02 Apr

Soothingly Skopelos – the greenest island in the Aegean Sea. The water is like blue liquid crystal and the pine trees, which blanket the island, grow right down to the water’s edge. Skopelos is the greenest island in the Aegean Sea, a magical island whereby as soon as you arrive, the rush and turmoil of everyday life is left far behind you.

At just over twelve miles long, Skopelos is far from being a big island. Legend has it that the island was ruled by Prince Stafilos, son of the King of the Minoans.

In 1936 a burial chamber was uncovered by archaeologists, a discovery that added some real weight to the legend. The remains were of a person who was obviously of a very high standing, who had been buried along with his sword that had a solid gold handle.

The legend continues that if the pirate Barbarossa – Red Beard – had known that there was a gold handed sword buried on Skopelos, he probably would have visited the island much sooner than he did. Barbarossa did in fact come to Skopelos in 1538 and is believed to have decimated the population.

He was a leading member of the Barbary pirates who took sanctuary on the North African coast and were a scourge on trade ships. Barbarossa was one of four tough, hard-hitting brothers who were born on the Greek island of Lesbos, which, for years, wreaked havoc on Greek waters.

The population on Skopelos in 1820 was said to be over 70,000, whereas in modern day peak tourist time 20,000 is rarely surpassed. Many opponents of the Turkish rulers sought refuge here and during the nineteenth century, the island was considered to be a resistance stronghold.

Skopelos undoubtedly has a rich and colourful past but it is tourism today which dominates the island.

With its blue liquid crystal water gently lapping over the pine trees that extend to the water’s edge, it is easy to understand why holidaymakers from all over the world decide to come here, to laze away on the beautiful beaches in a way that made the decadent visitors from Rome, many centuries earlier, look like a working party!

 

 


 

03 Mar

Tzaneria Tree, Skopelos – Where Vintage Travel and the Sunday Times have something in common! When the Sunday Times considers a villa to be worthy of appearing on its “50 sensational villas” in Europe list, you know that the villa in question has to be a little bit special, even if you don’t particularly like the paper!

Number 37 on the 50 finest properties for couples, kids or mates, which was published in January this year, is Vintage Travel’s very own Tzanerla Tree, on the island of Skopelos.

“The style is simple, the view majestic. Found on a narrow country road, Tzaneria Tree is a secluded property that looks across the island’s steep hills and olive groves to the sea.”

If this description of Villa Tzaneria Tree whets your roving appetite, then let us whet it some more because this villa and the area it abounds really is an experience just waiting to be uncovered.

This one bedroom, one bathroom villa can sleep two people and if any property deserves to be called a ‘romantic retreat’, then it’s Tzaneria Tree.

Similar to many of Vintage Travel’s villas, Tzaneria Tree is surrounded by the most sensational of scenery. Orchids, forests, hills and opaque vegetation jumble and wind to the transparent ocean that beckons onlookers to reach its secluded shores and bathe in water so clear that it looks as it may possess therapeutic qualities.

With views this enchanting and weather you can generally rely on as being nothing but great, there is a justifiable emphasis on outdoor living at Tzaneria Tree, with even the villa’s name baring resemblance to nature, meaning ‘greengage tree’ in Greek!

Pleasantly in-keeping hallowed steps lead down to a much-needed shaded barbecue patio to the front of the property, which provides a refreshing shadow to wine, dine and relax out of the blazing sun. Of course, for additional refreshment a dip in the villa’s private pool is equally as inviting.

Internally the focus on presenting nature at its most stunning to guests continues with a huge picture window offering inspirational views dominating the living area.

As the Sunday Times described, the style of Tzaneria Tree is simple, and no other style other than rustic would be appropriate for such a ‘compliant with its natural surroundings’ villa. Wood is the overriding material, with wooden doors opening onto a raised patio, a wooden platform with mattresses and cushions inviting guests to sit down and take in the sheer beauty of this villa and its surroundings.

One could not be blamed if they barely left Tzaneria Tree and its grounds throughout the duration of their holiday. Although with a cluster of idyllic towns and beaches, such as Aghios Konstantinos and Kastroa just a couple of kilometres away, offering tavernas, mini markets and perfect sandy spots, venturing out into Tzaneria Tree’s vicinity is certainly recommended.

 


 

26 Nov

The Greek island of Skopelos is one of several islands situated to the west of the Aegean Sea and that make up the Northern Sporades island group. Much of Skopelos’s beauty stems from the fact that it is one of the greenest islands in the Aegean Sea, shimmering like an emerald on a cobalt sheet of water.

Skopelos owes its lush and fertile landscape to the local vegetation, which is dominated by dense forests of Kermes Oaks, Aleppo Pines and Holm Oaks.

