Despite its natural beauty, SKÝROS has a relatively low profile. There are few major sites or resorts, and access, wherever you’re coming from, is awkward. Those in the know, however, realise it’s worth the effort, and there are increasing numbers of trendy Athenians and Thessalonians taking advantage of domestic flights – and making Skýros Town a much more cosmopolitan place than you might expect – plus steadily growing international tourism. The New Age Skyros Centre, pitched mostly at Brits, has also effectively publicized the place. There are plenty of beaches, but few that can rival the sand of Skiáthos or film-set scenery of Skópelos. There’s also a substantial air-force presence around the airport in the north, and a big naval base in the south; almost all the accommodation and tourist facilities cluster around Skýros Town in the centre of the island.
A position bang in the centre of the Aegean has guaranteed the island a busy history: it was occupied from prehistory, with a truly impressive Bronze Age settlement currently being excavated, was a vital Athenian outpost in the Classical era, and an equally important naval base for the Byzantines and under Venetian and Turkish rule, when it was an important staging post on the sea-lanes to Constantinople.