My uncle was always recommending it as his favourite holiday destination, so eventually my Mum took me there in my late teens. We stayed in a hotel in Achladies Bay but every day we would clamber aboard a packed bus to take us to Banana Beach, where we would bask in the sun and go snorkeling in crystal clear waters. It was one of the most relaxing holidays I can remember.
The island itself is rather lush compared to the rest of the Greek islands, with pine covered hills and dozens upon dozens of sandy beaches. With water so turquoise, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in the Caribbean. It’s really easy to get around because there’s a public bus that travels the whole length of the south coast from Koukounaries to Skiathos town.
Here are 5 of the top things to do in Skiathos:
1. Stroll around Skiathos Town
The main town is a picturesque, happening place filled with bars, restaurants, shops, tavernas and hotels. It’s well worth taking a stroll along the harbour and the main street, Papadiamanti. I particularly enjoyed walking around here in the evening and then sitting on the steps of one of the bars for a drink or two.
2. Relax on some of the incredible beaches
Skiathos has some of the best beaches in Greece, with around 60-70 scattered around the island’s coastline. Our favourite was Banana Beach, which is signposted from the car park of the island’s most popular beach- Koukounaries. On Banana Beach there’s a beach bar with plenty of bean bags to sit on- listening to Bob Marley I felt like I was somewhere in the Caribbean. It’s super relaxed here and the music ramps up as the sun goes down. Round the corner is Little Banana- the island’s nudist beach. Other beaches on the island I would recommend include Agia Paraskevi, Vromolimnos and Lalaria- a rocky beach with sea caves situated in the north of the island.
3. Go Scuba Diving
Skiathos has incredibly clear waters, making it ideal for snorkeling and diving. There are several scuba diving schools on the island offering PADI courses, guided dives for certified divers, cave dives, drift dives and night dives. One of the highlights is Poseidon Cave, with its small red tinted corals.
4. Take a boat trip to Skopelos and Alonissos
We took a boat trip to the islands of Skopelos and Alonissos, which were actually used for the filming of Mamma Mia! Our guide took us on a guided tour through the narrow, cobbled streets of Skopelos, telling us all about the architectural and artistic history of the island. After some free time to explore and purchase souvenirs, we cruised over to the sisted island, Alonissos, where we enjoyed an afternoon of sunbathing and tanning on the beach.
5. Eat at the famous windmill restaurant
If you want to have a special meal on the island, make sure you pay a visit to the Windmill Restaurant, which offers absolutely stunning views over the town. You will have to climb many steps to get up there, but the Mediterranean food is excellent and well worth your efforts.