Located at the west end of Sporades group, Skiathos has become the busiest member of the region and the most cosmopolitan island in the Northern Sporades.
Skiathos Island, full of green, is literally surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches and as some like to say, is truly one of earth’s paradises floating on the water. Despite the rapid tourist development and visitors growth, it still offers more than just its wild nightlife; magnificent views with lush pine forests, rare vegetation, unique wetland and crystal-clear azure waters.
Approaching by sea, the first to see is the natural bay of the capital town (Hora) of Skiathos, the biggest settlement on the island, built around 1829-30. The town is a modern resort with excellent tourist facilities. Its most important landmark next to the harbour is the peninsula of Bourtzi, where the ruins of a Venetian fortress still stand. Today is a popular yacht and sailing boats’ haven that adds a cosmopolitan flair to the capital. A stroll around the town’s paved streets reveals cute white houses with red tiled roofs and colourful gardens. The harbour is also surrounded by four small islets with sandy beaches. The fortress of Bourtzi was established in 1207 but was later destroyed in 1660 when the island was conquered. Today it is one of the most romantic spots on Skiathos thanks to its densely planted pine trees and stunning views of the archipelago.
Apart from Bourtzi don’t miss the opportunity to visit the former house and now museum of the famous author Alexandros Papadiamantis (who is commemorated every year with special celebrations on 3 - 4 January and on the 4th of March) who was born and raised on the island. There is also the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary with its four museums and Kastro (meaning castle), a natural fortress that was used by the inhabitants in the 14th century as a refugee camp against pirate raids. Today Kastro attracts many visitors thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty. Colourful cultural events, concerts and art exhibitions held throughout summer add a special touch to holidays on the island.
If you like fresh fish, Agnantio (on the way to Evagelistrias Monastery) has a perfect view of the port. Don’t forget to taste the handmade cheese pies; or Karnagio (on the coastal road), a cosy courtyard inside a restored stone house. If you feel more of Mediterranean cuisine, En Plo is offering the best view at the golf and Bourtzi, sensing to be seated on a deck of a cruise ship. For traditional Greek cuisine, you have to try the Platanos, and Asprolitho (just behind the high school).
Using the bus, there are two lines, one going towards the airport, ending at the Evagelistrias Monastery, and Line 2, that heads south, ending at Koukounaries beach.
Small boats leave every day from the Old Port, offering daily excursions, stopping at beaches, or giving a round tour of the island. If you reach the Lalaria beach, ask them if they can show you the cave of Fonisa.
Whether you want to hide yourself away from the crowds or dance until you drop – and then wake up and do it all once again, Skiathos with its delirious night life, is a real treat for visitors and especially for young people seeking the freedom to ignore conventions and party on to the frenetic beats of their favourite music. The pebble-stoned street by the Old Harbour is the ultimate hotspot for entertainment. Buzzing bars and clubs keep youngsters rocking through the night and into the early hours. If you don’t run out of energy, the party continues in the area of Ammoudia (on the road to the airport) until the sun rises.
The island is still picturesque and unspoilt, blessed with more than 60 beautifully clean bays and coves. The most famous is Koukounaries (almost 12 km), being declared as the third most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean, and Golden Sand in the south-western part of the island. Koukounaries beach is also famous for its pine forest and Strofilia, a rare wetland nestling amidst the pine forest, which has been declared a protected area due to its enormous ecological value. Among the accommodation options there is a campsite, popular with young people. There are also plenty of taverns and lively cafes and bars. If you like, you can also rent a boat, play tennis at one of the local hotels’ tennis courts or try out some exhilarating sea activities.
On the same road to Koukounaries you can also visit Megali Ammos and Ahladies, two very popular beaches with crystal clear waters and picture-perfect taverns by the sea.
Banana is a wonderful beach surrounded by pine trees that attract young people, thanks to its water sports facilities and the frenetic parties that take place in its cafes and bars all day and all night. Banana’s sister beach, Small Banana, is ideal if you want to avoid the crowds or if you are looking for some peace and seclusion. It is famous for its clear blue waters.
Those who want to get away from the crowds should also check out the western part of the island: Mandraki, Elia, Agkistros and Small and Big Aselinos are all ideal choices to escape the crowds. Lalaria, on the north-eastern part of the island, is the kind of beach you find once in a lifetime. Impressive white rock formations; small round pebbles, beautiful clean waters and the "hollow rock" standing imposingly on the beach, complete a breathtaking natural backdrop. Note: you can only reach the beach by boat departing, weather permitting, from the port of Skiathos.
If you can find a boat, you can also visit a set of ten small islands and islets; four are near the port, and the rest are south, close to Troulos beach. You will find the best sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters.
Nature lovers will also be thrilled by the well-signposted walking routes and trails; they pass through some of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the island. Depending on your stamina, you can follow paths which last from one to six hours. A suggested route to explore the beauties of the island starts from Aselinos and goes past Kounistra Monastery, Small Aselinos Beach and Alygaries Beach ending at Kehrie Beach. Or take the routes from Agia Eleni to Krifi Ammos and Madraki-Elia-Agkistro, discovering excellent beaches of unique beauty.
- By ferry or high speed ship from the port of Volos or Agios Konstantinos.
- By ferry from the port of Thessaloniki (only during summertime)
- By air from Athens or Thessaloniki
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|24270-22209, 22204 (Skiathos)|