nearby island of Skiáthos, a popular destination for young people, or Alónissos, a beautiful island where the seal Monachus Monachus is common! These islands are easy to reach since there are frequent connections to Skópelos by ferry or speed boat.

Once you visit Skópelos you should try the traditional cheese pie. It is a mouth watering delicacy made of the island’s goat cheese and a crispy pastry in twisting form. If you have spare time, it is worth visiting the nearby island called Skiáthos. It is a popular destination among young people. Another island is Alónissos, where you are very likely to see the seal Monachus Monachus! There are connections to both islands from Skópelos by ferry or speed boat very frequently.

How to get there:
• By ferry or high speed boat from Volos or Ayios Konstantinos ports.
• By ferry from the Thessaloniki port, however this applies only for the summertime.