Destination Spotlight - Skiathos
Skiathos is a beautiful Greek island, part of the Sporades archipelago, which can be found in the northwest Aegean sea. It’s charm has to be it’s gorgeous sandy beaches and turquoise seas, with the odd yacht dotted here and there across the calm waters. Not forgetting, of course, the whitewashed houses that you can see along the clifftops, with pine forests providing the perfect backdrop.
Skiathos town is the only built up area on the island, and the main hub for entertainment. It was built upon an older town in 1829, and has an excellent, varied range of tourist activities.There is a lot of history to the island, and it became even more of a hit with tourists after being the set for Mamma Mia the film in 2008.
When to Go
The weather in Skiathos starts getting warmer around March/April time, normally around the low 20s. By the warmer months, including July and August, the force of the summer is in full swing, with sunshine lasting around twelve hours per day and temperatures hitting 30°C or more. September and October are still warm and sunny in Skiathos, with the temperature normally around the mid twenties, meaning that this can still be a great time to enjoy some sun when the area is less busy than during the height of summer. The wettest months in Skiathos are during the winter, so the summer has very few rain showers.
What to Do
Skiathos has quite a laid back island vibe, in the sense that it’s perfect for those who want to be on the beach, go hiking, participate in watersports or visit one of the island's many bars. The island is also a big hit for younger travellers, looking to relax during the day and party at night.
There are many watersports you can choose to enjoy, as well as going swimming with dolphins. Round the island boat trips are another must. Travelling in an anticlockwise direction around the island you can view sea caves and the gorgeous Lalaria beach, both of which cannot be accessed from the land. There are opportunities on the boat trips to stop and have a swim in the beautiful crystal clear sea, often followed by a delicious lunch.
If you fancy a day exploring the island itself and its history then pop on your hiking boots and discover the hillier older areas that lay above the port. The churches around this area ooze charm, with their gardened houses and little plazas. The Galerie Varsakis antique shop on the Tres Lerarhes plaza is a folklore museum of textiles and Greek rural accessories, and is well worth an explore.
Walkers will love the 25 routes they can choose from, with a total of 197 km to cover. They pass through some of the most spectacular areas with beautiful views, as well as unspoilt parts of the island. The routes are well signposted and can last from one to six hours, enabling you to discover the Kounistra monastery and lots of beautiful, secluded, unspoilt beaches.
Where to Stay
Many recommend that guests to the island choose to stay at a hotel with superb views of the beaches and sea, set amongst olive groves, which can mean heading out of the main town to the beautiful countryside.
The Atrium Hotel is a four star hotel with a variety of rooms to choose from, decorated to modern perfection. There are two pools, and some rooms even come with an infinity pool and/or a jacuzzi. The hotel has fantastic views over the south of the island, with breakfast served by the main pool. It is open May-September and is located five miles from the town.
The Aegean is another beautiful hotel, located just outside the town. With a gym and a spa, not to mention gorgeous views of the sea and the hotel gardens, along with the perfect terrace to have lunch and dinner. Decorated in a modern and simple way, it’s the perfect place to unwind and relax.
The three star Plaza Hotel is located in Kanapitsa, an 18 minute drive from the town.
It is a quaint hotel with views from all rooms of the beautiful blue sea, with a wonderful backdrop of pine forests and olive groves. The beach is only one hundred meters from the hotel and has a range of watersports for you to try.
If you’d prefer to stay in Skiathos Town amongst the hustle and bustle, then The Piscine Art Hotel is for you. It has a pool with beautiful wicker loungers, which you can lay back on and sip on a mouth-watering cocktail from the pool bar. There is fine dining at the hotel’s Crazy Cow restaurant, where creative food is born from their expert chef, unleashing the secret treasures of Mediterranean cuisine.
Not to be Missed
Bourtzi Venetian fortress - The ruins of a Venetian fortress still stand in Bourtzi, a small peninsula. This is known as the most beautiful and romantic spot on the island, due to its amazing views of the archipelago wooded land.
Swim with dolphins - Scuba diving with dolphins at Tzaneriá beach.
Boat trips - Round the Island boat trips enable you to see the beauty of the island, hidden beaches and sea caves.
Salt and Pepper restaurant -This restaurant is in Skiathos town is a hit with everyone who visits. If you want to eat traditional Greek food then this is the place to go.
Monastero di Panagia Evangelistria - A tranquil, architectural, beautiful place to visit, make sure you take some time out of your holiday to reflect on your thoughts at this historic monastery.
Getting to Skiathos: Direct flights from London to Skiathos normally take around three and a half hours.
Visa requirements: Brits do not need a visa to enter Skiathos, just a valid passport.
Time zone: Skiathos falls under Eastern European Time, meaning it is two hours ahead of GMT. For example, if it was 1pm in England, it will be 3pm in Skiathos
Language: Greek, but English and German is widely spoken.