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The Religious tourism in Skopelos
Skopelos! The green and blue island. You will not find so intensely harmonious colors like blue sky and sea, combined with the green of the pines and mountains, in the whole Aegean area.
Approaching the ferry you will have the time to admire this. Exploring Skopelos by car, bike or even on foot, you will strongly feel the desire to stay there forever.
Travel to Skopelos means a lot.
Originally walk to the picturesque old town with its 32 chapels due to the locals' rich church history and numerous Christian monuments. Do not forget to get to the top of the castle, where you will find the very old church of St. Athanasios with frescoes. Further down look for the chapel of St. Demetrius to admire the mosaic floor and some very ancient frescoes.
Arriving at the eastern part of the old town, visit the church of the Virgin Mary and if you have an appetite for a calm and spiritual discussion, come during the evening hours to talk with to priest Nicholas, who will ease your sould with his wise and fatherly words.
The island's history draws the way and urges you to take the car and go up the snaky road towards the eastern mountain "Palouki" to visit the 4 Castel-Monasteries which wrote story during wars and raids, educated the locals acting like schools, provided jobs for men and women who worked at the monastery's estates, at the looms, and the herds of goats.
You could first visit the Monastery of the Annunciation, which was built by Kaisariou Daponte's father (a scholar monk of the 17th century). The temple will amaze you..the view is incredible!
Then go to the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Mount dependency of M. Xenophon. The monk gives his soul to grow the flowers in the courtyard. Do not forget to notice the mosaic floor, which was discovered accidentally during the recent renovation of the church. Then head to the Monastery of St. Barbara on the plateau.
Finally you reach the historic monastery of St. John the Baptist. How many splendours did this monastery have! Educated elders, a faculty for Byzantine music, weaving school, library, manuscripts and old book editions. But first of all it has been a beacon of faith and hope during the difficult years of piracy and German conquership.
Arriving at village "Glosha", on the right side you will find the signs that lead to the most famous rock with the 100 steps towards St. John Kastri. This place was made famous due to the shooting of film MAMA MIA. It is impossible for someone not to take a picture on this spot. Once you got up there, it is a good chance to try the clear water of the small bay nearby. Also walk through the village of "Glosha" which has it own personality and architecture. I reminds me of the alpine villages of Thessaly having its own Cultural Museum with many treasures and local costumes.
About the Author
I was born and raised in Skopelos and because of my involvement with scientific conferences organized by the Folklore Museum of Skopelos i was able to learn a lot about the island out of archived photographs and interviews with older professionals this island garnered. At the same time, i maintain personal blog about Skopelos with content relevant to the history, tradition and life of the island: http://skopelosholidays.weebly.com