The Capital of the island is the city of Skyros, or “Chorio”, as it is called by the locals. It is located 11 km northeast of the port Linaria and is built like a amphitheater on a steep, rocky hill. The old part of the city lies hidden behind the rock and could not be seen from the sea. The white cube-shaped houses are built in terraces on the slope and give a characteristic picture with their gray flat roofs.
The roofs of the older houses are covered with a darksilver colored earth called “Melangi”, those are stacked under the dried algae. From the inside, the ceilings of the rooms are made of beams and ships fixed together.
The layout of the interiors and the decoration of the traditional Skyrian house are admirable.
Ingenuity, as well as an optimal use of space unite with the charm of real folk art. The rooms are adorned with fine embroidery, attractive ceramic vessels, beautifully woven fabrics and bronze objects. The furnishings are carved in the manner characteristic of the island and are still produced today by skillful local craftsmen in their workshops “Chora” and “Magazia”. There are also women who make embroideries and woven goods with traditional votive motives. Many houses of the city are true folklore museums, you street through the center and the main square is called “Megali Strata”. Its starting point is the square with the town hall in neoclassical style. On both sides of the street are many shops, taverns, ouzeries, snack bars and many more. Approximately in the middle of this route is the church “Panagia i Melikarou”, the island’s central church, with a richly carved iconostasis. From this main road, narrow side streets lead to the castle and the top of the hill. The castle stands on the site of the ancient acropolis from the 5th century BC. from which a few remains have been preserved. In the Byzantine castle with Venetian additions is the monastery of “Agios Georgios”, the saint patron of the island. This monastery belongs administratively to the monastery Megisti Lavra on Mount Athos. From there you have a wonderful view of the sea, the coastline and the city. You also have a very nice view from the small Brook Square, named after the English poet Roopert Brook, who lived and died on the island and is buried at the place called “Tris Boukes”. On this square there is a monument dedicated to “Eternal Poetry” and the two museums of the island, the Archaeological (Tel: 0222-91, 327) with many finds from the excavations on the island, Roman and Byzantine sculptures and a model of a typical Skyrian house and the historical and ethnographic museum with many objects of folk art, such as embroidery, weaving, household items, tools, furnishings, costumes, a library and the representation of a Skyrian house. Worth seeing are also the churches Eleimonitria, Archontopanagia, Agia Triada, Taxiarches, Agios ioannis an other.
In many places outside the city are windmills, but most of them are dilapidated. Below the magnificent rocky Chora are the golden sandy beaches Basales, Papa to Chouma and Petroula (for nudists). Magazia, Molos – a small fishing port, Gyrismata and further afield, on the northeast coast of Agios Petros and Palamari, where traces of a Bronze Age settlement (3rd and 2nd century BC) were found. The airport is located near Trachy, 11 km from the city. Beautiful beaches fringed by pine forests are located on the west coast: Kyra Panagia, Atsitsa, Pevkos. Near the port Linaria lies in a protected bay Acherounes and there opposite the uninhabited islets Skyropoula and Valaxa. Further south you will find the large natural harbor Tris Boukes and in its entrance the small islands Sarakiniko and Platia. At the narrowest point, almost exactly in the middle of the island, to the east are the beaches Aspous and Achili, where there is a marina and to the west, in the midst of fruit and vegetable gardens, Kalamitsa. Skyros is well developed touristy. The island has a good infrastructure so you can easily explore it by car. Island tours are organized with small boats, such as trips to the southern parts of the island, to lonely rocky beaches with enchanting sea caves.
In the mountainous areas there are still living wild Skyrian horses, a pony breed. They are threatened of extinction, but in recent years, attempts have been made to preserve the population.
The traditions and customs are still maintained on Skyros. The Skyrian Carnival is one of the most beautiful and authentic in Greece. Its origins date back to the Kionysos cult. On Carnival Monday, “Kathara Deftera”, the “Trata” dance is danced. You can also experience traditional weddings on Syros, where the old costumes are worn. The ceremony itself will be followed by a festival of folk music and folk dances. At many folk festivals, boiled goat meat is offered in large kettles over a wood fire in the open air. The feast is always followed by music and dance.