Skiathos is blessed with some of the Aegean’s most beautiful beaches, so it’s little wonder that in July and August the island can fill up with sun-starved northern Europeans, as prices soar and rooms dwindle.
Skiathos Town, the island’s major settlement and port, lies on the southeast coast. The rest of the south coast is interspersed with walled-in holiday villas and pine-fringed sandy beaches.
The town is a major tourist centre, with hotels, souvenir shops, galleries, travel agents, tavernas and bars spread along the waterfront and Papadiamanti, the cobbled pedestrian thoroughfare. Away from the main drag, though, things quieten down quickly and you can catch more of a local flavour. Opposite the waterfront via a 15m causeway lies shady and inviting Bourtzi Islet, where you’ll find a maritime museum and restaurant.
Bourtzi – Bourtzi is a tiny peninsula that divides the Skiathos port into two distinct parts. It used to be a fort, which was built by the Gizi brothers who ruled over Skiathos back in 1207. Bourtzi was bordered by impregnable walls and there were two towers located to the left and right of the main gate. Presently, it is not feasible to establish the height of the parapet from the ruins. Archaeologists believe inside the fort there used to be a small church, the church of Agios Georgios, who was the guardian deity of the Venetians.
The Medieval Castle of Skiathos: In the past Castle used to be one of the principal medieval towns. The town has been strategically built on a rocky cliff that literally hangs above the sea at the northern extreme of the island. The cliff is conspicuous by its enormous height and it was an ideal location for the protection for the people who lived in the Castle town.
Skiathos Lalaria beach– Only reachable by boat from the port of the capital, Lalaria is situated on the north-eastern tip of the island and is a dream-like place of an incredible beauty with huge white cliffs rising out of the clear deep blue sea.
To the left of the white sandy beach is a rock forming a natural bridge between the sand and the sea with a hole in the middle composing a sort of submarine passage. The magnificent Blue and Dark caves are located just before Lalaria and are worth being visited by boat.
Skiathos Kanapitsa beach – The scenic Kanapitsa Beach is a mere 2 Kms. from the No 12 bus stop. In the past this beach used to be very popular. This beach is ideal for family beach vacations. The best part about this beach is that it is never crowded. The beach is subject to the north easterly breeze and in the summer months this breeze is like a breath of fresh air from the burning hot mid-day sun. The vibrant town of Skiathos is a mere 4 miles from the Kanapitsa beach while the airport is just a 30 minutes’ drive from the beach. A fabulous way to indulge in fun and frolic is by embarking on short cruises to adjoining beaches by water taxis. The entire Kanapitsa neighbourhood has numerous well-defined walking trails that crosses the peninsular region of Kalamaki. For the adventurous beach bums, there is an exclusive Water Sports School that offers an array of exciting water sports options like wind surfing, scuba diving, water skiing and jet skiing. In fact, very few beaches in the island of Skiathos can match the charm and the laidback ambience of the Kanapitsa beach. The water is crystal clear and is just perfect for swimming. There are some excellent places to go for short excursions or day trippers from the Kanapitsa beach. Mention must be made of places like Skopelos and Tsougria both of which are marvellous in terms of natural beauty. The western part of the peninsular region is renowned for its surreal sunsets.
Skiathos Vromolimnos beach – This beautiful beach is located at the south coast of Skiathos, just 8km south west of the town, near the coastal resort of Kolios. It’s a lovely bay with calm, clean waters and fine sand. Vromolimnos is considered to be the second most popular beach after Koukounaries due to the facilities provided like umbrellas and sundecks. Moreover, it is a hot spot for many tourists and especially the young crowds due to the loud music coming from the beach bars. There is also a water sports centre, for those who need to get away from the usual. If you walk on the other side of the beach, you will enjoy a remarkable view and a unique sunset. Vromolimnos is surrounded by traditional taverns, known for their food localities. It is easily accessed by car, taxi and the public buses coming from the town.
House of Papadiamantis -The houses of Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851-1911), one of the most prominent Greek writers is situated in Skiathos Town. Built in 1850-1860 by the author’s father, who was a priest, this house has simple decoration with just a few furniture and family objects. Many years after Papadiamantis death (in 1911), his house was declared as preserved monument by the Greek Ministry of Culture. In 1954, the house was bought by the State and it belongs today to the Municipality of Skiathos. Over the last years, the house of Papadiamantis has turned into a museum dedicated to the writer’s life and work. The first floor is preserved as the house of Alexandros Papadiamantis with the original furniture and objects whereas the ground floor, used by the family as a storage room, works as an exhibition room and has an impressive collection of manuscripts.
The museum is located at a small and narrow alley within a short walking distance from the port. The house is a typical example of the local architecture, one of the few that reflect the traditional style and character of the island. The ascetic life of Papadiamantis has left behind nothing more but a few personal things that witness the humble spirit and strong religious faith. Alexandros Papadiamantis is among the most notable Greek writers and literature figures. He used to write ethnographic novels and narrative stories which are considered as masterpieces of contemporary Greek literature.