Amidst the opaque and verdurous vegetation, clearings of fruit trees and olive groves frequently interrupt, providing a refreshing touch of colour and sweet fragrance that breaks up the otherwise predominantly verdure vistas and aroma of pine.

The wildlife of Skopelos for enthusiasts will rarely disappoint. This verdurous island inhabits approximately 60 different species of wild birds, including several birds of prey. Eagles, vultures and kestrels can regularly be seen circling overhead, waiting to lunge into deep river gorges below.

On the coast Kingfishers, Grey Herons and Great Cormorant’s can occasionally be seen inhabiting Skopelos’s wild and invigorating coastline.

Unlike some of the other Greek islands, Skopelos has remained untouched by mass tourism. For anybody seeking a tranquil break in the most picturesque of surroundings, then Skopelos’ lack of concrete and crowds will certainly provide for a peaceful and aesthetically tantalising holiday.

Even the island’s capital, Skopelos Town, has managed to avoid succumbing to the hands of mass tourism. Nestled within a horseshoe bay, this charming town is made up of a captivating network of cobbled streets, tumbling down cottages and quaint squares where locals and visitors alike gather and contemplate life.

Whilst this emerald island enjoys scorching temperatures in the summer months, it is during the cooler months of spring and autumn which can be a great time to visit Skopelos.

During the spring the island becomes awash with stunning colours and sweet-scented aromas, whilst in the autumn, the vivid autumnal colours of gold, brown and red contrast spectacularly to the otherwise emerald landscape.

Why not check out Vintage Travel’s equally impressive range of luxury villas in Skopelos?


 

06 Sep

The three most secluded coves on Skopelos – One of the seven best secret islands in the world.

Alongside Rodrigues in Mauritius, Great Barrier Island in New Zealand and the Andaman Islands in India, the Greek island of Skopelos has been cited as being one of the ‘best secret islands in the world’.

So ‘picture-perfect’ is Skopelos, with its forgotten coves lined with pine trees, blue-roofed tavernas nestled upon the beaches and tiny whitewashed churches, that even Hollywood are getting in on the exquisiteness of Skopelos action, with the island’s Kastani Beach being the chosen location to film ‘Mamma Mia’.

Skopelos has not gained its reputation as being one of the best secret islands in the world for no reason, and the Greek island is a haven of tranquil and deserted coves, secluded from the main flow of tourism which have remained a secret for centuries. Take a three of the most delightfully secluded coves on Skopelos.

Agnondas Cove

This cove was given its name hundreds of years ago by inhabitants in honour of Agnodas who won the race at the Olympic Games. Located 8km south of Skopelos Town, this beautiful pebbled cove is rarely disturbed by many visitors and instead remains a gem of a find for those seeking peace and serenity in the most stunning of surroundings.

The Cove of Adrina

13km to the west of Skopelos Town the Cove of Adrina can be found. The crystal clear waters that lap the pebbled shores contrast vividly with the verdurous landscape that surrounds this isolated cove, laden predominantly with pine trees.

Limnonari Cove

This tiny secluded bay rarely has more than a handful of visitors and is one of the most isolated coves on Skopelos. Its white pebbles are encircled by stunning views of greenery. Located 9km to the south of Skopelos Town Limnonari Cove can only be reached by foot from a path running parallel to the sea, or by fishing boat.


 

01 Jul

From August 6 until August 13 2011, a new type of tourism will hit the waters and shores of the island of Skopelos.

 

In combination with the National Offshore Championship, the North Aegean International Sailing Week (Skopelos sailing week 2011) will take place, proving that Skopelos can be used as a competitive venue and the unique diversity within the tourism sector of the island.

Skopelos is a popular location for sailing, with boats of all shapes and sizes seen bobbing up and down on the waters surrounding the island.

The venue for this year’s competition was purposely chosen by the committee of the Thessalonki Offshore Racing Club, who appointed the island because of its immense natural beauty and convenient position in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

In holding the NAISW 2011, the organisers of the competition and the people of Skopelos are intent in demonstrating to the outside world that they are proficient in hosting such an important and revered sporting event. According to organizers of the NAISW:

“With the organisation of the several events in August we have a chance to show visitors and contestants that Skopelos is unique in many ways. We all have to work together and give information to the visitors about the island, show our pure agricultural products, the nature and our hospitality.”

A total of twelve national sailing clubs from across Greece are expected in be represented in the sailing championships in August, with some of the most competitive boats and crews from the nation keen to be involved in the action.

For those that have visited Skopelos a return visit is almost always guaranteed. Being the greenest island on the Aegean Sea, Skopelos is the very essence of the word ‘picturesque’. Hidden beneath a blanket of pine trees, Skopelos is rich in culture and history, fusing the sophisticated and lively with the tranquil and charming.

