Sights

Castle

The Byzantine castle was built upon the ruins of the ancient Acropolis of the island. It is surrounded by remains of fortifications dating from different historical periods - Pelasgian, Classical, Byzantine, Venetian. The fortress protected the ancient city built along the eastern side of the hill. The inhabitants sought refuge in the castle in times of siege or danger. Since the earthquake of 2001 the castle is closed to the public while reinforcement of the structure is in progress.


Monastery of St. George

Right below the top of the hill and the castle, lies St. George's monastery, named after the guardian saint of the island. It was originally built around 960 AD and rebuilt circa 1600 AD. It features a wonderful church decorated with icons, frescoes and wooden sculpture.


Archaeological Museum

It is situated right below Brooke square next to the Faltaits museum. It was built in 1961 and exhibits a rich collection of the archaeological finds from the island and the Bronze Age village of Palamari. Open daily except Mondays from 9am to 2pm.


Palamari

During the last 20 years the Greek Archaeological Company is conducting excavations to reveal and show one of the most important ancient villages of the Bronze era. Open on weekdays 9am- 2pm near the airport at Trachi.


Manos and Anastasia Faltaits Museum

Founded in 1964 as one of the first historical and folk art museums in Greece. It exhibits historical and traditional aspects of Byzantine and modern Skyros history. The building is the family home of Manos Faltaits, one of the oldest families of the island.


Pouria

A landscape sculpted by nature, Pouria was once an ancient quarry of porous stone. Next to the quarry there is an old windmill by the sea and three small churches; one of them, St. Nicholas, is carved into the porous rock face. The small islets just a few yards from the beach are called Vrykolakonisia (vampire isles), possibly due to the people suffering from the plague that were exiled there about 200 years ago.


Churches

Scattered throughout the island are more than 300 churches, many of which bear rare Byzantine icons and frescoes, and still others that are located in beautiful and picturesque landscapes. Among the most notable perhaps is St. John near the new dam, and above it the small church of Agios Dimitrios, Kyra Panagia near Atsitsa, the church of St. Nicholas carved into the rock face at Pouria, the church of the Five Martyrs Square near Brooke square, and Saint Panteleimon in Marmaro.


Sea Caves

Along the eastern shores of the island there are about 15 sea caves lodged between steep cliffs falling into the sea. These natural grottoes featuring impressive rock faces and beautiful hues in their waters can be accessed only by caiques or day trip boats departing from Linaria port. Pentakali, the largest of the caves, and Diatripti, named after its dual entrances, enchant the visitor with the color formations along their cave walls, stalactites and their deep waters.


Beaches

The whole island offers wonderful beaches. A long sandy beach of the Magazia and Molos villages is lying under the town of Skyros. Gyrismata is a nearby and 2 km long beach to the northeast. Kalamitsa bay offers a long beach and a wonderful place for windsurfers while Kareflou is a quite isolated and quiet beach with pebbles. Pefkos and Atsitsa in the western side of the island offer beautiful sea waters and rich pine forest around. Acherounes is a sandy beach with usually calm sea near the port. Aghios Petros is a ride through the forest with many beautiful small bays and beaches.


Skyrian horses

The small-bodied species of the Skyrian horse is one of the rarest horse breeds in the world. It was native to Greece, and in ancient times lived throughout the country. At the time of writing [2013] there are 280 Skyrian horses in Greece, 200 of which live in Skyros. The Skyrian horse is a protected species.


The Skyrian horses are friendly, social, robust, intelligent animals; they are particularly friendly breed. Maximum height is 116 cm. and body-type is similar to that of the large horse. The head is very handsome, the mane being long and richly coloured, usually in a hue darker than skin colour. Compared to other horses, they have a big belly. Their legs are slim, strong and wiry, with strong joints. The tail is low set, tasseled and long. Often it reaches the hooves, which are small, hard, usually black in colour, and do not need shoeing. A particular characteristic are the hairs on the fetlocks, the so-called feathers. Colour is usually a brown-red or chestnut hue, sometimes white or grey-brown, rarely blond. Some individuals have a white mark on their face (star- or rebas-shaped). The Skyrian horse belongs to the species Equus Cabalus but because of its small size it is considered a different race designated Equus Cabalus Skyros Poni or Equus Cabalus Skyriano.


The Skyrian Horse Society is a non-profit association. It is registered in Skyros. The aims of the Society are, to record genealogical data, upkeep the studbook, help preserve, promote and develop the breed. Having these aims, the Society has produced the documentary "The Skyrian Horse" (national and satellite greek television, documentary film festival of Halkida). It has also developed a program of "Adopting" skyrian horses.


Skyrian products

Handcrafts of Skyros are famous and unique in Greece. Wooden sculpted furniture, ceramics, traditional textiles and embroideries have unique motives and long tradition in the Skyrian household. Livestock production on the island is very rich and there are exquisite types of cheese and excellent honey. Lobster is rich in Skyros sea area and the lobster spaghetti is one of the islands specialties.