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Top Things to Do in Skiathos: Hidden Gems and Popular Spots

Skiathos is a picturesque paradise in the Sporades archipelago, a group of islands in the northwest Aegean Sea. Renowned for its stunning pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage, Skiathos is also a beautiful natural habitat where visitors will come across swans and ducks leisurely swimming in its serene waters, and may even spot dolphins playing in the surrounding seas. As you plan your visit, you’ll discover that the top things to do in Skiathos blend both hidden gems and popular spots, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

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Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or someone looking to relax and unwind, Skiathos offers a captivating mix of activities and sights. In this detailed guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Skiathos, helping you make the most of your stay on this enchanting island.

Top Things to Do in Skiathos: Hidden Gems and Popular Spots

Important Information About Skiathos

Skiathos is part of the Sporades archipelago, a group of islands in the northwest Aegean Sea. The Sporades are known for their lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and charming villages. Skiathos, along with its neighboring islands Skopelos, Alonissos, and Skyros, forms the Northern Sporades. These islands are celebrated for their natural beauty and traditional Greek character, making them a perfect destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Skiathos is from late May to early October when the weather is warm and sunny. July and August are the peak tourist months, so if you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in June or September.

How to Get to Skiathos 

The island’s strategic location makes it easily accessible from mainland Greece, with regular ferry connections from ports like Volos and Agios Konstantinos. Skiathos also has its own airport, Skiathos International Airport (JSI), which offers flights from Athens and various European cities, making it a convenient gateway for international travelers.

Getting There by Ferry:

Port of Skiathos right in the heart of the Skiathos Town

Getting to Skiathos by ferry is a popular option, offering a scenic and enjoyable journey across the Aegean Sea. Here’s a detailed guide on how to reach Skiathos by ferry. We would advise you to check the ferry schedule and book your tickets in advance via Ferryhopper. 

From Volos:

Port of Departure: Volos is one of the main ports for ferries to Skiathos. It is located on the mainland of Greece, about 325 kilometers north of Athens.

Ferry Operators: Several ferry companies operate routes from Volos to Skiathos, including SeaJets and Aegean Flying Dolphins. I recommend checking Ferryhopper for the best connection and tickets. 

Travel Time: The journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the type of ferry (conventional or high-speed).

Frequency: Ferries run several times a day, especially during the peak summer months.

From Agios Konstantinos:

Port of Departure: Agios Konstantinos in Phthiotis is another popular departure point, located about 165 kilometers north of Athens.

Ferry Operators: Operators like Magic Sea Ferries offer regular services from Agios Konstantinos to Skiathos.

Travel Time: The ferry ride usually takes about 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Frequency: There are frequent sailings during the summer season, making it a convenient option for travelers.

From Thessaloniki:

  • Port of Departure: Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, also has ferry connections to Skiathos.
  • Ferry Operators: SeaJets operates ferries from Thessaloniki to Skiathos, please check for tickets and schedule here.
  • Travel Time: The journey takes a little linger than 3 hours.
  • Frequency: Ferries from Thessaloniki to Skiathos are less frequent but available during the tourist season – July to September.

Booking Tickets:

  • Online: You can book ferry tickets online through various websites such as Ferryhopper which gives you a list of all the available routes and ferry operators or the official websites of the ferry operators. 
  • At the Port: Tickets can also be purchased at the port offices, but during peak season, it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your spot.

Additional Tips:

  • Arrival Time: Arrive at the port at least 30-45 minutes before departure, especially if you have a vehicle to board.
  • Luggage: Most ferries have ample space for luggage, but it’s always a good idea to label your bags and keep valuables with you.
  • Facilities: Modern ferries are well-equipped with comfortable seating, snack bars, and sometimes even Wi-Fi, ensuring a pleasant journey.

Getting Around: The island is small, making it easy to explore. You can rent a car, scooter, or ATV to get around. There are also local buses that connect the main beaches and towns. Taxis and boat taxis are available as well.

Where to Stay on Skiathos

Skiathos offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all types of travelers and budgets. From luxurious resorts to cozy guesthouses, the island caters to every preference, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. During our four nights on Skiathos we stayed in the heart of the Skiathos Town at the family-run boutique Meltemi Port of Skiathos Hotel part of the Manthos Hotel Chain.

Meltemi Hotel is conveniently situated just 200 meters from the port of Skiathos, making it an ideal base for those arriving by ferry and by plane (less than 10 minutes by taxi). The hotel’s central location provides easy access to the town’s attractions, shops, restaurants, and bars.

Meltemi Port of Skiathos hotel offers a range of well-appointed rooms from Economy Doubles to Family Suite spanning over four floors equipped with modern conveniences such as air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a fridge, and a TV.

