Skiathos is a Greek island in the Northern Sporades group and a popular destination for a beach vacation.
Even though it’s rather small, Skiathos has its own airport where thousands of tourists arrive each year, ready for some relaxing holidays.
In addition to the over 50 beaches, there are many other places to explore on this lovely island.
This blog post covers all the must-see spots on Skiathos, including a couple of my favorite beaches.
However, if you have enough spare time, make sure to plan on visiting some of the others as well. I bet they’re all amazing in their own way.
But let’s start with a different place than a beach, a type of place usually found on other Greek islands as well!
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About 5 km from Skiathos Town and in the depth of the island you find Evangelistria Monastery, also known as The Monastery of the Annunciation. It’s easily reachable by car or even on foot (1h from Skiathos Town).
The monastery was built on a mountainside surrounded by lush greenery including the typical Greek pine trees.
Moreover, it’s among the most important religious buildings of the Sporades and definitely the most significant religious center of the island.
Inside the monastery, you can admire the catholicon and the two chapels of Agios Ioannis and Agios Demetrios.
Moreover, a small shop selling local products and a folklore museum are housed in the rooms where once an olive press produced the finest Greek olive oil.
A small ecclesiastical museum in other rooms of the monastery showcases items including rare old books, priest clothes, manuscripts from the 17th century and much more.
Something I totally enjoyed at the monastery is the fact that numerous kittens are running around seeking cuddles. While most of them are really lovely and enjoy being petted, sometimes there are one or two cats that prefer to scratch if you get too close.
Yes, I’m talking about you, you sweet, innocent-looking kitty!
Kastro (Skiathos Castle)
Another must-see place on Skiathos island is Skiathos Castle, simply called Kastro. It’s a medieval fortified site in the very north of the island and was once the main settlement hundreds of years ago.
Nowadays an abandoned and protected site, Kastro is a tourist magnet for those who want to learn about the history of the island’s early inhabitants.
Moreover, its stunning location on a rocky promontory overlooking the wide, deep blue ocean is another reason why people flock there.
In its best times, the population numbered between 500 and 1,500 people, living in tiny houses. Nowadays, there’s not much left of the flourishing fortress.
Of the 20 churches, only two saved themselves from decay and the only mosque is half-ruined. Moreover, you can still admire part of the wall with the gate and some ruins mainly of the Turkish headquarters.
Especially the gate played an important role since it was the place where people defended the fortress by pouring boiling oil from a big metal pot on invaders.
Entry is completely free and it’s open all year round. I recommend you avoid the midday heat and go here either in the morning or in the late afternoon.
This way you can combine it with a visit to the nearby Kastro beach, which is by the way, also on the list of places to see on Skiathos!
So, time to go to the beach!
As already mentioned at the beginning of this post, Skiathos has loads and loads of beaches to relax. The following four are the ones I visited on my own and personally really liked.
Just a stone’s throw away from Kastro is the same-named Kastro beach. It’s a beautiful, secluded and non-organized beach with a small tavern serving food and drinks.
You can access the beach either by boat or by any road vehicle. There’s a parking lot from where you just have to walk for about a kilometer.
Make sure to wear solid shoes tho – the path is very rocky and uneven.
Keep in mind that due to the cruise boats, the beach can get quite crowded. It was almost empty when we were here, I guess we were just really lucky!
Mikros Aselinos Beach
Another small but very lovely beach is Mikros Aselinos, also on the north coast of Skiathos island.
It’s an organized beach featuring sunbeds, parasols, a tavern and a small bar, yet, it’s still one of the most peaceful and laid-back beaches. Sometimes when there’s a wind coming from the north, the waves can get really high.
Otherwise, it’s a wonderful beach for swimming and tanning.
If you go here by car, motorbike or quad, leave it right next to the street and walk down the path leading through a pine forest to access the beach.
Krifi Ammos Beach
On the west coast of Skiathos island and hidden in a secluded bay you find Krifi Ammos beach. It’s a beautiful, organized beach with sunbeds, parasols and a lovely tavern.
Krifi Ammos is often called ‘Hidden Beach’ because of the large rocks on every end and the hills and trees surrounding it, giving it some kind of shelter.
Soft sand, turquoise water and amazing scenery are the reasons why this beach is often among the favorites of both locals and tourists.
Last but not least, not far from Krifi Ammos Beach lies the calm Mandraki Beach featuring crystal clear water and golden sand. It’s easily accessible by car, motorbike or quad and the road leads almost directly to the beach.
For your comfort, you can rent a pair of sunbeds and a parasol. If you prefer to save money (the sunbeds are really not that expensive tho) you can lay a beach towel on the sand.
As far as I know, that’s also allowed on the other beaches.
Instead of a real tavern, Mandraki Beach has a small food truck run by an old Greek couple who serves typical Greek snacks, drinks and warm dishes.
When you order a dish that takes a while to prepare, you first have to tell the old lady your name, then sit down at a table to wait until it’s ready. She then shouts your name very loudly so you can come and grab the food.
It almost feels like your very own Greek grandma is calling you for dinner! 😀
Another place you actually can’t miss on the island is its capital city, Skiathos Town. That’s simply because no matter in which way you arrive, both the harbor and the airport are close.
Skiathos Town is by no doubt the heart of the island where all major events and activities happen.
There’s an incredible number of restaurants, bars, clubs and all kinds of shops. In addition, you’ll find enough tourist offices and car rentals to get everything you need.
The island’s capital is mostly famous for its lively nightlife with lots of young people from all over Greece and overseas who love to party the night away.
Of course, Skiathos Town offers much more than that tho.
Let’s take the old port, for example.
Once an important harbor where trading ships brought food and other goods, only excursion boats leave from here nowadays. That doesn’t make this place any less interesting tho.
Take a walk along the lovely promenade or sit down in one of the many cafés and bars to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a refreshing cocktail.
Perhaps you even recognize the jetty? It was used as Mamma Mia filming location, more precisely for the scene where the ferry to Kalokairi departs that Sam and Harry missed.
Agios Nikolaos Church & Clock Tower
Another place worth visiting in Skiathos Town is Agios Nikolaos Church & Clock Tower. Both are situated on top of a small hill overlooking the harbor.
The small but lovely church is dedicated to St. Nikolaos who’s the patron of the sailors.
To get here you need to climb a good amount of steep stairs but trust me, it’s totally worth it! The church and the clock tower are beautiful to see but what’s even better is the amazing view across the town and its two harbors.
Make sure to come here during the day and in the evening to enjoy an epic sunset over Skiathos Town!
The third and last place you need to visit is Plakes, a rocky beach located on the west side of Skiathos Town. It’s surrounded by huge rocks and, of course, pine trees providing shade.
Crystal clear water with bright turquoise color, that’s the reason why locals and tourists fall in love with this place at first sight.
It’s a very narrow coast and you need to climb down a few stairs passing a small sculpture of a monastery.
You can also find many cafeterias and taverns all around Plakes. Moreover, the view of the old harbor is truly fantastic from here!
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Do you want to travel like me? Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:
Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!
Accommodation:Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.