A mini travel guide of Skiathos island!

Skiathos is an island where, every summer, crowds of tourists fill the hotels and beaches, enjoying their holidays.

Initially, it was quite famous for its nightlife, but in the last few years, it has been converted into a more cosmopolitan and relaxed place with stunning beaches and great nature!

In this post, you will find the below information.

  • Where is Skiathos, and how to get there?
  • What to do
  • Best beaches
  • Where to stay
  • How to move around

Where is Skiathos Island, and how to get there?

Skiathos is a Greek island in the northwest Aegean Sea and is part of the Sporades archipelago.

There are two ways that you can visit this beautiful island.

  • One way is by ferry from several harbours, like Volos (3.5 hours from Athens – 2.5 hours from Thessaloniki), Agios Konstantinos (2 hours from Athens by car), Thessaloniki and Mantoudi. Personally, I use the Ferryscanner platform (a Greek travel startup) to book any ferry tickets and they have built a great product, user-friendly and efficient!
  • Another way to reach Skiathos island is by flight, as the island has an international airport (but not very large). It was recently renovated and nominated for Europe’s most Scenic Airports Award 2020! This airport is famous for its proximity to the beach and nearby yachting docks!

TIP: If you want to visit Skiathos, a good idea is to spend some days in the Pelion area, next to Volos city. It is a unique place that offers various things and places to relax in winter and summer. You can look at our mini travel guide about Pelion and where to stay there!

What to do in Skiathos

#Stroll around on the cobbled streets for shopping

Just get lost on its narrow streets. You will surely find one of the main pedestrian streets, Papadiamanti Street, where you can buy local products from many stylish boutiques and deli places!

Skiathos town Sporades

#Enjoying water sports!

Skiathos generally has calm seas, especially compared to other places in Greece. Many of its beaches are perfect for water sports, even for beginners. The ideal beach is Koukounaria, which has water ski and surfing schools with experienced instructors.

#Visit the Museum of Greek Writer Alexandros Papadiamantis.

In Skiathos town, there is the museum of the famous writer Alexandros Papadiamantis. This is his last home, where he wrote many short stories, but he, unfortunately, did not see any of them printed.

The museum is close to the east port, where you will see the sign in an alley. Inside, you will find personal items of Alexandros Papadiamantis, such as his pen, inkwell, etc.

Alexandros Papadiamantis museum what to do skiathos

#Walk to Bourtzi and enjoy your coffee or drink

Bourtzi is a beautiful peninsula that you will see in the port of Skiathos. In Bourtzi, in 1207, a small Venetian Castle was built by the Gyzi brothers, where you will find some remains of the Castle today.

In Bourtzi, you will find many visitors sitting on benches by the sea just admiring the beautiful views!

Also, the Cultural Center in the area hosts the Museum of Maritime and Cultural Tradition of Skiathos. It narrates the island’s two centuries of shipbuilding and maritime history.

Bourtzi Skiathos island things to do

#Attend a dance theatre play!

Skiathos Garden Theater
Skiathos Garden Theater ©secretgreece


In 2022, a new dance theatre was established in Skiatho’s main town for the first time —and it was marvellous!

This is a real gem and something that I couldn’t imagine I would find on a Greek island! It’s a great dance theatre initiative that adds a different dimension to the island’s cultural map.

I watched two plays, “The Cave” and “Eros – Hero”, and I loved the performances, the stories, and all the different emotions I experienced.

Highly recommended for those who like these types of performances and plays! More Information Here!

#Enjoy the sunset

Two sunset spots in Skiathos are my favourites. One of them is the beach of Agia Eleni, an ideal place to enjoy romantic moments with your loved one, with bright colours by the sea.

The second is in the main town, Chora, and you can go to the church of Agios Nikolaos. The short walk through narrow streets and stairs is fantastic, and you will admire the old houses with courtyards. Once you arrive at the church, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the whole island and, of course, the sunset.

Agios Nikolaos skiathos island
View from Agios Nikolaos

#Hike on the stunning paths

There are 26 hiking routes in Skiathos (around 200 km in total!)., and you can go through wonderful pine forests and reach the island’s peaks! Trails are marked and well-maintained, and you can choose routes that take 1 to 6 hours to complete.

