A boat trip I very highly recommend is the day to trip to the neighbouring Islands of Alonissos and Skopelos. We caught the early morning boat at 9am from the Old Harbour in the town of Skiathos. The captain and his crew welcome you aboard the ship Ag. Nikolas which has three sun decks and toilets. The friendly crew make the commentry in English, German, Italian and Greek. If you are very lucky which we were on that day you may get to see the Dolphins which will make your day even more memorable. Make sure you take plenty of sun cream with you. We stopped off at Alonissos first, where we caught a coach to the old village which is situated up in the hill 3km away from Patitiri. It was the capital until the earthquake in 1965. There are fantastic views to be seen from here. The next stop was Skopelos, the largest of the Northern Sporades group. We only had time to spend an hour on this island where we wandered around the narrow cobbled cobbled streets and we managed to look at a couple of the old churches and also have a look in the various shops selling antiques and items of greek art and handicraft. All in all an enjoyable day out.
The dog Sancutary is situated near the Kounistras Monestry up in the hills near Trolous. If you are a dog lover and you enjoy walking you will get great pleasure from visiting here and taking one of the dogs for a walk in this beautiful part of Skiathos. The sanctuary has been operational since 1995 and it has been a struggle to keep it going, but thanks to the generosity and kindness of holiday makers they have been able to offer the animals temporary shelter.
For any sport enthusiasts Skiathos has a Riding School which is situated in Koukanouries. It offers excursions from one hour taking you through Mandraki woods and a lovely coastal view to and hour and half with views over Koukounaries, Asselinos and Trolous taking you through the highest mountain roads. Kouk The horses are well taken care of and have all been bred there, and are very people friendly. The school caters for beginner rides to the very experienced riders and children are welcome on all rides depending on their experience. There are also pony and donkey rides for the very young. The day we stumbled across the riding school we had forgotten to take our camera with us so the owner Jonas Grandin has kindly given me permission to put a couple of his photographs on here so many thanks Jonas
If you booked through a holiday company, the rep is likely to offer excursions throughout your stay.
A MUST DO... is to take a boat tour of the island. There will be a number of stop offs around the island including beaches that you can't access any other way. A lot of the time the 20 people that were on the boat were the only people on these beaches, which range from remote white sands of lalaria to a passing view of the nudist beach, banana (aptly named) and sometimes they even put on a show for you lol.
The trip I took allowed us to explore the ancient city of kastro, and the islet of Tsoungria. I will go more into detail about these in another tip :)
As part of the boat tour we were taken to the most northernly point of the island where up on top of the cliffs the abandoned city of Kastro lies.
in the middle of the 14th century because of raids on skiathos by pirates, the people of skiathos built a town here that was at the highest point on the island creating a natural fortress.
The town today can be reached by climbing up a rock face... no only kidding there is a path which climbs up the cliffs and the journey can take between 30-50 minutes for the climb. Word of warning though, the climb is not suitable for people who are unfit or disabled. The other thing to worry about besides falling off (there are no railings) is the sun. The heat can be bad but this together with the climbing can be deadly, so take plenty of water with you.
The town itself has been partially restored by private investors and it is strange to see such a perfect place with no-one actually living there. It's a definate see on the island though even if it's just for the climb. see the picture attached to this tip for the distance we covered to get there. To give an idea of how far up we were the little things that look like stones on the beach by the boat are actually people
There are several boats by the harbour that offers boattrips around the island. The trips are almost identical and they all tend to stop at the same places, that includes Lalaria beach, Kastro and the Blue caves. It is a great way to see all the beaches at the island as you get to see places that can only be reached by boat or foot. There are also opportunity to visit some of the small islands just outside Skiathos town where there are some small and beautiful deserted beaches. Lalaria is a beach with lots of round, white pebbles and turquoise water. Very scenic and beautiful. Kastro used to be the largest town in Skiathos, located on the top of a cliff, but nowadays there are only a monastry and ruins left. Most cruises stop here and let you explore Kastro. I didn't get to see the Blue Caves as we were short of time on our boattrip. That is something to be aware of, ..the boats will only take you through the designated route if the weather is good and there is no or little wind(=waves). But it is nice to do something different from lying on the beach all day! We went in June and it was actually a bit chilly, take considerations, it's always a bit chillier out on the sea:)A good tip is to pay parts in advance as you'll be able to save 5-10 Euro. We paid 10 EURO each I think.
Beaches on the north coast of Skiathos that are a must to visit but require a car (preferably a jeep) are:
If you want to have a bay virtually to yourself, then visit one of these - absolutely stunning.
However, the main photo in this Tip is of Aselinos beach which is easily accessible by road and only 8 minutes from Villa Angela where we stayed. Mikros Aselinos is its twin, just around the bay and which requires a climb down a steep path to reach it.
Round the Island boat trip from Skiathos harbour. The one we chose took us to Lalaria where the sea was crystal clear and the bluest blue you have ever seen. There is no access to it by land. After that we went on to the ruins of Kastro
Take the bus (or taxi, rent a car, VTA..) to the last stop on the island, bus stop nr.26. Here you will find two of the largest and best beaches at Skiathos. Koukounaries is a long, sandy beach with a few tavernas and kiosks. There are sunbeds and umbrellas, and if you want to there are several watersports as well. The water is shallow and clear. The beach is very popular so it gets very crowded in the summertime.
Banana Beach is another beach nearby. It used to be the infamous nudist beach, but nowadays the nudists have moved over to the neighbor beach, Small Banana Beach. Banana Beach is windier than Koukounaries and the sand is not as fine, but it is still a lovely place with sunbeds, umbrellas, two tavernas/kiosks.
Koukounaries is probably the most popular and well-known beach in Skiathos. A pretty bay backed by pine trees but very crowded in the summer and rather over-rated. However, it is good for water sports. Next to that is Banana Beach for those of you who enjoy nude bathing. Skiathos has numerous nudist beaches. Vromolimnos Beach is a pleasant sandy bay, again good for paragliding and other water sports. A drive around the headland of Kanapitsa Bay is also recommended for stunning scenery.
Visit the lovely peninsula Bourtzi, situated between the old and the new harbours.
During the summer, on its old stone building, exhibitions of photography and various other art collection from Greek artists are held. Also, in its open-air theatre, various performances such as concerts or traditional Greek shadow-theatre (Karagiozis) are organized.
The monastery of Evangelistria, uniquely decorated, the Three Bishops Cathedral and the many smaller traditional churches are spreading along Skiathos.
Panagia Eikonistria is the most holy site of the island since the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary (Panagia) was found here around 1650. She's the patron saint of the island.
I Panagia i Limnia with the nice bell-tower is the 2nd parish church. The icons from 'Christ in the Castle' as well as Papadiamantis's head are kept here.
Koukounaries is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Greece. Its name derives from the Greek word 'koukounari', which means 'pinecone'.
This 2km long beach's shaped like a horseshoe and surrounded by lofty and deep green pine trees. A stream flows past the beginning of the golden sand and a small bridge connects you to the marvelous beach.
Behind the pine forest, there's a lake.
One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! Crystal clear water, deep blue, azure, turquoise... Pebbled, with many little coves, rocks, secret passages...
Reachable only by boat! There are daily tours from Skiathos town.
Skiathos Town is delightful with narrow streets alley ways fronted by Greek tavernas and a small harbour where you can catch local water taxis to resorts further down the coast or to the neighbouring islands