Skiathos: Wikis


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View of the harbour of Skiathos town
View of the harbour of Skiathos town
GR Skiathos.PNG
Coordinates: 39°10′N 23°29′E / 39.167°N 23.483°E / 39.167; 23.483Coordinates: 39°10′N 23°29′E / 39.167°N 23.483°E / 39.167; 23.483
Island Chain: Sporades
Area: 49.898 km² (19 sq.mi.)
Greece Greece
Periphery: Thessaly
Prefecture: Magnesia
Capital: Skiathos (town)
Population: 6,160 (as of 2001)
Density: 123 /km² (320 /sq.mi.)
Postal Code: 37x xx, 38x xx
Area Code: 24270
License Code: BO

Skiathos (Greek: Σκιάθος, Latin forms: Sciathos and Sciathus) is a small island in the Aegean Sea belonging to Greece. Skiathos is the westernmost island in the Northern Sporades group of islands. The mainland of Greece and Magnesia lie to the west, while the island of Skopelos lies to the east. The name of the island dates back to ancient times.

The Municipality of Skíathos includes the islands of Tsougria and Tsougriaki, and of the islets of Maragos, Arkos, Troulonisi and Aspronisi. Total land area of the island is 50 km². The major settlement on the island is the town of Skiathos (pop. 4,988 in 2001), while other settlements are Χanemos (195), Kalyvia (179), Troulos (159), and Koukounaries (126).

Despite its small size (under 50 km²), Skiathos is a popular tourist destination. It has over 60[1], chiefly sandy, beaches scattered along the coastline of about 44 km.[2]



Satellite photo of Skiathos

The island has roughly rhomboid shape, elongated in southwest-northeast direction. The longer diagonal is about 12 km long, and the island is about 6 km wide in average. The coast is interspersed with numerous inlets, capes and peninsulas. The terrain is hilly, more rugged on north, and the highest point is at the altitude of 433 m. Southern and southeast parts have gentler slopes, and most of settlements and facilities are located there. The main road runs along southern and eastern coast of the island, with several smaller and dirt roads reaching the inland and northern coast. The town of Skiathos and the airport are located at the northern part of the island's eastern side. Tsougria and all other main islets are located a few kilometers off the eastern coast, and are visible from the town.[3]

Much of the island is forested. The area around the villages and the town are farmland. The island's forests are pine and are concentrated in the southeastern part of the island. The island of Skopelos can be seen from Skiathos with the more distant islands of Euboea and Skyros also visible in clearer conditions. The mountaintop, which has a communications tower, is to the west.


Lalaria Beach

In Ancient times, the island played a minor role during the Persian Wars. In 480 BC, the fleet of the Persian king Xerxes was hit by a storm and was badly damaged on the rocks of the Skiathos coast. Following this the Greek fleet was held to stalemate with the Persian fleet at Artemisium but finally managed to destroy the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis. Skiathos remained in the Delian League until it lost its independence. The city was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC.

In 1207 the Gyzi brothers captured the island and built the Bourtzi, a small Venetian-styled fortress similar to the Bourtzi in Nafplio, on an islet just out of Skiathos town, to protect the capital from the pirates. But the Bourtzi was ineffective in protecting the population and in the middle 14th century the inhabitants moved the capital from the ancient site that lay where modern Skiathos town is to Kastro (the Greek word for castle), located on a high rock, overlooking a steep cliff above the sea at the northernmost part of the island.

In 1704 monks from Athos built the Evangelistria monastery which played a part on the Greek War of Independence as a hide-out for Greek rebels. The first flag of Greece was created and hoisted in the Evangelistria monastery in Skiathos in 1807. Several prominent military leaders (including Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis) had gathered there for consultation concerning an uprising, and they were sworn to this flag by the local bishop.

After the War of Independence and demise of piracy in the Aegean, Kastro became less important as a strategic location. In 1830s, the island's capital was relocated to the original site — where it still remains. Today, ruins of Kastro are one of tourist attractions.

During the 19th century Skiathos became an important shipbuilding centre in the Aegean due to the abundance of pine forests on the island. The pine woods of the island were then almost obliterated. This was brought to a halt though, due to the emergence of steamboats. A small shipwright remains north of Skiathos town, which still builds traditional Greek caiques.

The movie Mamma Mia was partially filmed on Skiathos and nearby island Skopelos.


The island is linked to mainland Greece with sea routes from Thessaloniki, Volos and Agios Konstantinos and also to the rest of the Sporades (all by hydrofoil, Hellenic Seaways). Skiathos Island National Airport is located at the northeast of the island, in a valley separating the main part of the island and peninsula of Lazareta.

The modern major road runs along the eastern and southern coast. Several smaller branches, some paved and some dirt, reach the inland and the northwest coast. There is a regular, and in tourist season very frequent, bus line from the town to the beach of Kukunaries in the southwest.

Notable residents

Alexandros Papadiamantis photographed by fellow Greek writer Pavlos Nirvanas,1906


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Skiathos town
Skiathos town

Skiathos is a mostly tourist island in the Sporades Islands

  • Kastro site of the medieval center of the island. Abandoned in 19 century.


