Reviews of resorts, beaches, apartments, tavernas and all aspects of holidays from people who have visited the island of Skiathos. I welcome all opinions on holidays in Skiathos. If you would like to add your If you would like to add your comments please email Greek Island Postcards
Good: The fame and fortune of the island of Skiathos is founded quite literally on sand. The claimed tally of over 60 beaches leaves little of the coastline unaccounted for; most of it is fringed with beautiful, fine sand.
Bad: The islanders have not been reluctant to cash in on their blessings . . . the south coast road is now punctuated by a series of big hotels each with its own slice of sandy beach. More and more holiday villas are springing up to fill the space between them.
Good: If you've time to spare, or a gregarious nature, you might like to break your journey to sample the best, if the most overcrowded, beaches in the Sporades.
Bad: The south coast road serves an almost unbroken line of villas, hotels and restaurants and although this doesn't take away from the island's natural beauty it makes it difficult to find anything unspoiled or particularly Greek about it all.
Good: It is stunningly beautiful, and its magnificent beaches (by most counts there are 62) provide some of the best swimming in Greece. Add to this a host of lively bars and restaurants and you have the ingredients for a potent, heady cocktail that attracts the young and the young at heart from the four corners of the globe.
Bad: Skiathos has been catapulted faster than any other into the frantic world of tourism, with all the pros and cons that this inevitably entails, beginning with the predatory attitudes of the nouveau riche ex-fishermen and farmers.
I first visited Skiathos in 2000 with my then girlfriend. I fell in love with the island (and married the girlfriend). We went back there during August with our six year old son and had a thoroughly marvelous holiday. The island has changed but then, that is life.
To those 'purists' who bemoan that the island is not the same as it was 30 years ago, I would say look around your home town, is that the same as it was 30 years ago? The chances are that for the majority of us - no, it isn't. Things change, I've changed, the world does not stand still.
What hasn't changed though is that Skiathos and its inhabitants are just as welcoming, friendly and helpful as ever. The climate is just as gorgeously hot and sunny and the beaches are stunningly beautiful. Skiathos is still a very beautiful island to visit. It can offer a lot of things to a broad spectrum of holiday makers.
If you want a quiet holiday - fine have one. If you want to walk in the hills - fine do that and if you want to lie on a beach - that too (with 60+ to choose from you can find the beach and social atmosphere you like). I bet that if Neil Armstrong went back to the moon, he'd notice that someone had left footprints on it
I've been around on different Greek islands since 1980. My family returned from Skiathos after two weeks and I do have some comments. If you like to spend your days on an expensive sun bed on an overcrowded, filthy beach; if you like the scent of numerous sweaty bodies and the odour of various sun lotions; if you like to listen to the music from multiple CD-players, radios and taverns simultaneously - then Skiathos' beaches will enchant you.
If you like to be regarded as a walking, brainless wallet; if you like to remind the waiter of the missing money back; if you like to pay awfully higher prices than usually - then Skiathos will suit your mind.
If you like junk food and "international" drinks with some glittery accessories; if you like the neo-Honecker style of the concrete constructions called hotels obscuring the awesome natural scenic view; if you prefer anything but genuine Greek stuff - then you will enjoy Skiathos. Otherwise, escape up in the mountains or better - go somewhere else than Skiathos!
Some of the comments on here are stupid. Yes the are stray cats and dogs around but the is a dog centre set up, which I am part of, that looks after them all year round. Many of the English people living in Skiathos take care of the cats in the winter. I have been going since I was three months old (now 17) and have made some great mates. Skiathos is like nowhere else I have ever been. All the locals are friendly and will do everything to help you.
This is a great place to go for families. Not so good for older people who will suffer from the heat and the hills on the island. I don't recommend this for students who want 24/7 party time, but if you want to chill in the day and go out at night and enjoy yourself there is nowhere better in the summer.
The sea is amazing. Crystal clear waters for miles, water sports and amazing beaches. Most people think there are only around 30 beaches on Skiathos but there are 66 beaches around it. Lalaria is my personal favourite. This has the cleanest water and doesn't have loads of people on it. The only problem is that you can only reach it with a boat.
This is also the most sporty island in the Aegean, with tennis and football tournaments held regularly. The port is something you have to see. When a ferry comes in it's amazing how quickly they get the cars and lorries on and off. The airport has also been transformed for the better. The old terminal is still there but the new one is amazing. There are fewer tourists going to Skiathos. This is ruining businesses and families' lives as they are only able to work for five months of the year.
