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Skopelos (Greek: Σκόπελος) is a gorgeous island in the Sporades complex in Greece, located in the western Aegean Sea, between the islands of Skiathos and Alonissos. Attracting families and romantic couples alike, the island mostly became famous to the world when it became the natural setting for the Mamma Mia movie a few years ago.
According to myth, Skopelos was founded by Staphylos or Staphylus (Greek for grape), one of the sons of the god Dionysos and the princess Ariadne of Crete and would become known throughout the ancient Greek cities of the Mediterranean Sea for its wine. In addition to the legend of its founding by the son of the god of wine, history tells us that in the Late Bronze Age the island, then known as Peparethos or Peparethus was colonised by Cretans, who introduced viticulture to the land. As far as local wines, since the isle is so lush and green, there are many that have their own private little vineyards for personal use and some do produce their own wines, enchanting guests with specific local fragrances.
While on this beautiful island, you may indulge in olives and olive oil, with its local varieties Pelion and Kalamata which play an important role in the Skopelos diet, as the basis of all recipes of traditional cuisine. Feta, a semi-soft, crumbly, well-salted white cheese made from goat milk, tiropita, a deep fried spiral of cheese stuffed phyllo dough, pine honey from conifer trees and flower-honey from the nectar of fruit trees and wild flowers, oven or sun dried blue or red plums are merely a few of the locally grown culinary enchantments you can experience after setting foot on the island.
Town and Glossa are the main villages on the island, with traditional architecture, appetizing restaurants and splendorous views of the sea. A noteworthy sight is the Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri, known as the Mamma Mia Church as scenes from this Hollywood movie were filmed there.
The charming town is also blessed with many Byzantine monasteries. The Monastery of Timios Prodromos, located 6 km east of Skopelos Town, is another impressive landmark the island has to offer. Established in the 17th century, this monastery is open to public, hosting a small museum with holy icons, ecclesiastical relics and old public papers. Furthermore, the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria, located 3 km east of Skopelos Town, on the slopes of a mountainside calls you to exploration. Surrounded by lush greenery, this monastery was established in 1712 and ensures passers-by of a spectacular view of the island.
Beaches in Skopelos are known for their rejuvenating crystal waters and the magnificent green vegetation that embraces them. Skopelos has an uncommon quality in light of the fact that it is rich in greenery, primarily pine trees, that grow densely along the water edge. Most beloved Skopelos beaches are Stafylos, on the southern side of the island, surrounded by high cliffs, Panormos, with its sandy coast, sparkling water and great view to the sunset, Hovolo, with exotic water and a calm ambience and Elios, a fine tourist resort surrounded by a dense pine forest.
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