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The island of Skiathos is covered with pine forests and has excellent beaches, good connections by ferry and a busy international airport. A lot of well to do British and Italians know to find their way to the island. It is also known as the "Mini Corfu". As many of the small islands Skiathos has only one village of importance (Skiathos City) and no other true centers. Skiathos Town is located in a bay with islands around it. In the harbour most of the restaurants can be found and in the old harbour you will find the excursion boats. The prices (in the restaurants, etc.) are slightly higher than average on a typical Greek island.

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The beach which is closest to Skiathos Town is called Megali Ammos (bus stop 5, 6, 7 en 8). It is a narrow and long beach with sand and small pebbles. You have to climb down a fairly steep hill to get there. The sea is quite shallow. Megali Ammos beach is probably the most exploited beach of the island. There are lots of sunbeds and parasols for hire and it can get very crowded. Good thing is that the beach is well protected from the northern winds. On Megali Ammos Beach you find bars, tavernas and shops and there are several hotels where you can rent a room. Next to Megali Ammos is the small pebble beach Vassilias Beach which is surrounded by a high cliff that provides protection against the north wind. Here it is quieter than on Megali Ammos. On the eastern part of the beach is more sandy and here you find a taverna which rents out beach chairs and umbrellas. There are trees on the beach that provide shade. The hotels that are built on the cliffs around Vassilias Beach offer a nice view of the sea.

For hotels, apartments and studios in Megali Ammos Beach - click here.

On the other side of Skiathos town, not far from the airport, is the naturist beach Xanemos Beach (there are three beaches / coves here), which consists of sand and gravel. It is a nice spot if you like to see the planes take off and land. There is not much protection from the wind here and there are not many facilities, but it is quiet. Sometimes there are high waves. In summer there is a small cantina (which also rents out sunbeds) where you can buy something to drink. The nearest taverna is a 20 minutes walk away. There is no connection by bus to this beach, so you have to get there by taxi or car, or you can make the walk from Skiathos Town in about 45 minutes.

Most hotels on Skiathos are located outside the city along the south coast of Skiathos, where the only road of the island is running. It goes through the woods and passes many bays with beaches. There is also good bus service between Skiathos town and the coastal villages on the road. It is also easy and inexpensive to take a taxi. The most visited beach is Koukounaries Beach (bus stop 22), completely in the west of the island, at 13 kilometer distance of Skiathos Town. Bus stop 22 gives the option to visit either Koukounaries or the smaller next door Maratha Beach on the left hand side. On this beach there is also a small taverne. Bus stop 26 is the final stop, which is at the end of Koukounaries Beach. If from here you take the road on the right hand side you will end up at a beach which is most of the times pretty quiet.

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Behind Koukounaries (meaning "pinecone" and the beach is named after a special kind of "umbrella-pinetree" growing here) lies a small protected area with a sweet water lake, where different kinds of birds can be seen. It is called the Strofylia Lagune. Behind the beach is a dense pine tree forest. Koukounaries beach is sometimes also called Chrissi Ammos Beach, meaning "Golden Sand". There are umbrellas and beach beds for rent and there are all kinds of facilities, such as tavernes and different kinds of accommodations, from quite basic to luxury. There is a camping and there are a few bars and kiosks selling things as cigarettes, magazines, soft drinks and candy. At the beach there is also the possibility to do watersports.

For hotels, apartments and studios in Koukounaries Beach - click here.

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Next to Koukounaries Beach (south of it) lies the oficial naturist beach Banana Beach (bus stop 24). The last part to this beach you have to walk since there is no bus stop. There are some facilities however such as a couple of tavernas. The name of the beach remains a mystery since there are no banana trees to be found here. Banana beach consists of two beaches of which the smaller is most visited by the naturists.

Bus stop 23 is for the people that want to visit a couple of more quiet beaches that can be reached after a 30 minute walk through the pine tree forest over a sandy path. The beaches are called Elias and Agistri Beach. Elias Beach too is a beautiful sandy beach and there is a taverna that serves freshly caught fish. There are no hotels or possibilities for watersports at the beach. The taverne doesn't open untill late in the season, so it is advised to at least bring a bottle of water. When the taverne is open they also rent out sun beds and umbrellas. The water is shallow and it is easy to go into the sea. Elias Beach is surrounded by sand dunes. By many people this beach is considered the most beautiful and picturesque beach of Skiathos island. The larger part of the beach is used by naturists with the exception of the small part where the taverne with its sunbeds is situated. Since 2013 there are also small boats visiting the beach with people wearing textiles, but apparently they stick to the side of the beach where the taverne and the sunbeds are. At the fork in the road that you see when you take the path leading from bus stop 23 take the path on your right. The left one leads to Mandraki Beach. Agistri and Xerxes Beach are the names of the two other nearby beaches. Agistri beach is less sandy. Both beaches are relatively quiet but they can suffer from the northern winds. All these beaches can be victim to seaweeds and rubble that washed ashore.

