View of Skyros town from beach, Skyros, Sporades, Greece.

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The largest of the Sporades, low-key Skyros has a more Cycladic feel than its richly forested siblings and often seems like two entirely separate islands: small shimmering bays, rolling farmland and swaths of pines (plus an air-force base) speckle the north, while the south features arid hills and a rocky shoreline. In Greek mythology, Skyros was the hiding place of the young Achilles, who is thought to have ridden a Skyrian horse into Troy: these endangered small-bodied horses can still be seen in the wild, if you're lucky.


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