I believe Skiathos is an awesome place and have loved every holiday ever. But at this point Skiathos is at its lowest. We have shut our apartments over there because it just is not paying. We have lost loads of money and there just isn't the custom now. We still go over there two to three months each year. I am hoping to take over our business and make it successful again. I may only be 18 but I have experience in marketing, selling and customer service skills. I know exactly what it takes to run this business and have many connections in Skiathos to help me out if I need it at any point.
I have just visited your web site and thought it was really good. I am a university student and last year a large group of us visited Skiathos. Like like you say it seems to be being overrun with more and more tourists which sounds hypocritical, because we all went. But it was such a beautiful island and we had the best time. I didn't realise how beautiful most places in Greece where. I really missed it when we got home to England, I loved it so much.
The whole purpose of Skiathos is to gouge you from the first taxi. The driver recommended very anglicized restaurants and other tourist traps. 80's music blares from most of the poolside bars we visited. Walls of the self-catering apartment we rented were thin and allowed no chance of a romantic or intimate holiday. This type of apartment seems to be legion. The accommodation is hard sets of single beds. A rep will wake you up three times in the week to punt products, trips to Athens to view the stray animals or to more overpriced and burnt souvlaki. The first time you will be woken up will be under the supposed welcome meeting, which is for the biggest pitch of tour operator products. Stay in bed for that, you are supposed to be on holiday!
Forget getting peace to relax, this is all about getting your cash and punishing you if you don't play along. With every Greek dish you order, chips will be tucked at the side and Greek lager recommended to drink. If a Greek person came to England and ordered fish and chips; should we sneak a squid on the side of their plate, so they feel more at home?
The beaches were nice. Hide out there to escape sharing your holiday with what seems like the cast of Coronation Street. Boats are rented out at €90 per day plus €20 petrol. Get there at 9.30am. The high street is likened to any tourist high street punting plastic beads and t shirts, then more chips and lager from greasy spoon type cafes. Most people speak English, most food is English. The flights are appalling, and will take up to 5 hours to get home, after a refuel in Thessalonika. Twenty plane loads arrive on this tiny 7 mile long island every Friday and Wednesday. Decompression in the flight made our bags of crisps explode. Imagine what it does to your ear drums. I got an ear infection after that. The food on the flight was totally inedible, and I am not fussy. The food smelled bad. We had very little space to sit on the flight, being 5'8" and my boyfriend 6'5" it was agony when people pushed their seats back.
Small cats run about all over the island. Don't expect to see one past 2 years old. In the winter, the flats are abandoned. Hoteliers move back into the town and the cats starve to death,or are poisoned. Apparently this is an OK way to behave in this area, but not on my dime. So do think before you buy that "Cats of Greece" postcard to send home to your beloved family and pets. No one cares about them when you have left. They are just an instrument to pander to tourism. It was particularly hard hearing another tourist recount that they had spent two days watching a kitten die of poisoning from the back window of their apartment; his eyes all streaming. It was horrible that they could treat our pets like insects. Banana Beach, near the Koukounaries was nice. We did get followed about by a fat, hairy naked old man. I don't know what he thought he was going to get out of annoying us apart from a thick ear. I got stung by a wasp as well at this beach. Wasps are also legion. I wish I had just gone to Cornwall, England instead.
I cannot believe the comments I have just read regarding Skiathos. I have been going back there for many years and find it a delightful island. All the beaches are beautiful, the hospitality you are shown by the Greek people is unforgettable and many friendships have been made over the years. The flight in to Skiathos is not as frightening as you make it sound and you are told before you land, by the captain, that the noise of the reverse thrusts is nothing to worry about - it certainly did not worry me! You also say that people at the end of the airport road have been thrown into the sea by the blast of the engines on takeoff. Well - more fool anyone who goes through the warnings signposted quite clearly on the road. I would say to anyone who has booked a holiday that they will have a wonderful time. I will certainly be going back and think it is one of the most beautiful Greek islands.
I have been a regular visitor to Skiathos since 1980 and I agree with the author that it has indeed become more tacky and overpopulated than ever before. I also notice the Greek attitude is changing, smiling is less frequent and they are perhaps a bit less tolerant than they were 20 years ago. Tavernas are springing up along the main Koukounaries road at an alarming rate. It's a case of get to the beach early for that sun bed or lie on the sand. There are still beautiful beaches that can be found with relatively few tourists of which Agistos is my favourite.
