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Old 01-09-2012, 03:30 AM   #1
Skopelos OP
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Wink Tour on Skyros Island - Greece with Suzuki DR 250S



The first time I visited Skyros Island was in 2006. I took the bus from Athens to Kymi and then the ferry to Skyros. I stayed for three days and returned in the same way. The island had a wild beauty which I wasn't able to enjoy as I didnt have my own transportation. I promished myself to return, better organized in order to explore the island.
The chance came at 2010, when I decided to make a tour on the Island with my motorcycle. A friend of mine, Christina, was working at the island and was able to provide me a house, so what I needed to do was to save money for the rest. When I had all I needed, I got the ferry tickets, maintained my DR and set off! I was going to leave at Friday May 21st and return at Monday 24th. I was going to drive to Oropos port, take a small ferry to Eretria town, and then drive to Kymi port in order to take the ferry to Skyros. I had to ride for 112 km to Kymi's port and then from Linaria, the main port of the island another 10 km to the house I was going to stay at Magazia area.
The Friday came, the ship was leaving Kymi's port at 19.00 so at 16.30 I left my house. The weather was good with sun and a few clouds on the sky. I was wearing a BMW Airflow 3 summer jacket and pants. After 30 kilometers the sky was getting grey and some tiny water drops started falling. I had another 18 kilometers to Oropos port and I hoped to avoid the rain until but after 3-4 minutes I was in the middle of a storm! The rain was heavy and I was forced to go slowly. As I didnt expect rain I had my rainsuits deep in my luggage so I continued driving until I arrived to Oropos Port. I got into the little fery, changed my wet clothes, put on rainsuits, cleaned the DR's spark plug which was wet (when I stoped the bike to get tickeds, it refused to start again, it was a common issue after dropping too much water on the cylinder) and waited for about 30 minutes to arrive at Eretria's port. When I got out of the ferry the rain hadn't stopped so I realised that I would have to drive another 65 kilometers under rain. At least I was wearing my rainsuit this time. The road to Kymi was a bit slippy and full of vehicles so I remained cautious, driving at 50-70 km/h. I was getting a bit concerned because the time was 18.00 and I had 60 km to ride. Hopefully at 18.55 I was at the port of Kymi, being the last vehicle to embark at the ship! On the ferry I rested until I arrived at Linaria port. It was 21.00 and a bit cool due to the island climate. I drove the last 10 km and finally arived at my friend's house. Hopefully she had a very hot wood stove which I used to dry my clothes. I rested, waiting for the next day in order to start touring on the island.




More detailed map of the route here



In the morning I woke up at 9 o clock and my main concern was the weather. I looked out of the window, it wasnt raining but the sky was cloudy. I took a full breakfast, my friend Christina has prepaired and got. I had a topographic map and my garmin etrex legend gps.I headed to the area of "Pouria" and ancient greek and roman quarry. Christina and her friends were following with a Citroen Xsara Picasso car.


The cape Pouria



The church of St. Nicolas, protector of the seamen



Another small church



The town of Skyros as seen from Pouria



The church of St. Hermolaus in an adjacent islet



A spelling mistake...









The bay and my Dr



A summer bar where a mill house once was

After our walk in Pouria we headed towards St. Peter bay. We headed towards the airport of Skyros (used both as civil airport and airforce base) and turned in a dirt road. There is a famous tavern called St. Peter with very good home food. Outside the tavern there were lots of cows, bulls, horses and ponnies. I wandered aroud the dirt roads while the rest of the company took a walk from the tavern to the beach. Gps (38 57' 27.3" N , 24 28' 23.9" Ε)

































Other people were having fun with the dirt road too















After the walk we headed back to ther taver to have our lunch



The food was excellent and had both quality and quantity











Inside the restaurant there were figures with the local traditional costumes painted in the walls.


