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“little island with big veiws.”
Review of Skiathos

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Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
243 helpful votes
“little island with big veiws.”
Reviewed 5 October 2008

we went to skiathos on the day of XL going bust. we got there by the skin of our teeth. only fifty of us were let on a plane that day.due to this we saw skiathos when it was very quiet so this review does not reflect peak season but late September time. the place was peaceful but very lovely. if you like beaches there is a abundance of them.you could easily visit a different one everyday. the local transport is cheep and easy to use. no standing about waiting. we hired a quad bike for four days and when into the mountains. it was FANTASTIC. the roads were empty and it was easy and safe to get round the island in a couple of days. we stayed in troulos but they all seemed to be similar unless you stayed in skiathos town. the town itself is quaint and nice for a wonder round its small streets.

2 Thank bankrupt2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
49 helpful votes
“Sparkling Skiathos.”
Reviewed 3 October 2008

Thassos is Greece's best kept secret but with Skiathos the secrets out.
In summer this gem of an island set in a turquoise sea is bursting at the seams with visitors but you can still find peace and tranquillity here if you look a little harder.
The island measuring 12km x6km wide is heavily forested with pine and has vine and olive groves.It also has the most beautiful sandy beaches in the whole of Greece.The temperature in summer hits the high 30's(90 degrees) and rain is unknown from May to September.The island has good road system in the south linking the port Skiathos Town with koukounaries.The northern half has mainly dirt tracks.
Have I got you interested?
Of course I have so come and see for yourself.

4 Thank aristotleAtherton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
66 helpful votes
“The Holiday you could do again and again”
Reviewed 2 August 2008

We spent the first two weeks in July 08 in a little family run appartment complex on Skiathos - I've written a separate review for Filokalia as it was so good.

I only heard of Skiathos for the first time when we booked the holiday. Trip advisor helped make up our minds.

The island is about 9 miles by 6 miles - so you can see every inch of it on a two week stay if you want. We stayed in Achladies - which is really a small collection of houses, appartments and hotels set between two headlands and about 10 min bus journey from the main town. The beach was great, there were a few tavernas on the beach front that were really quite nice, and for those that like a boat journey on holiday - the frequent boat taxi from the beach to the old port in Skiathos town only took 15mins. it was inexpensive and was a great way to get to the old town. This part of town was truely Greek with narrow winding streets and just behind the church on the hill were inumerable little tavernas.

The buses went from stop zero to stop 26 on the east coast and all in all it would take you 30 min to get from one end of the island to the other. Although going to the west coast meant hiring a car or a bit of a hike in the summer heat.

The beaches were fantastic, the people were friendly and the day trip to neighbouring Skopolis and Alonosis was truely fabulous.

Dolphins riding the bow waves, great scenery - being told on more than one occassion that the movie Mama Mia was filmed there. The little port town on Skopolis and the hill top villiage in Alonosis all made this a memorable trip.

If I was to say that generally on holiday the day or so before you are due to come home you get the feeling that its time to go home - on this holiday I didn't want to leave. Not because of exciting things to do, but because this was a place where, although getting a bit comercialised was still ideal for a really chilled out holiday

I'd do it again in a minute and probably will next year.

5 Thank ChilledoutScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
18 helpful votes
“Small but nicely formed”
Reviewed 27 July 2008

Supposedly the greenest of the Sporades islands Skiathos provides a view of verdant beauty the minute you step off the plane. It is also much smaller than it first seems and there is only one main road along the south coast, which is where most of the tourist accommodation is found and the route of the constant, rickety green buses that transport the mostly Greek and British tourists to and from the beaches and one and only town, 'Skiathos Town'.

