The island of Skiathos is famed for sporting more than sixty sandy beaches, framed by fragrant Aleppo pines. Just off the Grecian mainland, it puts the warm Aegean Sea at your feet and the quiet island of Skopelos next door, just a ferry ride away.
You can go to a different cove every day. In the south you’ll find warm sandy shores, like Kolios and in the north you can hide away on secluded coves, like pebbly Lalaria, with its white cliffs and natural caves. The main town of Skiathos, its white buildings crowding two twin hills, buzzes in summer with European tourists and a few shiny yachts. Things get lively in the evenings and you’ll discover the joys of an ouzeri – even if you never quite grow to like the taste of ouzo. These local beach bars serve tasty snacks alongside the anise-flavoured aperitif and Mythos, the Greek beer.
This beach is popular and rightly so. It’s got soft, golden sand on the warm southern coast, backed by forest and facing shallow, safe waters – perfect for families. The strip is a kilometre long and its whole length is well served by water sports providers, umbrellas and food kiosks.
A regular bus serves many of the beaches along the east coast and Troulos is one of them. A blue flag beach surrounded by good hotels, stay at the Skiathos Princess Hotel just around the corner and enjoy the clean waters on your doorstep. Troulos is a sandy bay complete with a dome-shaped island, making its sea view an especially pretty one.
Elias is where the wild things are. Mandraki, Elias and Angistros are three beautiful bays on the north coast, accessed by dirt track. Enter by off-road vehicle, or with a walk from the bus stop through pine forest. The beaches get wilder and quieter as you progress from Mandraki to Elias to Angistros and they are served by a cooling breeze.
Named after a nearby church, this sandy beach faces west. In the late afternoon it’s perfect for catching the last of the sun and saluting a blazing sunset – with a Mythos beer from the bar. Full facilities are nearby and it’s easy to access, being near to Koukounariés.
Only accessible by boat, and pebbly, rather than sandy – on first read Lalaria doesn’t seem worth your notice. But there’s something magical about the stark white cliffs with natural arches in the rocks, pebbles as flat and white as dinnerware, and the series of caves ready to explore. A boat from Skiathos will take you there for the afternoon.