Skyros is mere 60km away but in winter it might as well be an island in the Ionian Sea. The summer connection to Skopelos via the F/B Achilleas connects these two Northern Sporades three times per week making a 2 or 3 day tour possible for people traveling in either direction. The only access to Skyros in winter is via the selfsame Achilleas out of Kymi Evvia. Mid-winter access of Skyros from Skopelos (without F/B Proteus to Mantoudi) requires a boat to Volos, a bus to Chalkida, a bus to Kymi and the ferry to Skyros.
Within the Church of Greece Skyros and Skopelos are linked as they share the same Chalkida (link) based Bishop (Metropolitan). Volos, the center of much of the civil organization of the Northern Sporades, has nothing to do with the island within the Church structure. Volos and the rest of Magnesias is presided over by the “Metropolis of Demetrias (link) and Almyros”.
Due to atmospheric conditions Skyros is invisible to Skopelitan eyes most of the year and “out of sight, out of mind”. Once in a while we are reminded of Skyros’s individuality especially with the arrival of the Achilleas which is owned by the Skyrians. No giant shipping conglomerate (like the Italian Grimaldi Group (link) which owns Hellenic Seaways) has a piece of it. Skyros also exports their hand-built ceramics which are decorated in their unique “Skyrian style”. These are manufactured in many small family workshops around the island.
I won’t mention Skyros’s ancient and now world famous Apokreas tradition of the goatskin clad, bell bonging “Geroi”.