Where is the vampire ?

By on July 26th    /    Central Greece, Islands, Landscapes, Photos, Sporades, Tops Landscapes    /    0 Comments   /   show comments




In island!

In Skyros ?


I need to clarify something first. Yes , I know that the blog is dedicated to Greece and not to the unknown Romania and the Carpathians. But here I am not talking about the most famous vampire of Europe (I mean Count Dracula) but for another vampire, that exists at the Greek Aegean sea. I mean the vampire in Skyros island. Romanian Count Dracula has no place here …

I was for mapping field research at Skyros that October. This month the weather usually is very sweet and beautiful. I stopped in the afternoon at beach to take a breath and few shots with my camera.

Pouria is the tip of the coast in Magazia area, just under the very beautiful town of Skyros. It is called Pouria because all the sandy coast is dotted with large volumes of limestone (pouri in the local language). In many places you can see the cuts of an ancient coastal limestone quarry.

It was a very beautiful and very quiet afternoon. Thyme smell all around was intense and the sea had this deep blue color; the water wrinkled from a soft western wind, blowing from the coast.



Σκύρος, Σποράδες, Πουριά




I walked beside the limestone quarry, up to the impressive cave church of St. Nicholas. It is carved on the corner of an upright rock. And it creates a so picturesque image, one of those that characterize the Greek landscape with a deep poetic intensity.

Nice light … nice colors … nice time …



Σκύρος, Σποράδες, Πουριά




Just opposite from the quarry, close to the shore and located on a rocky island, there is another picturesque chapel of St. Ermolaos. Limestone rocks  weathered by storms, are spread around and form bizarre sculptures like mushrooms and like strange stone plants. Bizarre spectacle anyway…


It was getting dark when I saw a fisherman coming on the sandy beach dragging an empty basket with longlines. I asked him about his catch.


“A… it was not good today, the vampire did not wanted to give fish… “he said enigmatically.


Vampire ? What vampire ? Ahh, yes . I remembered the army map that showed an extensive shoal, with numerous scattered reefs, that goes from the coast of the ancient quarry and heads east, into the ocean and the depths of the Aegean sea. In the military map the reef was called ” … “, in Greek it means “islands of the Vampire” (Vrikolax is vampire in Greek).


So here’s the vampire …

Behold …


Σκύρος, Σποράδες, Πουριά




But why “Vrikolakonisia?”

The fisherman did not talk too much, he was moody because of the empty longline. But generally he gave me his story.

The old fishermen of Skyros used to speak of a pirate who once came to the island with his companions and slaughtered every islander they found. And as they were leaving the island (departing exactly from that Pouria coast) strong northern wind hit their boat that fell on a reef and all the pirates drowned or torn on the sharp rocks of the reef limestone. Fishermen say that since that the pirates “vrikolakiasan” (became vampires), they come through the ages and bully fishermen. Others say that the forms of the pirates – indeed scary and eerie – are imprinted on the coastal limestone rock formations…


I thought then that maybe the story lasts since the famous pirate Hairendin Barbarossa pillaged Skyros and enslaved its inhabitants, during the 16th century. We certainly know that Barbarossa left Skyros alive. Some other of his companions though? Did some of them die here? Did they drown?


The old fisherman left … A moonless night came and thick darkness fell over the coast.


Only the white chapel of St. Nicholas shined. As a humble spell on the evil vampire pirate. I heard the sea rumbling across the distant reef Vrikolakonisia. A sound like moo…


What are those waters hiding? I thought I would better go…


Oh, what questions I do have some times …

 * (in a next Post I will tell you about the underwater Vrykolakonisia and their fishes. Haunted seabed for true … ) .


Σκύρος, Σποράδες, Πουριά





Where am I ?



Skyros theoretically belongs to the Northern islands but it is very close to (where it administratively belongs) , from where you will go to Skyros island. The best way to get there is by driving to the harbor of Kimi town (via HalkidaAliveri main road) and then taking the ferry that will bring you at Linaria, the port of Skyros. The fastest way to go is by airplane but there are very few flights and very few tickets (Skyros airport is a military airport) .





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