Each room features a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. Some rooms also offer balconies with views of the harbor or the town. We stayed at the Family Suite on the first floor that features a master bedroom with a double bed and a smaller room with it’s separate wardrobe, which is open plan but is separated by a wall.

The hotel combines high aesthetics with comfort, featuring modern furniture and well appointed spaces. The elegant decoration and urban-inspired design make it a stylish choice for travelers.

The staff at Meltemi Hotel were wonderful and very helpful. They can assist with car rentals and provide information on local attractions and activities, ensuring a pleasant and hassle-free stay.

Breakfast is served in the charming outdoor dining area, offering picturesque views of the port. The breakfast menu features a delightful bread basket with a variety of bread, cake, and croissants, complemented by healthy yogurt options and a selection of expertly prepared egg dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast, appreciating both the delicious food and the beautiful setting. The restaurant is also open to outside guests and the breakfast menu is quite extensive. I highly recommend staying at the Meltemi Port of Skiathos Hotel if you wish to explore the island while enjoying the town’s vibrant scene.

Explore the Charm of Skiathos Town

Skiathos Town is the vibrant heart and soul of the island, boasting a picturesque marina that stretches along its stunning coastline. This enchanting area is a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets, where whitewashed houses adorned with blue shutters and blooming bougainvillea create a postcard-perfect scene. Meander through the vibrant shops, quaint cafes, and charming local boutiques, each offering a delightful array of souvenirs and unique local crafts.

For a panoramic view of the town, take a leisurely walk up to the Agios Nikolaos Church and clock tower, perched on a hill overlooking the town. It’s best to visit early in the morning, before the heat of the day and the crowds arrive, to fully enjoy the serene beauty and breathtaking vistas.

Visit the Papadiamantis House

Dive into the local culture by visiting the house of Alexandros Papadiamantis, one of Greece’s most celebrated writers. This small museum provides a glimpse into his life and works, offering a fascinating insight into Skiathos’ literary heritage. The house, which dates back to 1860 is preserved in its original state, is a perfect example of traditional island architecture.

The museum is open daily from April until October, 10:00 am to 2pm and from 5pm-8pm. Operating hours may vary. Ticket: 4 Euros. 

Enjoy a meal at one of the seafront tavernas 

For a taste of local cuisine, head to a seafront taverna. Fresh seafood, such as grilled octopus, calamari, and local fish, are must-tries.

Pair your meal with a glass of ouzo or a chilled local wine while enjoying the picturesque views of the harbor. Check out our Where to Eat section at the end of this post.

Bourtzi Peninsula

In the afternoon just before sunset take a leisurely walk to the Bourtzi Peninsula. This small pine-covered islet divides the old and new ports and offers stunning panoramic views of Skiathos Town and the Aegean Sea. It’s a great spot for a relaxing break, with a charming café/restaurant and occasional cultural events. It is also a great spot for a morning coffee or breakfast. 

Skiathos Maritime and Culture Tradition Museum 

The Skiathos Maritime and Culture Tradition Museum is located on the Bourtzi Peninsula and offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s rich maritime heritage.

Located in Skiathos Town, this museum showcases an impressive collection of nautical artifacts, model ships, historical documents, and photographs that chronicle the seafaring traditions and naval history of Skiathos. Visitors can explore exhibits that highlight the island’s role in significant naval battles, the evolution of shipbuilding techniques, and the everyday lives of fishermen and sailors. The museum provides an educational and inspiring experience, celebrating the enduring bond between Skiathos and the sea.

Discover the Magic of Skiathos: Select The Best Boat Tour For You

Skiathos is not only famous for its beautiful beaches and vibrant town, but also for its incredible boat tours that offer visitors a chance to explore the surrounding waters and neighboring islands. From picturesque beach excursions to the famous “Mamma Mia” tour, here are some of the best boat tours available from Skiathos:

Day Sailing Trip with Lunch on a Yacht

During our time in Skiathos, we opted for an intimate sailing trip aboard a stunning 55ft yacht, offering a taste of affordable luxury. Our adventure began at 10 am, as we set sail from the port of Skiathos. The boat is expertly managed by Yannis and Aggeliki, alongside the most welcoming host, their German Shepherd named Naya, who is truly the kindest and most beautiful dog.

Our first stop was at Tsougria Beach, an uninhabited island just off the shores of Skiathos, renowned for its breathtaking crystal-clear waters. On our way to Tsougria, we were thrilled to spot a pod of dolphins, making for an unforgettable experience.

