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Map & Synopsis Greek Island of Skiathos (Sporades)
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skiathos mapGreek Island of Skiathos

Closer to the mainland than the other islands in the Sporades group, Skiathos is also blessed with some 62 beaches, including some of the best in Greece. Both of these factors contribute to Skiathos being the most touristic island in the group.

The worst seaside development is on the south and southeast coast; two of the island's three official campsites are on the southwest peninsula, the other one north of the main town, near the airport, the latter a definite deterrent from sleeping there.

The north coast of the island is very mountainous and inaccessible. The main town and port (also called Skiathos), with a population of about 6000, has two harbors split by a promontory with a medieval fortress on it (with a restaurant in it). The attractive old town is to the west, the eastern part quite commercial. Near the waterfront are some interesting antique shops , one with a folklore exhibit.

townAs in many OVERLY touristic island towns, one can still find good food at decent prices, though inexpensive rooms are best sought in the off season. Organized tours of the island on muleback are available; there's also a horse riding club at the big resort of Koukounaries (southwest coast), and boat excursions at reasonable prices, some of them to Tsougria islet, which has good taverna and beach.

A good outdoor cinema offers recently released films (no subtitles), and there's an outdoor theater in summer on the Bourtzi fortress (offshore), with plays and music performances. A good hiking guide for the island with maps is available at local shops. There are four monasteries on the island.

beachOne is the 18th century Evangelistra, an hour's walk from the main town. The abandoned Haralambos monastery is accessible on foot from the Evangelistra, and if one keeps going, one reaches the ruins of the Kastro on the north coast, a total walk of about two hours. The 14th century Kastro retains two Byzantine churches, houses, and a hammam (Turkish bath house). Some people camp on the beach below. The abandoned 15th century frescoed monastery of Panayia tis Kekhrias is about a three hour walk from Skiathos Town, or by a dirt road to the north of Evangelistra monastery, all of these walks through very lovely terrain with pebble beaches below. The 17th century Panayis Kounistra monastery, with a beautiful chapel, is in the southwest of the island.

The beaches, though many, are not all easy to reach or sheltered from the meltemi, and some of the best are utterly packed in summer (like Koukounaries). Platania is less crowded; Megas Arselinos has shelters made of the bamboo-like cane, kalami, with one of the campsites, and one bus a day. Lalaria, on the northern tip of the island is accessible only from the sea, with smooth white stones, cliffs behind the beach and some nearby caves.