...summer, sun, beaches and the sea...
Skiathos is the westernmost island in the Northern Sporades group of islands, located 41 nautical miles from the town of Volos and 2.4 miles from the coast of southern Pelion on mainland Greece. The name of the island dates back to ancient times. The lush pine forests and numerous sandy beaches make Skiathos a hugely attractive holiday island with over 60 splendid beaches, eight of which have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag label. Shelving gently into the sea, the beaches on the sheltered south coast are easily accessible and quite trendy; peppered along the island’s ruggedly beautiful north coast, plenty of deserted coves and stunning beaches are accessed only by boat or on foot after some fairly arduous hiking
The island’s landscape is incredibly varied, ranging from hidden valleys to monasteries set against masses of barren rock. Much of Skiathos is forested with pines mostly concentrated in its southeastern part. Exposed to the northern winds the island’s north coast is wilder and less accessible than the south with fewer beaches more difficult to get reached only by boat or on foot. Those that venture out will be rewarded by less commercialized surroundings and some wonderful walks through the pine forests. Skiathos town does have its attractions and sophistication with the handsome Bourtzi fortress on its harbor, some elegant shops, excellent restaurants, and a flashy nightlife.
Places worth a visit include the KASTRO - a fortified former capital built in the 14th century on a rock outcrop above the main town, commanding a dramatic position over the sea. It used to house more than 20 churches and 300 odd homes. The most notable ecclesiastical monuments are the church of Christe in Kastro and the monasteries of St John of Parthenis, St Charalambos, Evangelistria (Annunciation) buried in the most beautiful countryside and Panaghia Κounistra (Holy Virgin) where the holy icon of Panagia Kounistra, patron of Skiathos, was found.
Skiathos is much more than summer, sun, beaches and the sea. A network of countless paths crossing small woods and verdant slopes has much to offer to island walkers, including special treats such as cool shady springs tucked in deep valleys, or hidden stone-roofed Byzantine chapels. Long wooded promontories, deep sheltered bays, the scent of pine, herbs and wildflowers, rare birds and small marshlands add to the pleasure. Skiathos is the only island in the Northern Aegean Sea – and possibly in all of Greece - boasting 24 way-marked trails totaling 170 km that take through fascinating nature, romantic picnic spots and panoramic views.
There is also ample opportunity for mountain biking activities, scuba diving in crystal waters and horseback riding. Lying just of the coast at Skiathos Town are three uninhabited islets of TSOUGRIA, TSOUGRIAKI and ARKOS that have become popular with day trippers for their tranquility and their very fine beaches.
There are 4 to 5 daily flights from Athens and twice a week from Thessaloniki. Many charter flights from Europe also descend on the island. There are daily ferries and hydrofoils from Volos and Aghios Constantinos on the mainland, as well as from the sister Sporades islands of Skopelos and Alonissos. Each year, the municipality of Skiathos hosts many festival and cultural events, art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, conferences, tennis tournaments and swim competitions.