Ortwin Widmann, originally from Germany, fell in love with Greece, especially Skiathos. Since 1997, he has lived in Skiathos with his wife and created a Hiking Guide for Skiathos. You can find more information here.

All routes are given as gifts in a file for GPS, and all those who reach the 24 routes receive a hiking medal.

Tip: If you want to get a taste of the churches in Skiathos, then two of the ones you must visit are I.N. Evangelistrias and I.M. Millet, with the typical red dome.

#Visit the Kastro = Castle

There are four churches on the site: the terrace with the scalpel, the gate and part of the wall, a cannon, and a half-destroyed mosque.

You can visit it by car or motorbike, but if you have the stamina, you can go on foot, as mentioned above.

The most famous route – 6 km – starts from the Monastery of Evangelistria and ends at the Castle. This route is ideal for birdwatching friends in the area of ​​the Castle.

Also, some boat routes reach the Kastro beach, and you can ascend to the Kastro by path.

#enjoy a boat tour around the island!

There are many boat tours in the harbour that you can book, and enjoy the island tour, where you can swim on fantastic beaches!

If you are into sailing, you can select this nice full-day sailing trip around Skiathos.

Best Beaches

Koukounaries: This is perhaps one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean and is also known as “Golden Sand” since its sand is magnificent and looks like it is shining under the sun!

There are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to accommodate enough tourists, and it is quite well protected from the north winds.

You can enjoy snorkelling, diving, and a wide range of water sports! Guided horseback riding through the pine forests in the northern part of Koukounariés is also available.

The beach borders the wetland of the protected area of ​​the Strofilia lagoon, where there is a specially designed place for animals and rare species of migratory birds, including swans, herons, and ducks. You can reach the beach by road or by bus.

Note that, especially during July and August, this beach gets extremely busy!

Koukounaries beach Skiathos island

Maratha Beach: This is the beach just before Koukonaries, and it can usually be quieter than its famous neighbour! You can leave the car on the road and walk down about 30 steps (a fairly steep walk) or use the road, which might be slightly better but still steep.

It is not long, with a beach bar from the hotel Skiathos Palace occupying part of it. Some of the sunbeds are reserved for the hotel. There is also a nice tavern, and the staff is very helpful.

Megali Ammos: This is the beach closer to Skiathos’s town, and it is a perfect choice for those who need a beach close to the town. It has several taverns, cafes, and rooms for rent just above the beach.

It has many sunbeds; it is relatively narrow as a beach and combines sand with small pebbles. It is easily accessible by bus and almost right at the bus stop. It is around a 15′ walk to Skiathos town.

Elia Mandraki: This is an excellent beach, and it can be reached in two ways. One is by bus (stop 21) and then walking through the lovely forest from the main road. It has shallow waters and is surrounded by dunes and red rocks.

There are no hotels or the possibility of doing some water sports, but the landscape is unique and special. It has a great canteen, where you can grab a coffee and something to eat and umbrellas with sunbeds. Finally, please check the weather before going because the beach is wavy and exposed to north wind.

Agia Eleni Beach: This beach is located north of Banana Beach, 14 km from Skiathos town and just 1 km from Koukounaries. It is relatively quiet and sandy, surrounded by pine trees. There is a beach bar with some sunbeds, but they can be expensive. You can also do various water sports.

Agia Eleni beach Skiathos island
Agia Eleni beach

Lalaria beach: This is a unique and extraordinary beach you can visit by boat and enjoy its exceptional beauty.

Limestone cliffs surround it, and you will be totally fascinated by the clear turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. The spectacular natural arch rising out of the sea is an icon of Skiathos, making it a popular place to take photos.

The daily boat trips from Skiathos port usually pass from this beach and go to Arkos and Tsougria, which is definitely worth visiting.

Lalaria beach Skiathos island

Achladies Beach: It is located in a protected bay. It’s a narrow but large organized sandy beach with some taverns and shops. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for a fee, and a water taxi also departs from this beach to Skiathos town. At one end of the beach, you can do water sports activities.

Vromolimnos: I think Vromolimnos is after Koukounaries, the most popular beach in Skiathos. The right part of the beach is ideal for younger ages as it has loud music and can get quite crowded. But there is another part that can be quieter. There is a tavern and a bar, and you can even find a school for water sports. It is a long sandy beach, and there are sunbeds and umbrellas.