After a refreshing swim at Tsougria, we continued our journey towards the nearby island of Skopelos, with our first stop at Panormos Bay. From there, we sailed along the picturesque coastline towards the famous “Mamma Mia” filming location, Kastani Beach.

Mamma Mia film location – Kastani Beach Skopelos

Our gracious host Aggeliki prepared a delicious lunch onboard, featuring a Greek salad, omelette, chicken pasta, fried zucchini with tzatziki sauce, and mixed rice with raisins and mushrooms. The meal was a delightful feast, perfectly complemented by the stunning sea views.

Next, we headed towards Dasia Island, known for its impressive cave, before making our way to Arkos Island. Here, we enjoyed another swim and indulged in a refreshing fruit platter, rounding off a perfect day on the water.

This sailing tour provided us with a unique and memorable way to experience the natural beauty of Skiathos and Skopelos, all while enjoying the excellent company and hospitality of our hosts and their charming dog, Naya. You can book the same experience with Viator here or with GetYourGuide here.

Lalaria Beach and Sea Caves Tour

One of the most popular boat tours, this excursion takes you to the stunning Lalaria Beach, known for its unique white rock formations and crystal-clear waters. Accessible only by boat, Lalaria Beach is a must-visit. The tour often includes a visit to the nearby sea caves, where you can explore the mesmerizing blue waters and striking geological formations.

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Highlights: Lalaria Beach, sea caves, swimming, and snorkeling
  • Suitable For: All ages

Mamma Mia Tour

For fans of the movie “Mamma Mia,” this tour is a dream come true. Visit some of the iconic filming locations on the neighboring island of Skopelos. The tour typically includes stops at Kastani Beach, where many of the beach scenes were filmed, and the Agios Ioannis Chapel, perched on a rocky hilltop with stunning views.

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Highlights: Kastani Beach, Agios Ioannis Chapel, Skopelos Town
  • Suitable For: Movie fans, sightseers, and families
  • Book this tour online here or you can also book this private option here.

Island Hopping Tour

This Skopelos and Alonissos tour takes you on a journey to explore the nearby islands of the Northern Sporades, including Skopelos and Alonissos. Each island has its own unique charm, with Skopelos known for its lush greenery and Alonissos for its marine park, which is home to the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Highlights: Skopelos Town, Alonissos Marine Park, swimming, and sightseeing
  • Suitable For: Adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and explorers

Fishing and BBQ Tour

For those looking to combine adventure with relaxation, the fishing and BBQ tour is ideal. Spend the day fishing in the rich waters around Skiathos, and then enjoy a beachside BBQ with your catch. This tour is a great way to experience local traditions and enjoy fresh seafood.

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Highlights: Fishing, beach BBQ, swimming
  • Suitable For: Families, groups, fishing enthusiasts

Private Yacht Charter

For a more exclusive experience, consider chartering a private yacht. These private tours can be tailored to your preferences, whether you want to explore hidden coves, enjoy water sports, or simply relax. With a dedicated crew, you can experience the best of the Aegean Sea in style.

  • Duration: Customizable (half-day, full-day, multi-day)
  • Highlights: Personalized itinerary, amenities, privacy
  • Suitable For: Groups of friends, families, special occasions

Explore the Beaches and Natural Beauty

Skiathos is renowned for its stunning beaches, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and serene atmosphere. With 67 beaches to choose from, visitors are sure to find their perfect spot, even during the busy summer season. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Skiathos’ beaches have something for everyone. Here’s a detailed guide to the top beaches in Skiathos:

Koukounaries Beach

Location: Southwest coast of Skiathos (approximately 25 minutes from Skiathos town)


  • Scenic Beauty: Known as one of the best beaches in Greece, Koukounaries is famous for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach is backed by a dense pine forest, creating a picturesque setting.
  • Activities: Ideal for water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing, and paddleboarding. There’s also a diving school for underwater enthusiasts.
  • Amenities: The beach is well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, and tavernas. It’s also equipped with facilities like showers and restrooms, as well as a SeaTrac system for people with mobility issues. 

Accessibility: Easily accessible by bus or car, with ample parking available. You can also get a boat from the port of Skiathos, which costs 6 Euro per way and runs regularly throughout the day. The first boat leaves at 10 am, make sure to get there a bit earlier to secure your spot.

The Elivi Skiathos resort is nestled on a secluded part of the Koukounaries beach, offering elegant suites and villas, a wellness center, and access to several beautiful beaches. We had rented their front row sun beds for the day – the price was 35 Euro per set.

