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Skiathos

It’s the smallest of the archipelago, but also the liveliest and most social as well as being the greenest.
The island of Skiathos, in spite of the rapid development of tourism over the past few years, has still retained its original picturesque appearance.  Its 44 kilometres of coastline have some sixty beaches, all bathed by a transparent, crystal-clear sea; the most famous is Koukounaries, considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean.
 
Skiathos. Koukounaries beach.
Skiathos. Koukounaries beach. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Also worthy of note is the beach of Banana, which with its nearby sister beach of Small Banana amaze tourists with their spectacle of white rocky formations. Another beach not to be missed is the splendid and wild Lalaria, an expanse of white pebbles that can only be reached from the sea.
 
Numerous aquatic activities
Each year, Skiathos attracts hundreds of young visitors, not just for the sea and the numerous aquatic activities, including scuba diving and water skiing, but also for its lively night life, which goes on until dawn amongst singing, drinking and listening to music in the local night spots.
 
Skiathos. 
Skiathos. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
A true paradise of nature
However, Skiathos is not just about nightlife, pristine sea and splendid beaches, everywhere is imbued with the scent of myrtle and the balsamic air of the vast pine forests, which make it a true nature-lover’s paradise, with spacious protected areas near to the beaches. This island is also the least blown by the famous Meltemi wind, which in summer swells the sea and is rather tiresome on the beaches.
 
Skiathos. Lalaria beach.
Skiathos. Lalaria beach. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Another place to visit is the small Peninsula of Bourtzi, which divides the Port of Skiathos into two, and where once a Venetian fortress stood, built in 1200 by the Gizi family of merchants of the “Serenissima”, to defend the inhabitants from the continuous attacks of pirates. Today, in the summer, many cultural events and shows of all kinds take place in the remains of the castle, which has been recently restored as an open-air theatre. Another fortress was built in the XIV century of the plateau of Kastro, little of which remains today, although a magnificent view of the sea and surrounding villages can be enjoyed from here.
 
Skiathos.
Skiathos. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
The capital, Skiathos city, known also as Chora, overlooks a romantic lush bay. Rebuilt around 1830 on the old destroyed city, it has a striking appearance with cobbled roads and white houses with blue doors, and is surrounded by colourful gardens and animated by characteristic places such as bistros, tavernas and ouzeries, as well as unexpected antique and jewellery shops.
 
Alexandros Papadiamantis
The small island of Bourzti can be admired from the city’s sea promenadeAlexandros Papadiamantis, a road named after the famous writer of novels and short stories set on the island and a native of Skiathos, who has also given his name to the busy island airport, the only one of the archipelago; the writer is considered a genuine local talent, to the extent that each year he is celebrated twice, on 3rd and 4th January and on 4th March. Among the cultural attractions of the city, indicated by various signs, is the house where he was born, today a Museum, which is situated on a road parallel to the one that takes his name.
 
Skiathos.
Skiathos. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
The orthodox churches
The orthodox churches are also interesting, two of which are renowned for their beauty, the Church of Christ’s Birth and Agios Nicholaos, the protector of sailors. The Trion IerarchonCathedral is also very beautiful and preserves some exquisite icons. The only monastery still standing on the island inhabited by monks is the Evangelistria Monastery, which has a Byzantine church at its centre with stupendous domes of pink bricks and a slate roof. This monastery also has a winery and taverna, managed by the same hard-working monks, where fine local wines can be enjoyed. Don’t miss the Monastery of Panagia Kounistra, which has very beautiful frescos in its dome.
 
Tatziki Sauce
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
The products of the territory
Skiathos survives mainly from tourism, but also from agriculture, and the products that come from its farms have a unique flavour, such as walnutsolives, as well as certain local winesand honey, which goes very well with the Greek yogurt. Yogurt combined with cucumbers, garlic and oil creates delicious and spicy sauces, such as Tatziki, which is served with roast meat. To finish, you could try a glass of Alypiakos, the local wine which has a very significant name: in Greek it means ‘without pain’.
 

