Skiathos Cycladia Tips

Tips for a pleasant stay in Skiathos
Skiathos is an idyllic island, located right across the majestic Mount Pelion. It combines cosmopolitan flair and a distinctive 19th century old charm. It’s filled with narrow little paved streets, houses with backyards, old mansions once owned by prominent ship captains, rocky steep cliffs, spectacular golden beaches, planes and pines, amazing sunsets and a rare wetland. All this create the image of a magical destination, only an hour and a half from Athens, by plane. Here are some tips about places you should check out, beyond the known attractions. 

Sunset from Banana beach
Banana beach got its name from the shape of the coastline and it’s considered as one of the most beautiful in the island. It’s located about 1km from the famous Koukounaries beach, if you follow the dirty road, as instructed by the signs. Under the shadows of the tall trees there are numerous beach bars that have sun beds and hammocks in the golden sand. From there you can wait from the sun to set, behind Mount Pelion. You can also check out this breathtaking view from Mikri Banana, which is mostly a nudists’ beach.

The forest of Koukounaries (pine cones)
This is one of the two most important cones habitats in Greece. The other one is located in the national park of Schinias, in Marathon. In Skiathos, all trails magically lead towards the beaches or the salt-water Strofilia Lake, which hosts rare bird species. The ecosystem is protected by Greek legislation, as one of exceptional natural beauty and high biodiversity. 

Escapes in the nearby islands
Alonissos is the base of the National Marine Park of Sporades and the least crowded of the cluster. It boasts some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean and it is also home for the rare Monachus-Monachus monk seals. Hora has some lovely cafés and cozy little taverns, by the water. Don’t forget to visit Steni Vala for fresh fish. In the port of Skiathos you will find many travel agencies that can arrange for the trip. 

Skiathos beach tour
Skiathos has more than 60 beaches. These can either be visited by car –most of them- or by boat. Megali Ammos, Vasilias, Achladies can be accessed by bus, car, scooter or boat. Tzaneria, Kanapitsa, Vromolimnos, Kolios, Agia Paraskevi and Troulos have amazing views to nearby uninhabited islands. Maratha, Koukounaries –famous hot spot-, Banana and Mikri Banana, as well as Agia Eleni are next in line with sparkling emerald waters and surprising happenings by night. Ask the locals about Kryfi Ammoudia (Hidden Sandy Beach). It’s located about 11 km from Skiathos Town and it’s accessed by a dangerous, steep trail. Hidden treasure, if you ask me! 

Caiques – Island tour
Take the caiques –traditional boats- from the main port towards the northern part of the island, weather permitted. You will see many isolated beaches, coves, caves and steep cliffs. Some captains visit the Blue Cave and then the Dark Cave. Take advantage! It sounds scary, but once your eyes get used to the darkness, the view is just spectacular. Don’t forget to visit the beach of Lalaria. The landscape is wild, almost primitive and it will leave you speechless Ask to be shown the infamous Cave of Fonissa (murderess) from the homonymous book of the famous Greek writer, Alexandros Papadiamantis. They say that the heroine of the book was hiding there and, according to the legend, since then, when the sun goes down the “snakes” come out. The “snakes” are notoriously high waves. Remember that after sunset there are no itineraries between Lalaria and Skiathos Town. 

Also by caique, you can visit all the nearby uninhabited islets. Megali Tsougkria is a picturesque, dreamy little islet with an unspoiled white sand beach, just across from Kanapitsa. 

Food, drinks and entertainment
The majority of the stores, galleries, bars, restaurants and taverns are located on or near the main road of Skiathos Town, on Papadiamantis Street. For delicious meals try Asprolithos, Karnagio and Mesogeia. If you are up for tsipouro, try the famous Tsaprouni, by the beach. 

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