Stay in a peaceful beach resort and always have facilities nearby in Skiathos
Your three and a half hour flight to Skiathos is easily manageable with the kids in tow. And as it’s such a small island, even the furthest resorts are only a 30-minute transfer from the airport.
Another benefit of being on a pint-sized island is that you’re always within walking distance of the capital Skiathos Town and other villages and sights, with regular bus services available. Head to the town to explore the monastery and shops before ending your evening at the outdoor cinema.
What all Skiathos resorts share is their peaceful outlook and traditional waterfront tavernas serving flavoursome Greek dishes. To the west, Koukounaries has a bay beach with a small harbour where you can dine and enjoy the sunsets. And side-by-side on the south coast Vasilias and Achladies Bay are only 10 minutes’ walk from Skiathos Town. Vasilias has a double beach and, as well as Achladies Bay’s beach, it provides a handful of shops and a bakery.
Best family friendly beaches
With a kilometre of sand and calm waters for paddling, Blue Flag Koukounaries Beach is one of the best in Skiathos. It’s a top spot for watersports, especially waterskiing, and you’ll find another Blue Flag beach close by in Maratha Beach. For hidden coves and remote beaches walk to the Kalamaki peninsula, or you can get a water taxi there from Skiathos Town.
Both Vasilias and Achladies Bay have their own watersports centres for windsurfing, wakeboarding and water-skiing. You’ll find Vasilias’ at the busier end of the beach where there are also tavernas and boat cruises, or walk to the other end of the beach for quiet time. Achladies Bay also offers massages on your sunlounger and the beachside Paradise Taverna is a family favourite due to its generous portion sizes and playground.
Best family activities in Skiathos
You won’t find waterparks and zoos in Skiathos, but that’s part of this authentic retreat’s charm. For busier days, visit Skiathos Town, which is good for shopping and sight-seeing. Be sure to make a stop at the 19th-century Evangelistria Monastery – for a cheap entry fee the museum has some interesting Balkan War and folklore artefacts. Another place to learn about the island’s history is at Kastro, in the north – once a fortress that warded off pirates, its gatehouse and churches are still standing.
If you can’t find the watersports you want at your nearest beach, head to Megali Ammos, where the range widens to include jet-skiing and banana rides, as well as pedalos. Or for land-based activities, Skiathos Riding Centre in Koukounaries provides riding lessons or more experienced riders can rent a horse. Plus there’s a small petting zoo and donkey rides that younger kids will love.
Fans of the film Mamma Mia! can hop on a boat to the nearby island of Skopelos and look around where it was filmed. You’re also really close to Mainland Greece, opening further options for boat trips to explore.
Other popular holidays in Greece
For a similarly authentic Greek family holiday you could try the mainland peninsulas of Halkidiki. But if you’d prefer a few more family-focused parks on your holiday, the islands of Crete and Kos provide loads for families to do.
Skiathos might have you hankering for your next break though – to find out more read our travel guide and check out the varied family hotel choices below.
One of the big benefits of this TUI Platinum 5* hotel is a private, sandy beach with service call button and a jetty where water taxis will take you to Skiathos Town in 10 minutes. There are two saltwater pools with ocean views, and one for kids, plus they get an indoor playroom. Other activities include table tennis and themed nights with live music, plus beach watersports and boat hire, at a charge. Half Board includes an American-style breakfast buffet with garden views and open-air buffet dinners with themed nights, and all day snacks are served from the pool bar at an extra cost. You can opt for a family room or family duplex room, and an added bonus with kids is that the transfer is only 10 minutes.
A set of intimate Self Catering studios and apartments, you'll be equipped with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own meals. Or you can buy pizzas, salads and drinks at the bar that sits beside the pool with kids' section. Agnadi Studios are in a quiet hillside spot on the edge of Achladies Bay, only a 15-minute walk to the beach, although it's uphill on the way back. The beach has a watersports centre, with activities available at a charge. Skiathos Town is reachable on foot, by bus or water taxi from the beach for lots to do and plenty of choice in food and drink.
The 4* Skiathos Palace Hotel wows with its green hillside location providing stunning views of Koukounaries Bay. Convenience is key as it's a five-minute walk to a sandy beach and 15 minutes to tavernas and minimarkets, plus a shuttle bus will take you to the one of two local beaches and into Skiathos Town, 10 kilometres away. The large freshwater pool has a decked terrace and other facilities include a restaurant and bar, both with indoor and outside seating, a pool snack bar, shop and lounge. Choose a family suite or interconnecting rooms so up to six guests can stay together, and kids get a playground and special meals for toddlers.