In modern life, it is easy to feel estranged from nature. Skiathos is a place where green is cherished and respected.
The island has lush pine forests, sprawling fruit trees, over 60 sandy beaches and many historical relics. It also hosts a lively town center that comes alive every night.
A top draw for visitors to Skiathos is its amazing beaches, from pebbly rocky to soft sandy. Some of the best are found in the wilder northern part of the island. For this reason it is always worth prioritising a visit here over the main beach towns like Koukounaries and Lalaria.
A trademark of the island, this iconic beach is depicted on gift postcards and magnets. It is a place of magic, a paradise of fine sand that backs onto dense pine forest and saltwater lake. It can be quite crowded during the peak summer months.
Another stunning beach is Elia, which is nestled in a calm bay and backed by a green-blue water lagoon. It is a quiet spot that is well organised with amiable beach shacks, sun loungers and a choice of water sports. It is also a good choice for families with kids. You can access this beach via an atmospheric walk through the Mandraki forest. Other excellent beaches include Big Banana, Kanapitsa, Sklithri, Vassilia, Megali Ammos and Vromolimnos. Whenever you choose to hike on Skiathos, you are rewarded with incredible natural beauty in its purest form. The best time to go hiking is in spring and autumn when the weather is milder than during the hot summer months.
One of Greece’s greener islands, Skiathos feels pristine and unspoilt thanks to pine forests that reach the seashore. They’re an unforgettable sight whether hiking on a forest trail or admiring them from the crystalline waters.
In the capital of Skiathos town, admire a famous swirled pie, which is a specialty of the island that was featured in the film
The main town is also a place of culture, with a theater and a museum dedicated to local writer Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851–1911). Visit the traditional two-floor house where he lived for most of his life. It’s filled with his personal items, furniture and original manuscripts. You can even read some of his short stories here!
3. Historical Sites
Despite being a small island, Skiathos has some of Greece’s most fascinating historical sites. The Evangelistria Monastery, for instance, sits in a tranquil spot surrounded by pine trees and is just a 4km walk or short minibus or taxi ride from the town. Here you can visit a museum (EUR2 entry) with manuscripts, priests’ vestments and carved crosses. Also on the grounds is a loom that woven the first Greek flag before the 1821 Greek War of Independence.
You can also visit Kastro, the old medieval castle on the northern tip of the island that ascended in power in the 14th century due to constant pirate raids. The rocky peninsula created a natural fortress and to further strengthen the castle, its inhabitants filled it with walls that are sprinkled with loopholes and cannons.
In the town of Skiathos, a tour of the two-floor mansion of Alexandros Papadiamantis is worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about the life and writings of this famous Greek author who was born on the island. His house can be found on Papadiamanti Street and the property still maintains its original furniture.
4. Water Sports
The island’s emerald seas and pine forests showcase the primitive forces of nature. But there’s also a cosmopolitan ambiance and overflowing tourist development to keep you on your toes.
Take a boat tour around the coast and admire Skiathos’ countless beauties. Choose from a few-hours trips or full-day experiences.
Many beaches are ideal for water sports, especially on the southern part of the island which is protected from north winds. Koukounaries, for instance, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean with its golden sand and crystalline waters.
In the heart of Skiathos Town, stroll along Plakes and Papadiamantis streets to discover traditional whitewashed houses draped with bougainvillea, cats slinking through alleyways and restaurants, tavernas, and stylish boutiques. You can also visit the simple traditional house where writer Alexandros Papadiamantis lived which has been turned into a museum. A must-visit for Greek literature lovers! The house-museum is close to the port. The entrance is free of charge. It’s the perfect place to learn more about this influential figure of modern Greece’s literature.
It is impossible not to fall in love with Skiathos, a place where nature is cherished and celebrated. The unspoiled scenery will astonish you, enchant you and seduce you.
The island is also famous for its food. There are a number of top-notch restaurants that you should try. Some of them are even included in the Michelin guide. For example, you can find the restaurant 1901 located in a traditional house with tables in the courtyard under the vines and bougainvillea. It offers a slightly more upscale take on Greek cuisine. The dishes are creative and include rabbit cooked in dessert wine from Samos and sea bass en papillote, among others.
Another great option is the taverna o Batis in Skiathos town. This family-run taverna serves delicious fish and seafood dishes in an idyllic setting overlooking the sea. Guests can enjoy a wide selection of wines and vegetables grown on their own organic farm. They can also sample the famous heimali, which is made of fried dough stuffed with walnut, honey, bread crumbs and cinnamon.