Welcome to Skiathos
The gods must have been smiling when they created Skiathos, gifting it with a dazzling multitude of beaches vastly out of proportion with its modest size. The island’s sheltered turquoise waters and abundant stretches of golden sand attract thousands of tourists each year, taking advantage of the hot, dry summer weather and opportunities for sunbathing, watersports, socialising and all-round relaxation.
But while there is no doubt that the island’s coastline is its main draw, those who venture inland will discover a quieter and equally beautiful landscape filled with peaceful churches and monasteries, pine forests, olive groves and wild herbs. The traditional rural lifestyles of some islanders have remained surprisingly constant through the huge changes of the past few decades. Walking is an excellent way to explore this side of Skiathos and is a popular pursuit in spring and autumn: stunning views are to be found almost everywhere. The protected ‘biotope’ nature reserve of Strafilios lagoon is one of only three such environments in Greece.
A chic beach destination for A-list stars and royalty
In the sixties and seventies, Skiathos was the chic destination of choice for many actors, rock stars and other celebrities. The island remains a popular port of call for breathtakingly expensive yachts and the impressive roll call of visitors to have dropped anchor here in recent years includes an array of A-list stars and royalty.
Skiathos is very popular among Brits and Germans
The rich and famous continue to grace Skiathi shores, but these days charter flights and regular ferries have opened up the resort to a much wider range of people. Among the many foreign nationalities who visit (alongside a fair number of Greeks), it is especially popular with British and German tourists. Sizeable expat communities dwell permanently on the island and contribute to its character. The British community is the largest and most prominent, and virtually everywhere you go people will understand at least basic English.
While there are plenty of busy bars and clubs on Skiathos, the nightlife is more understated than on some other 24-hour, ‘party till you drop’ Greek islands (admittedly, not a hard thing to achieve). The holidaymaker demographic includes many families and older couples, and if the party scene is not for you it is entirely possible to visit, even in high season, without it intruding on your stay.
‘Mamma Mia’ has raised Skiathos’ profile
The hit Abba musical ‘Mamma Mia’, which was filmed here, as well as on the neighbouring island of Skopelos, has further raised the profile of Skiathos in recent years. The boat ‘Columbus’ used in the early scenes can often be seen moored in the old port, and residents reminisce fondly about appearing as extras in the film.