Let me share some of my Skiathos impressions with you. Generally considered, all of the remarks and information on Skiathos island posted on Mike´s web site are not far from the truth. Maybe he is a bit too harsh and too critical but on the other hand, those describing the island as a marvelous paradise are a bit influenced from so-called memory optimism. Needless to repeat that Skiathos is an island with superb beaches, delicious food, crystal clear sea and civilized, sophisticated – or as you want – a bit artificial in atmosphere.
I would like to write some more detailed impressions. Skiathos is a quite clean, organized and civilized island. The beaches are cleaned up, the paths are kept, the buses drive according to time schedules and are relatively new. You will find the post boxes, toilets, tavernas, newspapers etc.
Definitely, the most attractive, most impressing environment is found on the south part of island. It is not only about Koukounaries beach – although being the synonym for this part of island – all the environment is very green, smooth, calm and very agreeable. Except of Skiathos Palace hotel you can hardly find the large concrete hotel buildings there, so the scenery is - lets say – almost unspoiled, sure within the limits. Mandraki Hotel or Muses Bungalows are good example for that kind of accommodation – maximum 2 floors, set up in the garden, during the June and September almost tranquil and remote. Walk a bit into the hinterland, you will receive many stunning views toward both coastal sides of the island, as well as toward the mainland.
The beaches around Koukounaries are definitely the best of the entire island. I will not write anything more about Koukounaries and Banana beach, everybody knows what s the matter. Superb beaches with unbelievable turquoise water, lush vegetation, but sometimes crowded I really liked Aghia Eleni beach. This beach is a mix of the organized beaches like Aghia Paraskevi or Troulos and wild northern coast. The atmosphere was really chilled out, sophisticated or pleasant, hardly to select the most appropriate word. You can watch the stunning sunsets, long legged topless Scandinavian girls or sit in the beach taverna and listen Jaques Brel or Charles Aznavour songs. It is a place for young couples.
Similar feelings, but more lonely, are to be awoken in the Mandraki beach. The sea could be rough there, but the beach is very attractive. The further to the north you are walking, the more the scenery becomes wilder and less civilized. I think the last one is the Kechria beach, further you can get only by boat. Famous Lalaria is on the northmost spot of the island – simply magnificent and breathtaking, worth the visit, no doubt. Similar is valid for the ruins of the Kastro. This place is a bit underestimated, maybe because of the fact, that Skiathos carries a “no ancient history” image among the visitors. All those mentioned places and experiences are the better traits of the island, and there is no doubt that it is certainly enough to turn back to this still picturesque island.
My husband Charles and I have visited Skiathos last and this year and we love the place. The people are friendly, the apartments we have stayed in have been a good size and very clean, the food is delicious and it is also a very picturesque island. We hired a scooter for 3 days and now wished we had hired one for 7 days, as there are so many pretty beaches to visit and thankfully the English youngsters do not seem to go there in their droves. We used to love walking about in the evening around the 2 harbours and during the day we (sad as we are) liked seeing the ferries coming in and out of the port. We would recommend it for the older generation for a lovely relaxing holiday.
Mr & Mrs Charles Chapman
if you have not been to Skiathos before, you will love it. Going again this year for the seventh time. I always go alone; it is the safest place I have ever been to. The first time it was raining and I thought what is the point in unpacking? Went for a walk to the beach and the following day phoned home saying I thought I had died and was in paradise. All you need is a bed, the island does the rest - enjoy.
Skiathos is an island with too many pine trees! That means that there are quite a lot of wasps, bees and bumble bees. I've been going there for the holidays since 1997 and I've been stung twice. My advise is not to wear perfume when sunbathing or eat fruit near the trees.
Don't worry about the wasps. I lived on the island for a while and they are nothing to worry about. The hornets are nastier! They also have snakes too! Great big ones and poisonous little ones, they scared the living daylights out of me. Apart from that you'll have a great time, although my friends on the island say that it has become far to commercialised ~ the arrival of Mac D's and time share touts has not helped. In my opinion, it is best to stay in the town and get the bus to the best beaches like Little Banana and Mandraki
I've just read your comments on Skiathos. After three holidays in Greece I quite liked Skiathos, but then I didn't expect much having only paid £240 for a week there. I think you're a smidgen harsh in your appraisal of the island but that's package-tour destinations for you.
