Skyros is an island, the southernmost of the Sporades, an archipelago in the Aegean Sea. At 209 km² it is the largest of the Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000 (in 2003). It is part of the peripheral unit of Euboea. The Hellenic Air Force has a major base in Skyros, because of the island’s strategic location in the middle of the Aegean Sea.
Read about the history of Skyros island at Wikipedia
The north of the island is covered by forest, and includes the island’s highest point, Mount Olympus (792 m), while the south, dominated by the mountain of Kochila, is bare and rocky. The island’s capital is also called Skyros (or, locally, Chora). The main port, on the west coast, is Linaria. The island has a castle (the kastro) that dates from the Venetian occupation (13th to 15th centuries), a Byzantine monastery (the Monastery of Saint George), the grave of English poet Rupert Brooke at Tris Boukes harbor. There are many beaches on the coast. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. The Skyros breed is believed to be descended from horses brought to the island of Skyros during the 5th to 8th centuries BCE by Athenian colonists. It is possible that they were used by Alexander the Great in his conquests, and also possible that they are the horses depicted in the friezes of the Parthenon. The advances in agricultural mechanization during the 1960’s called into question the survival of the breed, as they were no longer needed for farm work and their numbers were already low. The ponies are often kept semi-wild, ranging the mountainous interior of the island until they are needed at the harvest for threshing grain.
The Byzantine Castle of Skyros, which stands on a hill above the town, was built to protect the island from enemies and pirates. Above the entrance, there is a marble lion encraved on the wall. Inside the castle, there is the Monastery Tower of Agios Georgios. The monastery of Agios Georgios, the patron saint of the island, is a beautifully preserved structure that was built around 962 AD, during the Byzantine times. The monastery stands beneath the Castle and gives a breathtaking view of Chora.