Visitor reviews of resorts, beaches, apartments, tavernas from visitors on holiday on the Greek island of Skopelos. Have you been to Skopelos this year? Let others know of your experiences. We welcome all opinions on holidays in Skopelos.
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Good: The island capital . . . is one of the most beautiful villages in all the islands; and the countryside is a similar lovely mixture of pine woods and fruitful hillsides dotted with the domes and cloisters of scores of quiet monasteries.
Bad: Skopelos is becoming increasingly popular with a rapid growth of package holiday hotels . . . this is higher quality business than most Greek resorts attract. Prices are correspondingly high and the atmosphere in the resort correspondingly civilised, or bland, depending on your point of view.
Good: Bigger, more rugged and better cultivated than Skiathos, Skopelos is almost as busy, but its concessions to tourism are lower key and in better taste.
Bad: Not a lot.
Good: Skopelos is an exceptionally beautiful island, more dramatic than Skiathos, its entire 100 sq km shaded by fragrant pine forests. Its beaches almost as lovely as those flaunted so commercially by its more rambunctious, raucous neighbour and it has two exceptionally pretty towns, Skopelos and Glossa.
Bad: Like Skiathos, Skopelos is expensive.
Skopelos is a very lush, beautiful green island which is well worth a couple of weeks of your time. You can walk out of the main town and within twenty minutes be in the countryside (an excellent book of walks is available in local shops). Skopelos town is a horseshoe-shaped harbour with a maze of streets leading upwards to a ruined castle. You can wander for hours through twisting and turning streets, past white-painted stone houses with bougainvillea tumbling over the walls. Thankfully most of these houses are occupied by local residents - rather than being bought up as second homes or by holiday companies. Indeed, one of the best features of Skopelos town is the sense of everyday life continuing to go on all around you - it is not strictly geared to the tourist trade.
I would very much recommend the walk to a monastery (can't remember the name) which you can see halfway up a hillside from Skopelos harbour. The walk takes roughly an hour, up a steep but winding slope. Built in the early 1700s, this white stone edifice is maintained by two elderly nuns. You will be shown into a small dark church full of icons - almost overpowering in its intensity. Be prepared to buy a small gift from their shop, which helps with the upkeep of the monastery.
Back in the harbour, go to the Thalassa café overlooking the town - you reach it via the staircase at the end of the harbour. This consists of an open-air courtyard decked with plants. The owner was extremely welcoming, to the point of offering (on various occasions) a free bottle of water, some cactus cuttings to take back to the UK and a pair of binoculars to enjoy the spectacular view out to Alonissos. Walk slightly further uphill from Thalassa and you reach the remains of the castle. Most of the restaurants on the waterfront are mediocre, but a slight cut above the rest is Achtaeon. Better still, head up into the streets behind the harbour for Finikas where, beneath the shade of a pineapple tree, they serve much more imaginative food (vegetarian lasagne etc).
In terms of bars, again you need to get away from the waterfront and explore the back streets. One of the best is the Olwnos bar, a small, dark and intimate venue, where the young owner plays an eclectic range of music ranging from Turkish dance music to Gregorian chants - the surprise of never knowing what would be played next. The only negative comment I have to make is about Glossa, on the other side of the island. This is described in many guides books as "unspoilt", but the atmosphere is strictly flyblown.
Noticed a mention of Madro Travel on Skopelos. They not only arrange ferries, but have a wonderful range of villas and houses on their website. They can arrange transfers to and from Skiathos as well. The Topo Anavasi map is the best one to buy if you fancy walking, by far the best way to see the island.
Yes, it is expensive, and difficult to get to, and there's only one really sandy beach, but this does keep the boozy Brits away. There are a lot of very high quality art/craft/jewellery shops. The local museum is well worth a look too. One of the best small museums I've ever seen. We've been to a lot of Greek islands over the years, but this is the only one we've ever wanted to come back to - five years running.
I was just reading your website and I must say that I am disappointed in your description of Loutraki. Please tell me the last time someone was in Loutraki. I have lived there part time for the past 7 years and I must tell you that you are very mistaken in your description of Loutraki.
Loutraki has been getting more and more developed with each year. They just fixed the playground to make it look great. What is more is your description of a litter strewn beach. Are you aware that there are 3 beaches in Loutraki?
Also I never smell the stench in Loutraki that I do in Skopelos. They now have umbrellas and chairs at one of the Loutraki beaches. The water is also clean. People in Loutraki seem to take more pride in their pier than those from Skopelos. There are some ancient Roman ruins in Loutraki as well.
The best part is that it does not have the commercialism of Skopelos so the tourist can really enjoy themselves. As for accommodation Loutraki offers far more than Glossa. The Hotel Selenunda is a great hotel perched on the hillside where every room has a sea view. It is a place where you take someone to really enjoy the view that Skopelos has to offer and guess what it is in the port of Loutraki. Check out their website www.hotelselenunda.com
You are spot on with your info on Skopelos. We had a great time. I don't know how much info I can give you after a week but we hired a motorbike (not a scooter) and went to the top of the mountain (hill) Delphi or something. Really interesting ride on rough roads and walk to the top. Best restaurant we found was The Garden (behind the Owl bar), a class above the rest.
Generally, food around the tavernas was simple and greasy but the veal at The Garden was excellent, as was the service. The taverna in the centre of Glossa had magnificent views and is well worth the trip. Good food too. We weren't expecting a four hour wait for the Flying Dolphin from Skiathos . . . you may like to warn future travellers.
Skopelos is a lovely green island, not overdeveloped but with plenty to do. It is great for walking, has lovely clean beaches and water and is very friendly. Skopelos town has most of the nightlife but at the other end of the island is the lovely hilltop village of Glossa. It has a number of great tavernas including the Agnanti which has the best views on the island and food to match. I don't think it is over expensive.
Went to Skopelos and thought it was fantastic - a beautiful town, very relaxed, with easy access to the countryside. Skopelos Town is fascinating. The island is very lush and green with a number of walks. There are also several good beaches.
Generally speaking, the prices on Skopelos are slightly over the average of Greek Islands. Compared to Thassos the prices are a bit higher, compared to Skiathos or Myconos they are significantly lower. As far as I remember, my bill for main dish and soft drink counted cca 13 Euro in taverna in Glossa. The prices for sun beds can hardly compare those in Skiathos
Anyone looking for ways to get to Skopelos could check out the Madro Travel site which has ferry and hydrofoil times, though they often change each year. You can book in Skiathos at any ticket agent (there are several). By hydrofoil it takes around 45 minutes, by ferry 90min to cover the 17 nautical miles.
You can also make ticket reservations for the Flying Dolphin through Minoan Lines in Athens (00301) 6198340, 4280001, 7512356, 7564850 or Skiathos (0030 427) 22018, 22033, 22722. Regarding the hydrofoil schedules Skiathos to Skopelos I think it is better suited for those making a one day trip from Skopelos to Skiathos than for those arriving from Skiathos. The last ferry from Skopelos is 5pm so I am considering to stay one night in Skopelos town.
There are dozens of rooms to let on Skopelos. It's best just to turn up, although if you want to book ahead there is an association of owners 04240 24567 and there are a few small hotels that will do a room for the night. Madro Travel, on the quayside, fixed me up with excellent room when I visited. Just look them up at Madro Travel.
Wasps can be a pain on Skopelos but usually a bit later in the year. They grow lots of plums on the island and the wasps go for the rotten fruit. Stay away from places that have plum orchards nearby and you should be fine.