We went to Skiathos in September. We had a fantastic holiday, the best we have had this year. How can you say those horrid things about such a nice place is beyond me. We ate at all the tavernas - the best one been the Agelika, at the side of the Coop next to 18 bus stop. It is down a dark path but the meals were really nice, plenty of food good choice of menu. If you go please say hello to Christof for me (the family pet). You will be made most welcome. I would visit Skiathos again when I've finished the rest of the islands or even pop back. I would buy a house there without hesitation. All I can say is you must have stayed in your room all the holiday or when, and if, you visited.
Pauline and Philip Watson
I think that at times you are a little harsh on Skiathos. It is a beautiful place and I will be returning shortly. Although I must take your hint on the airport runway! Even though I love flying I must admit that it is worse than the big dipper with faulty screws.
Having read your write up on Skiathos I felt that I should write to you to tell you that I have never heard such utter rubbish in my life! I have been to Skiathos for the past four years and have seen nothing of the things you have described. The tavernas are full, yes, but not of the beer swilling lager louts you paint on your site but of normal everyday Greek people who have every right to be there. Skiathos to me is a place where I can go for two weeks to forget everything and for complete rest and relaxation.
I have had many good meals and I'm sorry but I think you have missed the point of Skiathos completely. The food is great I have never ever had a bad meal there so I don't know where you've been eating when you've been there. Also I don't understand why, if you like Greece so much, you feel the need to slag it off in such a way to make people reconsider if booking a holiday in Greece is actually worth it. I understand that to show both sides of the story is hard, it requires tact and diplomacy, two attributes that you obviously are certainly lacking. I am only 19 years of age and I find it disturbing that you are stereotyping my age group as "youngsters getting tanked up". I find it highly offensive and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
How true your comments are on Skiathos. I visited first about 20 years ago and it was idyllic. Commercial, yes as it has always been popular with mainland Greeks but still the get away from it all island that we dream of. I returned last year and could hardly recognise the place. Even our apartment owner (from Athens) agreed it wasn't a Greek island any more. Everywhere, hotels and cafes and get-me-rich-quick tavernas. A holiday island yes - and not a bad one if you don't mind 'what you pay for is what you get' - but a real Greek island, no.
Skiathos is well worth a visit. I was there in May and enjoyed some brilliant walks on some of which the only living creatures encountered were animals and birds. However, the lady who runs the Platanos (up in the hills, and worth a visit for the view as well as the food) says that, after June 20, the atmosphere of the island changes with higher temperatures and many more visitors. Yes, there is development, but we found it easy to avoid. Think about going in spring or later in the season: avoid summertime.
The beaches on Skiathos are easily accessible by buses which run every 15 minutes up until midnight and the fares are very cheap. The best beaches are Mandraki and Big Banana, although you will have to walk to these from Koukounaries. Don't confuse Big Banana with Little Banana which is the nudist beach - although this is a very clean beach with clear water. I stayed in Vasilias once. It is a bit of a no-man's land between Skiathos town and Achladies with a very narrow beach - not a beach really just some cliffs with tiny coves dotted along it. It is a very, very steep walk down. I know of only one small taverna there that is only open in high season. Not steps either just a concrete slope (though I was hauling on a push chair at the time). It was leaning back steep going down so as not to catapult head over heels and roping ourselves together for the climb back up. We were there in May and the only ones on the beach. Loved Achladies nearby which had nice beachside tavernas and sand so soft you can bake bread with it. Have a nice time there.
The resorts on Skiathos do not have that much about them to recommend. Troulos and Aghia Paraskevi have quite a few good restaurants but you must go into the main town for loads of excellent restaurants. There are buses every 15 minutes until quite late in night. Be prepared to be squashed on bus, but it's all good fun if you don't take is so seriously.
If you get off at bus top 4 in Skiathos town and walk down you will see signs to the Asprolithos Restaurant. Also in town is the Bonaparte - a Swedish Restaurant. Also when walking down hill from bus stop is the Policratis and, if you go to harbour front and look out to sea go along to the left and there are quite a few good restaurants. The Scuna is Greek and Italian. There are also many in the heart of the town in the back streets that have the old Greek fellow playing his guitar and singing songs while you enjoy Greek cooking - honestly you are spoilt for choice. Well worth getting one of their street maps. Also venture to all the different beaches just past Troulos. One called Maratha beach is lovely and very quiet. One of our favourites is Vromolimnos.
