Skyros or Skiros (Greek: ΣΚΥΡΟΣ) is the southernmost and remotest, however, at 210 km², the largest island of the Sporades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. It is located some 22 naut.miles west of the Aegean coastline of Euboea island (38°54’N, 024°33’E). It has a population of about 2,600. It is part of the wider Euboea regional unit. The north part of the island is covered by forest, and includes Mount Olympus (403 m), while the southern, dominated by the highest mountain, the Kochila, (792 m), is bare and rocky. The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria.
The climate on Skyros is Mediterranean, which means mild winters and hot summers. November to February are the cold months and it is raining a lot. These rains provide the necessary conditions to grow so much greenery on the island. The wind blows a lot in winter and this leads to winter storms. Summer months may offer light rain and comfortable temperatures. June to September are the hottest months, with the temperature varying between 40oC in July to 28oC in September. Rains are few in summer, but northern winds blow frequently. Since beaches on the island are not organized, there are no lifeguards on windy days.
The largest town is Chorio, or Skyros, which is built around the 14th century AD. Venetian castle (the kastro). It is about 10 km from the Linaria harbor. Other settlements include Magazia, Molos, Aspous, Kalamitsa and finally Linaria, the second largest of the island on the western side, facing the island of Euboea, second in size to Crete.
The island has its own breed of Skyrian horses (not ponies), the lovable dwarf-size horses that are unique in their stature. The origin of the Skyrian horse is still untraced. The diet and climate on Skyros may have something to do with their persistent shape, even after some tried to cross-breed it with other species. The Skyrian Horse Society has gone to great lengths to preserving Skyrian horses and caring for them. A noble effort indeed!
Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, and rocky shores. It is threatened by habitat loss. On another note, Skyros is on the migratory route of numerous birds and the island’s authorities have been setting up watch towers for avid bird lovers. Also, of natural interest, scientists discovered a huge lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) on the nearby isle of Diavati. The Skyros Wall Lizard is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family. It is endemic to Greece.. There may giant species of other life on the island!
The Skyros marble
Skyros marble has been worldwide famous since back in the Roman era. Skyros marble decorates many important sites and historical monuments in Greece and all over the world. Its quality is considered as timelessly perfect. As building material, it is recommended for exterior use, as its special color tones remain unaffected by weather and atmosphere conditions.