Visit Skiathos for Sandy Beaches, Fine Restaurants, and More

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Skiathos is an island in The Sporades, a small cluster of islands off the coast of central Greece. Skiathos actually remained largely isolated until the early 1970’s but now has many elegant shops, fine restaurants, and a lively nightlife. Due to its proximity to the mainland, it’s a popular tourist spot during the high season and has become known as a “package-tour” island.

Skiathos IslandSkiathos is famous for its numerous sandy beaches with clear blue water. Perhaps the most famous is Koukounaries, which is located 12km west of Skiathos town. It has been touted as “Greece’s best beach”. Due to its reputation, it draws large crowds and can become so packed in the summer that you can hardly see the sand. If you want a spot for your towel and chair, get there early! There are plenty of water activities available including waterskiing, sailing, paddleboats, and banana-boat rides.

A beach bar serves light lunches and refreshments. Another popular beach is Lalaria Beach on the north coast of Skiathos in Lalaria. The beach is flanked by a majestic arched limestone promontory and is widely photographed. There is no lodging here and Lalaria Beach can only be reached by taking a boat from the old port in Skiathos town.

If you are looking for something besides the beach, take an excursion to the Kastro, the old fortress-capital on the northernmost point of Skiathos. It has excellent views to the Kastronisia islet below and the sparkling Aegean. Kastro can be reached via a challenging hike, overland by mule or donkey tour, or by car.

Skiathos is also known for its monastaries. The Moni Evangelistrias dates from the late 18th century, but has been completely and authentically restored. Make the trip to see the architecture, icons, and woodcarvings. Panagia Kounistria is a 17th century structure that contains fine icons.

Another popular point of interest of Skiathos is The Papadiamandis House. Alexandros Papadiamandis was an Athens journalist that was born on Skiathos. He returned and died in this house. He was a very popular author in Greece for his nearly 200 short stories and novellas, mostly about Greek island life. The Papadiamandis House is a shrine containing personal possessions and tools of his writing trade.

A popular place to take children is the Skiathos Riding Center. Of course, you don’t need to bring children to enjoy it! The Center started in 1990 and offers guided walks for small groups of different levels of riders on a selection of tours including an early morning beach walk. The horses are only medium-sized so riding novices won’t feel intimidated. The center also provides donkey rides for children and maintains a small farm-zoo and playground.

What also makes Skiathos a popular destination during the summer months is the Aegean Festival that takes place from late June to early October. The Festival offers occasional performances of ancient Greek tragedies and comedies, traditional music and dance, modern dance and theater, and visiting international troupes. Events take place in the outdoor theater at the Bourtzi Cultural Center on the harbor.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com