Mykonos of the North
The smallest-only 48 square km – but the most cosmopolitan island of the Sporades cluster east of Pelion, it is the ‘Garden of Eden ” for thousands of Greek and foreign travellers. The island combines incredible natural beauty with lush vegetation reaching the clear waters of the beaches and highly developed tourist infrastructure along with a vibrant nightlife. The picturesque town of Skiathos of 5,000 residents is the only settlement on the island and maintains at the same position and heading since the antiquity; with a significant tourism development, it manages to keep its special character intact. The birthplace of Papadiamantis, with its white houses, the many bell towers, the flower filled alleys, a lively commercial life and an interesting nightlife, is built amphitheatrically on the northeast side of the harbour and oscillates between the past and the present with unique dexterity.
What to see
Paved narrow streets, flower filled gardens and courtyards, Aegean architecture altered by Pelion architectural influences, loggia and tiled roofs, sites of significant historical importance and natural beauty, such as the Bourtzi Castle, the wetland Strofylia, churches and monasteries supplement the colourful puzzle of the city and seal its special identity. For a complete view of Chora you should climb to the top of the windmill, which functions as a restaurant. The view from up there will lift your spirits!
Alexandros Papadiamantis Museum
The house where the famous Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis was born, lived and died operates as a museum since 1994 on the main cobbled street in town, which bears his name. The layout of the house remains the same as the original and includes much of the furniture and personal belongings of Papadiamantis like a desk, a bed, many unpublished manuscripts and photographs. Address : Papadiamanti Street, 100 meters from the port, First Street to the right.
Tel. +30 24270 22240
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00
The green peninsula that divides the port into two, hosts the ruins of the Venetian Castle St. George, built in 1207. The old school, donated by Andreas Sygros, now houses the Cultural Centre of the municipality. After the ride, visit the café overlooking the Aegean for coffee or a drink.
Visit to the Churches
While strolling around the picturesque streets and houses you will certainly come across a church courtyard; there are so many of them that they give a colourful touch to the whole island. Among them stands, the church of the Three Hierarchs, which retains the miraculous icon of Panaghia Eikonistria, the church of the Virgin of the Lake, built in 1838, where the skull of Papadiamantis is kept, and further on Aghios Nikolaos, with its famous clock tower.
The Castle (Kastro)
It was the usual setting of the stories Papadiamanti and until 1830 the capital of Skiathos, the castle is literally hanging off the rock at the northernmost point of the island. The ruins of the fortress town date from the 14th century, when there were more than 300 dwellings and 30 churches. Today, only three churches have survived, the Church of Christ, St. Nicholas and St. Marina. You will arrive at the castle after some superb hiking on a 700 m path, while from the top the views of the Aegean are once again unique.
Protected by international treaties Lake Strofylia- behind the popular beach Koukounaries – is a wetland of special beauty where find shelter many rare bird species. The landscape highlights the grandeur of nature.
Most restaurants are concentrated around the port and you will find several gourmet restaurants on the hill opposite the Bourtzi, with the advantage of stunning panoramic views. Wherever you go, definitely ask for Skopelos cheese pie. Feel free also to try some snacks in canteens or restaurants on the beach. «Windmill Restaurant» (+30 24270 24450, Skiathos port, www.skiathoswindmill.gr ): European cuisine at the best “balcony” of the island, a restored windmill overlooking the islands of Arki and Tsougria. It is highly recommended for romantic dinners. “Agnantio” (+30 24270 22016): traditional Greek cuisine with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, which justifies its title since it offers uninterrupted views of the sea up to Skopelos. Moreover the preference of the visitors and the inhabitants themselves guarantees the quality. “Amfilyki” (+30 24270 22839): downtown, across the Health Center with excellent sea views. Try local fresh fish and traditional pasta with lobster. “Thessaloniki” (+30 24270 22572): ideal for after your swim in the Megali Ammos. Grilled fish, seafood, and the speciality known as «Peter’s chicken “( which is chicken filled with bananas) and many varieties of meat, and lobster. If you book early, all the dishes can perfectly be accompanied by tsipouro from Volos. “Nausicaa”, an excellent tavern on Tzanerias beach, with Mediterranean cuisine and spaghetti with seafood specialties. “Elia’s Restaurant» (+30 24270 49303): the gourmet restaurant of “Mandraki Village” hotel serves Mediterranean dishes.
Nightlife on the island, with its many secular or more alternative places beats the tune to inundate the so-called “street of bars, on the Polytechniou beach road, on the east side of town, at the new port. There you will find the clubs «Remezo» (+30 24270 23055), «Kalhua» (+30 6972 221 295) and «BBC» (+30 6976 721 291). An alternative is the old town, in the Square of the Three Hierarchs and Papadiamanti street. Here you will find the oldest club on the island, the «Admiral Benbow» (+30 24270 22311) with r & b and rock music. The busiest bars are the «Slip Inn» and «Cassabianca» with cushions on the stairs for cocktails and certainly a celebrity hangout. By the church of the Three Hierarchs, again, we find the classic «Rock & Roll» (+30 24270 24593) moving to more retro rhythms. Wherever you decide to go it is best to start your evening with an open-air cinema film at the Attikon (+30 24270 22352) in Papadiamanti street. Usually there are two screenings each day, the first to start at around 20:30.