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SKOPELOS lies between Skiathos and Alonissos and it is the second most developed tourist destination of the Sporades.

Despite the rapid growth of tourism in the last few years, the island maintains its architectural and cultural traditions. Skopelos was known as Peparethos during antiquity, from the name of the brother of the island's first resident and king, Stafylos. Stafylos and Peparethos were sons of god Dionyssus and Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, the king of Crete, and his mythical wife Pasiphae. Ariadne fell in love with Athenian prince Thesseus, who went to Crete to kill the Minotaur. Thesseus took Ariadne with him when he left Crete, but abandoned her in Naxos, on the trip home. Ariadne was found grieving by godess Athena, who mediated to Dionyssus, who mated with her and took her to the island of Limnos. There, Ariadne gave birth to Thoas, who became the king of Limnos, and Peparethos, after whom Skopelos was named. Ancient legends confirm that Skopelos was home to a Minoan settlement. The island was prosperous and forged relationships with many Greek city states, including Mycenae. Archeologists have unearthed Mycenaean settlements in Stafylos and Glossa, and Mycenaean tombs in the middle of the island. During the 2nd century AD, the island is first referred to as Skopelos, and the name sticks. Christianity came here early and, in the 4th century, Bishop Reginos dominates island life. Reginos was murdered during the anti-Christian raids of Byzantine Emperor Julian. The island came under Venetian rule in 1204 and avoided becoming part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1538 Admiral Barbarossa occupied Skopelos and massacred evey living soul on it. The island was re-inhabited in the 17th century. In the following centuries it prospered and was a key contributor to the Greek war of independence of 1821-29. Today, Skopelos is a greek island with wonderful beaches. The island features archeological sites, Byzantine monasteries and traditional settlements. Chora, or Skopelos Town, is a protected traditional village, along with several of the island's other towns.Skopelos has six thousand permanent residents and is the second most improtant tourist destination in the Sporades after Skiathos. Even though the north part of the island is wildly beautiful, the best beaches are on the south side, near Chora. The people are very friendly and accommodating, which helps explain the high number of the island's repeat visitors.

Chora is the busiest spot on the island, while Glossa is sleepier. Glossa's residents, although hospitable and nice, seem to not care too much about jumping on the tourist development bankwagon.

 

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