The Sporades islands are filled with Greek mythology and urban legends. Many about how the islands were created and for what purpose. During the Golden Ages, Poseidon’s sons, Otos and Ephialtes threw rocks the size of boulders at each other during one of their clashes. These rocks ended up in the sea and this is how the Sporades largest islands were formed. The island Skiathos has 2 legends regarding the origin of its name. Greek mythology says Dionysus, the god of wine named the island Skiathos after his second name Skianthios. The other version states the island got its name from its first inhabitants. They were impressed by the skia (shadow in Greek) which came from the vegetation. They joined this name with the name of the Mount Athos northeast of the island and created the name Skiathos. Some have true historical proceedings while some seem to remain legends. According to mythology, the island Skopelos was created by Staphylos, the son of the god of wine Dionysus and the Cretan princess Ariadne. On your catamaran charter in the Sporades, enjoy the famed Peparithios wine made from black grapes. The island was known for quality wine of during antiquity and the latter aspect of the story is historically accurate. The Cretans colonized the island and introduced viticulture. There was an outbreak that devastated the vines decades ago, but thanks to the farmers persistence, the vines have been restored.
The weather in the Sporades is typical of Mediterranean islands. The weather is relatively mild with rainy winters and hot summers. During the summer months waters around the Sporades are much calmer. They are out of the path of the “meltemi”, the prevailing north wind on the Aegean Sea. Even when the winds are strong the waves remain constant and will not affect the course of the vessel. Compared to the rest of the Mediterranean the waters around the Sporades have a much gentler sailing experience. The daily average temperature ranges from 7℃ in January to 24℃ in July. Sea temperature isn’t constant during the year as the water is cold in May and June, but it becomes warm enough to swim from July to September when it reaches 24℃. In the summer months the islands get on average 11 hours of sunshine and rainfall can be limited to 1-3 days per month. Rainfall follows the Mediterranean pattern and is more frequent from October to April. If your catamaran charter in the Sporades is in between late July and early august, the northern winds bring the much-needed fresh air to the islands. However, weather does vary from island to island based off of proximity to the mainland.
From the Bronze Age to the early 19th century the Sporades, the islands have been occupied and conquered by the Macedonians, Byzantines, Venetians, and the Ottomans. The first flag of Greece was hoisted in Skaithos in 1807 and eventually received their freedom after the Greek Revolution. The long list of previous rulers plays a large part in the architecture of the islands. On your catamaran charter in the Sporades, you will be able to see the that each island in Sporades has quite different architecture. The Cycladic influence on Skyros is easily understood by the cubed white-washed homes. In Skopelos, the building style is typical of Macedonia. The houses all have verandas and balconies surrounded by narrow stone alleys and whitewashed steps. Houses in Skíathos were once are divided into 3 floors: the ground floor for storage, the middle and upper floors for residence. Many of the homes like this haven’t survived the earthquakes but the newer homes follow the same style. Another big architectural phenomenon is the number of temples, monasteries and churches in the Sporades. On Skopelos island alone, there are about 300 churches and monasteries, many were constructed by the Byzantines. One you should visit on your catamaran charter in the Sporades is on Skopelos Island, the Agios Ioannis Chapel. This chapel sits atop a barren sea rock at a height of 100 meters. It is only accessible by climbing 198 steps to the top. There is no record when this magical place was built but the panoramic view from the top is spectacular!
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