Located 2.5 NM East of the Peninsula of Magnesia in the Aegean Sea, Skiathos is the Westernmost island of the Northern Sporades area. Skiathos is considered the most popular destination of the Sporades group and one of the most exciting sailing destinations in Greece.
Skiathos is wooded island where green prevails by far. Thick pine-tree forests slope down to the waterline creating a lush and fertile landscape!
Skiathos town (or otherwise “Chora”) is the capital, the main port and the touristy place of the island. “Chora” is built amphitheatrically and its streets are full of small whitewashed houses and narrow alleys with lots of restaurants, tavernas, clubs, cafes and commercial shops. Despite the capital’s magnificence, there are people who prefer the privacy and the piece of Skiathos countryside as well.
Skiathos island has some of the most stunning beaches and coves in Greece! Their crystalline and clear waters along with the sandy beaches and the “pine-tree scenery” make it a (sailing) holiday paradise. Most beaches are well-organised and provide a good standard of facilities and service. Several bays and beaches are accessible only by sailboat offering privacy and peace. The most reputed beaches in Skiathos are Koukounaries, Megali Ammos, Kastro, Lalaria, Ftelia, Aghia Paraskevi, Megas Gialos, Vromolimnos, Tzaneria, Ag Eleni, Mandraki, Limenari and Banana beach.
During summer, the prevailing wind in Skiathos island is the Meltemi. It blows from NE at force 4-6 beaufort scale and may reach 7 on occasion. During spring and autumn, it usually blows from N (NE-NW) with common S winds as well.
The climate, in Skiathos, features mild-rainy winters and sunny-warm summers. During summer, the temperatures sometimes are quite high but the Meltemi winds provide a relief and more pleasant atmosphere.
Skiathos island has its own marina! Skiathos marina and mooring places for charter boats (when available) are placed at the North edge of the Skiathos’ main port just a few minutes from the main town in front of the tavernas and the cafes.
Skiathos’ best shelter points: Skiathos marina (N), Koukounaries and Platania bay and in many beaches at the South coastline of Skiathos.
Keep in mind: Skiathos port is the prime starting point for sailing holidays around Northern Sporades – Aegean Sea since it is the only marina/ yacht charter base in the surrounding area.
Skiathos, like its neighbour islands, historically became of interest in 478 BC when it became a member of the Athenian Alliance. It played an anecdotal role in the famous Battle of Salamis, as it was Xerxis bay NW at Skiathos in 480 BC where the Persian King Xerxes stopped to repair the ships of his fleet en route to Salamis. The island was later occupied by the Macedonians, the Romans, and the Venetians (from 1204 until 1538). During their tenure, the Venetians built the fort on the lovely islet of Bourtzi, just at the entrance of the harbour. When the Turks took control of the island in 1538 the capital was moved North at Kastro settlement, but in 1830 was rebuilt back in its current location upon the ruins of the old one. In 1827, Skiathos recognized the fledgling Greek Republic just three years after the fall of the Turkish rule. The German pilots bombed the island heavily during World War II and a big part of the town had was built new, though there are still many houses in the capital’s back streets and lanes aging from the 19th century.
The most significant site in Skiathos island is “the house of Papadiamanti”, the only museum at the heart of the capital. The museum displays important documents about the life of the famous Greek poet and writer Alexandros Papadiamantis during the 19th Century.
There are also several worth-seeing churches and monasteries such as the Evangelistria Monastery and the church of St. Nikolaos in the main town.
Other places for sightseeing are the Bourtzi, the Pirgi and the old town of Kastro.
Various water sports such as windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, banana boat rides, snorkelling, pedal boats and jet skiing are on hand in many organised hotel beaches in the island of Skiathos. There are also a few schools and scuba diving centres where experienced instructors teach and provide the specific equipment for such sports. So, even if you are not familiar with watersports, schools can help you get started. There are plenty of choices so as to rent a car, motorbike or bike as well.