SKIATHOS - The Aegean Paradise

Steve Fletcher on 15 December 2018
I stayed at the Alkyon Hotel close to the Harbor on the edge of Skiathos Town. It has an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, a bar offering drinks and snacks, a roof top terrace where breakfast is served with stunning views over the harbour. A comfortable hotel with Greek hospitality.

Turn right when leaving the hotel and its just 5 minutes’ walk to the centre of the bustling but chic Skiathos town. It’s well worth spending some time wandering around Skiathos Old Town, admiring the architecture and sniffing out trendy boutiques in the narrow backstreets. I initially missed the most charming tavernas and shops in Skiathos because I didn’t get off the main drag, so I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to get lost in the laneways. Another must-do in Skiathos Town is a night at the open-air cinema, which shows new releases as well the movie that put Skiathos on the map. The Mamma Mia! Movie Night, held 3 times a week, is not just a cinema experience but is a raucous night out where audience participation is positively encouraged, although obviously not during the talking bits! Turn left from the hotel for an array of superb quiet restaurants by the water’s edge.

All the beaches on Skiathos can be reached by local bus, bus stops 1 – 26 with Koukanaries (voted one of the best beaches in the world) and Banana beach being the furthest at bus stop number 26 but still less than 45 minutes away from Skiathos Town and a bargain at just 2 euros pp each way.

Other than the bus a good way to see the island is by hopping on a boat. Boat trips, departing from Skiathos Town, tend to take you to a couple of the beaches but one I visited was Lalaria, a gorgeous pure white stone beach that can only be reached by sea.

To explore the lush interior and some of the old monasteries on the island hire a car and head inland. Olive Thea Restaurant is a great place to enjoy home-cooked food with incredible views – and they even offer free transfers from your hotel if you’d like someone else to do the driving.

Another must is to visit Skopelos which is the largest and greenest in the Sporades with lush pine-covered mountains sweeping down to sheltered beaches and coves. It is simply beautiful and traditionally Greek, one of the main reasons why it was chosen as a location for the blockbuster movie ‘Mamma Mia’. Just a short trip (45 mins) by hydrofoil from Skiathos brings you to the main town and harbour of Skopelos. Seven white churches and white Pelion slate roofed houses, cascade down the hillside from the ruins of the Venetian castle above. The old town is a maze of quaint cobbled streets and steps, with virtually a church on every corner – there are 125 in the town alone. The bustling harbour front is very cosmopolitan with cafes, bars and tavernas and a large selection of restaurants invite you to taste the traditional cuisine and local fish and produce.

For more information and advice of this destination, please give me a call.