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Skiathos, Greece

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Some Facts

Skiathos, located east of Volos and north of Evia, is the most well-liked among the Sporades islands. Visitors, regardless of age and nationality, tend to return to the island due to its numerous attractions.

Skiathos boasts lush greenery, as it is considered an extension of Mount Pelion, and is abundant in forests and water. The island has fig, olive, plum, and almond trees, as well as grapes.

Due to the success of the movie Mamma Mia, there has been a recent surge of visitors who come to Skiathos and Skopelos, searching for the island depicted in the film. While they may not find the exact scenes they are looking for, visitors to Skiathos will still enjoy the island’s beauty.

The only downside, which many Mamma Mia fans will soon realize, is that it’s difficult to reach the island. It seems like the locals are not eager for tourism. Although some people might prefer to go to an unspoiled, remote island that remains in a time-warp from the past decades, Skiathos is not like that.

It has been a popular tourist destination for many years now and boasts some of the best hotels in Greece, situated on beautiful beaches and hillsides. If you plan to visit Skiathos in July or August, it’s recommended to book your accommodation early as it can get booked up quickly.

Skiathos Town

According to the Lonely Planet Guide, Skiathos Town is a popular spot for dining and socializing, especially among the stylish crowd. The harbor-side restaurants are a favorite hangout for people who enjoy sipping wine and cocktails while people-watching.

For the best experience, try to visit on Friday or Saturday nights after 10pm. It’s worth noting that if you’ve come to Skiathos for anything other than beaches and nightlife, you may not find it as enjoyable. Although July and August are very warm months and have a lot of nightlife, visitors can still enjoy Skiathos in the slightly cooler months of May, June, September, and October.

Even in the cooler months, the town is not empty because many foreigners live there. During the day, there are plenty of tourist and postcard shops, travel agents, bars, motorcycle rental agencies, and hotels. Especially in July and August, the island is lively with nightlife and is often compared to Mykonos in the Sporades.

If you plan to visit Greece, the following information will be very helpful!

  • is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Greece. More than any other site!
  • DiscoverCars is the easiest way to choose your car while you are in Greece. There are so many options for every place in Greece, either on the mainland or on the islands.
  • GetYourGuide has the best boat tours, activities, private tours, excursions, and so more, listed by rating or price. You only have to book the best for you!
  • If you are looking for a private transfer, look no further and book with Welcome Pickups.

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How to get to Skiathos

Skiathos is a stunning Greek island that belongs to the Sporades archipelago, located in the northwest Aegean Sea.

To get to this island, you can take a ferry from various harbors, such as Volos (which is only 3.5 hours from Athens and 2.5 hours from Thessaloniki), Agios Konstantinos (which is just 2.5 hours from Athens by car), Thessaloniki, or Mantoudi. To book ferry tickets, I personally use Ferryhopper, a user-friendly and efficient platform developed by a Greek travel startup.

Skiathos Island can be reached by flight as it has a small international airport that was recently renovated. The airport has been nominated for Europe’s Most Scenic Airports Award 2020 and is known for its proximity to the beach and nearby yachting docks.

If you plan to visit Skiathos, spending some days in the Pelion area near Volos City is a good idea. Pelion is a unique place with many relaxing spots to enjoy throughout the year.

Beaches of Skiathos

Skiathos has over 60 sandy beaches, including Koukounaries, which is rated as the 7th best beach in the world and the best in Greece. Banana Beach, located just around the headland, is the island’s only naturist beach and is fantastic with great shelter.

The beaches are easily accessible by bus or moped as they are mainly located on the only main road on the island. You can enjoy various water sports at most of the beaches, and there is even a diving center. However, the beaches near the town tend to be busier than the others.

Lovers of Greece are familiar with Lalaria Beach, which is accessible by excursion boat and was featured in EOT posters from the seventies. The beach is famous for its white pebbles and turquoise waters that have attracted tourists for generations, much like Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos.

However, unlike Zakynthos, Lalaria Beach does not have a rusty hulk on the beach, only sand and sea… well, and some pebbles too. You can take a boat from Skiathos town harbor to reach the beach. During the summer, it can get crowded, and there is no shade, so it is recommended to bring your umbrella. Don’t forget to Bring Water as well. If you arrive at the beach early, you might get to enjoy it without other people around for a short time.

However, there are several private boat tours, including some on sailboats. Instead of going to Lalaria and getting dropped off, looking for a tour that circles the island and includes a stop there would be better.

Best Things to Do in Skiathos

1. Enjoying water sports!

Compared to other places in Greece, Skiathos typically have calm seas. The island offers many beaches that are suitable for water sports, including those for beginners. For those interested in skiing or surfing, Koukounaria Beach is ideal, thanks to its experienced instructors and schools.

2. Stroll around on the cobbled streets

Explore streets until you come across Papadiamanti Street, one of the main pedestrian streets. There, you can shop for local products at various fashionable boutiques and delis!