Home to the airport that services the other Sporades islands, many joke that the livelier crowds in search of an instant beer are dropped off at Skiathos, where others might choose to go on by boat to quieter destinations. While it is undoubtedly the most tourist-intensive island of the Sporades, it does have many faces, so don’t be fooled by the brash cover to this book full of splendid Greek secrets. Steer away from the main drag and you will find stunning scenery, quaint tavernas and lots of luscious green terrain perfect for gentle strolls or more intensive hikes.


Greek is the native language of the people of Skiathos. However, most people also speak passable English and many speak German or other European languages.

Get in

By boat

Skiathos is accessible via ferry from Volos, Agios Konstantinos, and Thessaloniki

Cruise ships dock at the Chora Port.

By plane

The island is served by an International Airport (World Airport Code JSI.). The airport is situated north-east of Chora. It is served from Greek destinations by Olympic Airways, and from northern European destinations in summer months by charter and some regular scheduled airlines (currently including Austrian Airlines,) usually only once or twice a week.

The runway is an excitement in itself; as you descend towards Skiathos you are met with sea, sea and more sea before out of nowhere appears a precarious strip of runway across the end of this small island. If the pilot misses his spot, you’ll have to circle and try again!

Street in Skiathos town
Street in Skiathos town

By bus

Public buses operate throughout the islands.

By taxi

Taxis are easy to get from the port to anywhere on the island

By car or motorbike

It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car or a motor scooter. Asphalt roads run across the south of the island. Roads in the interior turn out to be little more than dirt paths.

Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go - for example the twisted narrow streets of Skiathos city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent - 10 to 15 Euros a day is the usual price.

If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok if the brakes work properly,lights,turn indicators and petrol gauge. if it doesnt look good dont be bothered to rent it,it could be the one that needs a repair badly. it can cause you a lot of troubles if it brakes down.Make sure the insurance stands on the contract. Helmets are required on Skiathos.

  • Alexandros Papadiamantis house - Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851-1911) was a writer. He wrote over 100 novels mostly based on island life
  • Kastro - site of the medieval center of the island. Abandoned in 19 century.
           " THE FIRST" RENT A CAR AND MOTORBIKE Since 1975

WE ARE THE LONGEST RUNNING MOTORBIKE / SCOOTER RENTAL SERVICE IN SKIATHOS AND ARE PROUD OF OUR RECORD OF OFFERING THE BEST VEHICLES FOR RENT AT THE BEST PRICES We will deliver and pick up your car/motorbike to and from the Airport, Skiathos Harbour or your hotel. We have a large selection of the best in cars,jeeps,motorbikes and scooters for rent and are open all day to give you a friendly and responsible service. Our back up service is second to none. url="" E phone="0030 24270 22810" phone="0030 6942443165"

  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming


There is a good variety of beaches on Skiathos with over 60 in total. The south side of the island has sandy beaches with calm waters. Beaches on the north are less crowded. The wind mostly comes in from the north and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the north.

  • Koukounaries. Covered with umbrella pines is the most famous beach on the island.
  • Lalaria. Beach only accessible by daily boats, crystal clear water and large stones on shore.
  • Banana. Next to Koukounaries is a naturist beach.
  • Asselinos. Large and quiet undeveloped beach.
  • Kanapitsa. Amazing beach, water sports, and a nice taverna.
  • Jewelry stores are common
  • Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are actually imported, and have no authentic connection to the island whatsoever.
  • Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (t-shirts, towels, hand bags, and so on)


The tap water is not drinkable (and even ice in restaurants is provided via special procedure from companies) and restaurants will serve glasses of ice water upon request. Local drinks include beer and Ouzo. There are various hot club locations, though most famous clubs are located north-east of the port at around 300 meters, by the seashore, and the most famous are Kahlua, Maraccas and BBC.

  • Aegean Suites, Megali Ammos, +30-24270-24069 (, fax: +30-24270-24070), [1]. Aegean Suites Hotel is Skiathos's only boutique hotel, exclusively for adults & children above the age of 13 y.old. Combines Residential Luxury and Comfort which are the grail of modern hotel design.  edit
  • Atrium Hotel, Agia Paraskevi, [2]. Four-star hotel is situated on the lush island of Skiathos, in full harmony with the landscape.  edit
  • Bourtzi Hotel, Skiathos Town, [3]. 4 star modern boutique hotel located in the heart of Skiathos town, in a very peaceful area.  edit
  • Dabasi Hotel, Skiathos Town, [4]. Newly developed complex of furnished studios and apartments available for rent year around.  edit
  • Skiathos Princess Hotel, Agia Paraskevi, +30-24270-49731 (, fax: +30-24270-49740), [5]. Deluxe hotel on the white sandy beach of Agia Paraskevi.  edit
  • Skiathos Repos, Agia Paraskevi, +30-24270-23831 (), [6]. Skiathos Repos complex consists of two elegant villas. Located in Platanias, Agia Paraskevi in Skiathos, in a green environment, ideal for holidays, relaxation and rest.  edit

Stay safe

Skiathos is a generally safe destination.

  • The summer sun tends to get very strong. You should not take the risk of dehydration, sunburns or even heat strokes lightly. Wear appropriate clothes, maybe with a hat and sunglasses; use sunscreen; bring enough water on excursions and know when to stop exhausting yourself and seek the shade of a tree.
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