Banana Beach

Location: Near Koukounaries


  • Water Sports: This beach is divided into Big Banana and Small Banana, both known for vibrant water sports activities including jet skiing, banana boat rides, and parasailing.
  • Young Crowd: Popular with a younger crowd, especially in the summer months, making it a lively spot with beach bars playing music.
  • Nudist Section: Small Banana Beach is a popular spot for nudists.
  • Accessibility: A short walk from Koukounaries Beach, accessible by bus, car or small boat.

Lalaria Beach

Location: Northern coast of Skiathos


  • Unique Landscape: Lalaria is famed for its stunning white pebble beach, azure waters, and dramatic rock formations, including the famous Tripia Petra (Hole in the Rock).
  • Secluded Paradise: Accessible only by boat, making it a tranquil escape from the busier beaches.
  • Snorkeling: Excellent spot for snorkeling due to the clear waters and underwater rock formations.
  • Accessibility: Boat tours from Skiathos Town regularly visit Lalaria Beach.
All the boat tours can be found in Skiathos Town

Agia Eleni Beach

Location: West of Koukounaries


  • Sunsets: Renowned for its stunning sunset views, making it a romantic spot for evening visits.
  • Calm Waters: The beach features calm, shallow waters, perfect for swimming and families with children.
  • Beach Bar: There’s a popular beach bar that serves drinks and snacks, enhancing the relaxed vibe.
  • Accessibility: Accessible by bus or car, with a short walk through the pine forest.

Mandraki Beach (Xerxes Beach)

Location: Northern part of Skiathos


  • Secluded and Natural: Less crowded and more natural compared to the southern beaches, offering a peaceful retreat.
  • Unspoiled Beauty: Surrounded by lush greenery and featuring fine sand and clear waters.
  • Multiple Coves: Mandraki comprises several smaller coves, each providing a unique and private beach experience.
  • Accessibility: Reachable by a scenic hike through the pine forest or by car, though the road can be rough.

Vromolimnos Beach

Location: Southern coast of Skiathos


  • Family-Friendly: Known for its shallow, warm waters, making it ideal for families with young children. There is a SeaTrac system for people with mobility issues.
  • Water Sports: Offers a variety of water sports, including water skiing and wakeboarding.
  • Lively Atmosphere: Beach bars and tavernas contribute to a lively and friendly atmosphere.
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible by car or bus, with parking available nearby. Taxi from Skiathos town costs 15 Euro per way.

Insider’s Tip: Discover Dimanti Beach

At the end of Vromolimnos Beach, near the watersports center, you can catch a small boat to the nearby Dimanti Beach (10 Euro per person, both ways).

Located on the tip of the coast, Dimanti Beach is accessible only via a dirt road, adding to its secluded charm. This slice of paradise features a limited number of sun beds and a quaint beach taverna that serves a fantastic menu, with tables set right on the sand. The price of sun beds is 20 Euros per set, it is advisable to make reservations in advance.

During our visit, we savored delicious calamari served with chili peppers and lime, as well as lemon pasta with prawns. The entire beach has been designed with sustainability in mind, seamlessly blending all fixtures with the natural environment. Dimanti Beach is undoubtedly one of the island’s hidden gems, offering a tranquil escape and a taste of authentic, freshly prepared Greek cuisine in a stunning setting.

Megali Ammos Beach

Location: Close to Skiathos Town

Achinos Restaurant and Bar on Megali Ammons Beach


  • Convenience: Its proximity to Skiathos Town makes it a popular choice for those staying in the town.
  • Well-Organized: The beach is well-equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and numerous tavernas offering delicious local cuisine.
  • Calm Waters: Ideal for swimming and water sports such as kayaking.
  • Accessibility: Easily reachable on foot from Skiathos Town (about a 20 minute walk), as well as by car or bus.

Cultural Immersion and Connection with Nature

For those interested in exploring the religious and historical heritage of Skiathos, a visit to the Monastery of Evangelistria is a must. Perched on a hilltop and surrounded by lush greenery, this serene monastery, founded in 1794, serves as both a spiritual refuge and a site of significant historical importance, especially in the context of the Greek War of Independence. It was here that the first Greek flag was designed and blessed, symbolizing the fight for freedom against Ottoman rule. The monks actively supported the struggle by providing shelter and resources to the revolutionaries.

The architecture of the monastery is a splendid example of traditional monastic design, with its main church featuring intricate frescoes and icons. The complex also includes chapels, monks’ cells, and a bell tower, all exuding a sense of tranquility and reverence.

Within the monastery grounds, there is a small museum that houses a collection of religious artifacts, manuscripts, and icons. These exhibits provide a glimpse into the monastic life and the monastery’s historical contributions. The monastery is also known for its winery, where the monks produce traditional wine. Visitors can explore the winery, learn about the winemaking process, and sample some of the monastery’s wines. The location of the monastery offers breathtaking views of the island and the Aegean Sea. The serene environment, combined with the panoramic vistas, makes it a perfect spot for reflection and relaxation.