Skiathos is an island of contradictions. Here you'll find beautiful beaches and roughly beautiful countryside framed by the green, unspoilt mountains on which monasteries perch high with spectacular, timeless views of green valleys across which birds swoop and dive listlessly on the thermals, making you wish you could join them. Yet you will also find beautiful beaches with misty mountain horizons where the sounds of nature are drowned in places by loud, mindlessly thumping 'music' which no one enjoys. You may also find somewhat aggressive Greek entrepreneurs demanding extortionate fees for sunbeds, drinks and ice creams. They also seem keen to overdevelop the island in places and to contradict its tranquil advertised appeal by blaring more loud music from the hotel bars at night, even in the otherwise tranquil rural locations. It's almost as if they don't know what they have here and are in danger of losing it in an illogical desire to turn it into Ibiza of Corfu for the sake of profit. When you ask the Greeks here (who mostly come from the mainland to work through the summer) what they like about Skiathos they rub their fingers, laugh and say 'money'. Ask them if they love the unspoilt stretches of countryside and they shrug and say, 'nice, but not that interested, Athens is better, more to do'.

Unlike certain other popular Greek island resorts, Skiathos retains an authentically Greek flavour as it is still a holiday destination for the Greeks who live on the mainland. Many of those from Athens who come to holiday here are evidently more sophisticated than their British counterparts and the art gallery and open air theatre of Skiathos town seem undiscovered by most of the latter, though well worth a visit even if you don't speak any Greek. Skiathos town may not be as frozen in historic simplicity as those of the neighbouring Alonissos and Scopelos islands but it does have cobbled streets with plenty of little shops, both touristic and artistic to entertain the eye and challenge the wallet.

Everything is expensive here, from gifts to food to alcohol..worst of all. The cocktails in Skiathos town are the main choice on the bar menus and range from 10 - 15 euros each, the prettiest bars charging a flat rate of 12 euros for all, at the current exchange rates that's more than £10 for one drink! As someone who lives in expensive Brighton and Hove I was astonished to find that these prices were double those of even the swanky cocktail bars back home. This is not a destination for those who wish to go out drinking at night, not unless they want to spend 5 times the cost of the holiday in their spending money.

If you want a good value, healthy, delicious meal in a cool situation go to Kabourellas Fish Taverna on the front in the old port of Skiathos Town. Also good are its neighbouring restaurants if you choose Greek cuisine and compare prices. The much hailed Windmill restaurant high above the new port has very fancy and expensive food with nice sauces with a stunning aerial view; but the fish is fresher and cheaper at Kabourellas. You can find as much dish variety at Ambrosia and Nectare's friendly restaurant near Troulos Bay (bus stop 19). The Sunrise restaurant hidden in the countryside behind Troulos Bay (stop 20) is also reasonably good and cheap. Follow the signsfor the Sunrise from the dirt track that leads to and from the Astoria hotel if you are staying in that area. Don't bother with the Troulos Bay Hotel restaurant. We went there once only as we were served soggy chips, frozen slightly whiffy fish and charged for bread which we had politely refused to accept, knowing that this is always charged for even when you haven't ordered it. If you are happy with egg and chips you'll probably love it here, otherwise avoid.

There's a very limited choice of restauants in Troulos Bay, due to the fact that it is less developed that other areas, but that is precisely what enables it to retain some of its rough rural charm. If you follow the dirt track past the Astoria Hotel you'll find a charming, flower trellised country track which passes the noisy Hotel Beltsios and various apartment blocks in the deeper, quieter countryside where you'll be serenaded by the cicadas which whirr endlessly around you and an unknown tropical bird that whoops in the birch trees above. It's all a bit rough with half built and derelict buildings in places, but this is as close as the southern coastal strip seems to get to proper countryside and you can wander amongst the goats and donkeys if you like.

Also worth a visit is the Evangelistra monastery, which transports you back in time with its medieval style courtyard and beautiful tranquillity and simplicity, quite awe-inspiring. You don't need to pay Thomson or Thomas Cook 30 euros to get there, just get the bus to town at 1.8 euros then get the municipal bus from the bus terminal at the new port for even less. You can get there and back to Troulos Bay for less than 6 euros and your experience will be better without the hoards!

