The second largest island after Crete, in Greek archipelagos and the third after Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. It is separated from the mainland of Greece with the Evian Gulf.

  Source:Goevia.com

 

 

       

 

The Ecotourism in Skyros

 

The rich natural heritage, the natural beauty of landscapes, the Monuments of Nature, the Special Protected Areas, the Net Natura 2000 sites and the lots of  species  of animals and plants have made Skyros one of the most popular and upcoming  ecotourism destinations .

In Skyros, particularly,  impressive is the contrast between the northern and southern part of the island. In the north place that called "Meroi",   that is   calm, we find plants with pine trees reaching to the coast and argotic areas.  Characteristic landscape here   also are the beaches of the island.

On the contrary the south place, on which  the   mount “Kohylas”  overlooks,  the "Mountain" for the Skyrians, is  steep   rocky with cliffs and sea caves.

For all these reasons, Skyros is a unique  place  for  environmental education activities.

 

Net Natura 2000

 

The Natura 2000 program  is a network of sites or zones in order to protect the natural environment and saving the survival of the most valuable and endangered species of our ecosystem (fauna and flora).

The Skyros Chora (AT5011062), the bay Kalogria, Atsitsa   with   the nearby pine forest (AT2011032) and Saracino - island  (AT5011061) have been characterized   landscape of Special Natural Beauty

 

The mountain  Kohylas (792 m.) as like have been joined  in the Network Natura (Natura 2000) ((GR2420006) and constitute Special Protection Zones orniithopanidas (SPA).

 

The Fauna

 

The Skyrian horse

On the mountain “Kohylas”  lives  free and semi-wild for centuries the unique Skyrian  horse (race  Equus cabalus), of its   height is  not up of  1.09 m.  The Skyrian  horse has been an  important element rural heritage of the island,  because of  the Skyrians used them for their farming works in the past,  especially during the summer months. Nowadays the Skyrian horses  live to  many places on the island, in  private  farms, in  which is controlled reproduction in order the species to be saved.

 

On the   steep  cliffs of Mount Kohylas and to the nearest    islands, make   nests the “Mavropetritis” (Falco eleonorae), a migratory hawk which is globally spacey endangered.

Skyrosis the largest colony of Eleonora worldwide with more than 1,000 couples. Hawk comes in Skyros in April and late of  October.

The wetlands of the island as in Kalamitsa and in Palamari, are important places   for many aquatic migratory birds.

On the uninhabited islets around Skyros and Skyropoula-island protected seabirds live and reproduce.

Also the wetlands offer valuable habitat  once  for other native animals such as water - turtles, etc.

 

Another resident of the islands is  the endemic Skyros Lizzard  (Podarcis gaigeae).

 

The Flora

At the wet streams of mount Kochylas, plane trees, oak trees,  (quercus coccifera) and Sfendami trees (acer monspessulanum) grow.  From Sfendami  was made the Achilles' javelin.

On   inaccessible places,  in rocky areas, mainly in the southern part of the island,   rare endemic plants grow there such as:

- Aethionema retsina,

- Campanula merxmuelleri,

- Centaurearechingeri,

- Scorzonera scyria,

- Aubrieta scyria,

- Galanthus ikariae

Some of them are only in Skyros.

 

Marine wealth

In the marine environment of the island we meet  meadows of endemic Mediterranean marine plant “Posidonia oceanica” (the Poseidonas plant - Posidonia) which  are places  of reproducting of many species of fish, crabs, shrimps, etc.).

 

In the marine area of ​​Skyrosthe Mediterranean Seal (Monachus monachus) often appears

 

Bird watching

 

The first organized group of visitors for the observation of Skyros bird watching come  from Great Britain and together with Phil Knott who specialises in  creating ecotourism routes, visited Skyros from  27 April  to 4  May 2013. Mavropetritis (Falcons), seabirds, herons,   egrets, Black-winged Stilt, kestrels, bee-eater, and dentrospourgitia  are some of the many species recorded.  

The visitors  left with the best impressions  regarding  the species  of birds observed. They also wishes Skyros  to remain as it is, to maintain its natural wealth and be an  important ecotourism destination.