Reasons Why You Should Visit Skiathos, Greece

Enjoy traditional Greek scenes and stunning views on a trip to Skiathos
Enjoy traditional Greek scenes and stunning views on a trip to Skiathos | © david abrams / iStock / Getty Images
Photo of Kim Gregory
22 September 2021

Skiathos is a buzzing Greek island packed with delicious food, lush nature and a range of exciting nightlife options. Check out our guide for all the reasons why you should visit.

Skiathos is one of the greenest islands in the Sporades, with rolling forests of pine and wonderful wildlife. When you’re not hiking to waterfalls or spectacular beaches, hit the waters for paragliding, days-long sea kayaking expeditions or even yoga classes on a stand-up paddle board. History comes to life in the old town, where winding streets and authentic food meet upmarket cocktail bars and DJs spinning long into the night. Not quite your pace? Visit churches, the monastery, a castle and ruins for your dose of Skiathos history.

Because there are 60 amazing beaches

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2AB3KYM The beach Koukounaries of Skiathos island, Greece
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Skiathos is an island of natural beauty that shines through on all 60 of the beaches dotted across its coastline. Visit as many as you can for crystal-clear warm waters, long stretches of golden sand and surrounding cypress-topped cliffs or pine forests. There’s a vibe for any day, from buzzing Koukounaries with sunbeds, cocktails bars and activities, to secluded, raw beaches with forestry and craggy hills, like Glyfoneri. Sail between them on boat trips – opt for one that stops at sea caves for added adventure.

For the watersports

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AJMDYP Watersports, Skiathos Island, Greece
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Adventure is always enjoyed best with an idyllic backdrop like Skiathos. At the main organised beaches you’ll find lots of opportunities to try watersports. Whizz through the waves on a waterski or banana boat – or head for the blue skies on a paraglider, promising incredible seascape views. Afterwards, steady your nerves with a crisp Alfa beer at a seaside bar.

To tour nearby islands on a sea kayak adventure

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark, Natural Feature
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2C8BX0W People kayaking in the sea on one of the beaches in Greece
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Magical seabound adventures don’t end at Skiathos. Join an organised group expedition to sea kayak your way around the wild Sporades Islands. They’re close, so you can row between them, but each offers its own unique beauty. Stop at beaches and caves, explore charming towns like Skopelos – the island on which Mama Mia was filmed – and camp overnight on beaches. A guide will take you and a group on this proper Greek adventure.

To try YOGAqua

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D93DY9 Woman practicing yoga on paddle board
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Make your yoga sessions even more tranquil by heading into the calm Aegean waters. Skiathos Yoga, a company based at Skiathos Princess Hotel on Paraskevi Beach, will teach you the art of YOGAqua: a yoga session on a stand-up paddle board. Learn to balance and perfect those poses as you float out at sea – a serene, transformative experience.
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You’ll spot unique wildlife

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D3PM9M Monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi, endemic and endangered
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As a lush island, Skiathos is home to amazing wildlife both on land and at sea. Keep your eyes on the skies to spot a soaring falcon. When you’re in the waters, look out for dolphins, rare monk seals, schools of tuna and majestic loggerhead turtles. The best way is by boat trip, or by snorkelling or diving – certified centres available – to get up close and personal with the sea creatures

Because you can eat like a local

Restaurant, Greek
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PWAXK6 Old windmill converted to a tavern (Mylos Taverna) Skiathos island, Greece
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Skiathos has a big all-year-round population, so many of the restaurants are aimed at locals with traditional, quality food. In the Old Town, wind down alleyways to find the tavernas tucked away: they often have the best offerings of traditional dishes like souvlaki (grilled meat skewers with sides of pitta and dips), moussaka (layered aubergine bake with mince and bechamel sauce) and dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs). For fish, seaside tavernas are best – for something different, visit the Windmill Restaurant. With a carafe of local wine sipped late into the night, it doesn’t get much better than this.

You can dance all night

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ADBPYK GREECE SPORADES SKIATHOS ISLAND A VIEW OF THE BUSY STREET WITH ALL THE CLUBS AT NIGHT
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Skiathos Old Town turns into a party when the sun goes down as bars and clubs offer all-night summer parties, usually kicking off after midnight. Head to the nicknamed Bar Street near Trion Lerarchon Square to meet fellow travellers, or to the Old Port for trendy cocktail bars with a sophisticated atmosphere – you may even spot a celeb or two. Fancy some live music? Catch upbeat bands at the Blind Dog or DJs spinning into the night at Montecristo.

To visit the historic monastery

Monastery, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
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ADT5EY greece northern sporades skiathos island a display of pots of basil at evangelistria monastery
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History lover? Skiathos’ Evangelistria Monastery is a must-see. The monastery, founded in 1794, played a vital role in the Greek Revolution, offering shelter to fighters and refugees. 1807 saw famous names take the Oath of Freedom here as the very first Greek flag was woven and blessed. Soak up this powerful history as you wander the grounds of Skiathos’ beautiful stone chapels surrounded by countryside – the smell of pine adds to the serenity. There’s also a cafe and garden, children’s play area and a shop selling locally produced products like jams.

And visit the other interesting sites

Building, Ruins, Historical Landmark
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EN7B22 Tukish Mosque in The Kastro, Skiathos
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On a high, craggy rock jutting out to sea, find Skiathos’ crumbling medieval castle with nearby town walls and remnants of an Ottoman mosque. It’s a long, hard hike to the site, or you can pay for a jeep ride up – either way the views are fabulous. Be sure to visit Bourtzi, a small area that crawls out to sea from the port, with restaurants, cafes and shops. A fort was built here around 1207 with strong walls and towers, and you can still see a few remains. Don’t miss the beautiful churches dotted throughout Skiathos for moments of calm amongst your adventure.

To wander in wonderful nature

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MHJBRE girl walking in a mediterranean forest in skiathos
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Skiathos is one of the greenest islands in the Sporades with its sweeping areas of forests and groves. It’s known for growing figs, almonds and olives, which you can smell as you wander out to the hills. Skiathos is a wonderful place to hike in spring and autumn, with its 26 organised and signposted walking routes. Amble your way through forests, mountainsides and waterfalls – often opening up to the best views the island has to offer.
These recommendations were updated on September 22, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Kim Gregory

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