3. Visit the Museum of Greek Writer Alexandros Papadiamantis.

There is a museum dedicated to the famous writer Alexandros Papadiamantis in Skiathos town. This museum used to be his last home and is where he wrote many short stories, although none of them were printed during his lifetime.

The museum is located near the east port and can be found by looking for a sign in an alley. Inside, visitors can see personal items belonging to the writer, such as his pen and inkwell.

4. Walk to Bourtzi and enjoy your coffee or drink

Bourtzi is a picturesque peninsula located in the port of Skiathos. The area is home to a small Venetian Castle built by the Gyzi brothers in 1207, and some of its remains still exist today. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views from benches placed by the sea.

The Cultural Center in Bourtzi also features the Museum of Maritime and Cultural Tradition of Skiathos, which tells the story of the island’s two centuries of shipbuilding and maritime history.

5. Enjoy the sunset

My two favorite sunset spots in Skiathos are the beaches of Agia Eleni. It’s a perfect place to enjoy romantic moments with your loved one, surrounded by vibrant colors near the sea.

The second location is in Chora, the main town. You can visit the church of Agios Nikolaos by taking a short walk through narrow streets and stairs. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful old houses with courtyards. When you arrive at the church, you can enjoy a stunning view of the entire island, including the sunset.

6. Hike on the stunning paths

Skiathos has 26 hiking routes that cover approximately 200 km. These trails will take you through beautiful pine forests and allow you to reach the island’s peaks. The paths are clearly marked and properly maintained, and you can select routes that take between 1 to 6 hours to complete. Ortwin Widmann, a former German, fell in love with Skiathos and has lived on the island with his wife since 1997. He has created a guide for hiking in Skiathos.

If you’re looking for a great hiking trail in Skiathos, try the one that leads to the medieval Castle on Kástro. The Castle was built to protect the island from pirates. Another option if you want to head to Agios Georgios Beach, take the path east of Skiathos Town. You’ll see breathtaking views of the coastline. All 24 routes are included in a GPS file, and hikers who complete them all will receive a hiking medal.

Tip: To experience the churches in Skiathos, visit I.N. Evangelistrias and I.M. Millet, characterized by their red domes.

7. Visit the Castle

There are four churches, a terrace with a scalloped edge, a gate and a section of wall, a cannon, and a partially destroyed mosque at the site. You can reach it by car/motorbike, but it is also possible to walk there if you are up for it, as mentioned earlier.

The most well-known route is 6 km long and begins at the Monastery of Evangelistria and ends at the Castle. It is an excellent route for bird watchers in the Castle area. Additionally, some boat routes reach Kastro Beach, and you can travel up to Kastro by foot on a path.

8. Enjoy a boat tour around the island!

You can book several boat tours at the harbor and take an island tour, including swimming in fantastic beaches for your enjoyment. You can check the best of them at GetYourGuide.

Where to Stay in Skiathos

Finding rooms is usually easy in the town, except during the busy months of July and August. It’s best to make a reservation well in advance to ensure availability.

If you wait until mid-July to book your August holiday, there may be limited options. Along the coast of Skiathos, there are many resorts, hotels, and villas, but prices are likely to be higher during peak summer months. It is recommended to visit Skiathos during its off-season in May, June, and September since it is easier to find and book affordable rooms.

In some cases, you may also need a hotel in Athens for your first or last nights of the trip.

The Bourtzi Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the center of Skiathos, just a short distance from the harbor. It is a popular destination and boasts spacious rooms and suites designed with care. The hotel offers free wireless internet, a pool, and soundproofed rooms for ultimate comfort and peace.

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For those seeking a higher level of luxury, Aegean Suites Hotel is a great option. This hotel accommodates adults and families with children 14 years old or above. The hotel is situated on a hill with beautiful views of Megali Ammos sandy beach.

It has a combination of traditional-style buildings and contemporary Mediterranean decor, which provides an exclusive atmosphere. The hotel features a spacious swimming pool that is surrounded by tall green palms, wooden sun loungers, and white umbrellas where you can enjoy exotic fruit cocktails or champagne.

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The 5-Star Skiathos Princess Hotel is located on the beach of Agia Paraskevi and has a beautiful garden. Guests can enjoy direct access to the white sandy beach. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 3 bars, and various activities for children, including a swimming pool.

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At Kanapitsa Mare Hotel & Spa, you can find a variety of room options, including modern rooms, luxurious rooms, deluxe rooms, superior deluxe rooms, and suites. All of these rooms offer stunning views of the Aegean and Skiathos town. They also come equipped with modern furniture, free internet access, satellite TV, a safe deposit box, a direct dial telephone, and air conditioning. You will also have access to the Spa Center during your stay.

Check Out Prices & Availability for Kanapitsa Mare Hotel & Spa

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Traveling to 🇬🇷 Greece soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Greece that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Greece. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Greece, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer from the airport and beetween destinations with Welcome Pickups. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Greece, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Greece. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.