As Skiathos is such a cosmopolitan place there is a huge choice of restaurants. The waterfront in town is crowded with decent, if expensive, tavernas and those above the harbour offer great views. If you venture away from the waterfront onto the back streets, you will find more restaurants, cheaper but not always better. Worth a look we reckon are - A Hot Kiss if you like Indian food; The Windmill - great food but you pay a big price for it; Primavera - Italian, what else? but great pizzas; Bonaparte - wide selection of international dishes; Old Port Jailhouse - international dishes but slow service we found; Karnagio: Our top choice in a traditional house with friendly atmosphere; Gerania: Serves Greek and international.
We had a great time in Skiathos town and there are lots of good places to hang out. The main pub is the Bourzoi, in the centre of the town. Left of the port there are plenty of places like Kavos, Kahlua and BBC. Just off the new port is a strip of bars and clubs which go on into the early hours. Kazbar is good too, just off Papadiamandis Street, with live music every night from Colin, good singer. The Admiral Benbow next door is fun with rock/soul. Most evenings we spent at the Rock n Roll Music Bar by the old port. Drinks are half price 7-9pm. Drinks generally weren't cheap but not too bad either. Lots of friendly English frequent the Sports Cafe, Spartacus and the Totem. Eating out is a mixed bag. The Windmill is high quality but expensive. The Polykratis had great food but is right at the top of Papadiamandis. Our worst meal was at the Jail House in the old port - it was crap.
I have just returned from a two week family holiday in Skiathos at Aghia Paraskevi. I read your comments before going, so thought your visitors might appreciate some comments from someone who is also familiar with many other Greek islands and mainland resorts. Broadly speaking, most of what you say contains an element of truth although even in mid-August I would not describe Skiathos as uncomfortably overcrowded compared with major resorts on other islands. True, there are sun beds in abundance at the major beaches, but plenty of space is available and it took little effort to find a totally secluded cove or a smaller, less populated beach.
This is a beach island and you are right to say that there is little else worth doing, although the Kastro was well worth a visit either by boat or Jeep. With a Jeep you can spend an interesting day driving over mountain tracks, many of which have recently been constructed to help combat the forest fires. I would also recommend scuba diving as an interesting way to pass some time. You can arrange it at Porto Nostos or Skiathos Town. Otherwise there's not a lot to do except sunbathe, swim, eat, drink and be merry. OK for some, not for others.
We stayed at Aghia Paraskevi which has a pleasant beach (quite busy) with a taverna and beach bar. The resort itself is quiet, part from the busy main road. It has a nice selection of restaurants, tavernas and pool bars. Food is somewhat variable, but I would personally recommend Platanias taverna (on the main road by the bus-stop) as being the best overall, having an extensive menu, good quality food and exceptionally good service. The restaurant Green Park is situated in a secluded location surrounded by beautiful palm-trees and again serves excellent food. I also liked taverna Agellika in nearby Troulos and a whole variety of tavernas and restaurants in Skiathos Town, especially those above the old harbour. I didn't find any of them expensive compared to the UK .
If you want lots of places to visit - ancient Hellenic and Byzantine monuments, monasteries, mountain scenery, caverns etc then Skiathos will certainly disappoint - this is definitely not like the Peloponnese. If you want the full-on tourist experience with lots of Greek dancing and night-time partying then Corfu is probably a better bet. If you want nice beaches, water sports galore, and don't mind sharing these with a quite a few like-minded individuals, then I reckon Skiathos fits the bill more than adequately.
The description of landing and take-off at Skiathos is highly amusing and, as fairly frequent flyer, I was looking forward to the seat-gripping novelty of it all. Alas, I was to be disappointed - a perfectly smooth landing, no tyre-screeching and a text book takeoff The peak-time bus journeys however are just as described. I recommend people try it just for the unique experience of being crammed in so tightly . . . and then use the taxi.
Barry Wilson & family & friends
Having recently returned from Skiathos I would like make some comments which may be beneficial to future travellers. Having researched the prices of hiring a car we decided that we would hire a boat (as we mainly wanted to go from beach to beach). After some research we decided to hire one from Stefanos at Vassilias beach. Stefanos could not have been more helpful. He made our holiday.