Bus stop 24 is the stop for the quite large Mandraki Beach (once a naturist beach but now mainly occupied by people in textiles - still with space for naturism on the beach though), from a path leading from the left hand side of the stop. The beach is surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. On the beach is a taverne (clothes on) and at the other side of the beach it is clothes off optional and mainly for naturists. At the fork in the road that you see when walking the path from bus stop 23 take the path on your left. The one on your right leads to Mandraki Beach.

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Bus stop 25 is for Aghia Eleni Beach. The beach is located north of the two Banana Beaches, 14 kilometers from Skiathos Town and 1 km from Koukounaries. Agia Eleni Beach is a relatively fairly quiet sandy beach surrounded by pine trees. One part of the beach you can rent umbrellas and sun beds, and you can practice water sports. On the beach there are two small tavernas. People come here to chill out and to watch the beautiful sunsets you have here. The water at Agia Eleni Beach is shallow and suitable for small children. The beach is named after the nearby church of Agia Eleni.

The north coast of Skiathos is quiet and is barely inhabited. There can be some wind from time to time on this side of the island. On the north coast are two more beaches: Elia and Asselinos (with camping), a popular destination for people that like it more quiet. It is also more quiet on the east coast, with the beaches of Xanemo (with camping) and Lalaria Gialos, that can be reached by boat from Skiathos town. Lalaria Beach is a beautiful beach with white photogenic pebbles.

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Bus stop number 10 is for Achladies Beach, which is situated in a protected bay surrounded by green hills. It is a long and narrow organized sandy beach where you can find tavernas, shops, supermarkets and accommodations. There are beach beds and umbrellas for rent and you can practice water sports. From Achladies Beach you look out over the island Tsougria and further away island of Skopelos.

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Bus stop number 13 is for Vromolithos Beach and Kolios Beach. From the bus stop walk about 50 meters over the main road until you see the exit to your left. This path leads to Vromolithos and Kolios Beach. At the crossing about 30 meters turn left for Vromolithos Beach. After Koukounaros Vromolithos Beach is probably the most popular beach of Skiathos. There are many young people and there is loud music on the beach (not really for people that like peace and quiet). There is a taverna, a bar and a water sports school. Vromolithos is a large sandy beach and of course there are sun beds and umbrellas for rent here.

Kolios Beach is located in a smaller bay. The beach slopes gradually and it is ideal for families with children. There are trees on the beach where you can lie in the shade. You will find tavernas and supermarkets and there are several accommodations around the beach. On both sides of Kolios Beach you will find small bays with private beaches.

For hotels, apartments and studios in Kolios Beach - click here.

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Bus stop 15 and 16 are for the beautiful large sandy beach of Agia Paraskevi, which is situated 6 kilometers from Skiathos Town. It has fine sand and the sea is very clear. This is the first beach on Skiathos where I went into the sea for a swim. In Agia Paraskevi Beach are several tavernas, supermarkets and shops. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for hire. At Agia Paraskevi Beach there are options for water sports and you can rent a small boat here. The beach is situated in the same bay as the beaches of Vromolimnos and Kolios. In Agias Paraskevi Beach there are several options for accommodation. One bus stop further (no 16) takes you to Kechria Beach. On your way to the beach you will pass an abandoned monastery, which is the oldest one on the island of Skiathos.

For hotels, apartments and studios in Agia Paraskevi Beach - click here.

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The stops 18 and 21 are for Troulos Beach. Bus stop 18 is also the beginning for the road to Aselinos Beach to which you can walk in about an hour, and Micro Asselinos Beach (one and a half hour walk). Along the way you'll pass the Kounistra Monastery. Troulos means "Dome" and it is named after the dome-shaped island that lies off the coast. Troulos Beach is a beautiful large sandy beach, gently sloping into the sea, thus well suited for families with small children. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. Behind the beach are sand dunes. Most lodging in Troulos are a bit inland. There is a water sports school where you can also rent a boat and there are several other facilities such as taverns, accommodations, supermarkets and shops. Around Troulos Beach are a number of smaller beaches. Bus stops 21 and 22 are for Maratha Beach (see above).

For hotels, apartments and studios in Troulos Beach - click here.

Aselinos Beach is located in the north of the island. It consists of a large and a small sandy beach, and Micro Megalos Aselinos Beach. Micro Aselinos Beach is located east of the main beach. The beach is reached by a road ( so you can go by car ), but there is no bus that goes to Aselinos Beach. The beach is therefore less crowded than most beaches on the south side of the island. You can rent sunbeds and parasols on Aselinos Beach and there is a taverna. There are no other facilities. The area is also not much in terms of hotels for rent, only the luxury Aselinos Suites. There are also excursion boats going to the main beach leaving from Skiathos Town, so at times it can suddenly become busier. However the beach is long and wide enough to still find a private spot. Aselinos Beach is also used by naturists. When the north wind blows waves can be high and the sea can get very rough.

For sightseeing on the island there are the home of the poet Alexandros Papadiamantis, the beach-island Tsougria (accessible by boat excursion vanauit Skiathos town), the blue cave on the east coast, the medieval center of the island, Kastro, the monasteries of Kounistra and Evangelistria and the beach of Lalaria with its cliffs and white pebbles. These places are all accessible by an excursion from Skiathos Town.

© Hans Huisman, 2013
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