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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Katsarou

Katsarou Holidays

Perched as it is in an insulated bay on the south-eastern coast of the island Skiathos, Katsarou appears to be almost playing hide and seek with mainland Greece. Once you arrive in the secluded hillside town for your Skiathos holidays, you might feel like you are doing the same with the rest of the world. A seductive sleepiness presides over the village, with whitewashed villas stacked on top of each other providing the perfect backdrop to an idyllic getaway.

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Calling all beach bums!

A gentle stroll downhill takes you to the beach, offering unparalleled ocean views and ample shady spots for an afternoon siesta underneath the verdant vegetation.

The gorgeous golden sands of Katsarou beach are an ideal way to while away many an afternoon, just a stone's throw from the centre of the village. Katsarou's diminutive size means that you're unlikely to have to fight to find a place in the sun – or indeed, in the shade. A cluster of leafy trees back onto the beachfront, providing plenty of opportunity to escape the midday heat.

As for the water itself, the waves are every bit as calming and tranquil as the pace of life in Katsarou town. For refreshment, there's a small beachside cafe, a daytime bar and a larger traditional Greek taverna nestled amongst the trees halfway back up the hill.

For those looking for a livelier break, the island's capital, Skiathos Town, is a mere 15 minutes away and is home to a plethora of souvenir shops and amenities, as well as plenty of upbeat nightlife spots.

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • GMT +2

Eat, drink and be merry

Speaking of traditional Greek fare, it doesn't come much more authentic than the cluster of home-style tavernas throughout Katsarou. Being such a peaceful hamlet, there isn't a whole lot in the way of choice when it comes to eating out on your holidays to Greece – but you'll find the souvlakis, moussakas and kebabs on offer more than enough to make your mouth water. Plenty of fresh greens augment any meal, while tzatziki is truly a condiment crafted in heaven. And to finish, you haven't lived until you've sampled Greek yoghurt at its source, with a generous dollop of honey to sweeten an already attractive deal.

The sailor’s life for me

Seafaring enthusiasts will likely be taken with the prospect of hopping aboard a chartered cruise aboard a traditional fishing boat. As well as offering plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel in the crystalline waters of the bay, and top up your tan with a luxuriously lazy sunbathe on the beach or on deck, you can also visit the site where the 2008 box office hit Mamma Mia! was filmed.

Alternatively, there are also a range of boat trips circling the town which can afford access to coves and caves not reachable by dry land. In this manner, you can carve up an even more exclusive slice of paradise for yourself.

Stock up on souvenirs

While Katsarou might not have much by way of shops, the nearby Skiathos Town certainly does. Just a short venture inland will bring you to this hotbed of bric-a-brac and knickknacks, where you can lay your hands on anything from traditional Greek jewellery and kitsch ornaments to ceramic and glass kitchenware. If you're an antiques aficionado, you could be in with a chance of bagging a real steal. The best bargain hunting is to be found among the narrow but bustling side streets adjacent to the old port.

The local fresh produce market is a great place to stock up on all the staples of Greek cuisine, from feta and halloumi to pittas and olives. For wine lovers, a handful of venerated vineyards are scattered across the island, so hiring a car or organising a tour can yield a treasure trove of delicious wines to take home with you, too.

Paint the town red

Though Katsarou itself is too sleepy to really let your hair down, the Swell Beach Bar is located literally metres from the water, offering a perfect spot to sink a cold drink after an hour's exertion among the waves. Meanwhile, for those looking for louder tunes and later drinks, Skiathos Town is fit to burst with bustling nightlife venues.

The majority of the action is centred around the waterfront and the old port, with clubs only really beginning to fill up after the midnight toll has struck and keeping the party going until the sun makes an appearance. In summer, the town becomes especially popular with party-goers and night owls from all over Europe and beyond. In 2012, the inaugural Gay Culture Festival proved to be a roof-raising, roaring success.