The Highest peak of Skopelos and its Observatory
This is another special place. Full of stories from the past, great vibes and breathtaking views. Reaching the highest peak of Skopelos and its Observatory involves two stages.
First, you will be heading towards the Avgeri plateau. This is only half the fun of reaching the top. This is not a place known to too many people. Even writing about it here, it will still keep it as off-limits for most.
It is a place to go to if you're feeling more adventurous! You won't hear about it from many people, other than some locals, (like me). There are no signs leading you there either. It is, however, a place well worth visiting. A place that will certainly create a lasting effect on your memories.
Pictures that you will hopefully take from here, will decorate your walls. They will occupy your Desktops. They will take most of the space in your phone's memory cards. Backgrounds of sea and mountains beneath you will give Selfies a whole new perspective. For the professional photographer, pictures taken here will definitely be worthy of winning competitions.
- Supplies you wish you did not forget!
- How to get to Skopelos Observatory
- So what is this place?
- Pictures of Skopelos Observatory
- Map of Skopelos Observatory
Supplies you wish you did not forget - advice
|Forrest-mountain area||GPS-useful||Hiking shoes|
How to get to Skopelos Observatory at the top of Delfi mountain
[Y]ou will be following exactly the same route as if you were going to Mystic Sendoukia Graves. Once you reach the sign for Sendoukia Graves, the road continues on a downward slope. You will need to take the left turn where the unpaved road zig zags towards the top of Mt. Delfi. You can either leave your car here and carry on walking towards the Observatory. Extra care needs to be taken here as the road can get rough at some parts (especially if you are driving a conventional car). There are no signs leading you to the Observatory or Avgeri, (as the area beneath the Observatory is known among locals).
Staying on this track, and passing by some great spots with panoramic sea views across the Aegean, you will eventually reach a flat plateau and the end of this road. You know that you will have reached the right place when you see some ruins scattered around that used to be small storage units and traditional, stone built plum ovens around this area.
At the very end of this valley, you will notice a row of graciously standing Cypress trees. Just follow these and you will begin to see a hiking trail going up this last leg of Mt. Delfi. The climb will take you approximately 15 to 20 minutes and along this trail you will also see red paint on the rocks, or little stone pyramids, made especially to point to the right direction of the trail and encourage you to keep going in an upward direction. The cement facade of the Observatory, is the first thing you will get a glimpse of, among the many pine trees. Once you are there, you will see this two storey structure. Just walk at the front side, where the view of the Aegean beneath you, will surely mesmerise you.
So what is this place?
This wonderful plateau has a great feeling about it and a positive vibe. This was a thriving farming community until about the beginning of 60's, when the last "settlers" ceased farming. People used to come here from all over mainland Greece for seasonal or yearly work. Some of our ancestors were also a part of this community. Cultivation included plums of course, (Skopelos is still renowned today for its quality produce of prunes), apples, oranges, resin from the pine trees and a variety of herbs.
You have yet to witness the best feature of this Observatory structure. Walk at the back side of the building where you will notice an iron cast staircase leading on the top observation point at a very steep angle. Do not let this intimidate you, the stairs are strong and steady enough for you to climb. Once on top of this terrace, you can easily forget yourself for a long time. It is just you, the endless sky and the beautiful landscape beneath you.
You have reached the top of Skopelos Island
Well done for making it so far. You are now standing on the highest point of Skopelos, (at 684 meters). On a clear day, (and hopefully, you reached it on a cloudless day), it feels like you can touch the sky.
It feels like, you can just dive off into the deep blue Aegean sea and swim off to the tiny deserted islands in the distance.
It will feel like you are on top of the world.
Looking down onto the entire east coast of Skopelos, and the neighboring island of Alonissos ahead. The west coast, populated by some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Looking down onto the sleepy village of Elios, the port of Loutraki and the village of Glossa. Evia island in the far distance with its tall, pyramid shaped mountain. Skiathos island on your right and in a very clear summer day, mainland Greece and Mt. Olympus too.
If you still have sometime left after gazing the endless horizons and would like to take it a step further, climb down the ladder, and just continue walking away from the observatory, on the small trail that is visible. You don't have to go too far, and you will see a few tree openings on your left. Carefully climb on the rocks and at the edge of this ridge, and the view from the valley and the coast below you is just breathtaking.
The Observatory structure was built during the 2nd WW since this was an excellent post to see enemy sightings and suspicious movements in every direction. It was a painstaking project and it involved many locals and their donkey's and mules to carry all the building materials that were needed. It was later used by the local Forestry office. Again, this was an excellent spot to guard against any forrest fires. We hope to see it refurbished and back to life again very soon for the sake of our lush forests and for the memory of the large, thriving community and our ancestors that were part of this beautiful place.
Pictures of Skopelos Observatory
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