The fact that this ‘shimmering emerald island’ is hosting such as a prominent sailing event is yet more evidence of the cosmopolitan nature of Skopelos.

To really take advantage of the island’s stunning beauty, you should consider staying at Vintage Travel’s luxury 2 bedroom villa in Skopelos, ‘Maro’, pictured above.


 

31 Mar

Scrumptiously Skopelos – Vintage Travel adds three new villas to its Skopelos portfolio.

Being without its own airport and surrounded by beautiful pebbled beaches adorning a rugged and wild coastline, visiting the island of Skopelos is absolute paradise for those seeking a serenely unperturbed  holiday in the most striking, yet essentially undiscovered, of destinations.

Villa Meropi

earing Skopelos’ relative anonymity from the masses and immense beauty, it is only natural that Vintage Travel have ‘sniffed out’ this touch of paradise.

Taking Skopelos’ natural beauty to even greater heights are three villas recently added to Vintage Travel’s Skopelos portfolio – Mourtia, Meropi and Natalia.

All three of these exquisite properties have their own private pool and truly sensational views of the turquoise ocean, lapping upon the shores of Skopelos Town – a maze of steep streets, hundreds of steps, white-washed houses and terracotta roofs.

The villa of Mourtia, a stone’s throw from the quintessentially Greek Skopelos Town and its seemingly limitless supply of bars, tavernas and souvenir shops, boasts immaculate lawns lay upon extensive grounds, situated on a hillside speckled with olive trees. Sitting on Mourtia’s terrace, which runs the whole width of the property, taking in the amazing views of this island, is guaranteed to be one of your fondest memories of your holiday.

This spacious two-bedroom house starts from £495 a week rising to £1795 in peak season.

Villa Natalia

Equally as mesmerising are Meropi and Natalia, two beautifully renovated cottages, tucked away on a hillside adorned with olive groves.

The properties both consist of all the delightful and traditional features associated with a traditional cottage, including wood beamed ceilings and tiled floors. The verandah is roofed in vines, offering stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and gives Meropi and Natalia a true ‘holiday’ vibe.

The cottages can sleep six, including an air-conditioned mezzanine, romantically hidden beneath the eaves. Each property starts at £495 a week off peak, rising to £1850 in the peak holiday season.

 


 

17 Jan

The island of Skopelos is one of the lesser known Greek islands and as a consequence is less visited.

At Vintage Travel, we excel in finding treasures away from the mainstream trails.

Lightly frequented destinations are a true gem, aiding a place’s appeal. Skopelos certainly fits this description, as with its dazzling white yet old buildings contrasting vividly with the vibrant flower pots strewn to the walls.

This, with the cobalt colour of the sea and the sky, but with a serious lack of people, Skopelos holidays are perfect for a tranquil yet truly Greek escape.

For those wanting to know where was Mama Mia filmed, the answer is easy. The producers needed a quiet, typically greek location, Skopolos island was a simple choice.


 

30 Nov

Skopelos is an amazing Greek island to trek, you are never too far from a beach or a view. Here’s our essential guide to walking in Skopelos.

Go hiking on the Greek Island of Skepelos

You may want to get Christmas and the New Year out of the way before you start planning for next year’s holiday, although with the weather getting infinitively gloomier, the nights drawing in at a rate of knots and the Christmas crowds already surfacing in the high street, daydreaming about lands of sunnier climes, sapphire skies and verdurous vistas offers a welcoming relief to the British winter blues.

Being the greenest of the Greek islands on the Aegean Sea and never being too overcrowded, the island of Skelopos is perhaps one of the best places to start your ‘escaping to an idyllic paradise’ fantasies.


 

19 Apr

Skepolos is a small Greek island that measures just 17km long from NW to SE and only 8km at its widest point. Made famous by the recent box office hit Mamma Mia, Skepolos is one of those places that has remained unchanged for centuries and that includes the exquisite beaches. The great thing about Skopelos is that you are never far from a beach… or a great teverna. There are loads of beaches to choose from, some easy to reach and others not so.

However, many of the beaches can be reached from Skopelos Town by bus or hire car and range from tiny secluded coves to long stretches of white pebbles or sand/shingle. The water is crystal clear and the swimming/snorkelling is fantastic.

Here’s our guide to the best beaches in Skopelos:

Milia (approx 17km from town). This is pebble and sand beach, which offers an incredibly picturesque setting and has views of rocky outcrops and Dassia Island. It’s not unusual for dolphins to visit here in the early mornings so make sure you get there early. Also, there is a fantastic tavern and beach bar and a bus stop about 500m away.

Milia Beach, Skopelos