A little island with a big heart, Skiathos may just be the hottest thing in Greece right now. Read on to discover why this sunny isle deserves your attention.
Even the most switched on of holidaymakers could be forgiven for overlooking Skiathos when taking their holidays in the stunning Greek islands. After all, with so many idyllic places to choose from among these little landmasses, not to mention plenty of party hotspots like Zante, the potential destinations feel endless and something is bound to slip through the net.
Yet Skiathos definitely deserves some time in the limelight and not just because it was where the brilliant Mamma Mia movie was filmed. In fact, with ABBA teasing a comeback nowadays, many of us are revisiting the musical movie, yet you could go one better and visit the island itself on your next break. Check out our ultimate guide to Skiathos so you can head over, confident in the knowledge that you know what you want to see and do.
Sun and sea is just the start
Naturally, you’re correct in assuming that you’re going to be enjoying oodles of fun in the sun on Skiathos. The island’s location in the Aegean Sea means it catches rays aplenty and you can enjoy them whether you’re reclining on the shore or exploring the pine trees and meadows of the inner regions of Skiathos.
However, the island is only 12 kilometres long and 6 kilometres wide, giving it a secluded and peaceful feel. While you might think this means that there’s not enough to see and do, you’d be VERY wrong. This is one island that promises to surprise you.
Thanks to Skiathos being so small, yet perfectly formed, getting from one beach to another is usually as simple as taking a leisurely stroll. Beaches here lean towards the sun-drenched and family-friendly, with some offering fleets of shops and dining venues by the promenade, while others hide away in secretive coves.
For those seeking some serenity, a little community like Vasilias would be a good fit. Boating is a popular way to spend time here, for locals as much as visitors and you’ll seldom look out to sea without noticing a few private vessels bobbing about. You’re welcome to board touring boats, to make the most of the sights, but the beaches surrounding the village offer up parasols, close knit taverna communities and stunning pine groves to hide from the heat in.
Busier beaches are easily found too. There’s a vibrant bustle to be had in Megali Ammos, where water sports are always a popular way to pass the day. With two kilometres of Blue Flag beach here, flanked by restaurants and bars, you’re able to find your own strip of shoreline away from the crowds, if you prefer. Definitely make Skiathos your own by finding the perfect beach experience for you, because the island offers plenty of varied coastal retreats.
History and culture
For a glimpse into the island’s past, as well as some of the best dining hotspots and nightlife venues, look no further than Skiathos Town.
Cradling its natural harbour gorgeously, Skiathos Town is a modern place to play, but is also enriched by its Athenian and Spartan histories. Yet while the town has changed hands countless times over the centuries, today’s Skiathos Town is solid as a rock, blessed with bountiful beaches and sumptuous sunshine.
Visitors are encouraged to check out the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria, tucked away in the north, during a holiday here. Worship is still practised in the beautiful commune to this day, yet visitors are always welcome to take in the art and architecture.
They say that the first blue and white flag of Greek independence was created and flown here, back in the early 19th Century. If that’s whet your appetite for forgotten folklore, check out the wooden outcrops of Bourtzi too, which house Venetian ruins and the remnants of a once powerful citadel.
Elsewhere in Skiathos Town, expect enriching meals and some fun antics after dark. Skiathos has a party ambience that might just surprise you and the evenings are super loud and proud in Skiathos Town.
Hold those glasses of raki high as you take in local music and practice some dance moves, or instead, savour café culture over rich coffee on a streetside veranda. Skiathos Town is fantastically linked to every other corner of the island, meaning you have the opportunity to explore everywhere from a comfy, upmarket base, which will welcome you back time and time again.
Flavours of the heartlands
While you’re enjoying the sights and sensations of Skiathos, don’t forget to check out the inner regions of the island too. Here, criss-crossing nature trails wind through pine groves, forgotten forests and lush, sunny meadows. Picnics are encouraged and if you prefer not to walk among this scenery, you have the opportunity to hire a bicycle or even see the woodlands on horseback. Hilltops and plateaus give you splendid views to savour and you’ll want to pack your finest photography equipment to attempt to capture these panoramic vistas of the island and the sea surrounding it.
A great way to see the olive groves and pine trees up close is via the winding trails of Dasi Nisou Skiathou Magnisias, near Troulos. This lovely corner of the island is also home to some incredibly colourful wild flowers that pop up throughout spring and summer, yet even an autumn stroll through these hills is as invigorating as it is inspiring.
Skiathos promises plenty
From its hidden hinterlands to its most vast and inviting beaches, Skiathos is the island to go to when you’re ready to forget it all. With history and culture aplenty, good food and drink galore and a community of friendly faces ready to help you make memories, it’s a jewel in the crown of the Aegean Sea.
Kassandra Bay Resort and Spa, Vasilias
Aegean Suites Hotel, Megali Ammos
Kostas and Mary Hotel
Astoria Hotel, Troulos
Achladies Bay, Skiathos, Greek Islands, Greece
If you’ve any of your own fond memories of Skiathos and its abundant beauty to share, please do below, in the comments.