Skiathos town is the capital of the island and its port, stretches from the beach to the nearby hills and is the primary dwelling place of peasants and most services.
Its port is separated in two parts by the beautiful peninsula of Bourtzi. The city is full of life all summer and offers visitors many choices for meals, entertainment, accommodation and any other necessary business. Walks you can do in the city but there is also the nightlife.
In addition, it is the starting point for most excursions to the island’s beaches as boats begin their routes from the port several times a day.
During the summer are organized many cultural events, the most famous is the one called “Dream on the wave” (the homonymous story of the author Alexandros Papadiamantis) in the month of July to August. On 18 August, is honored the memory of St. Floros on the island of Tsougria.
Other notable cultural events are also held in early September, as the “violin days” in memory of the sinking of the submarine during World War II.
In Skiathos there are two ports, the commercial port and the old port and both are separated by the peninsula of Bourtzi. In 1207 the brothers Gkyzis invaded the island and have built a small Venetian castle, the “Bourtzi”. The “Bourtzi” was ineffective in protecting the population and at half of the 14th century the castle became the capital of the island.
In 1660 the castle was destroyed by the famous Venetian admiral Morossini (who ordered the bombing of the Parthenon). Today you can see the castle ruins and the point where was built the church of St. George and the tank of the castle.
After the liberation from Ottoman at Bourtzi was established the first hospital of the island and in 1906 at the middle of the small peninsula was built a primary school that was a gift from Andreas Syggros and is today a cultural center which organizes events during the summer.
Finally, in the castle there is a traditional municipal cafeteria.
Tsougrias is the tiny island which lies opposite the port of Skiathos and is not habitable. Every day tourist boats take you to the beach.
The image you see here is an exotic island and reminds you a virgin island. The seabed is sandy to a large width, so the waters there have a white color.
Bourtzi was ineffective for the protection of the population against attacks from pirates and the half of the 14th century the castle became the capital of the island. The castle was under Byzantine administration until 1453 and then fell into the hands of the Venetians (until 1538) and ended with the Turkish occupation until the 1821’s revolution.
The castle is located in the extreme northern tip of the peninsula that forms a natural fortress. As a result the inhabitants have reinforced this natural fortress by building battlements and cannons to protect the city.
The castle was communicating with the hinterland by a drawbridge and whenever invaders docked castle walls got up to close the access to the castle and above the entrance of hot water or oil was thrown out of the gatehouse to the invaders in order not to enter the castle.
The history of the island is reflected in the castle as it combines historical moments of the island.
Away from “Lechouni” stream and below the highest peak of the island, called “Karaflitzanaka” there is the Monastery Evangelistrias. Its construction began in 1794 and was completed in 1806 by a group of monks who belonged to the movement of “kollyvades” and came from Mount Athos.
The kollyvades have profoundly influenced the daily life of the inhabitants of Skiathos and really contributed to the revolution of 1821. This is where the first greek flag was sewn for the first time and pedestrians of the revolution, Andreas Miaoulis, Theodoros Kolokotronis , Nikotsaras and many others were sworn in.
The temple of the monastery is a church with three corners of Byzantine architecture in the shape of a cross and has three domes. The temple is exceptional art and includes icons of 17th and 18th century and in it there are conserved relics, most of which were provided by the fighter of revolution Lazaros Koundouriotis, which was from Hydra.
At other parts of the monastery you can see the individual cells of the monks, the hostel, the hospital, the kitchen facilities, with the dough and ovens and oil mill. The monastery library includes very rare and precious manuscripts from the 17th and the 19th century.
Thousands of pilgrims arrive there all year and especially during the Holy Week and the mid-August. Restoration and conservation work is continually in progress.
The Monastery Kounistras is dedicated to the celebration of “issodia of the Virgin” (the word “issodia” means the entry of the Virgin in the church at the age of 3 years since he was an ex-voto by her parents) and is 13Km west of Skiathos Town and 2 km from the street that leads to the beach Asselinos.
This is the place, the holiest of the whole island, because according to local tradition, around 1650 the icon of the Virgin was found as a miracle. After the appearance of the icon a small church and the entire monastery was built on the spot. According to tradition, the icon was found hanged on a pine. That is why it is also known as the “Kounistra”. It is kept throughout the year in the church of tthe city and at 21st of November each year, is installed with honors in the monastery church, for that day.