He is not the usual “beach bandit” out to make a quick shilling. He speaks fluent English having lived in the UK where he completed his Ski Instructors Certificate. If you hire from him he will give you an excellent discount for more than a few days hire. The motor boats are easy to handle, if you can drive a car you can drive one of these, and no previous experience is necessary. Stefanos will spend time chatting with you getting to know you personally and telling you all about Greece and Skiathos, by the way he makes an excellent frappe. He will take as much time as you need and give you all the necessary instruction to operate the boat safely, tell you how you can circumnavigate the island and all the different beaches, islands and tavernas you can go to. He will give you a map of the island.
As far as Agia Paraskevi is concerned there is no shortage of places to eat. Most serve the same fare but the one which we particularly enjoyed was Taverna Calma. OK, it is a bit of a walk (10 minutes from bus stop 16 towards Platanias village) but it is a lovely setting and the service from Maria and her husband is wonderful. No paper table clothes here, all linen and huge portions. If you like seafood I can highly recommend the mussels saganaki and the grilled prawns . You will not be disappointed. One word of warning, if you use the supermarket on the main road next door to the Iguana Pool Bar check your change. A few times we found it had been rounded up to the nearest euro.
Many thanks for your website. Although your comments did fill me with apprehension before I went, I found your pages very informative and amusing - I liked the pictures which gave me a good idea of the terrain. We visited Skiathos for the first time on May 9th last year and went for the walking. At first glance you wonder what Skiathos has to offer, with its one main road and no resorts as such - just different names which mainly relate to a beach area. However, once we started walking, we discovered the real beauty of the island.
We stayed at the Princess Hotel at Aghia Paraskevi which was excellent, and bought a little walking book complete with map (hand written by a German lady who must have known the island backwards). You probably know the book. We discovered flower-filled meadows, remote hillsides, fantastic views, marvelous deserted beaches and could walk all day without seeing hardly anyone. Lunch was out of the rucksack - cheese and cucumber rolls washed down with bottles of chilled water and fruit.
Although the island is quite mountainous, the hills are not too high and you can climb to most areas quite easily. The island is covered with tracks which provide for idyllic wandering. You can't really get lost as, if you make your way down to the sea on the south coast, you will eventually come to the road where you can wait for the bus.
We have been to several Greek islands and for us, the walking in Skiathos beats all of them. We probably stayed at the best time of the year for the flowers, the greenery and the bird song. One word of warning though - don't go in May if you want sunbathing and swimming - it was too cold for that. Lovely sunny warm days, but very cold at night and you can, of course, get rain. Take your fleece and waterproofs - otherwise look beyond the tavernas, the main road and Skiathos town, and head for the lanes and mountains. You will probably see a different Skiathos.
You're a bit harsh with your criticism of Skiathos, I think. We have been twice now, staying in Agia Paraskevi and Troulos. Troulos not so nice as it is trying to be touristy but it's not working really. There are plenty of self-catering apartments/studios to be had from the smaller tour operators (Golden Sun, Libra, Kosmar) and these provide basic but clean and comfortable bases for a holiday which allows you to explore as much or as little as you like.
The bus service on Skiathos is excellent - every 15 minutes both ways along the south coast - each stop is numbered clearly and the information on the buses guides you as to where to get off. Beaches are lovely there and plenty to choose from so no need to go to a crowded one at all. Koukounaries is worth a visit even though its busy - lovely walks through the pines and around the lake if you get fed up with the beach. Skiathos town is neat - plenty of side streets to explore and loads of tavernas to choose from - a little bit of careful choosing will reward you with fab meals at reasonable prices - don't go for the likes of The Windmill, Family etc. - stick to the proper taverna-style places - nice choice on road around to the left from the bus terminus leading towards the end of the airport runway - they all have tables inside and across the road on the edge of the harbour.
Skiathos is a lovely island with beautiful scenery and easy access to Skopelos and Alonissos for day trips. In fact, I think it's my favourite after 13 years of visiting various islands. With a bit of careful selection of accommodation we've had two smashing holidays here. We liked Kanapitsa beach - small, but a lovely setting. A good "restaurant" as opposed to taverna but if you're only visiting once, what the heck - the food is good but pricey. In complete contrast is Asselinos beach which can be reached from the fork in the road at Troulos. It took us about an hour to walk on a cloudy, showery day and when we got there it was unbelievable - crashing waves, deserted with a huge taverna that is obviously used to catering for round the island boat trips - not that day! You would not believe you were on the same island as on the calm, still beaches on the south coast. Your website is excellent by the way - lots of information and some lovely pictures - thank you.
