If you're looking for sunbathing on some of the most picturesque beaches in the Mediterranean, then you've come to the right place, Skiathos has some of the best and most secluded stretches of sand a sailing enthusiast can wish for. And since the night life isn't too shaby here either, Skiathos could be considered a good alternative for the younger crowds looking for a yacht charter Greece vacation.
The Greek island of Skiathos is located in the Aegean Sea and belongs to the Sporades group of islands. Out of these, Skiathos is the westernmost, the closest to mainland Greece. It’s not one of the biggest islands in the region with a surface of under 50 square km, but with over 60 lovely, sandy beaches it’s certainly one of the most popular among tourists.
The main body of the island has a rather compact shape, slightly elongated on the southwest-northeast axis, but it also has lots of inlets, capes and peninsulas, as well as a couple of islets, just as sailors like it. The biggest town on the island is Skiathos, the most populated and the biggest attraction.
Travel & Arrival
The airport can be found in the town of Chora and it’s the one servicing the rest of the Sporades Islands. It’s called Skiathos Island National Airpot and it has flights from local operator Olympic Airways as well as other major European operators that travel here once or twice a week. The crowds flying in then have the option of staying on the island or heading out to some other location by boat.
There is an extensive hydrofoil system in the area that caters not only to the large numbers of visitors, but also the locals, acting as the main link between the islands. The operator is Hellenic Seaways and it links Skiathos with Thessaloniki, Volos and Agios Konstantinos.
Driving here is not possible, although the determined skipper could get his car here if he really wanted to. But the hassle might prove too big because the island is covered in narrow, winding roads (especially those in town) which means mopeds and bicycles are the most popular means of transportation.
Avant & Apres Sail
The biggest city on the island is Chora, which retains its old architecture, with buildings in a sort of amphitheatrical arrangement, hugging the hillside. guests will be amazed that there are no villages on the island, just coastal settlements which were built to cope with the booming tourism. Most of them have model hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, all within walking distance of the island’s 60 beaches.
Besides the typical whitewashed houses, the narrow cobblestone streets and quaint flower gardens, the holidaymaker should also take the time to visit some of the local churches, like the Three Hierarchs or the Madonna the Limnia where the head of author Alexandros Papadiamandis can be found. The castle can offer a panoramic view out to sea in all directions while the Bourtzi peninsula, the one that splits the harbor into 2 is also fortified with numerous battlements.
The nightlife is famous here, as are the enthusiasts which come here year after, turning the island into a known hotspot for activities after the sun has set. Bars, clubs and other venues contribute to this noisy but fun atmosphere.
As far as the local cuisine goes, the Greeks have mastered the culinary art a long time ago and now they flaunt their excessive yet healthy eating habits to the curious travelers in the numerous restaurants around the island. Those who aren’t very fond of Greek specialties can opt for international style restaurants.
Events & Actions
With the many beaches that surround Skiathos, it’s not difficult to figure out what the main holiday occupation is. Some of the preferred locations are Koukounaries, Banana Beach (nudist beach), Vromolimnos, Platanias, Achladies and Megali Ammos which are all known for their large numbers of visitors.
What makes Skiathos a great sailing destination?Skiathos is a beautiful Aegean Island, known for its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and lush greenery. Its numerous bays and natural harbors make it an excellent location for sailors seeking a mix of tranquility and adventure. Plus, the island's vibrant nightlife and local cuisine offer a great onshore experience.
What marina facilities are available nearby?The main marina of Skiathos is located in Skiathos Town and offers a range of services for sailors. It provides mooring for a large number of vessels, electricity and water supply, as well as restrooms and showers. There are also several marine shops nearby for supplies and repairs.
What are some notable anchor bays?The island boasts many beautiful anchorages. Some of the most popular include Koukounaries, one of the most famous beaches in Greece known for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Another great spot is Tsougria Island, a small island off the coast of Skiathos with beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
What are the key tourist attractions on the Sporades?Skiathos Old Town is a must-visit, with its traditional white houses, narrow streets, and vibrant waterfront area. The Evangelistria Monastery, dating back to the 18th century, offers stunning views of the island. Also, don't miss out on the iconic blue and white St. Nikolaos Church and clock tower for panoramic views of the town and harbor.
What water activities can be enjoyed here?Skiathos is ideal for water sports, such as water skiing, windsurfing, and jet skiing. There are also several dive centers offering PADI courses and dive trips to explore underwater caves, reefs, and even shipwrecks.
Can you recommend any unique gastronomic experiences on the Sporades?Skiathos offers a range of culinary delights, from traditional Greek dishes to fresh seafood. Try local dishes like 'spetsofai' (sausage stew with peppers), 'gyro' (meat, usually pork, wrapped in a pita with tzatziki, tomatoes, and onions), and fresh 'calamari'. The island is also known for its locally produced wine and 'tsipouro', a strong distilled spirit.
Are there any traditional festivals or events in Skiathos during the sailing season?The summer season in Skiathos is filled with religious festivals and cultural events. One of the most significant is the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15, with processions, traditional music, and food. The Skiathos International Film Festival, usually held in June, is also a major event.