With its deep-blue seas and pine-tree-fringed bays, the beautiful Greek island of Skiathos makes for an enchanting beach holiday. There are 60 beaches nestled into the coastline, each of them seemingly more picturesque than the last. Many offer a variety of watersports to cool off on hot summer days.
Travel inland and you’ll uncover the island’s stunning natural beauty. You’ll discover undulating hills, fragrant fig groves and pine forests, as well as verdant river valleys. The island is criss-crossed with well-maintained hiking trails for all abilities, many of which lead to undiscovered beaches or secluded monasteries.
Popular Ports in Skiathos
Skiathos Town is the only cruise port on the island. Since Skiathos is only 30 square miles in size, it’s easy to visit destinations all across the island from here. But spending some time in Skiathos Town before you go exploring is highly recommended.
You’ll love exploring the picturesque old town of winding cobbled streets lined with whitewashed buildings. There are plenty of shops here where you can buy souvenirs, such as locally produced oils and spirits. Visit the Bourtzi Fortress, a tiny peninsula by the harbour, surrounded by the remnants of ancient walls and carpeted in pine trees. There’s a stunning cultural centre where you can enjoy a coffee while listening to live music.
Come evening, the town really comes to life. There’s a bar or open-air beach club around every corner, and a young vibrant crowd enjoying the nightlife. If this isn’t your cup of tea, stick to the more sedate streets near the old harbour. Visit a traditional Greek taverna to enjoy local specialities, including succulent souvlaki kebabs and macaroon biscuits, known as amygdalota.
What are the best cruise ships for a Skiathos cruise?
Although it’s not the most frequently visited Eastern Mediterranean destination, there are several liners that will enable you to enjoy your Skiathos cruise in style. These two ships come highly recommended.
Marella Discovery 2
The sleek and stylish Marella Discovery 2 is the newest ship in the Marella fleet, and offers state-of-the-art facilities alongside a warm, friendly atmosphere. Enjoy relaxing by the indoor or the outdoor pool, soaking up the summer sun. There’s never a dull moment on board – active adults will love the escape room, the climbing wall and the sports deck. There’s plenty to keep children occupied, too, with a dedicated teens hangout spot and a kids’ club that offers arts and crafts activities, pyjama parties and much more. The restaurants here cater to a wide range of tastes, offering everything from sushi to grilled steaks.
The Azamara Journey offers an intimate, relaxing cruise experience. It boasts a luxurious spa and a fitness centre where you can enjoy yoga classes and get advice from wellness experts. The ship boasts two pools: a main pool and a thalassotherapy pool, said to help joint pains. You’ll go crazy for the restaurants here, which offer a range of gourmet treats, from drunken-shrimp linguine to truffle-butter steaks. There’s plenty to do afterwards, too, from listening to a piano concert to visiting the casino. Make sure you check out one of the luxurious White Night Parties on deck.
Shore Excursion Ideas
As Skiathos is only 6.5 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, it’s easy to explore. Here are some recommended shore excursions that will help you get to know the island better.
Skiathos by Sea
Enjoy an entire day cruising on a small boat around the gorgeous coastline of Skiathos, discovering some of the island’s hidden gems. Your first stop will be Lalaria Beach, a secluded pebble cove only reachable by boat. There’ll be time for a dip in the pristine waters before heading to the beautiful medieval town of Kastro. The third stop is Asselinos Beach, on the north cove – a picturesque strip of golden sand. You’ll end the trip by visiting the beautiful desert island of Tsougria. The waters around the island are crystal clear, so it’s a great place to do some snorkelling.
This stunning stretch of golden sand, fringed with pine trees, is Skiathos’ top beach, and the most photographed spots on the island. Relax on the shore or take a dip in the sea, which wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. There are plenty of restaurants and bars here where you can refresh yourself. For the more active, the beach also offers watersports and horse-riding schools. Koukounaries Beach is a 20-minute bus ride away from the main port.
In Skiathos you’ll find many tour operators offering an island hopping excursion, which will take you to two neighbouring islands, Skopelos and Alonissos. The pristine paradise of Skopelos was where much of the ABBA-inspired Mamma Mia! musical was filmed. You’ll be able to disembark and explore its luscious forests and picturesque beaches for yourself. Beautiful Alonissos is even more remote; a rugged island of pine forests, olive groves and orchards. You’ll sail through the Sporades Marine Park on the way to reach it – look out for seabirds, dolphins, and Mediterranean monk seals.