Download GPX file for this article
39.166723.4833Map mag.png
Europe > Greece > Greek Islands > Sporades Islands > Skiathos

Skiathos

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Lalaria Beach

Skiathos (Greek: Σκιάθος, Skiáthos) (population: 6,088 [2011]) is the entry point and main island of the Sporades Islands. Although it is neither the biggest nor the most attractive of the Sporades islands, because it is the first port of call for most ferries and possesses the sole airport, most tourists don't venture beyond Skiathos. For most, why would they want to? There are great beaches, good accommodation on offer, and decent public transport. In season, the 5000 or so natives are vastly outnumbered by tourists from around the world!

While it is undoubtedly the most tourist-intensive island of the Sporades, it does have many faces, so don’t be fooled by the brash cover to this book full of splendid Greek secrets. Steer away from the main drag and you will find stunning scenery, quaint tavernas and lots of luscious green terrain perfect for gentle strolls or more intensive hikes.

There is one town on Skiathos which is literally called "The Village" by the locals, or Skiathos town. It is located on the east end of the island with the airport, port, a variety of shops and water fronts, bars and clubs.

Get in[edit]

By boat[edit]

Skiathos is accessible via ferry from Volos, Agios Konstantinos, and Thessaloniki. Cruise ships dock at the port in the centre of Skiathos town.

By plane[edit]

The island is served by the 1 "Alexandros Papadiamantis" International Airport (JSI IATA). The airport is situated north-east of Chora. It is served from Greek destinations by Olympic Air, and from northern European destinations in summer months by charter and some regular scheduled airlines (including Austrian Airlines,) usually only once or twice a week.

The ~1600-m runway is an excitement in itself; as you descend towards Skiathos you are met with sea, sea and more sea before out of nowhere appears a precarious strip of runway across the end of this small island. If the pilot misses his spot, you’ll have to circle and try again!

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Public buses operate on one line that runs from the port to Koukouniares along the southern side of the island. The port station is 200m to the right of the port. Tickets are bought on the bus from the conductor. Stops are marked with a sign and a number.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are easy to get from the port to anywhere on the island.

By car or motorbike[edit]

It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car or a motor scooter. Asphalt roads run across the south of the island. Roads in the interior turn out to be little more than dirt paths.

Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go - for example the twisted narrow streets of Skiathos city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent - €10-15 a day is the usual price.

If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok if the brakes work properly,lights,turn indicators and petrol gauge. If it doesn't look good don't be bothered to rent it, it could be the one that needs a repair badly. it can cause you a lot of troubles if it breaks down. Make sure the insurance stands on the contract. Helmets are required on Skiathos.

See[edit]

Skiathos town
  • 1 Alexandros Papadiamantis House Museum, Papadiamanti Street (Skiathos main street) (after 100 meters at a small alley on your right), +30 24270-22240. Tu-Su 09:00-13:00, 17:00-20:00. Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851-1911) is one of the greatest ever Greek authors. He wrote over 100 novels mostly based on island life. His house has been turned into a museum.
  • 2 Kastro. Site of the medieval center of the island. Abandoned in the 19th century (1829). There are well maintained three churches and a house, the other buildings are dilapidated.

Do[edit]

Koukounaries Beach
Maratha Beach
  • Most people come to Skiathos for the beaches. Let's face it, there is not much else to do on the island. However, there is a large, forested interior that can be explored.
  • Yachting. Skiathos has a large port from where one can charter yachts either for day trips or longer periods to explore the surrounding islands. Puresailing Yachting has a selection of yachts for this purpose.

Beaches[edit]

There is a good variety of beaches on Skiathos with over 60 in total. The south side of the island has sandy beaches with calm waters. Beaches on the north are less crowded. The wind mostly comes in from the north and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the north.

  • Koukounaries. Covered with umbrella pines is the most famous beach on the island.
  • Lalaria. Beach only accessible by daily boats, crystal clear water and large stones on shore.
  • Big Banana. Next to Koukounaries is the beach for young people .
  • Small Banana. Next to Big Banana
  • Asselinos. Large and quiet undeveloped beach.
  • Kanapitsa. Amazing beach, water sports, and a nice taverna.

Plane spotting[edit]

The island's airport as discussed above has a 1600 m-long runway. As land reclaimed, for the construction of the airport, the landing path of the airplanes passes just above the spotters heads, and a asphalt road passes right in the spot, making that location ideal for experiencing the same effects as Saint Marteen, with more safety in the absence of jumbo jet airliners

Buy[edit]

Street in Skiathos town
  • Jewelry stores are common.
  • Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are imported, and have no connection to the island.
  • Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (t-shirts, towels, hand bags, and so on).

Eat[edit]

Besides the following listings, there are numerous Souvlaki (Greek kebab sellers) dotted around the island, and frozen yoghurt is increasingly available on Papadiamanti St.

  • En Plo, Skiathos Town. (200 m. from the port to the airport.), +30 24270 24433, fax: +30 24270 24433, e-mail: . 17:30 - 00:30. Seafood.
  • Marmita, Evagelistrias 30, +30 24270-21701, e-mail: . Simply fantastic Greek food (albeit not typical tourist fare) in a lovely courtyard setting. Off the beaten track, so fewer tourists and more Greeks. €15-20pp.
  • Medousa, Old port. Italian restaurant, with wood-fire oven.
  • Olive land (Elaias gi), Katsarou. Traditional Greek food, lots of nice vines, friendly staff.
  • Paralia Souvlaki Cafe, Troulos (Just down the road to the beach, past the Alfa supermarket.). Good, cheap souvlaki (Greek kebabs) near the beach. Recommended. €2.50 for a souvlaki.

Drink[edit]

The tap water is not drinkable (and even ice in restaurants is provided via special procedure from companies) and restaurants will serve glasses of ice water upon request. Local drinks include beer and Ouzo.

There are various hot club locations, though most famous clubs are located north-east of the port at around 300 m, by the seashore.

  • Kahlua. Club.
  • Maraccas. Club.
  • BBC. Club.

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Skiathos is a generally safe destination. As with all Greek islands, the summer sun is very strong all day. You should not take the risk of dehydration, sunburns or even heat strokes lightly. Wear appropriate clothes, a hat and sunglasses; use sunscreen; bring enough water on excursions and know when to stop exhausting yourself and seek the shade of a tree. Greeks take it easy in the middle of the day, from 2-5, often only venturing down to the beaches in the late afternoon and early evening.

Then aircrafts taking-off, the engines are in full thrust, directly on you. So then an airplane taking-off get a cover behind the wall on the other side of the road, or if you are adventurous person grab the Armco barrier and low your profile, the exhaust gasses can throw you hundred meters away. Cover your face also, very often the gasses lifting items like a tiny gravel, you don't want such a encounter that could ruin the enjoyment.

Go next[edit]

Obvious next destinations are the remaining Sporades, Skopelos and Alonissos, although Evvia is not far, nor is Pelio, (via Volos.)

Flights to Athens are short, and daily.

This city travel guide to Skiathos is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.