Since the release of the film ‘Mama Mia’, Skiathos (and its gorgeous neighbour Skopolos) have become a lot more popular with fans keen to recreate the “lost paradise” fantasy of the film, and to spy some of the filming locations. It’s easy enough to get to but where to stay in Skiathos once you arrive?
It’s not just its role as a movie backdrop which makes Skiathos such a popular Greek island holiday destination. It’s earned itself a reputation as the “boomerang island”, with so many visitors returning over and over to keep enjoying the unspoiled landscapes, laidback lifestyle and spectacular beaches.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at where to stay in Skiathos so you can enjoy a dream stay on this beautiful island.
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How to get to Skiathos
Skiathos is fairly easy to get to having both a small international airport and a bustling marine port. You can even drive most of the way!
Flights to Skiathos
Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport has a short narrow runway that creates some of the most photographed and filmed plane landings in the world. You can almost touch the plane as it sweeps down over the adjacent beach.
The airport is serviced by domestic services from Athens daily and from about April to October there are numerous charter flights from countries such as England, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
Check schedules and prices HERE.
Ferries to Skiathos
Year round there are ferries running to Skiathos from Volos and Agios Konstantinos on the Mainland, including vehicular ferries. You can catch a bus to both of those towns from Athens or the train to Volos via Larissa ( a great way to see Meteora as well!)
From May to September there are frequent ferries between Skopelos, Alonissos, and Mantoudi (Evia island) and some years even Thessaloniki. There are also ferries from Platanias in the southern Pelion peninsula although these are more for day-trippers.
The best place to stay on Skiathos for first timers:
A great choice for your first time staying in Skiathos is the island’s largest town, known simply as Skiathos Town. The town has a permanent population of just under 5,000, but as numbers swell with visitors it really comes alive.
Here, you’ll find a great selection of markets and restaurants that are just as popular with locals as visitors. In the summer months, it can become crowded with stylish travellers booking into the many waterfront restaurants. In particular, the seafood restaurants are delicious, while after a great meal you may want to enjoy the town’s bustling nightlife.
Skiathos Town is ideal for first timers as there is plenty to do, and convenient transport links all over the island. It’s also my pick for those who are on the lookout for Mamma Mia filming locations. You’ll find several, including the St Nikolaos Bell Tower which featured in the first film. So too did the Old Port of Skiathos, which is well worth a visit – even if you haven’t seen the movie.
Budget hotel in Skiathos Town : Entelia
Budget: Le Bateau (Homestay)
Luxury hotel in Skiathos Town : Skiathos Luxury Living
Where to stay in Skiathos for beach lovers:
There is much to love about this island, but most visitors will probably tell you it’s the Skiathos beaches they love best. With so many gorgeous beaches on offer, nearly anywhere you choose to stay on Skiathos will offer up some beautiful sun, surf, and sand. However, arguably the most beautiful (and the most famous) is Koukounaries.
Looking at the powder-soft sand and turquoise water of this beach, it’s clear why so many visitors obsess over it. Its popularity also means that there are plenty of nearby restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can enjoy everything from a casual drink as the sun sets, to a more upmarket meal.
The popularity does mean that this can get busy, however, the beach is also a good starting point for a number of hikes into the unspoiled wilderness. This means even in the height of the summer season, you can easily trade the bustling beach for wide-open space. Just be sure to book in advance, as accommodation fills up quickly.
Budget hotel in Koukounaries: Amalia Apartments
Mid-range hotel in Koukounaries: Skiathos Luxury Living
Upper mid-range hotel in Koukounaries : Aegean Suites Hotel
Where to stay in Skiathos for families:
Agia Paraskevi or Troulos
Skiathos is an ideal choice for families, thanks to its laidback atmosphere and abundance of calm beaches. While it does have some nightlife, it isn’t as popular with partygoers as other islands like Santorini or Mykonos. As a result, it’s perfect for those wanting to enjoy a more relaxing holiday as a family.
For those travelling with younger visitors, Agia Paraskevi is a great choice. This beautiful beach is calm and gentle, making it perfect for small children and nervous swimmers. There’s also a great choice here – the western end boasts several luxurious resorts, while the eastern end is less developed and offers a few nice walks for something different. Older children are also sure to have fun with the various watersports on offer.
Another option for families (or anyone seeking the less frenetic beach experience) is Troulos. It also boasts a beautiful beach, with a smattering of casual restaurants and cafes around, but with few bars or nightclubs to break the serenity. Its casual and relaxed approach makes it popular with families wishing to enjoy some laidback quality time together.
Budget hotel: Villa Anna Maria (Agia Paraskevi)
Where to stay in Skiathos for romance and relaxation:
One of the best things about Skiathos is its lush and unspoiled landscape. While the beaches get a lot of the hype, there’s even more for nature lovers to enjoy, including sprawling vegetation and lots of walking trails. This makes it perfect for those wishing to indulge in some rest and relaxation, far from everyday life.
If you’re seeking to really relax – perhaps with your loved one – then Kalamaki Peninsula may be ideal. In particular, the area of Kanapitsa Bay is popular. This quiet and unspoiled section of Skiathos boasts some of the island’s prettiest scenery, and most of it is undeveloped. Walking is a popular pursuit here, taking you past beautiful coastal views as well as through the overgrown landscape.
If you do find yourself craving a little more excitement, the town of Tzaneria is a little more bustling, with some nightlife and a few great restaurants.
There are also a number of beautiful beaches, with enough amenities to be convenient but not crowded. As it’s a bit more remote and the transport links are almost non-existent, it’s recommended that you have your own vehicle if you’re planning to stay along the Kalamaki Peninsula.
Mid-range apartments: Tzaneria Apartments Skiathos
Mid-range hotel: Skiathos Holidays
Luxury villa: Villa Irene Skiathos (self-catered)
Where to stay in Skiathos to experience traditional life:
Although you probably wouldn’t describe Skiathos as “undiscovered”, there are still large swathes of the island that have resisted the change that tourism often brings. So, if you dream of turning the clock back and living the simple life for a while, then you’ll certainly find it on Skiathos. In particular, Kolios retains its traditional feel.
This charming area incorporates a beautiful beach and then stretches in-land with a picturesque little village with winding streets and traditional houses. Venture a little further inland and you’ll be treated to olive trees dotted amongst the countryside. It’s all absolutely gorgeous – so it’s hard to believe Skiathos Town is just eight kilometres away.
Although Kolios has retained much of its traditional charm, there are also enough amenities to keep things convenient. Within the village and near the beach you’ll find a selection of informal tavernas, while there’s also a couple of beach bars near the sand. Plus, it’s an easy drive or taxi away from Skiathos Town if you’re looking for a little more choice.
Budget hotel: Villa Kavourakia
Mid-range hotel: Angelina Studios
Luxury hotel: Kolios Seaside Apartments
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