We've just been back two days from Skiathos. I had taken the opportunity to read your comments before we left, as a result my wife and I and two other travelling companions awaited the touch down at the airport "with interest". I think that your comments regarding the take off and landing are spot on. Other comments, however, we will have to agree to disagree about. We had an exceptionally good meal at "The Family" restaurant in Skiathos town and the service was excellent.
We stopped at Aghia Paraskevi, which was quiet and pleasant. We all thought that the beach here was superior to Koukounaries. Still, if we all had the same taste we'd live in a boring old world. All in all an excellent week, but we are unlikely to revisit. It is true to say that we normally try new places each holiday. Thanks for the info prior to going. The landing at Thessoloniki, on the way back, wasn't too impressive either.
There are all facilities you need in Kolios. The mini market owner is the friendliest of people and regularly drew us maps for our walks. Fresh bread and rolls are still warm and can be delivered to your apartment every day. It has a lovely small beach with a taverna overlooking - couldn't wish for a nicer place.
I recently visited the Greek island of Skiathos, having booked a last minute holiday in Kolios. Never having been to Greece before I visited your site and was terrified by your description of landing and takeoff on Skiathos, so much so that I seriously considered not going. What a load of crap! The landing was smooth (thanks to a Captain Hargreaves of Excel airways) and very scenic. Either you are a wimp or I have been underestimating myself all these years. As for takeoff, well that was a piece of cake as well.
My husband and I found Skiathos to be just what we wanted we had a quiet beach holiday and found plenty of tavernas selling good, inexpensive food. The Paradiso in Troulos and the Kolios Beach taverna are to be recommended. We hired a jeep for a day and drove to Kastro, a must-see for everybody, although we did pass the Evangelistria Monastery on the way and were disappointed that it all seemed too new and characterless.
We also didn't think much of Skiathos town which was too touristy for our tastes, but as for the island not being Greek we certainly didn't find it to be English, French, Italian or Spanish so it must be Greek! It also amazes me when people say that Greece is not the same as it was 25 years ago. What a surprise! England is not what it was 25 years ago. Are they so arrogant that they think all other countries should live in the past to provide us with cheap uncommercialised holidays? To anyone thinking about visiting Skiathos my advice is go. If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday you will have a good time at a reasonable price.
After reading some of the reviews I would like to put my point across as I think some people have talked rubbish! I came back from Skiathos a week ago and I am planning my next visit soon. The holiday was everything I wanted from a holiday. It was my partner's first holiday so we picked the best place. Don't get me wrong, there were minor faults but not major.
We stayed at the Koukounaries resort and it was wonderful. The hotel staff were fun and generous, although only one spoke good English but "hey your in Greece"!! and that was fine with me! I found the best beaches were Koukounaries, Banana, and Mandraki and it wasn't overcrowded, although we did go in May. The water sports didn't start till half way through the holiday but we didn't have time before then anyhow and I was quite happy snorkelling - there are some beautiful fish in the waters.
We went on a trip to Athens through our tour operator First Choice and then ad to pay to get into the Acropolis. It was an experience but not worth the money. We did a total of 10 hours travel and spent three hours there which was rushed . . . we practically ran through Athens, so I wouldn't recommend this trip at all.
The food on the island however was beautiful and reasonably priced. It was worth it for the quality. We had to wait up to 30 mins but you knew the food was fresh. To me the whole holiday was worth every penny and we will be going again. The in flight was not half . . . I loved it the landing. It was amazing and we practically skimmed the sea.
We hired a two-man canoe and we could go where ever we wanted, very reasonable. I would say that people who want a relaxed holiday, good food, friendly people, great shopping and, like me love the sea, you should take a trip to Skiathos. It's wonderful.
I have been going to Troulos on Skiathos since I was 13 years old. I have made some long-lasting friendships and met people I will never forget. I feel some of the views towards Skiathos are unfair. Skiathos was very quiet when I first went, I hear it is now getting touristy. Well, what do people expect? It's come up-to-date and people are enjoying the changes. No clubs or bars will destroy the breathtaking views from the mountains or the clear blue waters that stretch as far as the eye can see.
