The lush landscapes of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros might look familiar – some of the outdoor scenes in Meryl Streep’s Mamma Mia were filmed on these islands. But this archipelago also has cosmopolitan nightlife, delicious cuisine and countless entertainment options.
You can fly into Skiathos or Volos Airport and take a ferry to the island of your choice. Ferries are available throughout the year.
The most popular accommodation options in Skiathos are modern apartments, hotels and villas with incredible sea and mountain views. These offer absolute serenity and tranquility with all the comforts of home and more. Most of them are located on the north side of the island in areas such as Vigles, Kalivia and Megas Gialos.
Skopelos, the second largest island in Sporades, enchants visitors with its green landscapes and eye-catching beaches. Its lush vegetation and traditional Pelion architecture patterns captivate nature lovers. Skopelos is also the perfect destination for those looking for a relaxing and unique holiday. It is not surprising that this picturesque and pristine island inspired the production of the famous Hollywood movie, Mamma Mia.
In the summer, Skiathos Town has a lot more energy than other islands in the area with its lively bars and clubs such as Viral and De Facto. But the main attraction remains its stunning beaches that invite all to relax under the sunshine and enjoy the azure waters of the Greek seas.
Your island hopping adventure in the northern Sporades can be extended by a visit to Alonissos, the third largest island. This charming island delights all visitors with its scenic port, Patitiri, green hiking trails, and delicious seafood restaurants. Its landscapes are sprinkled with forests, countryside and orchards that open up to delightful coves that ooze beauty and serenity.
Skiathos is the welcoming party of the Sporades chain, with a bustling town and pulsing beach scene that’s a winning blend of Greek traditionalism and exciting cosmopolitanism. Cobblestone streets lead to a scenic waterfront, where bars and restaurants spill onto sidewalks and the main street, Papadiamanti. Aside from beaches, the island also boasts intriguing museums and old churches like the Evangelistrias Monastery.
The best time to visit Skiathos is in spring (April-May) or autumn (September-October), when the weather is fine and the island is still lively but not unpleasantly crowded. Summer (June-August) is a bit more hectic, but the beaches are gorgeous and the sun is warm.
During winter, the peaks of peninsula Pelion are snow-covered and wooded. It’s also a great time for hikers, as the trails are uncrowded and you can explore both inland hills and secluded beaches.
Getting around Skiathos is easy by bus, which runs around the island’s more developed south coast. If you want to explore inland, hire a scooter or quad bike. Alternatively, there are numerous tour boats that leave the old port to take you to Lalaria and Kastro peninsula, as well as to the secluded northern beaches. Guests can relax on the beach or snorkel, while also enjoying food and drink on board. The tours last about 4 hours.
Whether you’re looking to explore the pristine beaches and coves or check out the inland peaks of Skiathos, there are a lot of things to see on this island. A boat tour around the coastline is a must, but you can also head to the Agios Nikolaos Church and Clock Tower for some epic views over the town.
Skiathos is the welcoming party island of the Sporades, home to 60-plus glistening beaches and plenty of nightlife options. But it’s also got a beautiful interior spiked with hilly pine woods and rustic fruit farms that have made it a popular destination for hikers.
The island’s other major draw is its sealife, thanks to a sprawling marine park teeming with some of the most varied underwater biodiversity in all of Greece. For this reason, boat trips are a top activity on the island and you’ll want to book one that drops by the Blue Cave—a gaping cavern chopped into the rock where the water glows indigo.
The other Sporades islands—Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros—are less busy than Skiathos, making them ideal for a more tranquil getaway. They’re also a little bit wilder, with untamed forests and unspoilt beaches. On Skopelos, a trip to the famous Chapel of Saint John in Kastri, where Mamma Mia was filmed, is a must, as is visiting the monasteries and churches.
For hikers looking to stretch their legs and see the Sporades in a different light, the island is home to a network of trails covering nearly 197 km. The paths are a mix of forest, cultivated areas and beaches. There is also a trail around the airport that has become one of the main attractions on Skiathos as planes come in very close to the shore.
Skiathos itself is known for its long, sandy beaches, pristine waters and vivid nightlife. Its villages are characterized by houses with white-painted walls and red slate roofs, the kind you see in storybooks.
The other two main islands of the north of the Sporades are Skopelos and Alonissos. They offer luxurious leisure on beautiful beaches and a relaxed, family atmosphere.
The islands are easily accessible from Athens. A domestic flight to Skiathos, Skopelos or Skyros will take less than an hour, and ferries between the islands, as well as to Volos on the mainland, are regular and run throughout the summer. If you choose to visit all three islands on your trip, a deluxe island-hopping package with Olympic Holidays will give you the best of both worlds. This is a chance to experience the cosmopolitan energy of Skiathos, the breath of relaxation on Skopelos and the charming nature of Alonissos – a dream holiday come true.