...Sporades island walks

About Skiathos

Skiathos

Skiathos is definitely a tourist island! About 9 Km by 5Km, rising to 433m, it’s of modest proportions, but its proximity to the mainland, plentiful water, international airport and highly rated beaches have led to considerable, some would say excessive, development over the last few decades. A winter population of about 5000 rises to…who knows, in the summer, and large air-conditioned coaches, rare on Skopelos and unknown on Alonnisos are very much in evidence here.

 

If you’re an island walker though, all is not doom and gloom and Skiathos, like all islands, has its hidden treasures and uncovering them is what Walking the Islands…is all about!

 

Away from the “World Heritage holiday beaches” you’ll find:

  • rolling hills, river valleys, and woods, studded with springs, small villages, chapels and the occasional monastery
  • a well made road network
  • a charming green farmed hinterland but with scattered villas far and wide
  • views across the sea in all directions, especially to the much higher land on Pilion and Evia
  • unrivalled views of Skopelos with Alonnisos behind and the chain of uninhabited distant islets

Getting to Skiathos

  • In the summer, international charter flights land at Skiathos and the fast ferries link on to Skyros and Kymi.
  • Alonnisos, Skopelos and Skiathos are all accessible all year round and very easy in the summer.
  • From Athens airport, you take a bus to the Liossion Street bus station, from which you catch a Lamia-bound bus to Ayios Konstantinos, the port for the Sporades.
  • Flying Dolphins and Flying Cats make a least two trips a day to the 3 islands, taking up to 2 hours to Skiathos, 2-3 to Skopelos and 3½ to Alonissos. The fast ferries also travel from Volos, which is further from Athens.
  • A faster option is the internal flight from Athens to Skiathos, taking about 40 minutes.
  • Car ferries also visit from Volos and there is a service from Thessalonika, the Cyclades and Crete.
  • In the summer, international charter flights land at Skiathos and the fast ferries link on to Skyros and Kymi.

Getting around Skiathos

  • Skiathos has a permanent bus service running along the south coast between the port and Koukounaries, and a summer service from the port to the Evangelistra monastery.
  • There are also freely available taxis and vehicles for hire, and an extensive asphalted road network.
  • Walking is far from unheard of and there are two sets of way marks, older and newer, marking the walk we describe.
  • I’m sure there are more walking possibilities, particularly to the Castro and we hope to extend our coverage of Skiathos shortly.
  • If you prefer to ride on water, there are endless possibilities: day boats in all directions, including to the Pilion peninsular on the mainland, pirate corvairs, speedboats and jet skis to hire, etc.

Staying on Skiathos

In a word, it’s easy!

 

Arriving at the airport or harbour, you’ll almost certainly be greeted by agents with offers of rooms.

 

In the holiday areas, there are hotels, apartments, luxury and basic rooms and at least two camp sites, one near the airport, the other at Megalos Aselinos on the north coast.

 

All year round you should be able to buy package deals on the island.

 

Maps and other information

We recommend the Anavasi Topos map, at 1:25,000 ISBN 960-8195-20-9, for walking, details at www.anavasi.gr

 

And don’t forget Google maps and Earthtools give you a satellite view, which is fascinating.

 

There’s a number of guidebooks, available in shops on the island. Also worth reading if you’re visiting any of the Northern Sporades is Gates of the Wind, Michael Carroll, published by P Efstathiadis, Athens 1965, and reprinted recently I think.ISBN 960-8480-45-0.

 

Some websites which include general tourist information for Skiathos:

 

www.greekisland.co.uk

 

www.the-greek-islands.co.uk