I don't believe the ridiculous statements that people have made about Skiathos. I agree the plane landing can be a wee bit nerve racking but when you land any feelings of fear are completely erased. The hospitality of people is wonderful, very friendly and charming. I have been going to Troulos for eight years and I am delighted to say I am going back. I have made some lasting friendships and have met people I will never forget.
Although Skiathos may be getting more commercialised, the beautiful surroundings will always be there. I would recommend Skiathos to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday. If you really want somewhere to moan about then visit Skopelos. The apartment we stayed in was nice but the beach turned out to be like Southampton docks. The Greek people were arrogant and I am glad we made a two-day visit to friends in Skiathos. Never again will I step foot on Skopelos.
We have spent a week in Troulos in mid-May. The weather was fine each day with temperature between 70 and 75. We went around the island, walking some of the way which was a delight. The punctual and frequent bus service was not overcrowded except evening periods. The drivers and conductors were helpful and always cheery. The taverna owners did not stand outside pestering people to go inside, as we have experienced elsewhere. Between 7pm and 8pm there were plenty of tables in tavernas with immediate good service and very good value meals. From 9pm onwards the tables do fill up somewhat but not in a crowded sense.
Skiathos on a Saturday night was certainly not rowdy, noisy,or rough but maybe mid-May is when more people should visit. All the beaches were clean and there was plenty of choice of available sun beds on all beaches. Being in our mid 60s it was a hassle free, ideal holiday at the right time of year and the locals were obliging and courteous - which was a change from Manchester. Your site is excellent, but being in Skiathos mid May throws a different slant on some of the points made.
I am reluctantly home from my Greek Island holiday, and it went very well. I had in my mind's eye the beach I was looking for and I found it. We took the bus to Koukounaries and found the path you suggested, a pleasant walk through the woods and the beach at Mandraki was practically deserted. We had a swim there and afterwards I walked along the beach looking for shells to take back to my granddaughter. But Mandraki was not the beach I was thinking of. I found it at Vromolimnos. I realise this will be a different beach later in the season, but when we were there the were not many people on it. I wonder if you have visited it? It is a small bay with a strip of fine sand with the greenery at the back of it, and on the hills either side. The water is clear and you can see tiny fish swimming in it; there were also fish jumping out of the water. The last day we visited it I took a last walk along the beach and in doing so I missed dolphins swimming offshore.
We stayed at the La Luna apartments at the top of the hill overlooking Troulos Bay and although it was a bit of a steep climb, it was worth it. The first afternoon we arrived I swam in the pool, I could not get over the view I had when after swimming a length of the pool and resting. I could see the top of the small hills across the valley. All the apartments had a view of the bay, and a balcony or terrace, and it was gorgeous just to have a simple meal looking at that view. It was my first visit to a Greek island so I have nothing to compare it to, but I did not find Skiathos too commercialised. I tried Greek food, I had the meatballs, souvlaki, gyros, moussaka, and yevetsi and you were right, there are some good tavernas in Troulos.
Have just returned from one of the best holidays I have ever had. What a perfect little holiday island. Would definitely recommend it for couples taking little children for their first time abroad, mainly due to the tiny airport - one plane at a time please - and the safe shallow waters around the many pristine beaches. I stayed in the Morfo II apartments in Troulos and explored the whole island as well as Skopelos and Alonissos on boat trips.
Skiathos Town is very cosmopolitan with some chic modern bars. We found The Scuna restaurant is one of the best eating places and very pretty at night -follow the road on left of bus terminus towards night clubs. We liked Kolios beach best. The whole business, from the sun beds to the apartments and the tavernas run by the same family. Small pretty beach, friendly and The Sand Bar for excellent value food. Vromolimnos and Koukounaries are also excellent beaches. Do some boat trips, Island hop to Skopelos and Alonissos and you might see some dolphins! We also went horse riding in Koukounaries and walked dogs from a rescue centre in Troulos.
I think you are being very rough on Skiathos. I have been coming there for the past 14 years and I'm still in love with it. The man who sad that the attitude of the Greeks has changed is out of his mind because Greeks are very friendly. The best beach to go to is Vromolimnos, specially for people my age and I have the feeling that all the people that wrote a comment about Skiathos have never been in the back streets. If you have you would know that near La Piscine Palace there is a taverna called Giannis that serves the best home-made Greek meals at a very low price.
If you don't like sandy streets and the smell of the sewer coming up from under some of the streets but do like pure luxury then Skiathos is not the place to go because its very primitive and I like that about Skiathos.