Tribute to the Sporades Islands

LALARIA-BEACH-paralia-skiathos-femalecityThe beauties of the Sporades Islands in Greece, “the greenest landscape Greece has to offer”, as pointed out in a full-page tribute accompanied with photos, by the Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

Vast pine forests, huge olive groves and long cypresses cover the small islands, about 80 in number, most of those uninhabited, while according to the legend, the islands were formed after the brothers Otus and Ephialtes of the Titans threw rocks.

The three most well-known islands, Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos have 200 blue-green water beaches, in the few villages of the islands there are snow-white houses side by side, some of which have still marks of the 1965 earthquake, while there are more than 500 churches in the North Sporades.

According to the article, mass tourism has not touched the Sporades, a fact that will possibly change because the mayors are trying to attract visitors beyond the touristic period; rightly so, because the virgin nature, the beautiful beaches and the spotless crystal waters of the sea are extremely attractive.

Skiathos is easily accessible, in contrast to the other islands, thanks to its small airport. During the summertime its population doubles to 10,000 people, and the central commercial road of the island is named after one of its most important writers, Alexandros Papadiamantis. Two of the beaches, Koukounaries and Lalaria, are the most beautiful of all and the castle in the old capital is decorated with fantastic wall paintings.

Access to Skopelos is more difficult as only a slow ferry-boat can take visitors there, a discouraging fact for many Europeans. Most of the visitors are Greeks, but their number has decreased due to the financial crisis. Skopelos is impressive as numerous white houses and churches appear on the hill as the boat enters the port.

References to the local economy of the island are made, stressing out that the local community is now involved in tourism, seeking alternative proposals for visitors, in order to discover more about the island and its inhabitants.

Alonissos, the most remote of the three main islands, is presented in the tribute as well. It has 2,700 inhabitants; serenity and tradition dominate it and there is special reference to the church of Saints Anargyroi.

The tribute is accompanied with information and proposals about accommodation, gastronomy, as well as how to get to the Sporades from Vienna and Athens, and the bibliography for the main islands.


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