Skiathos Travel Guide
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have been inundated with holiday snaps from our honeymoon in Skiathos (soz!) Skiathos is a small Greek island in the Aegean sea, and it happens to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. We really did pick a good one.
One of the reasons we fell in love with Skiathos, apart from its beauty, is the fact that it felt so off the beaten track. Skiathos didn’t feel overly touristy, which we loved. Many of the roads were dirt tracks, there were no fast food chains or theme parks in sight and the Greek food was to die for. Definitely the sort of place to visit if you’re not looking for a touristy destination, if you want to explore authentic Greek culture and if you want to have a bit of an adventure.
Skiathos is so easy to explore, probably helped by the fact that it’s a relatively small island (around 25 mins from East to West!) The airport is fairly small and the runway is…interesting! Because the runway is so short, landings are very brake-heavy and take-offs are very speedy, but the pilots are used to that and it makes it more fun. There’s not much in the airport itself, just a small cafe in departures and a small cafe in arrivals, so take food with you or eat before you fly.
In terms of flights from the UK, Thomas Cook and TUI are the main two who fly here. We went with Thomas Cook and we were pretty happy with them. Would highly recommend the James Martin meals – actual decent aeroplane food! The flight takes between three and four hours.
We rented a car, which allowed us to explore the island. I would definitely recommend hiring a jeep if you go, as the north of the island can only be explored if you have 4WD. The main road is fine, the smaller roads are mostly dirt tracks…which I kind of love. Again, we wanted to be somewhere literally off the beaten track.
If you don’t want to hire a car, there’s a bus that goes along the south coast of Skiathos and stops at pretty much every holiday resort/beach. Taxis are available but expect to share. There aren’t many around so they will group you together…we made many a friend after a night out by sharing! The cost varies but we paid around 7 euros for a 5 minute drive back to our villa, which wasn’t too bad. I’ve definitely had worse.
There are also boat rides around the island, Mamma Mia tours (if that’s your kind of thing!) and ferries to neighbouring islands.
We stayed at the stunning Skiathos Island Villas, a group of three villas situated just outside of Skiathos town. It was perfect for us; a 5 minute drive from Skiathos town/port or a 30 minute walk, which we enjoyed in the evenings. The villa was nestled away in a forest which you can only reach by a single dirt track. It was quiet, private and our own little slice of paradise for 10 days.
There are plenty of gorgeous hotels and apartments scattered closer to the town or in beach resorts along the south coast, if you’re looking for something a bit livelier. If you’re wondering which resort to choose, Troulos looks lovely and has a couple of places to eat and a pretty beach. Vassilias is just 10 minutes from Skiathos town and if you’re a beach lover, definitely look at staying near Koukounaries which has some lovely bars, tavernas and the most incredible beach. I think this is an area I’d definitely go back to.
Time of year
We visited at the end of August and stayed until early September. The temperature was perfect, 30 degrees most days with wall-to-wall sunshine! It definitely didn’t feel too busy around the island. We easily got sun loungers on beaches and tables at restaurants, but it was busy enough that it had a lovely buzz. Our accommodation was also cheaper for the second half of our honeymoon, once we were in September.
Where to visit
B.E.A.UTIFUL. Koukounaries is hands down one of the prettiest places I’ve visited. The pine forests meet the beach, which makes for a pretty epic sight. The beach is 1.5km of golden sand and has both watersports and beach bars. Sun loungers line the beach at 4 euros per sun lounger, which I thought was super cheap compared to when I’ve been to Portugal and Menorca. We visited at 10am and the beach was fairly quiet; just a few people here and there.
Now, if you love the sea as much as I do (just your stereotypical Piscean!), then you have to swim at Koukounaries beach. The sea is crystal clear, it stays fairly shallow and it was so still on the day we went, so I had the chance to have a proper good swim. Absolute bliss.