After our lunch we continued the tour to the island. I seperated from the rest of the company and followed some dirtroads. My direction was the area of Atsisa. I wandered around on the mountains and finally got at Atsisa. There is a small settlement there and a fish tavern next to the sea.









Atsitsa settlement. The fallen stone columns are from a railway constructed at the begining of the 1900's from a german company in order to load iron and nickel ore from the mines in the mountain to the cargo ships.









Rusty anchors... once used to secure small ships, now they have secured that noisy dog!






Leaving Atsitsa I headed towards the church of the Mother of Christ, or Kyra Panaghia in greek, 2km away. My friends had also stopped there with their car









Inside the church



The bay of Kyra Panaghia





At the time we departed from Kyra Panaghia bay the sun had already fallen so we headed back to our house. The town of Skyros was 18 km away. We had a walk at the town at the night for a drink but I got early at bed as I was planning to visit a lot more places the following day.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:55 AM   #2
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Wink Day 2

The next morning, Sunday May 23rd, I woke up at 10 o clock. I had already planned to go alone and explore the south side of the island, which was not habitated. Before doing that I went to the town of Skyros with the rest of my company as a national TV documentary show has visited the island. There were a lot of local people around, folclore dance groups were dancing and local food producers were treating everybody with food and sweets. After the show he walked in the town for a bit and then the rest of the company returned to the house, while I started my tour.










There were plenty of local delights down there!












A fake sleeping cat!



Beautiful traditional pottery











Another small church



The statue of poet Rupert Brooke, whose tomp I would visit later in the day






Pouria and Magazia areas as seen from the town of Skyros



Faltaits Museum , a "must" place to visit in Skyros





My first destination, after leaving the town of Skyros was the main port of the island, Linaria. It was about 10 km far.



Linaria port






The blue of our flag... taken from the sea and the sky












South Skyros landscape



Leaving Linaria I headed for Kalamitsa, riding around its bay and stopping in a sping called Nyfi. I was astonighsed with the bougainvillea plants that were everywhere around.







The spring "Nyfi"












Kalamitsa bay



Kolymbada bay


I left nyfi and kept riding and taking photos. On my way I found a small valley and rode into it.





The place was offered for off road driving



I dusturbed some sheep who were taking their nap


Unfortunately the valley had a dead end so I returned to my main route







Calfs and sheep were spying on me...


In the point (38 47' 23.0" N, 24 37' 22.6" E) I got out of the paved road and took a dirt road to Renes bay. The road was getting rough so I stopped to think my next move.




Renes bay



There were trails of other bikes who have passed the road











Renes Beach




I could drive through this road but I didnt have the correct protection as I was only wearing my summer jacket, jeans and sneakers. I was also alone and help was quite far if something bad happened. I had a look at my cell phone to see the time and then I took my final desicion. I was out of network cover. That meant that if something bad happened I wouldnt be able to communicate for help. I turn around and left but I am sure I made the right decision. I put "visit Renes bay" in my "to do" list next time I visit Skyros. I got on the paved road and continued.




The bay of Treis Boukes, meaning Three Entrances, from the three openings made from the islands in front of the bay







Passing by a plateau full of sheep, I would visit it later on my return)



The end of the road


Finally I found the end of the road. There was an elevated hill from which you could gaze the horizon.










A navy outpost, beside the sea



I was still being spied....









After staying there and relaxing a bit a took the way back. I wanted to go to the plateu I have spoted before. On my way I met the Skyros Pony and took some pictures of it.
















After a while I got to the plateu, called Are's Plateu. (GPS 38 48' 03.1" N , 24 38' 35.3 " Α)






























I left the beautiful and full of sheep plateu in order to visit Rupert Brooke's tomb approximately 5 km away






















Gps (38 47' 04.7" N, 24 36' 44.3" E)

At the end of the road was a Navy base. I wasn't allowed to approach so I turned around and headed back to the town of Skyros. My next stop would be at 16.5 km called Achilli port, whrere according to the mythology, Achilles sailed with his troops for Troy!


