It is of no coincidence that it is the favourite destination of the inhabitants not only of northern Greece but also of Attica. And maybe, if you happen to live in Volos, to go fro a quick trip to Skiathos for the weekend, but the island has gained so many fans, that visitors from all over Greece gather there. Skiathos is the small and charming cosmopolitan island of Sporades Islands and manages to accomplish one more thing. In addition to the intense life it offers, it gathers visitors with its beauty also. You do not find very often in the Aegean beaches where trees reach the sea.
Skiathos island and its beauties
The town of Skiathos is the only settlement in the island. That is why it is so organized from a tourist point of view. It is located on the edge of the island in a windless bay that divides the island of Bourtzi in two. It is a relatively new settlement, almost 100 years old, in place of the corresponding ancient city. Which has nothing to do with today’s image as it is a port for yachts. This characteristic, in fact, gives the island an intense cosmopolitan character.
If you’re going to take a walk over there, you’ll see white houses with neat courtyards, paved walkways and flowers on the balconies. The picturesque harbour is surrounded by four green islets which create the feeling of a painted image.
The island, despite its small size, stands out for its many important attractions. One of them is the home of the famous author Alexandros Papadiamantiswho was born and lived there. Equally famous and much photographed is Bourtzi. It is a small verdant island that also has the ruins of a Venetian fortress. What you will see there The neoclassical buildings of the old school that house the Cultural Center of Skiathos. One thing many do not know is that this small peninsula, which divides the port of Skiathos in two, was formerly a fortress. It was founded by the Gizzi brothers. They conquered Skiathos in 1207. Today, Bourtzi is a beautiful pine-covered place of recreation with a magnificent view to the sea.
Skiathos, the charming cosmopolitan island of the Sporades with the more than 60 beaches
Who hasn’t heard of Koukounaries beach at the southwest end of Skiathos? It is also known as the “Golden Sands”. That’s because the sand is shining under the summer sun as if it were made of gold. It is not accidental that it is considered the third-best beach in the whole Mediterranean Sea. Apart from its crystal clear, blue water, the beach is also famous for the forest of Pine-Cone Trees (that is the meaning of “Koukounaria”). This goes almost as far as the sea and the Strofylia lagoon together. It’s a rare wetland. In our days, it is a protected area of course.
Apart from that on the island, however, there are dozens of other beaches. One of them is Megali Ammos, just outside the city on the way to Koukounaries and Achladies (Pear Trees). They are organized beaches with crystal clear waters and picturesque shops where you can sit and enjoy ouzo. Moreover, the very well known Banana beach is a unique beach full of pine trees. The beach attracts particularly young people and the main reason for this, is that they are offered the opportunity to engage in water sports.
If you are now looking for calmer and more quiet beaches for diving you can choose from some of the rest of its beaches. And these are Mandraki, Elia, Hook, Mikro and Megalo Aselinos which have turquoise waters and golden sand.
Skiathos for the alternative minded
Skiathos is also ideal for alternative vacations and especially for those who love hiking. Lovers of this kind of vacation can choose among 25 hiking routes. Their length is of a total length of 197 km with marked paths lasting from 1 to 6 hours. We’re talking about a pristine natural environment that you can’t imagine you could find on an island. From some places, you will have a unique panoramic view of the island that will astonish you.
What is certain is that, if you choose Skiathos for your vacation, you will enjoy a genuine Greek summer with a clear sea and intense life. You will leave fully restored and with a feeling that you’re going to miss this island.