Text by Anna Glik
Photos: Sisiterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: www.visitgreece.gr
Published on Avion Tourism Magazine 
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Updated: 2018, February 2020
 
 
 
Tourism Board
Ente Turismo Nazionale della Grecia e di Skiàthos
www.visitgreece.gr
www.skiathos.gr
 
 
Where to sleep in Skiathos
Skiathos.
Skiathos. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / MaRap / Shutterstock
Skiàthos, is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
 
STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
DISTRICTS
Hotels in the districts
 
AIRPORT
Hotels near the airport 
WHERE TO GO
Monuments and Museums
Skiathos. Papadiamantis Museum.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
ALEXANDROS PAPADIAMANTIS MUSEUM

There is only one real museum on the island; it is located in the house where Alexandros Papadiamantis lived and died, and is situated in a small square in the town near the main road named after him. The house, striking in its simplicity, still contains the same items and furniture as it did when he was a writer (1851-1911): personal objects, photos and several original copies of his writings, all popular tales set on the island which contributed to his fame. In his works, Papadiamantistransmits all the love for his land and its products, including the famous local wine Alypiakos, which, in Greek means ‘without pain’ and was for him ‘the wine to ease all the pain and sadness in the world’. The islanders are proud of their illustrious compatriot, who they venerate in the same way as a saint and for this reason have transformed his house into a museum with a free tour so that the tourists can learn more about him.  

Skiathos. Cathedral of the Trion Ierarchon.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
"TRION IERARCHON" CHURCH

The church of Trion Ierarchon was the island’s cathedral for 150 years. The church is a basilicawith three naves, which was built in 1846. It is located in the centre of the town, near the beach. Theicon of Panagias tis Eikonistrias, found in a miraculous way around 1650, is situated in the church. It is dedicated to the patron saint of the island and visiting it is a sacred pilgrimage both for the inhabitants and for visitors to the island. Many sacred artefacts, in perfect condition, from all the country churches on the island were transferred to this church, such as many icons of great archaeological value.


 

Skiathos. Evangelistria monastery.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
EVANGELISTRIA MONASTERY

Just thirty minutes from Chora, on the top of a hill and surrounded by countryside with olive grovesand vineyards, stands the most famous monastery of the island, which was built in 1794 by a group of monks from Mount Athos. Entering this place and hearing the litanies of the monks fills visitors with a feeling of peace. It is a large building (approx. 2000 m2), very well kept and cherished, and offers a very beautiful view. Alongside is a small museum with books, relics and historic finds and a wing dedicated to folklore, with domestic utensils, traditional costumes, a loom and tools for agriculture and building. Thanks to the initiative of the monks, there is also a shop and a taverna, where delicious products can be tasted, including winesrosolio liqueurs and jams, which are hand made by the monks. Every 15th August, the burial of the Virgin Mary is celebrated with great solemnity.

Skiathos. Kastro castle.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
KASTRO CASTLE

Around the middle of the fifteenth century, because of the continuous raids by pirates, the inhabitants of Skiathos were forced to establish their town on Kastro, a peninsula on the northern part of the island, which was a natural fort. It had more than twenty churches, a mosque without minaret and water reservoirs. Today only two churches have been saved: Gennisi tou Christou (Christ’s birth) and Agios Nikolaos. The partly ruined Church of Panagia Preklas is also found in Kastro.


 

PANAGIA KOUNISTRA MONASTERY

This monastery, which is situated on the west side of the island, has unusual, almost miraculous origins. It is said that in 1650 a monk, while praying, saw an icon of the Virgin Mary swinging from a tree, as if descended from the sky and illuminated by celestial rays. From that date, it was decided to build a monastery and call it Kounistra. The recovered icon, protector of the island, is kept in the Cathedral of Tris Ierarches, while the icon seen in the monastery is a faithfully reproduced copy. The striking church of the monastery was built in Byzantine style and has a nave and dome. Inside, there is a very important wooden and gold iconostasis – a wall that separates the presbytery from the space reserved for worshippers – a customary feature of orthodox churches.

CHIESA "CHRISTOS STO KASTRO"

Questa chiesa, che fu cattedrale nel periodo Medioevale, è coperta da un tetto in legno risalente al XVII secolo ed importanti affreschi. La chiesa è stata elogiata da Alexandros Papadiamantis e Alexandros Moraitidis nelle loro novelle di Natale.

 

Excursions
Skiathos.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KASTRO

The archaeological site of Kastro is located in the northern part of Skiathos and can only be reached by boat or on foot. It is just ruins, but the place is striking and the view of the entire archipelago is magnificent. A trip in a caicco to the nearby islands of Alonissos and Skopelos is also recommended. They are very beautiful with small alleyways and numerous small white churches.

Skiathos and Arkos islands.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Milan Gonda / Shutterstock
TOUR DELLE ISOLE VICINO A SKIATHOS

Partendo in barca dal porto di Skiathos si può visitare la piccola Isola di Arkos che offre una bella spiaggia. Si prosegue poi verso l'Isola di Dasia con la sua grotta blu, dove nuotare nel mare blu. Verso ovest c'è poi l'Isola di Skopelos, ricca di spiagge e un mare cristallino ideale anche per le immersioni. Infine l'Isola di Tsougrias dove si fare il bagno, prendere il sole e vedere un tramonto incantevole. 

 

 
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