In our search for the best Greek islands we found the beautiful Skiathos, a small island in the Aegean Sea near Skopelos. It belongs to the wonderful Sporades Islands, the most western one being about 35 km from the island of Euboea.
To the west of the island is the continental part of Greece, practically touching the peninsula of Pelion through Cape Sepiade, separated only by 5 km of crystalline sea.
How to get to Skiathos Island
If you have decided to travel to this little paradise you can do it by sea as well as by air. The island has Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport located 3km from the capital. It is the airport with the shortest runway in Europe, was built on land next to the sea and the nearby island Lazareta to join the two islands and make both a larger one.
There are direct flights to the UK but the rest need to stop and refuel at the nearest airport. This airport has all the necessary services, as well as travel agencies, tourist offices and car rental. To get to the centre it is best to take a taxi directly to your accommodation.
There are charter flights connecting Skiathos to the nearby Greek islands and there are daily flights by Olympic Airlines from Athens throughout the year, as well as to other European destinations but with much less regularity.
So, if you finally choose as your holiday destination this polychromatic paradise of green fields of pines, blue crystalline waters and the characteristic white of the village houses, the best option is to go by plane to Athens International Airport and there you make a stopover to the island of Skiathos.
Once in Athens you can reach the island by ferry too, it is the best way to enjoy the wonderful spectacle of islands, besides being available for vehicle transport. There is also a range of hydrofoils and flyingcats available that leave from the port of Agios Kostandinos, in the Thermopylae, Volos, near Athens, or Thessaloniki, also connecting with the other Sporades islands.
They are much faster, take about an hour, but do not allow extra transport and depend on the weather to make the trip, you have to take into account but that the price is higher.
This island only has roads to the south, east and northwest, in the rest of the territory they are not paved but given the good public transport, a vehicle is not necessary and can even become cumbersome given the difficulty of their dirt roads, especially in the north, so you can do without renting a car and join the flow of people to enjoy more of the fantastic culture and hospitality so characteristic of Greece.
There are three very regular bus lines connecting the whole island to the north and south.
It’s a small island but quite visited given the magnificence of its pines, which come almost to enter the sea. This fact makes Skiathos the greenest island of all the Greek islands and, together with Mount Pelion in the background, it surely offers one of the most wonderful views from its beaches given the bright contrast between sea and mountains.
One of the characteristic trades of this area is the Kaiki, the traditional transport of travellers to the small surrounding islands in the inhabitants’ own boats, so it is advisable to get lost in any of the small villages, to approach a sea craftsman and enjoy the unforgettable uninhabited micro-islands such as Achladies, Vromolimnos, Kastro, Lalaria, which are totally beautiful and not to be missed, or beaches such as Tsougrias.
If you leave from the port of Skiathos you can also visit the neighbouring islands of Skopelos and Alonissos, which are totally recommended and perfect for rounding off a perfect trip.
Anyway, if your intention is to make the most of the trip and enjoy all the hidden corners, rent a vehicle.
What to see and do on Skiathos
As mentioned above, the capital of the island is the city of the same name, which is very traditional Greek even though it is very colorful due to the different roof tiles and the amount of flowers and decorations.
One of the places not to be missed is the Bourtzi fortress, one of the most beautiful places given all the history that can be contemplated. It is also connected to the capital by a bridge in the port.
You can visit the ruins of the castle and the reconstruction of the church of St. George as well as the fortress itself. The most interesting way to really discover the charm of the island is to take a boat as it will be cheaper.
In addition, on beaches such as Koukounaries, Kanapitsa and Megali Ammos you can practice many water sports and even go skydiving.
In the town of Skiathos is the museum of the famous artist Alexandros Papadiamantis, from which you can travel to the Greek era of the late nineteenth century. Also in the capital is the Church of the Blessed Virgin Limnia, very interesting to visit.
As we have already recommended, to the north is the fortified city of Kastro, uninhabited at present, where you can enjoy three of the most important hermitages.
Let yourself be dropped into Kastronisia, and discover the wonders of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation on the Karaflitsanaka mountain, lost among the monasteries of Agios Jarálambos and of the Blessed Virgin of Kejria, from which you can feel with all passion the great Greek culture and its vivid history.
Given the large number of small monuments to be visited, the best thing to do is to visit every corner, because in every small village you can discover precious and valuable historicities.
Recommended beaches in Skiathos
The inhabitants of this idyllic paradise proudly display one of the most wonderful beaches in the world, the so-called Koukounaries, located in the southwest of the island and also called the golden sand beach because of its incredible golden color that gives a warm glow to its crystal clear waters and its deep pine forest, culminating in the fantastic Strofilia lagoon.
If you are one of those who enjoy all the wonders of a magical island, Banana Beach will amaze you, it is totally reserved for nudists (just like Trulos), located in one of the most privileged corners of all Skiathos’s green nature just steps from Koukounaries.
Despite the fact that the island is small it has more than 60 beaches to explore, among which you cannot miss Lalaria, it is located to the northwest and you will need a boat to get there, it is the most peaceful and idyllic one to relax since not many tourists come there. It is made of natural stone and forms truly amazing arches.
Another very quiet and peaceful beach is Eleni, which is also made up of the green of the pines that surround it. It is wonderful if you don’t mind the fact that the sand is more stony.
If you want to go further both swimming and by boat so that the reward is the splendid and isolated beaches lost in different islets nearby, try to visit Kastro, going north, you can swim there and you can also enjoy a visit to its castle and medieval town.
Also, thanks to the help of a boat, you can reach Tsougrias, an islet flooded with completely uninhabited vegetation. It is highly recommended to spend a whole day there discovering and walking through the thick green surface and even to admire its small church.
If, on the other hand, you do not want to go too far from the capital, near the airport you will find Xanemos, a magnificent composition of three beaches bathed in beautiful turquoise waters at the bottom of which you can see the island of Skopelos. If you want to walk a little at sunset, after a whole day of sunbathing, you can drop by the ruins of the prehistoric settlement.
Where to stay in Skiathos?
This island offers hotels, apartments and rooms, it is advisable to book in advance as places are often quickly exhausted. You can get the best prices and free cancellation here.
The capital is very lively and busy at night, it has all kinds of services and luxuries but above all leisure and fun. In the southern part of Skiathos is Kanapitsa, located on Cape Kalamaki, where there are luxury hotels and apartments with all kinds of services as well as water sports.
If you are looking for something a little quieter, any small town can be ideal, so dare to find out which is your favourite given your needs and give yourself a holiday of true relaxation, pleasure and time travel.