Banana Beach. Known for its intense life since most young people visit Skiathos.

This is a lovely, sandy beach, but it has changed significantly in recent years. It is accessible through the hotel, and they do not allow you to enter by car, so you have to park on the road and walk through. Finding a sunbed when you arrive at the beach is challenging because they are reserved for the new hotel guests. However, it has shade from trees, and you can sit and enjoy the clear waters and the beauty of the beach.

Tip: You can check the little banana beach, which might be an easier choice but now that this is primarily a nudist beach.

Banana beach Skiathos

Megalos and Mikros Aselinos: These are two side-by-side beaches, just separated by a forested piece of land, quite far away from the famous beaches in Skiathos. Both are sandy with handy parking (for Mikros Aselinos, you will walk on a short 5′ walk). Take a look at the weather beforehand as when there is a north wind the sea isn’t so pleasant.

Where to stay on Skiathos Island

Where to stay is a crucial factor in the holidays, and it depends entirely on how you want to enjoy them.

Skiathos has several accommodation choices of all categories, from luxurious and 5-star hotels to more affordable villas or rooms.

You will find many choices in Skiathos Town, Koukounaries, Megali Ammos, and Troulos. Generally, you have several options to stay in Skiathos in the various parts of Skiathos, most of which are in Chora.

We have written a dedicated post about the best hotels on Skiathos Island, but you can get an idea from the three options below.

La Piscine Art Hotel, Philian Hotels and Resorts

This is a beautiful adults-only hotel, just a 5-minute walk to the centre of Skiathos, with a romantic atmosphere which makes it, I think, perfect for couples! Try to eat dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Mad Cow, at least once. Delicious food! The best thing about this hotel is the staff; every member would welcome you with warmth and a smile! More Information Here!

ELIVI Skiathos – Banana Beach

ELIVI Skiathos island koukounaries

Elivi has four great sandy beaches nearby (Koukounaries, Ambelakia, Big Banana, and Little Banana). The hotels are quite new (there are three different hotel buildings in different spots; Xenia, Grace, and Nest), and the rooms are modern, beautiful and well-equipped! The breakfast is also impressive! More Information Here!

Skiathos Avaton Hotel, Philian Hotels & Resorts – Skiathos Town

Skiathos Avaton Hotel, Philian Hotels & Resorts

This newly renovated resort is just an enjoyable 15′ walk to the town and a 5′ walk to Megali Ammos beach. Great variety at breakfast with a selection of eggs, bacon, local pastries, Greek yogurt, fruits, cereals, etc. The pool area is fantastic, with super comfortable sunbeds and a lovely pool bar. The staff is very kind, helpful, professional, courteous, and always ready to solve any inconvenience! More Information Here!

How to move around

The island is relatively small, and the navigation is easy and without problems.

You can rent a car to be independent and explore some beaches you cannot reach otherwise.

Skiathos has an excellent bus network that can help you explore the island. Here you can find more information about timetables and the route.

As in many islands in Skiathos, you will find companies with rental cars and motorbikes to rent during your stay in Skiathos.

If you have any question or you want to add your experience, please leave us a comment below!

21 thoughts on “A mini travel guide of Skiathos island!”

  1. Dimitris,

    First of all, Thank you for this amazing and very informative website!
    We are planning our daughters’ high school graduation trip for June 14 – June 24, 2024 and she
    wants to do the Momma Mia (Skopelos, Skiathos) Santorini and Crete.
    We would fly into Athens and would love your insight on how to manage these additional islands with only 8 days of actual vacation time (minus 2 days of travel from the US).
    Is this even possible, or are we trying to cram too much into one vacation?
    Thank you in advance for your expertise and recommendations.


    • Hi Heather! Thank you for the nice words!

      To my personal view is that the schedule is quite crammed for 8 days. It means that you will spend 2 days for each island, without take into account the transition from one island to another.

      Also, there is no connection between Skopelos/Skiathos and Santorini, so the only solution is to fly from Skiathos to Athens and then Santorini.
      Finally Crete is very large island and you won’t be able to see much in 2 days.

