In the winter the majority of businesses close as this tends to be an island mainly for tourists. The weather in winter is changeable. It is a really green island which just shows the amount of rain the island can have and snow is not uncommon. However, it is summer when Skiathos really shines.
The pure beauty of the island is the reason why so many people return year upon year, and it is the first choice holiday spot for many big name celebrities.
This is often thought of as the best beach on the island. Koukounaries is located at the far south western end of the island in the opposite direction from Skiathos Town. Getting there is really straight forward. There is a bus route along the one main road the island has and Koukounaries can be found at the final stop, number 26. The beach itself is popular with families as it has a gentle shelf and the waters are calm making it ideal for those with small children. The beach can become really busy in high season and it is not unusual in August for the sun beds to be 4 or even 5 rows deep.
A much smaller quieter beach compared to Koukounaries. Kolios Beach can be found at bus stop 15 and is a lovely little bay, again with a gentle slope and calm waters. There is a fairly short but steep concrete road down from the main road to the beach area and so may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties. One thing to watch out for is when the ferries pass between Skiathos Town and the mainland – the wash can cause waves on the shoreline and those sitting on the edge of the water can end up very wet, usually from head to toe. It isn’t dangerous, but can be a surprise for anyone not expecting it. It usually takes about 5 minutes from when the ferry passes to the waves hitting the shore so there is plenty of time to be prepared.
The closest beach to Skiathos Town is perhaps not the best on the island, but for those who do not want to travel too far then it is ideal. It is within easy walking distance from town or can be found at bus stop 4. Megali Ammos is just one of a number of beaches on the island where it is possible to take up some water sports activities. Inflatable banana rides, pedalos and water skiing can be done at Megali Ammos, which helps to make it popular with a younger crowd.
Kastro Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located in a lovely bay on the north of the island. It can be reached by car although there is a dirt path from the top of the hill down to the beach itself. There is a small taverna on the beach selling basic snacks and drinks. Kastro is a good place for a day out as it is also where the old city used to be located and ruins of buildings are there to be explored.
Sometimes a little old man will wait at the top to sell tickets to enter the old town, but entrance is free for all so only pay if you admire his ingenuity. The waters on this side of the island tend to be a little choppier then on the south and while not dangerous young children should be supervised.
Lalaria beach is the most photographed beach of all in Skiathos. It is a pebble beach that can only be accessed by boat making it fairly exclusive, although it is a main stop on the ‘round the island’ boat tours. Once there it is highly recognisable by its stone archway jutting out into the sea. These rocks are also a popular point for daredevils who like to cliff dive into the sea below. The beach can be found at the northern end of the island.
Things to do
Boat trips are very popular during the summer. It is possible to take a round the island tour as well as trips over to the neighbouring islands of Skopelos and Alonissos, both beautiful in their own right. For those who want to get about the island a different way, the water taxis are right there in the old port to ferry you to a variety of beaches along the southern coast.
There are many bars for evening entertainment and for about 12 weeks of the summer the nightclubs open their doors and attract the younger crowd. The clubs are located on a separate strip away a short walk from town so close enough to get to easily but far enough away as to not disturb those who do not wish to join in.
The monasteries of Evagelistria and Kounistra are a great way to pass a couple of hours and for those who enjoy shopping the main tourist ships are located on Papadiamantis Street, the main street running through town. Alexandros Papadiamantis was a famous Greek author who lived on the island and his home is now a museum open to visitors.