We have just returned from paradise at the Mandraki Village Hotel in Skiathos, Greece. Thank you to all the staff including Evgenios, Christiana, Sakis, Aphrodite, Evina and everyone else who helped to make our stay at your wonderful hotel such a memorable one and one we will never forget.
The Mandraki Village hotel (bus stop 23) is well situated for the best beach in Greece at Koukounaries – just a short walk away and this beach has beautiful sand and sea you can't wait to cool off in. There are plenty of sunbeds and bars and good food to be found here and the nature reserve just behind to explore and enjoy as well.
Back to the Mandraki Village Hotel and Room 608 where we stayed was furnished to a high standard and overlooked the beautiful avenue of flowering trees behind which is a very inviting pool to sit round and enjoy other guests swimming or joining in when you wish. The pool is right next to the bar and the dining area and the fabulous waiters are more than happy to keep you supplied with a wide range of healthy drinks, cocktails, local spirits and for us an exploration into the world of iced coffees! Mind you a fair amount of Berlin, Fix and Ouzo were consumed by us during our stay but that might have been more so we could enjoy the wonderful Sakis serving them!
Breakfast was available at times suitable for all holidaymakers – between 08.00 and 11.00 so if you have had a late night (oh yes we had a few!) then you didn't miss breakfast or have to get up early to catch it. Every morning the smiling faces of Aphrodite and Yiota greeted us and regularly replenished the delicious self service breakfast buffet which consisted of local yoghurts, honey, breads, plates of beautiful fresh fruit (I ate heaps of cherries every morning!), cold meats and cheeses, cereals and then the hot dishes which housed fried eggs, bacon, fried eggy bread, sausages and potatoes. There were jugs of freshly squeezed oranges, milks, selection of teas, coffee and the opportunity to make proper Greek coffee.
If you wished to chill out around the swimming pool area there were sufficient sunbeds for all – though if it got too warm as it did for us we just moved them to under the big tree nearby for shade. There was also seating under a gazebo and comfy bean bag type seats to lounge on. Feel like a spot of lunch – no problem the bar menu was reasonably priced and offered enough choice for everyone from the traditional Greek salad to club sandwiches, small burgers and fries and a range of salads and other hot dishes.
Every Tuesday evening they offer a barbeque night for residents and non-residents. Do not miss this. It is excellent value with a huge array of barbecue meats, salads and desserts. Drinks are extra but the band who performed whilst enjoying the food were fantastic and we would recommend you get up and dance to them and encourage others to do so as it really makes for a fun evening and if you are forward enough include the staff!
A short walk from the hotel are several other tavernas and bars offering a wide selection of Greek and other cuisines at reasonable prices. These were all found to be friendly, offering superb value for money food with the opportunity of meeting other holidaymakers from different lodgings in the area, there is even a kebab stand. Watch out for Franko, great guy but he will try to spoil your evening (I think his English interpretation is slightly wrong – he will give you a great evening.)
There are two supermarkets offering any and every type of food and drink and the usual holiday essentials and souvenirs, again all the staff there were found to be very friendly and helpful.
The Mandraki Village hotel is beautiful and very tastefully furnished throughout and the reception and bar areas are cool and welcoming as are the lovely Evina and Christiana. Should you need any help with arranging car or boat hire, finding out how to get to the nearby beaches or the bus into Skiathos Town or want to borrow a mini laptop to check emails then they are more than happy to assist you and their beautiful smiles send you on your way but beware the lovely Evina was very nearly packed up and brought home with my partner! Fortunately I did all the packing and with all the lovely fine Greek products you can buy from their Ergon shop in the reception area sorry Evina you put our luggage over the limit! Phew.....
If you are wanting a quieter beach than Koukounaries then head right out of the hotel, walk down the road to the restaurant under the pine trees, take the right turn as indicated and follow the road up through the pine trees. When you come to a fence and locked gate in front of a big house do not turn around like we did and think you have gone wrong – just to the right of the fencing there is a gap – go through it and across this land and at the end there are a few steps down. Then follow the signs to Mandraki beach – it was quiet, beautiful with a sandy beach and a little taverna for your drinks and lunch throughout the day.
However after hiring a car for a day we discovered our perfect beach at Elias – so out of the hotel turn right and turn right by Mustang car rentals and there is a back road that again takes you through the pine trees but is much flatter and sandier. It's about a twenty minute walk at this point but press on it will be worth it. You will eventually come out and there is a sign – go straight ahead to Beach Elias – through the car parking area and to the wooden planking leading down to the beach. We very nearly didn't continue – what we would have missed! Balance your way along the planks and it opens out onto the most idyllic beach I have ever seen. Paradise does exist and we found it. Brilliant photo opportunities and sufficient sunbeds and umbrellas for all who venture this far and a beach taverna to satisfy your day's needs.
Now you can't go to Skiathos and not take the Mama Mia boat trip – just go to Skiathos Town – the bus journey there is about half an hour and costs two Euros and is well worth the experience. Walk along the port front and you will find a couple of boats that offer the trip. We choose the smaller boat and were entertained all the way over to Skopelos by the music from the film – great! You stop off at a couple of beaches and told how and where they were used in the film. We were adamant that we wanted to see the chapel featured in the film and set off in the minibus to do so. As you approach the peninsula leading up to the chapel the scenery around is breathtaking – then you realise that you have only 30 minutes to climb up the rock, get your breath back, take obligatory photos and then venture down the very steep steps. Sorry but Meryl Streep clearly did not run up all of them and sadly the chapel at the top is not the one in the film – hope this doesn't spoil it for you – it didn't for us! We did make it down safely but our legs were not the same for the next two days but it was so worth it.
If you still feel in the need of more Mama Mia experience then a must is to attend the Open Air Cinema in Skiathos Town (open because the roof fell in!) – shown at 9.00pm three times a week and is absolutely fantastic! You can also smoke and drink at the same time and dance along and cheer with everyone else. You leave there on a complete high – it was our last night and was one of the holiday's highlights.
One of the highlights of our holiday was a meal at Elia's restaurant upstairs in the Mandraki Village Hotel. We choose to eat there to celebrate a special occasion as do other locals and holidaymakers but it is affordable for dining there most nights and is definitely a meal to remember. The menu is extensive and mouth watering and I can definitely recommend all of it!
Elia's restaurant is a wonderful experience from the moment you enter – the stunning pink and white décor and furnishings are a delight to see and enjoy and look out to views around the area. The waiting staff were highly attentive and knowledgeable about their menu and more than happy to help select from the extensive and excellent wine list. This restaurant is a must for any holiday and was perfect for our birthday celebration. I cannot recommend it highly enough – it deserves all the awards it gets and will receive. Our thanks to all the staff who made our evening so perfect.
So would I recommend Mandraki Village Hotel on Skiathos – 110% and we can't wait to return. If you are thinking about going there – just book it – you will not be disappointed. It's a very friendly hotel for meeting other guests who were not just British but from Greece, Denmark and across Europe. This is a wonderfully run family hotel by Denny, George, Evgenios overseen by Mum and Dad. Thank you Mandraki Village hotel – you were just amazing!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Plunging into the woods and from there, into the heart of the sea - a relaxing holiday in the Greek islands. Walking through the Koukounaries beach and parklands, 200 metres from the hotel, is a memorable experience. Some other beautiful beaches on the northern part of Skiathos Island, Greece, are the beaches of Mandraki and Elia’s, after which we have named this Skiathos luxury boutique hotel and restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandraki Village Boutique Hotel Skiathos/Koukounaries