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Blick auf den Strand von Lalaria in Skiathos, Bild: Cara-Foto / shutterstock

The “Greek Caribbean Island” – Skiathos

Skiathos is one of the lesser-known travel destinations in Greece, at least in the German tourism landscape. The island is the smallest island of the Sporades in terms of area, but with around 6000 inhabitants it is the busiest and also the most popular among holidaymakers. Skiathos is a true beauty with a distinctly green nature, turquoise waters and 60 different beaches. Many of them are only accessible from the sea and so the image of sailing ships and yachts anchored in the small, dreamlike bays is actually reminiscent of the Caribbean in many places. Skiathos, which is only eleven kilometers long and five kilometers wide, even has an international airport (Alexandros Papadiamantis), which is also served by foreign charter planes. The northern part of the island is virtually uninhabited and is decisively shaped by the mountain range around the 433-metre-high Mitikas peak.

The fantastic beaches of Skiathos

Skiathos Beaches
Fantastic beaches on Skiathos, Image: Cara-Foto / shutterstock

Skiathos is famous for its approximately 60 beautiful sandy beaches, some of which are among the most beautiful in all of Greece . Lalaria Beach in the north of the island is undoubtedly one of the absolute highlights with its steep cliffs, the spectacular rock formation Tripia Petra and the white and blue pebbles. It is not accessible by road, but only by boat. The trip there is already a fantastic experience, because it goes past several sea caves with green-blue shimmering water, some of which are even large enough to drive into. The secluded Lalaria beach is located in a natural bay bordered by a vertical rock wall. There is no snack bar, sunbed or umbrella rental, but a uniquely unobstructed view of the Aegean Sea.

In the southwest of Skiathos, another beach, the crescent-shaped Koukounaries Beach, enchants tourists. It is surrounded by a dense pine forest, behind which the freshwater lake Strofylia is hidden. The fine, light sand of the “pinecone beach”, as it is translated, captivates in combination with the colors green and blue that are so typical of the whole island. There is a wide range of water sports on offer on this stretch of coast and activities in such breathtaking nature are guaranteed to be even more fun. Snorkeling and diving are also unforgettable experiences on Skiathos, which still has a relatively intact underwater world by Mediterranean standards.

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Another popular beach is the lively Megali Ammos Beach. Here you can sit down in one of the picturesque taverns and enjoy a Greek scene like from the holiday brochure or the ouzo advertisement.

Due to the small size of the island, you have the opportunity to discover many different beaches on Skiathos. During a round trip, you will certainly come across your absolute favorite place by the sea.

Skiathos Town – Pure Romance

The old town of Chora on the island of Skiathos, Greece
The old town of Chora, Image: Georgios Tsichlis / shutterstock

As on many Greek islands, the main town on Skiathos is simply called Chora. The harbour is dominated by the town’s landmark, the impressive Bourtzi Castle, which was built on a small peninsula in the 13th century. Today, a variety of festivals and cultural events take place here during the summer. Through the narrow, picturesque streets with the mostly whitewashed houses, a cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan atmosphere blows during the holiday season. During the stroll, you will pass charming little boutiques and souvenir shops, inviting taverns and lots of bars. The majority of domestic and foreign tourists on Skiathos are young. Due to the varied nightlife, students, among others, like to come to the island. In the evening, the streets in Chora are closed to car traffic and the restaurants put even more tables outside.

Watching the harbour with a frappé in your hand with the sailboats and yachts swaying gently in the wind is pure relaxation. Fans of the ABBA film “Mamma Mia”, which was partly filmed on Skiathos, can be guided to the various filming locations around the attractive promenade and will find that it really is as beautiful as it was seen on the screen.

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Sights on Skiathos

Unlike most other areas in Greece, there are no significant archaeological attractions on Skiathos. In Kastro, however, the remains of the old island capital can be seen in a hard-to-reach place on the cliffs. Between the 14th and 19th centuries, most of the islanders lived here to be safe from pirate raids. Of the approximately 300 houses at that time, only a few remain today, but some churches have been restored. The writer Alexandros Papadiamantis is the most famous son of the island and is revered by the locals almost like a saint. His home, where he died in 1911, is now a museum and his skull is even exhibited in the Church of St. Mary in Skiathos.

The pine forests, which cover about two-thirds of the island, make Skiathos an excellent destination for hiking enthusiasts. In total, the route of beautiful dirt roads and trails adds up to a length of almost 250 kilometres. Since these are mainly in the shade of trees, it is rarely too hot for this activity, even in midsummer. Of course, it is especially beautiful in spring and at the beginning of summer, when the climatic conditions are most pleasant. The fact that most of the trails eventually lead to the sea, where you can then plunge into the cool waters for refreshment, is another plus.

Skiathos differs in many ways from most well-known Greek holiday islands. It is definitely worth discovering this gem in the Aegean Sea.