The island is quite small, has one port on the sheltered south side of the island, an airport and, it would appear, just one major town called Chora. Linaria, the port, is simply the cluster of buildings that has sprung up around the ferry terminal but has a fantastic little town quay.
The island made an appearance in Greek Mythology. Achilles, was hidden here by his mother, Thetis, in order to keep him from getting killed in the Trojan War – and we know how that worked out!
There after the island changed hands amongst ‘the usual suspects’, Athenians, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, and the Venetians built a castle high above Chora. It was a part of the Ottoman Empire and the island played a large role in the Greek Wars of Independence.
We found the island to be quiet, almost deserted in places, and delightfully pretty. Chora was quaint, with narrow streets and steep alleyways leading up to the Venetian Castle and the Monastery of St George.
We hired a car intending to tour the north end of the island but didn’t quite make it. We drove to Chora on Monday, the 12th, and visited the north eastern tip of the island and a prehistoric settlement, which was closed.
Chora is the old town clinging to the mountain beneath the castle and monestary. The streets are so narrow that cars and vans delivering to shops drive in and reverse out. We were warned that the town, in its entirety, closes between 2 and 5 pm and that was no exaggeration, come 2 o’clock it was like a ghost town, completely empty streets and every shop shut! The old castle was closed for maintenance and repair and the monastery was also closed. That seemed to be a theme here! It was lovely wandering around the town, clambering up and down the steep streets and although they were and bit of a maze it was hard to get lost.
The following day we drove along the north west coast spending most of the afternoon on a beach we found at a place called Fokas, one of the anchorages I’d identified as Plan B if we couldn’t use Linaria. We stopped in a Taverna for a snack and a coffee and ended up staying there! Steve had his Calamari fix (he does love his calamari!) and Zeynep went swimming. It was a really relaxing afternoon.
That evening we had a BBQ and invited our neighbours to join us. Paul and June, an Australian couple in African Jacana were off to Turkey and so Paul spent a lot of the evening pouring over his Pilot Book with Zeynep giving him the benefit of her local knowledge. Our other guest was Claude from Belgium in O2. We were chatting about SSB radios and arranging to test ours over the coming days. We were even joined by Sakis, the Harbour Master, at about 9 pm as he went home for a well earned glass of wine; he’d started work at 8 that morning. He left with the sincere thanks of all three crews.
It was a great way to end our stop over in Skyros.