Book boat trips from the old port in Skiathos town; this is all the tour operators do and then charge you extra for nothing more than you would get booking direct. The trip to Scopelos and Alonissos islands is wonderful as they are so historic and unspoilt. Here you'll find picture postcard Greece with white walls framing cobbled streets, pink sprawling creepers and a backdrop of perfect blue sea and sky endlessly reaching into the stretches of your imagination. To perfect the experience see the film Mamma Mia, which was filmed on Scopelos. We watched this at the wonderful open-air cinema in Skiathos town and I was moved to tears despite the upbeat theme!

Another good activity is exploring the many small mountains on Skiathos by motorbike, beach buggy, quad or car, but beware of rough roads and poor quality vehicles. Fun if you don't mind a little risk. Otherwise there is little to do and in 38 degrees of heat (which will increase to above 40 in August) you can't do much during the day anyway. Skiathos is famed for its many beaches, most of which are similar sandy bays with some pine trees behind. Those on the southern coast are less windy than their northern counterparts and not necessarily inferior. You can reach enough of them by bus to not need a hire car or bike, but it is fun to go exploring those off the bus route and Eleni and Mandraki beaches are recommended. We hired a moped for the day at a cost of 12 euros each and found we could circumnavigate most of the island in one day, (the hire price varies according to how much they think you'll part with). For goodness sake DON'T try to walk along the pavement-less roads unless you have a death-wish! The traffic doesn't usually stick to the speed limit and we witnessed one nasty crash in Troulos Bay whilst there and are sure its one of many.

The bus is crowded to an extreme and some don't even stop for you if they are full, but they come and go every 20 minutes outside the supermarket on the main road near the Astoria so you'll get on one eventually. It's quite an experience having armpits in your face as you go out in your evening dress on the same bus that transports the sweaty Greek tourists that leave the beaches as late as 7 or 8pm! The conductor with the deep voice is also very amusing in his mildly aggressive manner.

As you can see, there's plenty of free pantomime to be had on Skiathos, but this is an island more of rough and ready adventure than elegance. Although there are blessedly few lairy teenagers and 20-somethings here the beaches are often still invaded by the aforementioned dance and drum and bass music played by the Greeks who run the bars and water sports huts . They refuse to turn it down, demonstrating a rather defiant and illogical attitude. This is not a polite island. That said, we did meet some friendly Greek people, especially the restauranteurs with whom we had friendly conversations that went far beyond the usual polite patter. Some also displayed generosity at times, which disproved our rep's claim that the locals 'only want your money really'. This is clearly true of many, but not of all and you'll be treated according to how you present yourself. Generally if you show a friendly interest and a touch of intelligence the Greeks here will respond in kind.

I was surprised how few British tourists on Skiathos bothered to even say please and thank you in Greek. Most were clearly unsophisticated and unwilling to explore the Greek culture; which is a shame as this just encourages their exploitation. Most of the Greeks here are visitors themselves who come on the ferry from Athens to work in the tourist trade during the summer months. You don't need to speak Greek on Skiathos as the Greeks mostly speak English but there's no need to be lazy and you'll get more from your trip if you try; when in Rome.............

The vast majority of British tourists on this small island seem to be from northern England, most in their 50s or 60s it seemed, though some slightly younger ones arrived as the school holidays began. This clearly has an influence on the tourist industry here, but this is no Benidorm. This is a lovely, authentically Greek island so I wonder why it is not more popular with southern British tourists. I can only assume this is because it lacks the sophistication of places like Nerja in Southern, Andalusian Spain. Yet having travelled widely throughout Europe for the last 30 odd years I can assure you that Skiathos certainly deserves a visit, being far more lush and beautiful than much of Spain and its islands and still relatively unspoilt...though not for long I fear.

10 Thank FussytravellerHove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chorley Lancs
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
60 helpful votes
“Katerina Apartments, Platanias, Skiathos”
Reviewed 21 July 2008

Katerina Apartments, Platanias, Skiathos.
Nice, quiet location, short walk to beach and main road with local bus service to Skiathos town to the East and Koukounarias beach to the West. We booked 2-bedroom apartment but put into 1-bedroom on arrival so not ideal. Lovely island and beaches superb, so overall holiday was relaxing and will be going there again, but perhaps not to the Katerina.

2 Thank madge52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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