The town of Skyros, as seen from Achilli



Achilli Port



















GPS (38 52' 17.8" N , 24 34' 49.3" E)

I stopped at a little church and finally ate something after several hours. My next stop would be the pre-historic settlement of "Palamari" (3000 - 2500 BC), where was the first port of the island. It was 17.2 km away and I had to hurry, because the sun was setting.










Palamari citadel


























GPS (38 57' 53.3" N , 24 30' 35.2" E)

I left Palamari, heading to St Peters beach, I had visited the previous day. I had heard that there was a ship wreck on one of the beaches around and I wanted to have a look. The beach was called Agalipa and I would seek for it.



The sign showing the Agalipa beach I had seen the previous day

I followed the dirt road the sign was indicating and tried to get to the sea. It was late and the sun had set but I was determined to find the ship wreck. I left my motorcycle at GPS (38 57' 40.9" N , 24 27' 40.7" E) and continued on foot with my gps on the hand. There were 3 beaches around so I chose to go to the north one where I thought the ship wreck would be. I was on a thick forest so I put the track record on the gps so I could return to the motorcycle. It was almost dark when I reached the beach. I had to climb a 4 meter slope where hopefully somebody had tied a rope. I stepped on the sand and looked around. I couldn't see any shipwreck! Probably I was on the wrong beach...









Gps (38 57' 46.9" N , 24 27' 37.5" E)

It was time to return home. I set my gps to maximum zoom and started following back my tracks into the woods. There was no light at all so I was using an emergency torch I had on my leg pouch. After some time I finally reached my motorcycle and headed back to the house. I had a walk with my friends as it was my last night on Skyros and went exhausted to bed.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Thanks very much for your ride report. Beautiful pictures of a place most of us will never visit, yet we have experienced it through your eyes. It was especially interesting to see the tomb of Rupert Brooke - that "piece of England" I've read about all my life. Double thanks for the post in your second language - well done!
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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Wink Last Day

It was Monday, May 24th and my last day on Skyros Island. The ferry was leaving at 15:00 from Linaria port to Kymi. The first thing I did when I got up was to look for the shipwreck at Google Earth. I underdstood the mistake I did the previous day and transfered the correct coordinates to my gps. After having a breakfast I headed again to St Peters beach and followed the route on gps. Finally, before I even got on the beach, I saw the shipwreck!































Gps (38 57' 35.6" N , 24 27' 37.5" E)


Leaving from the beach I wanted to have a last mountain ride on the island. I took a dirt road and wandered a bit. I came across signs that were pointing to Skyros town and followed them.








I arrived to Skyros town and had a last walk in the small side streets with my friends, before getting back to the house. The sun was shinning and the weather was hot, making me not willing to leave the island... Unfortunately I had to.




Skyros castle and the monastery of St George, the protector of the island



Rupert Brooke's statue


















I was being spied again!






Road to Linaria and Achilli bay, as seen from Skyros town















A lazy cat



Coulourful bougainvilleas



Back to Christina's house




I headed back to my friend's house, loaded my luggages and said goodbye to everyone. I wasn't happy that I was leaving but I was satisfied whith the tour I had made on the island. I headed back to Linaria port took the ferry to Kymi and then rode back to Athens. The weather was good all the way back making the ride comfortable. At 19.30 I was at safe my house.

