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YOU FOUND PARADISE… IN SKOPELOS!

Have you ever visited Greece? And by Greece, I do not mean Mykonos or Santorini that many people want to visit because of their cosmopolitan atmosphere, their blue and white houses, and their crowded beaches.

Greece has over 6.000 islands out of which only 277 are inhabited. I would love to start writing about Greece’s beauties, but I will focus only on one island, my paradise, Skopelos. Skopelos, in my eyes, is a beautiful which raised me and filled my heart with so many amazing memories.

But where exactly is this paradise?

Skopelos, is in the western Aegean Sea and compromises the Northern Sporades island group. It is part of Thessaly Region and it has 4.960 inhabitants. From a geographical perspective, Skopelos island has two mountains, Delphi and Palouki. Also, Skopelos, an area of 96 square kilometres, is bigger than Mykonos and Santorini.

As every part of Greece has its own history, let me give you some historic and mythological background about this amazing paradise.

Legend says that Staphelos, son of the god Dionysos and the Cretan princess Ariadne, was the founder of Skopelos. During the Bronze Age, the Cretans colonized Skopelos which was known as Peparethos and not Skopelos.

It is widely claimed that the island was famous for its wine, because the God Dionysos, the Staphelos’s father, was a God who adored wine.

References to Peparithos or Skopelos, can be found in tragedians plays such as in a play of Sophocles. In Sophocles’s play, Philocretes, the main character is a wine merchant lost on his way to Peparethos, which is “rich in grapes and wine”. Even from this reference, it can be seen how ancient Greek well known individuals adored this island!!

Nowadays, Skopelos is well known for its olives, therefore and olive oil, its traditional delicious cheese pie, for the high quality of honey, and for the delicious prunes.

Tasty, local food products are not the only important cultural characteristic of Skopelos island. Religion is deeply rooted in Skopelos culture, and its proof is the small churches all over the island. It is impressive that you can find more that 360 churches and chapels on the island, which represent the strong Greek orthodox faith and religion.

Since we are talking about Skopelos cultural identity, we also talk about music, about dances! Skopelos knows very well the meaning of the Greek traditional dances, which are represented every summer by local festivals. As every single region of Greece has its own traditional costume, so does Skopelos. They call the beautiful costume Stofa. In this picture you can see the wedding version of Stofa, and yes, it was every brides wedding dress in the island! How unique? Right?

And as a picture is worth a thousand words, take a taste of Skopelos’s amazing beauty, which were also featured in the movie “Mama Mia”, the American musical and romantic comedy. One of the wedding scenes was actually filmed at the Saint John chapel Now, Close your eyes. Imagine yourself on this beautiful island under the Greek sun, gazing the green and blue waters, tasting the local food and adore the beautiful cultural experience this island can offer you!

Haven’t you booked your tickets yet?

 

By

Ioanna Maria Kantartzi

Ph.D. student

School of Human Kinetics
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Ottawa

God Dionysos
They call the beautiful costume Stofa

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