posted in: Ancient sites | 1

It all began with Stafilos, who was probably a Cretan prince, sent to Skopelos by king Minos in the 16th century BC. He is believed to have been the son of Dionysos and Ariadni, brother to Oinopion, Thoas and Peparethos. Only Peparethos joined him in the colonisation of Skopelos and gave the island its name, which fell into disuse in the 2nd century AD. They brought with them vines and olive trees.

In 1936, contents of a rich grave were found by chance in the neck of the headland between the beaches now known as Stafilos and Valanio. They included a gold sword handle, the biggest ever to be found in Greece, plus many artefacts, including a double edged axe, the symbol of the Minoans. They can be found in the National Museum in Athens. It isn’t certain that the grave was that of Stafilos himself but it was undoubtedly that of royalty, as only a leader would have had such precious funeral offerings.

Believe it or not, there are the remains of a Mycenean wall at the end of Stafilos beach (1600-1100BC).

The remains of Roman defence walls can be found at Kastro (castle) Milos, *Panormos, Kanaka Laka and Loutraki (ancient Selinus). There’s also a very interesting looking wall next to the road to Moutero. It’s mentioned by archaeologist Diamantis Sampson, but no details documented.

Temples: Asclepius the demi-god, Artimis/Diana goddess of hunting (within the walls of private Episcope monastery), Eefastos/Vulcan god of fire and metal (Ag Konstantinos), Athene/Minerva, goddess of wisdom and war (Raches) to name but a few. Others existed, their remains having been recycled into the walls of the Christian churches that took their place.

Sarcophagi were also upcycled where possible and used in the building of Christian churches (eg. Ag Michalis Sinadon, *Panagia Eleftherotria). A complete sarcophagus is literally sticking out of the wall in the house of family Kosma. Even older are tombs honed into the rockface at Sendoukia, Aloupi, Alikias and Mavraki, Glossa.

*Roman Baths/Loutra at Katakalou, Loutraki.

A network of beacons/Phryctoria were built on hill-tops across the island, each visible to the next. A prearranged semaphore was used to convey messages. Ruins can be found at Mavrangi, Helenico, Cape Prionos, Mavraki, and Panormos. There must have been others in the Palouki area but none have been documented.

A Field Guide to the Insects of Skopelos

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I’m very proud to have sponsored the migration, printing and publication of this wonderful new edition.

First published in 2015 by Doctors Brian and Elizabeth Ridout, it could easily have fallen into the memory of time as it became out of print and thus no longer available.

Brian and Elizabeth are biologists who have specialized in the conservation of heritage buildings around the world. In 2003 they came to Skopelos to visit friends. They liked it so much they subsequently bought a house in town and later (now sold) kalivi in the once beautiful Moutero and ever since visit several times a year.

It soon became apparent to them that there were no reference works available to identify the insects commonly seen on their walks in the countryside and decided to write one themselves! The task took TEN YEARS of research and was originally a basic field guide.

Text and most images by Brian Ridout, the scenic images are by Lisa Manly and the design and cover photo is by Heather Parsons. It’s available on line here and at the following local shops: Hoharoupa (next to Vodafon), the old Kiosk old port, Ideas, Juices & Books and the kiosk in Glossa by the school.

The Ridout’s wish to thank Heather for turning the new edition into a work of art as well as of science.

Accounts for 2023

posted in: 2023, Uncategorized | 0

Whether you’ve made a donation or not or are just wondering how monies are spent, here is a spreadsheet of expenditures for the year 2023. The majority expense was petrol to get us to the trails to be cleared plus food for the volunteers. I conducted several hikes, boosted by two Austrian groups, which helped cover the outgoings.


Financial Support