      I would recommend, to focus either on Cyclades islands (Santorini/Paros etc) or if you like the idea of Skiathos and Skopelos, to remove Crete and fly from Skiathos to Santorini through Athens.

      If you have any extra question, I am here to help you as much as I can!



  2. We have booked our first trip to Greece and choose Skiathos where I found your guide very useful!
    We are booked for 1 week and your top places to go would be appreciated

    • Hi Jill,

      Perfect! Hope you will have an amazing time! You can visit or try different things as you can see from my post!

      If you need anything specifically, just let me know!

      Kind regards,


  3. Hi,
    Thank You for this nice guide book, we will come in June, do You have some recommendation where to stay, in which area, with baby, we need nice beach with trees and somewhere to walk at night, afternoon, some nice streets with tavernas…?
    Thank You a lot

    • Hi Katarina,

      You are welcome! 

      So, my recommendation is that you should stay inside Skiathos tow(Chora). The area between Chora and Koukounaries has many villas and hotels, but with children, I definitely recommend Chora, because it is the only place on the island where you are close to everything, on foot!

      So, some nice choices would be 

      The Tree :Nice apartments on the marina of Chora, They are located in the town, overlooking the sea and just 200 meters from where the taxi boats leave for the beaches.The restaurants, but also everything you will need or want to see in Chora are up to 10 minutes’ walk away, through safe pedestrian streets.

      Megali Ammos Ηouse and Villa Ftelia Both accommodations are lovely and are very close to the banana beach but a little bit further from the town!

      Let me know if you need anything else, from my side.


    • Hi Bev,

      I am afraid I don’t have this information. Each water sports copmany decides to open every year based on the weather and the bookings.

      If I learn anything more specific I will let you know!



  4. We will be visiting Skiathos for a wedding in September. The wedding is at The Elivi Skiathos Hotel. We are looking for a Villa close the the venue. What area would you suggest?

  5. Hey,
    Thank you for the great info!
    I wonder, if i stay around koukounaries, is it easy to go for dinner/drink at sakiathos town and get back only by bus and no car?
    Also, is it noisy to stay close to the town?


    • Hi Naama,


      Skiathos overall has a good bus connection so you won’t have any issue with going back and forward from Koukounaries to town. Note that if you use bus you might be a little bit constrained in terms of time as the last bus can be around midnight (it depends). But there is also taxis in case you want to return to Koukounaries late.
      Staying at Koukounaries can be quieter after the sunset and till mid day. But there are not many things to do there. There is no an actual village to walk around.

      Skiathos town on the other hand can be a little bit noisy and crowded. And it is difficult to park there. But, you can find some hotels which are quieter than the others and of course all the buzz is there!

      Let me know if you need anything else!


  6. Thanks for posting this, it is an excellent guide to the beaches of Skiathos, and I am sure very useful to anyone new to the island.

  7. Hi,
    We are booked to be in Ouranopolis at the end of August but wanted to be on an island beforehand. Is there a simple sandy beached island nearby that we can travel from? Maybe by ferry? Travelling with a young family.

    • Hi Attosa,

      Do you mean Ouranopolis in Halkidiki, right?

      From ouranoupoli very close is Ammouliani island, which is very small with great beaches! Another choice could be Thasos island, which you caN go through the ports of either Keramoti or Kavala.

      Let me know if you need any other help.


  8. Hi, we are thinking of a island hopping inc. Skopelos (Mamma Mia) but as well as the film fans, we are scuba divers. We have 12 days to fit in, Athens, Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos . Is this doable and will give justice to these places? Also is the Athens part a good idea or not? Thanks for your ideas.

    • Hi Emma,

      I think it would be doable to spend 3 days per island.

      I am not sure about your itinerary plan, I mean where you land or leave etc, but I think you can include 2-3 days in Athens. In 2 days you can see all the basics. I have written a dedicated article here that you can have a look.

      Other than that 3 Skiathos, 3-4 Skopelos, 2-3 Alonisos and 2-3 in Athens would ok.

      Let me know if you have any question.



    • Hi Emma, have you been on you travel yet. I am interested on how it went and how many nights in each place. We plan to go next June. Also Mama Mia and Scuba diving! Thanks


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