If there’s one reason to visit this little beach, it’s to soak up the incredible views. We bagged front row sun loungers, and again, it wasn’t overly busy when we went. The sea was choppier than at Koukounaires, but yes, I still had a proper swim! We stayed for a few hours before heading back to the villa and picking some food up from a supermarket en route.
We decided to go to the beach for sunset one evening, just to do something a bit different. Tzaneria beach was about a 10 minute drive and is a beautifully small bay. We almost had the beach to ourselves and sat on a blanket watching the sky change colour. The beach has two bars/restaurants, one of them looked really nice so we were gutted we had already eaten!
Skiathos Old Port
We loved the Old Port and spent many an evening here. There are so many lovely restaurants and bars lining the waterfront. We bagged front row seats/sofas and spent the evening sipping on cocktails, talking about our highlights of our day and watching boats going to and fro. I’ll include some of our recommendations in a section below.
Skiathos is such a pretty town and definitely worth a visit, with its cobbled streets, white-washed walls, small winding lanes and little boutique shops dotted around. We spent our first evening getting lost and going in circles, but that’s part of the fun, right?!
Bourtzi is a little peninsula off Skiathos town offering the best views! It also became our ‘oh-my-God-it’s-too-hot-we-need-some-shade’ place to sit and refresh after a rather warm walk. The peninsula has amazing views of Skiathos town and the Old Port, and is also home to a restaurant and museum. I so wish I had been wearing my bikini as you can swim off the rocks in the clearest water. How dreamy does this look!
Food and drink
Any fellow foodies out there? We were in our absolute element when it came to food in Skiathos. So much so, I’m surprised we didn’t need rolling onto the plane home. Most of the food offering is traditional Greek food, fresh fish, lots of roasted veg and cheese. Oh and don’t even get me started on the balsamic *starts to drool*.
- The Crazy Cow – we loved the romantic and serene setting. We would recommend: the mushrooms in balsamic to start, the Napoleon to start, moussaka (so, so good), Greek braised beef, semifreddo and pavlova for dessert. We were so full afterwards we were almost in pain, but it was so worth it! If we hadn’t discovered this place so late in our honeymoon, we would’ve definitely returned.
- Ricchi e Poveri – stunning views across the bay and food to die for. We had the mushrooms to start, the tapas (so much choice) and the salmon risotto. Book ahead to get a table on the terrace.
- Taverna Selini – fresh fish, an amazing dessert (no idea what it was!) and we had the small rooftop terrace to ourselves, with beautiful views across the town and the bay (pictured below).
- En Plo – love, love, love the views. The food was pretty good too. We had the salmon and the chicken souvlaki.
Skiathos certainly isn’t short on bars. There’s definitely enough nightlife to suit everyone, whether you’re looking to go out every night, go on to one of the clubs or to just chill with a cocktail or a glass of wine. We did a lot of the latter, especially as many of the bars along the Old Port have happy hour. Just a word of warning, Greek cocktails are way stronger than those in the UK…so pace yourselves, people!
- Gin Fish – cute name, cute place. We had a sofa overlooking the marina and had our fill of happy hour cocktails. My favourite was an apple vodka cocktail and Nathan was a big fan of the gin cocktails. They also provided us with a small fruit platter and a bowl of crisps – winning! Great place to unwind.
- Jaguar – love the decor of this place! Friendly staff, happy hour cocktails and a great spot for people watching. Nath wanted to sit on the swing sofa, which was cute and fun…until I nearly fell out (post-alcohol, of course).
- Rock n Roll bar – this place is cool and cosy. I love that it’s built into the steps! So much choice of drinks, old school rock and roll music and another great spot for people watching.
I think it’s pretty clear that we fell head over heels in love with Skiathos. It was honestly the perfect honeymoon for us and we have so many wonderful memories. I can’t wait to return at some point in the future! This was actually my first trip to Greece, so let me know any recommendations for where else we need to explore and let me know if you decide to visit Skiathos.
I hope this travel guide has been helpful. I have a serious case of holiday blues now!
Until next time.