Skiathos is one of the eleven Sporades islands, in the Aegean Sea off the east coast of mainland Greece. The island is served by an airport, 1.25 miles northeast of the capital, Skiathos Town which is also the main port, 41 nautical miles southeast of Volos and 44 nautical miles northeast of Agios Konstantinos on the mainland.
Skiathos is a small island (8 miles long) and is quite hilly, with many parts covered by pine woods. The best sandy beaches lie along the south coast, while the north coast offers dramatic cliffs and secluded coves accessible only from the sea.
This is the most cosmopolitan island in the Sporades and offers some of Greece’s best sandy beaches, including the renowned Koukounaries, crystal blue sea and sophisticated tourist facilities. Most hotels, villas and restaurants are found along the south coast to the west of the town. Skiathos Town is built over two hillsides overlooking the harbour. It is the centre of life on the island and offers the best restaurants, bars and clubs. North of Skiathos Town lie several interesting cultural sights, including a well restored 18th-century monastery and the ruins of the 16th-century Kastro, the island’s oldest settlement which was abandoned in the early 19th century.
Skiathos is best known for its excellent sandy beaches, which lie along the sheltered south coast. These include Koukounaries, a gently curving beach with fine golden sand and backed by pinewoods. The Skiathos Riding Centre at Koukounaries offers riding lessons and trekking at all levels. For very young children they also give donkey rides, and there’s also a mini zoo and a playground here. Close by is Banana Beach which also has an excellent beach, including a stretch reserved for nudists. Between the Town and Korkounaries, is Vromolimnos Beach which is popular for its windsurfing, water-skiing and beach volleyball. On the north coast is Lalaria Beach which is made up of smooth white stones backed by cliffs, and is accessible only by taxi boat from Skiathos Town.
In Skiathos Town, on a small peninsular jutting out into the harbour, is the Bourtzi Fortress which is now a cultural centre. About a ten minute drive north of Skiathos Town is the impressive 18th-century Monastery of Evangelistrias.
On the north coast is the island’s oldest settlement, the 16th-century Kastro which was abandoned in the early 19th century when its inhabitants moved to Skiathos Town.
In the summer buses (red line) regularly run from Skiathos Town, west along the south coast, stopping at several beaches along the way. Less frequent buses (green line) run from Skiathos Town, north to the Monastery of Evangelistrias. You can hire cars and mopeds in Skiathos Town.
One-day boat excursions to the neighbouring islands of Skopelos and Alonnisos are available and regular ferries connect Skiathos Town to Volos
and Mount Pelion on the mainland.
Skiathos has a warm Mediterranean climate. In the summer the days are dry and hot, often relieved by stiff breezes. Winters are mild with the rainy season from November to March. The best months to take your summer holidays in Skiathos are between May and September when there is very little rainfall and temperatures average 27C.
For more information on Greece and the Greek Islands and to view my latest articles please visit my Greece Blog.