Skopelos

Skopelos is a Greek island in the western Aegean sea. Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group. The island is located east of mainland Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea and is part of the Prefecture of Magnesias in the Periphery of Thessaly. Skopelos is also the name of the main port and the municipal center of the island.

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The island has more than 360 churches and chapels. Most are closed through the years except for the feast day of whom or whatever the church has been dedicated. Most have been privately built. The oldest existing ecclesiastical structure is the basilica of Agios Athanasios built in the 11th century and located in the Kastro area.

Skopelos has a variety of fauna – including about 60 species of wild birds-native and migratory. There are several birds of prey, most common are the Eleonora’s Falcon, the European Scops Owl, and the Common Buzzard, also kestrels, eagles, and vultures can be seen. A large section of the area surrounding and including Mt. Palouki is posted as a no-hunting zone by the Skopelos Hunters Association. Bird species missing from other parts of the island such as the Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) have flourished in the protected area.

The Northern Sporades are one of the prime breeding areas of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) an endangered species.

The island is home to a variety of reptiles. The Balkan Terrapin can be found near fresh water along with the Greek Marsh Frog though this habitat is slowly disappearing due to development. The Balkan Wall Lizard is seen regularly in daylight in warm weather and the Hemidactylus turcicus at night.

There are several attractive beaches too, length of the coastline of Skopelos is 67 km.

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