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 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).
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,
- Scorzonera scyria,
- Aubrieta scyria,
- Galanthus ikariae
Some of them are only in Skyros.
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
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.