Filled with all the charms of the Mediterranean is the beautiful island of Skiathos, set in the Aegean Sea and one of the Sporades group of islands, of which only 4 are permanently inhabited Skiathos cover just 16 square miles but manages to cram in almost 70 beaches, sandy coves, sparkling blue seas, and a majestic hilly interior covered with the lush green of wooded forests and pines.

Once seen as a luxury option, Skiathos now sells itself as the ultimate sun sea and sand destination, with package deals that make this fabulous island accessible to all; whether you choose to stay in Skiathos Town the main settlement and port, or prefer the tranquillity of a villa along one of the many sandy beaches, the one thing you are guaranteed is a fantastic summer break with just a hint of excitement and party attitude.

Although geared up for the package market there is no shortage of good hotels across Skiathos and the Bourttzi Boutique Hotel is a great example of luxury, although at first glance simple, there is clearly an elegance to this hotel that offers an artistic feel that remains cleverly cool, don’t miss the chic cocktail bar; Aegean Suites offer a little tranquillity from the family market, the grand villa style accommodation only is available to the over 18’s, and each has its own living area with fantastic sea views that give a real touch of class.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on Skiathos though to find great quality accommodation, the Alkyon is close to the new harbour with light and airy rooms, whilst just behind the national bank you will find Mouria Hotel, comfortable clean rooms are set around a pretty flower filled courtyard where you can enjoy a traditional Greek meal.

Skiathos Town has the highest concentration of restaurants with everything ranging from traditional Greek fare and fresh local fish, to contemporary fusion food with a twist; Taverna Hellinikon, is fantastic for that local flavour, the mother and daughter team producing classics such as slow roast lamb with lemon, and making the most of the beautiful summer evenings by filling the outdoor terrace with live music and fun.

Amphiliki overlooking the bay is well known as the place to eat local fish, dine on the balcony to get the true sense of the bounty of the Aegean, the house speciality of fresh tuna is outstanding, accompanied by local organic vegetables grown in the chef’s own garden – this is also one of the restaurants that serves a really good house wine at a very reasonable price.

The beaches is Skiathos are always going to be the main draw, Koukounaries is often described as the best beach on the island, second only in popularity to Skiathos Town, the one thing that all the beaches have in common, from the lively Vromololimnos sand beach to the remote white stone beach of Lalaria, is the family friendly feel, the beach gently shelving into the sea making the waters safe for children.

Skiathos Town has lots to keep you interested if you fancy some time away from the beach, be sure to head to the cultural centre at the Bourtzi Fortress in the peninsular, the more active might try to short hike to the Monastery of Evangelistria just north of the town; another option is to escape Skiathos altogether and take a day trip to one of the neighboring islands with great opportunities for dolphin spotting along the way, even the Greek mainland can be easily accessed from Skiathos with its amazing location.

With a temperate climate Skiathos is pretty special all year round, there is little in the way of extremes even at the height of summer or in the depths of winter; the summer months are the best time to visit the Sporades Islands, although the influx of tourists is high, the island comes alive with all the amenities and facilities open.

Spring is very similar to the summer months, the tourist season operating from April until October, temperatures remain consistent and even during early April are in the 20’s; once October has passed and right through the winter months much of Skiathos is deserted, with only Skiathos Town offering full facilities for visitors, however the mild weather and the lovely calm atmosphere can be the perfect tonic to the British winter.