Hiking Trails

For nature enthusiasts, Skiathos offers an extensive network of hiking trails that wind through its verdant landscape, providing a perfect opportunity to experience the island’s natural beauty up close. There are 25 well-marked trails (between 1 and 6 hours duration), covering over 197 kilometers, catering to various levels of hiking experience and interests.

The trails range from easy, leisurely walks to more challenging hikes. They are well-marked with signs and maps at trailheads, making it easy for hikers to navigate and explore. For more information visit this website.

Popular Routes:

  • Monastery of Evangelistria to Kastro: This trail offers a combination of cultural and natural experiences. Starting at the monastery, the trail takes you through lush forests and along scenic ridges, eventually leading to the ancient fortified settlement of Kastro.
  • Koukounaries to Mandraki: This relatively easy trail passes through pine forests and offers access to several secluded beaches, including the pristine Mandraki Beach.
  • Skiathos Town to Xanemos Beach: A coastal trail that provides stunning sea views and a chance to visit the lesser-known Xanemos Beach. This is a great option for a shorter hike.


Kastro, the ancient fortified settlement located on the northern tip of Skiathos offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s history and spectacular views. Kastro was the medieval capital of Skiathos, established in the 14th century as a refuge from pirate attacks. The site was inhabited until the early 19th century and features the remnants of homes, churches, and fortifications that tell the story of its resilient inhabitants.

Wander through the ruins of old houses, churches, and defensive walls. Notable sites include the Church of Christ, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the remains of the Venetian castle that once protected the settlement.

Perched on a cliff, Kastro offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the rugged coastline. It’s an ideal spot for photography and quiet contemplation, with the dramatic landscape providing a stunning backdrop.

Kastro is accessible by a combination of driving and hiking. The final approach requires a walk along a path, so be prepared for a bit of a climb. The effort is well worth it for the rewarding views and historical ambiance.

Where to Eat in Skiathos

Skiathos offers a vibrant culinary scene with numerous dining options, particularly in Skiathos Town. Here, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and tavernas serving everything from traditional Greek dishes to international cuisine. Some of the best places to eat in Skiathos Town include the following:

Akrogiali Tavern: is known for its excellent seafood and traditional Greek cuisine. Located along the waterfront on Paraliakos Street, it offers stunning views of the harbor and a pleasant dining atmosphere. Since it is one of the highly rates tavernas in Skiathos Town it is recommended to reserve a table in advance especially if you would like to secure the front row table overlooking the water. The menu at Akrogiali features a variety of Greek and Mediterranean dishes, with a strong emphasis on fresh seafood. We tried their steamed mussels, grilled calamari and shrimp risotto.

Maria’s Pizza is a beloved dining spot located in the heart of Skiathos Town, near the Town Hall. It stands out as a treasure among the busy streets, offering an authentic Italian dining experience infused with the charm of the island. Renowned for its wide selection of handmade pizzas, homemade pasta, and traditional Italian dishes, Maria’s Pizza promises a memorable meal. (It is highly recommend to reserve your table)

We tried their burrata salad, pasta with tuna, and tagliata steak, all of which were delicious. They also have an excellent wine menu; we opted for the rosé produced by the Parissis winery (you can also visit the winey if your schedule allows it), the only winery on Skiathos. For dessert, we enjoyed the tiramisu, which was a perfect end to the meal. Everything was excellent, and the service was very attentive, making our dining experience truly delightful.

Marmita is a well-loved restaurant in Skiathos Town, celebrated for its creative Greek cuisine and charming garden setting. This dining gem offers a delightful blend of traditional and modern Greek dishes, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

Marmita’s menu features a creative take on Greek cuisine, combining traditional flavors with contemporary culinary techniques. Popular menu items include slow-cooked lamb, fresh seafood, and a variety of vegetarian options.

Situated in a picturesque location near the water, Pyrofani Tavern provides a cozy and relaxed dining environment. The outdoor seating area is particularly popular, allowing guests to enjoy their meal while taking in the beautiful views of the harbor. It’s menu consists of seafood and meat options, and the prices are reasonable. The staff was very polite and attentive.

With this comprehensive travel guide we list all the top things to do in Skiathos. You’re well-equipped to explore Skiathos and uncover its hidden gems and popular spots. Whether you’re lounging on its beautiful beaches, exploring its rich history, or indulging in its delicious cuisine, Skiathos promises an unforgettable experience. Enjoy your adventure on this enchanting island and let us know what you liked best.

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