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Island Hopping: The Sporades in 7 Days

Chora, Skopelos
Chora, Skopelos | © Pixabay
The Sporades is a group of islands that has retained its unique beauty and authentic charm throughout the centuries. Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros and Alonissos form the core of the Sporades, with other surrounding islands that are often uninhabited. We’ve put together a seven-day itinerary for exploring the islands.

Our tour includes ferry connections, and requires travel by car. Many sailing charters offer Sporades-hopping trips, which may be ideal if you want to spend more time on the water.

Day 1: Skyros

Start your journey around the Sporades with a 40-minute flight from Athens to Skyros. With a varied landscape of sea and mountains, the island is home to several villages displaying Cycladic architecture, as well as popular beach resorts and stunning beaches. It is also home to a unique breed of horse, called the Skyran Pony. The main town of Skyros is particularly impressive, as it is built on a hill and offers fantastic views of the bay.

The main town of Skyros, with its kastro © G Da / WikiCommons

Day 2: Skyros – Kymi – Alonissos

Head to Linaria, the main port on the island, for your connection to other islands. As Skyros is the furthest away of the islands, direct connections to the rest of the islands are rare. The most straightforward and quickest way (100 minutes) is to head to Kymi, a port town in eastern Evia, with a ferry run by the Skyros Shipping company. Then, take a second ferry to Alonissos (2 hours 20 minutes). Make sure to check the schedule in advance, as although connections between the Sporades islands and Kymi are frequent in the summer, you might have to spend a day in Kymi before being able to reach Alonissos.

Day 3: Alonissos

Welcome to Alonissos, the island with enchanting landscapes and a stunning coastline. The island is part of a marine park and is home to a protected population of Mediterranean monk seals, as well as a variety of sea birds and other animals. You may be able to spot a few on a boat trip around the island. At night, explore Patitiri, the island’s main village and harbour, for some delicious local cuisine.

Day 4: Alonissos – Skopelos

Head to the beautiful island of Skopelos, a 20-minute ferry ride away. The small island offers a plethora of natural springs, beaches and coves, many of which are fairly isolated, which add to the authentic charm of Skopelos. The island has gained popularity thanks to the movie Mamma Mia, which was filmed around the island. If you are a fan, you can even create your own Mamma Mia-inspired tour around the island.

Days 5 & 6: Skopelos – Skiathos

About 40 to 75 minutes away (depending on which ferry company you use) is Skiathos, the most developed island of the Sporades. Here you’ll find stunning nature, impressive beaches (we highly recommend Lalaria), verdant valleys and dynamic nightlife. Spend the night in the picturesque main town of Skiathos, Hora.

Day 7: Skiathos – Athens

End your odyssey around the Sporades with a 40-minute flight back to Athens. If you’d prefer to take the longer scenic way back, Skiathos is also connected to the mainland by ferry via Volos. The journey lasts between 70 minutes or 2 hours 45 minutes, depending on which ferry company you use. From Volos, the drive back to Athens will take you along the coast.