is situated in the middle of the Aegean Sea, opposite Pilio and it is the westernmost island of the
North Sporades Islands. The island lies 41 nautical miles from Volos. It has an area of 48 sq. km.,
a coastline of 44 km and a population of 4,200.
It is a cosmopolitan island, maintained picturesque and tranquil.
Tiled roofed, white washed houses, amphitheatrically built, rugged coasts, golden beaches, planes and
pine trees are some features of Skiathos. The mountaintop, which has a communications tower, is to the west.
The slope of the hill is to the north and contains several valleys.
Skiathos has approximately 70 beaches including one nudist beach at south end of the island (Banana beach).
The island has become internationally known, thanks to two distinguish persons, Alexandros Papadiamantis and Alexandros Moraitidis.
The name of the island dates back to ancient times. Skiathos took part in wars against the Persians and
in 478 BC, became a part of the Athenian Alliance. Later was occupied by Alexander the Great and then by the Romans.
During the Byzantine period it sank into oblivion. In 1204 was conquered by the Venetians and in 1583 by the Turks. It was then that the inhabitants of the old town, built on the site of present-day Skiathos, abandoned it and constructed on the north side of the island the famous Kastro, perched on a nearly invisible rock.
During the Greek War of Independence of 1821, many warriors from Thessaly opposite, took refuge on the island. Skiathos was liberated in 1823. In 1830, the local people, left the historic Kastro and rebuilt Chora. Skiathos was one of the unknown paradises to be discovered.
Life in Skiathos has changed a great deal since those days. Luxury hotels slowly began to be built along its lovely sand beaches, tourist activity continually grew and Skiathos became one of the most cosmopolitan islands in Greece. But its celebrated beaches are still insuperable and the narrow lanes of Chora are still as picturesque as ever.
Communities and Settlements in Skiathos
The introduction to Skiathos begins from Chora, the capital, built amphitheatrically in the northeast part of the harbor. The capital keeps the same name and location from ancient times.
Here is the center of the whole island, as Skiathos has no villages! Strangely as it seems, Chora is the only settlement of the island.
The so called coastal settlements were created just the past years after the financial eruption of tourism. People started to built modern hotel complexes, rooms to let, shops, restaurants and cafes, close to the most beautiful beaches of the island making them famous.
Life in the town of Skiathos is as intense as in every other tourist resort.
The town, which was built around 1830 on the remains of the Old Town, follows the traditional insular architecture, with apparent influence from the architectural style of Pelion.
Small whitewashed houses with tiles, balconies and small yards with flowers create the traditional neighborhoods of Skiathos.
Walking around the cobblestone pavements, you will discover unique beauties. Traditional pictures, graphic, romantic, idyllic. Pieced together, they make this unique feature of Skiathos island.
At the port entrance the small Peninsula of Bourtzi, separates the port of Skiathos in two. The new – trade center and the old one where fish boats which make the island tour, anchor. Around these ports are built amphitheatrically the neighborhoods of the town.
During summer period all streets flood with people. Most shops are located in the most central street of the town, Papadiamanti Str. Here you will find all sort of shops, where you can buy souvenirs to remind you of this beautiful island.
Around the old port you will find most of the taverns, where you can enjoy traditional recipes, fresh fish and local meat. While most clubs and bars with live music are at the coastal road, from the side of the new port. Here, you will come across to the most visitors, Greeks and foreigners who entertain to the first morning hours…
A walk around Chora will reveal you the historic churches of Skiathos. Very interesting is the church of the Three Hierarches. Here is kept the thaumaturge icon of Madonna the Iconistra or Kounistra. At the Epano Neighborhood of the capital, is the church of Madonna the Limnia, built in 1838 and dedicated to the Birth of Theotokos. Here is kept the head of the author Alexandros Papadiamandis.
The church of Saint Nikolas with the famous clock is built at one of the three tops of the hill, where the whole city is built.
Skiathos, the island with the unique natural beauties has more than 60 beaches!
At the southeast part of the island you will find the most famous and organized beaches of the island. Beach bar, sun beds, umbrellas, water sport facilities and games make your swim a real pleasure. The options for other “activities” whip up the enthusiasm.
The first beach we meet is Megali Ammos, which, as it reveals its name, is an extended beach that attracts thousands of visitors.
Vasilias beach and Ahladies are next in row. Here, you can enjoy all water sports. Especially Ahladies is considered ideal for windsurfing due to the winds that blow in the area.
Very close are the beaches Kanapitsa, Kalamaki, Vromolimnos, Agia Paraskevi and Troulos. They are all very busy traveled and organized. They have green fields, golden shores and crystal clear waters.
And the best are yet to come! As you reach Koukounaries, the best spot in the whole Skiathos you will be dazzled! The words can’t possibly describe the beauty you see before your eyes. A dense pine forest surrounds the beach creating an exotic scenery. Behind this forest with the tall pine trees is the lake of Strofilia. It is a very important biotope, a true ornament for the region. The area around the pool is a refuge for rare species of birds.
This is one of the most famous beaches in our country and undoubtedly the most pictured landscape in Skiathos. Koukounaries are protected by the Municipality of Skiathos and the European Union. They are a model of an organized beach and have been awarded as one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the world!
At the east part of Koukounaries is Banana beach famous amongst nudists, as and the marvelous beach of Agia Eleni.
At the north side you will see the exotic Mandraki, or the port of Xerxis, as according to the tradition, this was his threshold for Artemisio. This beach has really tall sandy hills. Next in row is the relatively quiet beach of Elia.
Other beaches of the north side worth to be visited are Mikros and Megalos Aselinos, Kehria, Limenaria and the beaches Megalos Gialos and Xanemos, north of the town. They are pretty quiet, with untouched natural beauties.
Don’t miss making the island tour with a caique where you will have the chance to see hidden small coves, swim in the small island of Tsougria with the great beach and of course see the famous Lalaria. The most famous natural site in Skiathos. The photos of gigantic white rocks coming out of the sea and the beach with the white round pebbles have made the world tour. Really impressive is the Tripia Petra (leaky rock). It is a huge rock creating a natural bridge above the crystal clear waters.
Just before you arrive to Lalaria you will also see Galazia and Skotini Spilia. Unique natural sculptures that only nature can create.
Worth Seeing on Skiathos
- Papadiamantis House / Museum: It is situated near the port. Many furnitures and personal belongings are kept just as it was at the end of his life there.
- The castle: It is a huge rock in the sea offering panoramic view, on which the medieval town of the island was situated. It is approximately an hour from the town by car or boat.
- Bourtzi: It is a small peninsula, which divides the harbour in two, it was encircled and had battlements and embrasures. Nowadays it is an area full of pine trees with a few remnants of the walls left.
- You should also visit the Monasteries of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Ikonistra, Evagelismos Theotokou (Annunciation of Virgin Mary) and the churches of Christ, Agia Anastasia, Agios Nikolaos.