Area of island: 96 sq. km/37 sq. miChief place: SkópelosSkópelos, known in antiquity, down to the A.D. third century, as Peparethos, is a hilly and well wooded island in the Northern Sporades. The steep northeast coast is unwelcoming, and, apart from the wide bay of Skópelos near the east end, without inlets or irregularities of any consequence, and the gentler southeast coast is also relatively featureless.
Skopelos Town (Khora), Greece
The chief place on the island of Skópelos bears the same name. The town lies in a wide unsheltered bay on the site of the ancient and the Byzantine capital. Its narrow lanes and whitewashed slate-roofed houses climb the slopes of the hill above the harbor, on which are the ruins of a Venetian castle and the foundations of a temple of Asklepios (fifth-fourth century B.C.). The flanks of the hill are covered with beautiful olive groves. The town is said to have some 120 churches and chapels, some of them dating from Byzantine times. The most notable are the churches of Áyios Athanásios (ninth-11th C.), built on the foundations of an ancient temple, and the Archangel Michael, with fine carved woodwork, icons and ancient gravestones. There are scanty remains of settlements at Pánormos on the south coast and round Glóssa, the site of ancient Selinous, on the northwest coast.
Churches & Monasteries
Of the 360 churches, chapels and monasteries on the island of Skópelos the most interesting are the Evangelístria monastery (1712), above Skópelos town to the west, which has a 10th century icon of the Mother of God framed in silver; the 16th century Metamorfósis monastery southeast of Skópelos, the oldest on the island; the Áyios Taxiárkhos monastery, with an early Christian church (A.D. 672) in the forecourt; the monastery of the Panayía Livadiótissa (17th C.), on the east side of the island, with an icon of 1671 by the Cretan painter A. Agorastos; the Pródromos monastery (1721), also on the east side; the abandoned monastery of Ayía Varvára (1648); the ruined Episkopí monastery, southwest of Skópelos, with a church of 1078; the church of Áyios Reyínos, the island's first bishop and patron saint, to the south of the town (mid fourth C.); and the church of the Zoodókhos Piyí, with a wonderworking icon said to have been painted by St Luke himself.
On the northwestern tip of the island of Skópelos are four old watch-towers.
In Agnóntas Bay, on the south coast, is the Trypití sea-cave.