Skyros is a very beautiful island. I recomend it to anyone who wants an island with wild beauty than a cosmopolitan island with lots of tourists. I went there at the end of spring but I bet it would be much better on summer where you could enjoy the swimming in the sea.
I have some plans about visiting the island again this year but nothing is sure yet.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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very nice report
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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A great ride amid such isolation. I had forgotten Skyros' connection to Rupert Brooke's death by mosquito though the place seems hardly wet enough for insects to breed.Of all the modern news we read, Greece seems rather too pleasant to be sold to German bankers to pay a mythical debt. Keep riding and posting please.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:30 AM   #7
Skopelos OP
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Wink

You can watch the full photo album of the trip here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1031225...eat=directlink



Quote:
Originally Posted by WHITEHOUSE View Post
Thanks very much for your ride report. Beautiful pictures of a place most of us will never visit, yet we have experienced it through your eyes. It was especially interesting to see the tomb of Rupert Brooke - that "piece of England" I've read about all my life. Double thanks for the post in your second language - well done!
Thank you for your kind words, I am glad you enjoyed my tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
A great ride amid such isolation. I had forgotten Skyros' connection to Rupert Brooke's death by mosquito though the place seems hardly wet enough for insects to breed.Of all the modern news we read, Greece seems rather too pleasant to be sold to German bankers to pay a mythical debt. Keep riding and posting please.
Thank you. Poet Rupert Brooke was an inspiration for the citizens of Skyros and a lot of greek people visited Skyros to see his tomb. At the ceremony of unveiling his statue (the copper statue at the square) on April 5th 1931 the prime minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos was present.
I hope we will make it through the economic crisis in the end. For the time greek people have sacrificed a lot I hope we wont have to sacrifice the beauties of our country.
If we dont make it though, my future rides will be on bicycle
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:44 AM   #8
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Sakapo Illada

Very nice job of documenting the many interesting places on just one of the many islands of Greece. Beautiful, I lived in Greece for two years. Very nice place. Thanks! Glad to see there are islands untouched by commercial industry. I hope everyone trying to steal Greece with their mythical debts die from mosquito bites.

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Old 01-12-2012, 05:21 AM   #9
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Wonderful Report Skopelos!

I grabbed a few of your pics for screen savers! Thanks.
I can't wait to go back to Greece and see Skyros and then on to Crete. Last summer was my first time to Greece and we drove all over visiting the girlfriend's relations. Athens, Kalamata, Sparti, Mati, Lutsa, Raffina, Megalopoli, Monemvasia, Mystras, and Tourkaleka, which is where Nikoleta's Father is from. I'd love to go back there on a motorcycle. The only thing I'm afraid of is coming around a corner and seeing a herd of goats in the middle of the road! That happened many times when we were driving in the mountains.
Greece is an amazing place and it saddens me to see them in their present situation.
Many Americans, who have not been to Greece, have only tthree references on which to draw. Two are movies. Zorba the Greek, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The other is the news, of which hardly any is good. Unless they know someone who is from there, they don't know your country very well at all.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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:-)

Poly wraies photografies.. me kanes na thelw na episkeftw amesa to nisi..!!

Vey nice photos my friend.. We live in a wonderfull country :-)
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:15 PM   #11
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amazing pictures fellow rider! the island of Skyros has wonderfull places and espesially wonderfull beaches



P.S. απο το 2000 πηγαίνω σε αυτό το νησί τουλάχιστον 3 με 4 φορές το χρόνο λόγω επαγγελματικών υποχρεώσεων και δεν έχω καταφέρει να κάνω μια βόλτα πρωί για φωτογραφίες,ούτε καν για μια βουτιά το καλοκαίρι αν τύχει
ωραίες φωτό φίλε μου,με δυναμίτησες ακόμα περισσότερο να το επισκεφτώ για καμμιά μοτογύρα...
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
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Wonderful report Skopelos.
Your photos are amazing. So many animals on the island.
Thank you for sharing your adventure.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:42 AM   #13
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I am glad you enjoyed my report, I will try to upload more reports from Greek tours soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daytrader View Post
I'd love to go back there on a motorcycle. The only thing I'm afraid of is coming around a corner and seeing a herd of goats in the middle of the road! That happened many times when we were driving in the mountains.
Lol! This has also happended to me many times!
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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wow, great photos! I donno why but I could almost smell the earth in your pictures! good work
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CID View Post
wow, great photos! I donno why but I could almost smell the earth in your pictures! good work
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it!
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