Travelogues: danos >> Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonisos

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Greece
Floating...on the air.
Floating...on the air. (222)
Trip Information
Trip Date:2008-05-17 - 2008-05-23
# Photos:13 [View]
Countries visited:Greece
Viewed: 5238
by Danos kounenis (danos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10596 W: 21369 N: 283] (83575)
Skiathos

Skiathos (Greek: Σκιάθος), Latin forms: Sciathos and Sciathus is a small island in the Aegean Sea belonging to Greece. Near Skopelos, it consists of the main town (Skiathos (town)) and the communities of Koukounaries, Kanapitsa, Vromolimnos and Troullos. Skiathos is the westernmost island in the Sporades group of islands. The mainland of Greece along with Magnesia are to the west. The name of the island dates back to ancient times.

The island of Skiathos has 70 beaches all around it. Skiathos town is a port which shelters small boats and from where ferry services connect to Skopelos, Volos, Agios Konstantinos and the rest of Greece.

The Municipality of Skíathos includes the offshore islands of Tsougria and Repio, and has a total land area of 49.898 km². Its largest towns are Skíathos (pop. 4,988 in 2001), Χánemos (195), Kalývia (179), Troúllos (159), and Koukounariés (126).

Geography

Much of the island is forested. The area around the villages and Skiathos Town are farmland. The island's forests are pine and are located in the southeastern part of the island. The island of Skopelos can be seen from Skiathos with the more distant islands of Euboea and Scyros also visible in clearer conditions. The mountaintop, which has a communications tower, is to the west. The slope of the hill is to the north and contains several valleys.

Skiathos has approximately 70 beaches including one nudist beach at south end of the island in a resort called Banana.

Skopelos

(Greek: Σκόπελος) is a Greek island in the western Aegean sea. Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group. The island is located east of mainland Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea and is part of the Prefecture of Magnesias in the Periphery of Thessaly. Skopelos is also the name of the main port and the municipal center of the island. The other communities of the island are Glossa and Neo Klima (Elios). The geography of Skopelos includes two mountains over 500 meters; Delphi (681 meters) in the center of the island, and Palouki (546 meters) in the southeast. With an area of 96 km² (36.6 mi²) Skopelos is slightly larger than Mykonos (85 km²) and Santorini (73 km²). The nearest inhabited islands are Skiathos to the west and Alonissos to the east.

History

In island legend Skopelos was founded by Staphylos or Staphylus (Greek for grape), one of the sons of the god Dionysos and the Princess Ariadne of Crete[2] . Historically, in the Late Bronze Age Skopelos, then known as Peparethos or Peparethus, was colonized by Cretans who introduced viticulture to the island.

Perhaps because of the legend of its founding by the son of the god of wine, the island was known throughout the ancient Greek cities of the Mediterranean Sea for its wine. The play Philoctetes (first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BC) by Sophocles includes a wine merchant lost on his way to "Peparethos - rich in grapes and wine".

In 1936, excavations in the area of Staphylos / Velanio uncovered a royal tomb of the era of Mycenaean Greece. The island was briefly under the control of the city-state Chalcis, Euboea since at least the 8th century BC.

Alonissos

Alonisos or Alonnisos (Greek: Αλόννησος) is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. After Skiathos and Skopelos it is the third member of the Sporades. It is 3 km (2 nm) E of the island of Skopelos. Alonissos is also the name of a village on the island, as well as the municipality that encompasses the island and the village.

The village of Alonissos is located on the southern part of the island. It is locally known as Chora. The main port of the island is located in the southeast and is called Patitiri. There is ferry and hydrofoil service from Patitiri to Volos, Agios Konstantinos, and Thessaloniki on the mainland and to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. The bay at the southern end of the island is also called Alonissos.

The Municipality of Alonissos includes the other islands of Adelfoi, Gioura, Kyra Panagia (Pelagos), Peristera, Piperi, Psathoura and Skantzoura.

The Island
Agriculture is widespread on Alonissos, predominantly mixed farming and vineyards. The main products are almonds, grapes, figs and olives. Spruce trees are abundant on the island. While fishing is a popular profession on the island, tourism is now the main industry.

Housing traditionally consists of closely constructed houses with stone walls, which, until 1965, were centered around the capital. A small fortress protected against enemies and pirates. The island and the village were heavily damaged in the 1965 earthquake. Many inhabitants returned not to the village of Alonissos, but to Patitiri. The old village has been restored in recent years, with rebuilt houses now utilized for tourism.

The beaches around the island consist of pebbles. The ecosystem in the north side of the island is in good condition. The monachus seals (Monachus-Monachus) are common around the island and in 1992 the Alonissos Marine Park was created to protect the monachus seals and other animals.