Part of the Sporades Islands, Skiathos is a hugely popular Greek holiday destination – and it’s not hard to see why, as there’s just such an impressive variety of things to do here. I think a major part of its appeal (aside from the fact it’s incredibly beautiful, that is!), is that it’s somewhere you can experience both quiet, traditional Greece and the country at its liveliest.
Whether you’ve already booked your plane tickets to Skiathos or you’re just browsing through breaks offered by companies like Sovereign, you can learn the key points you need to know about the island before you travel below.
Skiathos: the basics
In case you’re not too familiar with Skiathos, I thought I’d begin by giving you a brief overview of what the island is like. Famous for its amazing beaches, beautiful turquoise water and lush pine forests, it’s also home to a pretty impressive array of things to do see and do (which I’ll go into in more detail later).
One of the most interesting things about coming here is that you can have quite different experiences depending on where you go. For example, Skiathos town is the liveliest part of the island and can feel quite hectic, whereas the central and northern areas are, for the most part, undeveloped and offer much quieter holidays.
On the southern coast, you’ll find a decent selection of resorts that are generally more traditional than those in Skiathos town. There’s a similar mix in terms of places you can visit, with lovely, quiet little villages, as well as cosmopolitan towns and historical sites (Kastro on the north coast and the Monastery of Evangelistrias being two of the best).
Let’s take a brief look at the practical side of things, shall we? Generally speaking, to reach Skiathos you’ll need to travel to mainland Greece first and make your way from there. Fortunately, there are several options available, so the journey shouldn’t be too tricky.
Your main choices are flying from Athens or Thessaloniki, or taking a ferry or high-speed ship from Ayios Konstantinos or the port of Volos. You can also hop on a ferry from Thessaloniki, but bear in mind this only runs in the summer.
All about the local beaches
No trip to Skiathos is complete without hitting the beach, since this is one of the things the island is most famous for. So, where should go? Here’s a quick look at some of the best:
• Koukounaries Beach: this is arguably the most famous on the island, and it’s pretty spectacular. As well as being seriously pretty (it’s backed by a beautiful pine forest), it has heaps of great tourist facilities, like bars, cafes and water sports equipment.
• Banana Beach/Krassa Bay: be warned – only come here if you want to party! This beach is incredibly popular with younger travellers, since the cafes and bars here host parties pretty much 24/7. As a quick tip, right next to this beach is Small Banana, a much quieter stretch of sand that – despite its proximity to Krassa Bay – is great for relaxing.
• Lalaria Beach: the ultimate place to go if you’re after seclusion, this gorgeous spot can only be reached by sea (you can take a boat from the port of Skiathos).
When it comes to nightlife, Skiathos town is definitely the place to go. There are too many bars and clubs to list, so I’ll just give you a general idea of which areas to hit when you want to let your hair down.
The top places include the pedestrianised street by the Old Harbour, which is packed with bars and clubs. It’s also worth going to Ammondia, an area located on the road to the airport, because this is where you’ll find some of the best open-air clubs.