Skopelos Travel Guide

Skopelos is one of the Greek islands where nature is at its most prosperous and green, full of forests with ancient trees that cover its sea with crystal-clear waters. Situated between the islands of Skiathos and Alonissos, Skopelos is the most populated island of the Sporades archipelago and the second largest after Skyros. It is located in the northwest part of the Aegean Sea, 58 nautical miles from the city of Volos.

Today the island of Skopelos suffers from the fame of the neighbouring Skiathos, however tourism represents an important resource for the local economy. It is a holiday destination for Greek families, although in recent years the foreign presence has been increasing thanks to the film Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård, who saw it as a protagonist.

Skopelos is a colourful island, famous for the clarity of the sea. Its lovely beaches are never too crowded, even in the high season months. Skopelos is part of the National Marine Park, a protected area where, with a little luck, you can see dolphins and monk seals. Skopelos has no airport and can therefore only be reached by sea. There are three ports on the island. The main port is located in its beautiful capital, the city of Skopelos (Chora), built in the form of an amphitheater between two hills. The second port is Loutraki, the lower part of Glossa, the second inhabited centre of the island, elegant and characteristic because it stands on the mountain. The third and last port is in the small town of Panormos.

Visit Skopelos Island
What to see on the island of Skopelos – Greece
The nature of Skopelos offers virgin places and impressive landscapes. Olive trees and vineyards are a constant in the landscapes of this fertile island, which acquires an intense green due to the continuous alternation of forests and cultivated fields. It is a quiet island where the enchanting beauty of the coasts and beaches mixes with the green of its mountainous areas and the bright colours of its houses.

Days at sea are always quiet, its beaches are usually almost empty and if you want even more privacy you can sail around the island to discover paradisiacal beaches where you can enjoy a crystal clear sea away from the crowds.

La Chora – Skopelo Town

The city of Skopelos, the capital of the island and its main port, is the liveliest inhabited centre, full of hotel facilities and commercial activities, restaurants and bars. As with other islands in Greece, it is also called Chora, meaning “the town”, in English it is known as Skopelo Town. Skopelos Town is a quiet and beautiful town. Its red-roofed houses are arranged in the form of an amphitheater around the harbor, climbing the hills and forming a maze of narrow streets, stairs and alleys full of life, both day and night. Wonderful is the kastro area of the city of Skopelos, a little difficult to walk around because it is full of stairs. Going up to the highest area you can find some beautiful views. The architecture of its traditional houses incorporates the style of the mountain villages. Some buildings were built by Genovesi during his short period of occupation. Very interesting are some palaces of Macedonian influence, identifiable from the elevated plane that protrudes from the bottom of the structure. The most elegant and sumptuous residences are a good example of the neoclassical style during the 19th century in Greece.

Religious buildings

to visit on the island of Skopelos
Skopelos religious buildings
Skopelos is an island full of religious buildings. The Orthodox religion is very much felt on the island: there are hundreds of churches and chapels. There are also numerous monasteries: most of them are located along a path, called the path of the monasteries, which goes from the centre of the capital to the bay that rises in a mountainous area. The monastery of Agia Varvara is worth a visit: it is located on Mount Poulaki in a fantastic panoramic position from which you can see most of the coast and the sea, as far as the nearby island of Alonissos.

The most visited place in Skopelos is Agios Ioannis, famous all over the world for the film Mamma Mia! This small church is located in a very unusual place: on a huge monolith with a rather curious shape. The beach of Agios Ioannis is on the right side under the monolith, quite a support and one of the most visited.

Main attractions map

In the following map you can see the main attractions to visit, the villages and ports of Skopelos.

How to move in Skopelos

Skopelos is well connected with buses, although the stops are usually far from the beaches. Many are located along the main road, from where the roads leading to the sea are diverted. If you want more freedom it is best to move around by car or motorbike (both are recommended, the choice depends only on personal factors): you will avoid walking for a long time and you will be able to visit the whole island in freedom. The main road that connects the villages of the island is paved and in good condition. The secondary roads are not always in optimal conditions.

Skopelos is a very quiet island, days pass quickly between quiet moments of relaxation on the beach and pleasant evenings, tasting the excellent local cuisine and listening to live traditional Greek music: the island is one of the best places to listen to rebetika music. It does not offer great nightlife, it is an ideal island for families and lovers of tranquility, silence and beauty.

The climate of Skopelos

Sporades, an archipelago in which the island is located, has a Mediterranean climate that gives rainy and fresh summers. In summer, temperatures in Skopelos exceed 30 ° C, but the low humidity levels and the light breeze make them bearable. Rain rarely occurs and almost always as short showers.

Final recommendations

If you have problems walking, especially on your knees, the island of Skopelos can be difficult to visit. There are many stairs, steep ascents and descents in the Chora or Agios Ioannis, I recommend checking the location of the hotel and its accessibility, especially if you are travelling with a lot of luggage (which I generally do not recommend).

The city of Chora offers beautiful sunrises, with innumerable cats, it is a city that enchants!

Best beaches in Skopelos

Visit the island of Skopelos
Beaches on the island of Skopelos
The colours of the sea of Skopelos are among the most beautiful of all the Greek islands. The beaches of Skopelos are places where you can enjoy the sea and the sun in total tranquillity and sometimes even in total solitude. Most of the beaches can be reached by bus, although you will need a car to reach the lesser known beaches, which do not have public transport. In an ideal world, it is best to travel around the island by boat to discover some fantastic beaches accessible only from the sea.

The most famous beach in Skopelos is Kastani. Made famous by the film “Mamma mia”, it is always full of tourists, being a stop on the day trips that leave from the town of Skopelos and the neighbouring island of Skiathos. Fortunately, the beach is very wide.

The most beautiful sea in Skopelos is in the area around Cabo Amarandos. This wonderful stretch of coast, full of forests that seem to be submerged in the sea, is located south of the tourist center of Agnontas. The dirt road that crosses it looks at a series of rocks that sometimes leave space for some deserted and intimate beaches where the sea is incredible.

Continuing along the west coast of Skopelos, we arrive at Milia, a beach of white sand mixed with very large stones. It is divided into two parts by a low promontory. The water is clear and incredibly transparent.

Where to stay in Skopelos?

Skopelos offers different types of accommodation, most of the hotels are small family run. The apartments are usually managed by local people. You can still find 5 and 4 star hotels with all the luxuries and services. If you want good restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the night, the best thing to do is to stay in Skopelo Town, the capital. The rest of the towns are small coastal towns with wonderful beaches but few nightclubs. The island is small, and if you move by car you will be able to visit all the points of interest without any problem, so you can choose your accommodation in Skopelos according to your taste and budget.

If you want to know more about the wonderful island of Skopelos don’t miss our dedicated posts:

Where to stay on Skopelos?
How to get to Skopelos
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