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The mystery of "Sendoukia" on Skopelos Island

This ancient site is located on top of the second highest peak of the island of Skopelos in the Aegean Islands. There are many different scenarios and theories as to what they may exactly be and what purpose they served. Until today there is no official academic and or archaeological explanation of what exactly they are. What is certain is that they date back to at least 5 B.C (ancient Christian era) and it is the oldest reference for the island that you will come across. You will find three tombs, completely rock-cut into the bed-rock - more likely granite rock. The largest tomb measures 6.5 feet by 3.5 feet and about 2.5 feet deep – while the others are similar. They are all positioned in a quite small area and there is another rectangular depression of the same size, but only an inch or so deep - a tomb which was started but never completed. They are positioned near the top of the hill what you will see as the end of the walk, with excellent panoramic views to the south of the island and to the neighbouring island of Alonissos. All tombs have an East-West orientation, and especially their eastern orientation strongly supports their Christian origin.

Each of the three complete tombs has a huge megalithic covering stone, set over it at an angle - so that there is room to step down into the tomb if you so wish to do so.

One of the most amazing and enigmatic qualities of these tombs (I’m sure you will agree with me when you see the site), is the enormous effort that was put to chisel away the tombs and flatten the lower surface of the lids. There are also well-made grooves and ridges on the matching edges of tomb and lid, which must have fitted perfectly when they were in use.

As mentioned before, there are a few scenarios in regards to this site and its precise usage. The most popular one is that of the site being a secret burial site for mythical treasures from the times where the island of Skopelos was being pretty much under siege of pirates and specifically the most fearsome of them all: the Algerian “Barbarossa”. Where this theory gets exciting, is when apparently the pirates hid into these tombs their chests of treasures, and according to the older generations of locals (my grandfather and my grandmothers), there is a 5th tomb, hidden somewhere around the area so secretly, that anyone who manages to discover it and open it will unearth one of the biggest treasures discovered in modern history. The local myth also said that if you were the “chosen” one to discover this 5th tomb, you would dream of its precise location the night before, but you could not speak to anyone about it (not even your family), or else the treasure, would turn into coal. You then had to immediately go and unearth this mythical treasure. I still remember to this day being terrified as a kid that I would dream of this treasure and would have to go by myself in the middle of the night to uncover it.

Many visitors have actually been seen going to the site with metal detectors and try hard to detect the mythical treasure.

The second of the most notable scenarios, and one that I am a strong believer of, is that the site was used for some kind of “Initiation” to ancient rituals, and that its tombs where the “Initiation Chambers”. This seems true considering the location of the site (the second highest peak of the island 580 m), its panoramic views (on a clear day it feels like you can touch the sky), and finally, the size and length of the tombs, people were significantly shorter that what we are today.

Written by Andonis Radistis - Owner of Property 96240 in Skopelos, Greece


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                                                                                              Recent Reviews

                                                                                              Wonderful family holiday villa

                                                                                              5 of 5
                                                                                              The villa was every bit as good - in fact better - than we had hoped. It was very comfortable, spacious, clean, secluded, has some wonderful views, and was a delightful place just to sit and relax, with lots of lovely outdoor sitting areas. The children really enjoyed the pool, and we had many happy moments sitting on the verandah relaxing; we also enjoyed the barbecue and ate in the villa quite a lot. Equally, it is a very easy drive down to Skopelos or across to the beaches on the W coast, and we had great fun exploring the island and ate in some lovely restaurants by the sea in some beautiful spots. Janice was an absolute fount of knowledge and advice on everything from ferries, car hire, restaurants, supermarkets, canoeing etc which made our holiday so much easier; she couldn't have been more helpful. Diana and Costas were also very helpful with advice etc Skopelos is a beautiful island and we had the most wonderful holiday.
                                                                                              • Review Submitted: 23-Oct-2016
                                                                                              • Date of Stay: Jul 2016

                                                                                              Total Chill

                                                                                              5 of 5
                                                                                              Terrific stay in this beautiful space away from the madding crowd. This is a beautiful island - and this villa at the quieter end of the island. Great and accommodating hosts. Lots to explore in the area - bikes are helpful for this - though the terrain is hilly! Beach - well described - is great for pre breakfast swims. Lovely terrace on villa. Restaurants in Glossa are good. Small but adequate supermarkets + bakeries/deli in Glossa too. Great place for a crash course in relaxation.
                                                                                              • Review Submitted: 14-Oct-2016
                                                                                              • Date of Stay: Sep 2016

                                                                                              Perfect retreat in a stunning location

                                                                                              5 of 5
                                                                                              Villa Eleonorae is quite simply an absolute gem. It is set alone on the top of a hill, with stunning views that take in the harbour of Loutraki, the hillside town of Glossa, and the neighbouring island of Skiathos. We spent many hours enjoying the view from the veranda with it's hammock and comfy chairs. Because you are not overlooked by anyone, you can fully relax and feel at home here straight away, enjoying the immaculate pool and gardens at the villa. Shane has built the house so thoughtfully, with plenty of outside space, whether you want sun or shade, all day long. To top off the spectacular views, the villa also enjoys the most incredible sunsets. Inside the house was spotless for our arrival, cool and comfortable during our stay. So long as you have your own vehicle (preferably a jeep as the track up to the house is pretty steep!) you don't feel at all isolated as you can reach the nearby town of Glossa within 5 minutes. The shopkeepers at the local supermarket are incredibly friendly, and all necessities can be found here. Glossa is a really lovely spot to be based near with some nice restaurants, bakery and classic Greek streets to wander. Agnanti was our favourite restaurant but we also liked the cafe in the little square by the church. The whole island is easily explored - no where takes any longer than 45 minutes to an hour to drive to. We visited some fantastic beaches (Perivoli was top in our books), seaside tavernas, churches and enjoyed a couple of trips to Skopelos town. For one trip we took the 'scenic' route through the island's interior and over Mount Delphi. Shane was a fantastic host, great communication before our stay and incredibly helpful while we were there, though not at all intrusive. We were travelling with our one year old daughter, and Shane provided all amenities we needed, including setting up additional safety gates for us around the villa in advance of our stay - much appreciated. Magic Cars who we hired our Suzuki Jimni from were also excellent. All in all we can't fault this holiday - it was perfect for what we wanted and the villa was of an exceptional quality.
                                                                                              • Review Submitted: 28-Sep-2016
                                                                                              • Date of Stay: Sep 2016