Essentials

GETTING THERE By Plane In summer, Olympic Airways has about two flights a week between Athens and Skyros. Call the Olympic office in Athens (& 210/966-6666) for information and reservations; the local Olympic representative is Skyros Travel and Tourism (& 22220/91-123). A bus meets most flights and goes to Skyros town, Magazia, and sometimes Molos; the fare is 2€. A taxi from the airport is about 6€, but expect to share a cab. By Boat The Skyros Shipping Company offers the only ferry service to Sky-ros; it's operated by a company whose stockholders are all citizens of the island. In summer, it runs twice daily (usually early afternoon and early evening) from Kimi (on the east coast of Evvia) to Skyros and twice daily (usually early morning and mid-afternoon) from Skyros to Kimi; the trip takes a little over 2 hours. Off season, there's one ferry each way, leaving Skyros early in the morning and Kimi in late afternoon. The fare is 10€. For information, call the company's office either in Kimi (& 2220/22-020) or Skyros (& 2220/91-789). The Skyros Shipping Co.'s offices also sell connecting bus tickets to Athens; the fare for the 3//2-hour ride is about 13€. In Athens, Alkyon Travel, 97 Akademia, near

Kanigos Square (& 210/383-2545), also arranges bus transportation to Kimi and sells hydrofoil and ferry tickets to the Sporades.

In summer, Skyros can also be reached from several ports by the hydrofoils known as Flying Dolphins; this is the most convenient way to go, though a little more expensive than the ferry. (For example, the hydrofoil between Kimi and Skyros costs about 5.50€.) Hydrofoil schedules both ways are: about once a week from and to Kimi; about twice a week from and to Ayios Konstandinos; about once a week from and to Volos (4^2 hr.); and about twice a week from and to Thessaloniki (a 6-hr. ride, or 5 hr. if you get on at Moudiana, south of Thessaloniki). From other Sporades, in summer there are several trips per week between Skyros and Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonissos (about five times a week, starting in mid-May, daily in July and Aug). For hydrofoil information, contact the Hellas Flying Dolphins Line in Piraeus (& 210/419-9100; www.dolphins.gr).

If you're trying to "do" the Sporades and want to make connections at Kimi, the tricky part can be the connection with ferries or hydrofoils from the other Sporades islands. When they don't hold to schedule, it's not uncommon to see the Skyros ferry disappearing on the horizon as your ship pulls into Kimi. You might have to make the best of the 24-hour layover and get a room in Paralia Kimi. (We recommend the Hotel Kimi, at & 22220/22-408, or the older Hotel Krineion, at & 22220/22-287).

From Athens, buses to Kimi and Ayios Konstandinos leave the Terminal B 260 Lission) six times a day, though you should depart no later than 1:30pm; the fare for the 31/2-hour trip is about 15€. From Kimi, you must take a local bus to Paralia Kimi. Ask the bus driver if you're uncertain of the connection.

On Skyros, the ferries and hydrofoils dock at Linaria, on the opposite side of the island from Skyros town. The island's only public bus will meet the boat and take you over winding, curvy roads to Skyros town for 1€. On request, the bus will also stop at Magazia beach, immediately north below the town, next to the Xenia Hotel.

VISITOR INFORMATION The largest tourist office is Skyros Travel and Tourism (& 22220/91-123; fax 22220/92-123), next to Skyros Pizza Restaurant in the main market. It's open daily from 8am to 2:30pm and 6:30 to 10:30pm. English-speaking Lefteris Trakos offers assistance with accommodations, currency exchange, Olympic Airways flights (he's the local ticket agent), phone calls, some interesting bus and boat tours, and Hellas Flying Dolphin tickets.

GETTING AROUND By Bus The only scheduled service is the Skyros-Linaria shuttle that runs four to five times daily and costs 1€. Skyros Travel (see above) offers a twice-daily beach-excursion bus in high season. It now also offers day-long excursions around the island in a small bus with an English-speaking guide (35€); for many this may be the best way to get an overview of the island.

By Car & Moped A small car rents for about 70€ per day, including insurance. Mopeds and motorcycles are available near the police station or the taxi station for about 25€ per day. The island has a relatively well-developed network of roads.

By Taxi Taxis can be hired to go about any place on the island at the standard Greek rates, but discuss the price before setting off; service between Linaria and Skyros costs about 13€.

On Foot Skyros is a fine place to hike. The island map, published by Skyros Travel and Tourism, will show you a number of good routes, and it seems to be pretty accurate.

FAST FACTS As of this writing, there is only one ATM on Skyros, at the National Bank of Greece in the main square of Skyros town. Because of its limited hours (Mon-Fri 8am-2pm), and in case its ATM is out of service, we recommend bringing cash and/or traveler's checks. The clinic is near the main square (& 22220/92-222). The police station (& 22220/91-274) is on the street behind the Skyros Travel Center. The post office is near the bus square in Skyros town; open Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. The telephone office (OTE) is opposite the police station. It's open Friday only, from 7:30am to 3pm, but there are card phones in town.

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