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Sporades Islands | Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos

The Greek Sporades Islands are located in the Aegean Sea to the east and south east of Thessaly's Pelion Peninsula. There are 11 islands in the archipelago but only four are inhabited: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos and Skyros. Skiathos has an international airport and boasts some of the best beaches in Greece making it one the most popular package holiday destinations of all the Greek islands. Neighbouring Skopelos also attracts hordes of summer visitors but Alonnisos and Skyros are both relatively unspoilt and appeal to independent travellers seeking tranquility and age-old island traditions untainted by mass tourism.

SKIATHOS

 

Considered to be the best developed touristically of all the Sporades islands, and the hub of the tourist summer season, Skiathos only measures a mere 12km long and 6km wide. It has more than 70 beaches, several bays and a graphic habour where luxury yachts bob gently side by side with the quaint and colourful traditional fishing vessels of the locals. The variety of accommodation and entertainment facilities available on Skiathos are second to none. A convenient way to get acquainted with the island is by motor launch which run at regulare intervals to the popular beaches such as Koukounaries and Lalaria. The island is served daily by Hydrofoil and ferry boats leaving continental Greece from Agios Konstantinos, Volos and Thessaloniki.

**Skiathos is the home Island of Alexandros Papadiamantis!

SKOPELOS 

With its 300 moansteries, this island is mountainous with numerous picturesque bays, golden sands and olive trees covering its slopes. The town of Skopelos is amphitheatrically built at the foot of a mountain, with its cobbled narrow streets and courtyards fillled with flowers, it offers the visitor to this island a rare hospitality that only the Skopelites are known for. Skopelos also boasts a number of ruins one of which is the 9th century chapel of Agios Athanasios (or St. Athanasios) built on the ruins of an ancient temple. There is the "Kastro", a venetian fortress and a vantage point for wonderful views

Alonnisos

 

The Alonissos of today was given this name during the first years after the liberation of Greece and is not identified with the Alonissos of the ancient. The island during antiquity was called Ikos, while the Alonissos of the ancient Greeks, was probably the neighbouring island of Kyra Panagia, to the North. Alonissos lies at the heart of the Sporades Marine Park. The National Marine Park of Alonissos in the Northern Sporades (NMPANS) measures 2200 km² and was - much too late - set aside in 1992 by the Greeks for the protection of the unique ecosystem and, particularly, the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus), which symbolizes the Park's identity. Although the park harbours the largest surviving colony in the whole Mediterranean, the population of Monk Seals around these shores consists of a mere 50 individuals, which makes this animal one of the world's most endangered species!

Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) in action...

 

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Rescue-Medical Car

In Alonissos operates the center of Medical care of Seals and their safe return to their natural environment. The team is always in presence, in order to give the first-aid and if there is a need to carry out any other kind of animal that need's care, in to the center. The return of the healthy animamls to their environment decrease the hopes of the survival of their kind.

Species sighted in this area include dolphins and whales like the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), striped dolphins (Stenella coerruleoalba) and the long finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Making their ponderous way towards distant nesting sites are also Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta). The seabed harbours extensive Posidonia sea grass meadows, various species of sponge and also the endangered red coral (Coralium rubrum). Among the numerous bird species finding refuge in the Park is the cliff-nesting Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae) and the red- black- and yellow-billed Audouin's gull, one of the rarest gulls in the world. Rare wildflowers, some endemic to these islands, also take advantage of the absence of human footprints.

SKYROS

Skyros (Greek: Σκύρος) is an island in Greece, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Around the 2nd millennium BC and slightly later, the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and later Pelasgia and Dolopia and later Skyros. At 209 km² it is the largest of the Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000 (in 2003). It is part of the regional unit of Euboea.

The Hellenic Air Force has a major base in Skyros, because of the island's strategic location in the middle of the Aegean.

Geography

The north of the island is covered by forest, and includes Mount Olympus (403 m), while the south, dominated by the highest mountain, called Kochila, (792 m), is bare and rocky. The island's capital is also called Skyros (or, locally, Chora). The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria. The island has a castle (the kastro) that dates from the Venetian occupation (13th to 15th centuries), a Byzantine monastery (the Monastery of Saint George), the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke at Tris Boukes harbor. There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies.

These are our Sailing Suggestion for this region (Sporades Islands)...