Holidays to Skopelos are perfect for those in search of secluded bliss. The god of tourism seems to have overlooked this unspoiled paradise, partly due to its location. It doesn’t have an airport and can only be reached by ferry. Mostly untouched by development, Skopelos holidays give you a real sense of authentic Greek life. You’ll see locals fetching water from the fountains and hear the distant clang of goat bells as they amble across the cobbled walkways. No noisy cars rip through the Old Town either, as everybody walks.
Things to do
Skopelos is the epitome of a Greek island off-the-beaten-track. Still, there is plenty here to keep you busy, from hiking to scuba diving, island-hopping, to sunbathing. So whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a relaxing family getaway, or a week of watersports, the ‘Emerald Island’ has a lot to offer.
One of our favourite places to visit in Skopelos is the Old Town. The settlement sits on the edge of a bustling natural harbour on a spectacular bay. You can follow its fascinating maze of terracotta roofs, cerulean blue shutters and arrow paved steps all the way up to the 17th-century castle. From here, soak up panoramic views over the Aegean waters. At the bottom of the town, you’ll find quaint taverns, shops and restaurants lining the port. On your way down, stop by the Museum of Folklore; it’ll bring you closer to the Skopelos culture.
An island of the arts, you’ll find exceptional textiles, carvings, ceramics and glassware here. To peruse the artisanal olive oils, hand-made jewellery and traditional amphora bowls, head into the Old Town or along its waterfront. If you feel like spending those euros on something really fancy, take a trip to Stafilos, and you’ll find rows of silver moulded bracelets in the onsite workshops. For some classic syrup-soaked Skopeliot fruit, island honey and fresh produce, make your way to the small village of Glossa. Greece is very much a cash-based society, so be sure to order your travel money before you go.
While there are no all-night clubs in Skopelos, you can certainly enjoy a late evening in one of the lounge bars in the Old Town or Glossa. The island has a very chilled out atmosphere, but there are some great music venues where you can go for a few cocktails and a dance. Many are lit up at night, with views over the Aegean and piles of cosy cushions, setting a great atmosphere for couples and intimate groups of friends.
Historical & Culture
While the emphasis is on relaxation, authentic Greek life and sun-soaked beaches, there are plenty of things to see and do in Skopelos. The ruined Venetian fortress is a must-see and gives a glimpse into the island's military past. Residents are also deeply religious, following the Greek Orthodox faith. Which is why you’ll find churches at almost every turn. An estimated 360 of them are dotted around the hillsides, while 100 are situated in the town alone.
If you’re looking for the sandiest beach on the island, with plenty of amenities, then Kastani is a must. Here you can enjoy cocktails and snacks at the bar before unfurling on the loungers or cabanas. The waters are clear, and the sand is mostly fine with tiny pebbles around the shoreline. The conditions are perfect for paddling with your little ones or snorkelling together for marine life. At night, the beach comes alive with music events hosted in the summer.
Thanks to its shallow shores, holidays to Skopelos have become a hit with families with younger children. If they love the sea, treat them to a BBQ sailing trip. They’ll not only get to become part of the crew for the day, but you'll reach some incredibly remote beaches, only accessible by boat. You might also spot a pod of dolphins on your tour. Another great experience is visiting the ruins of the Venetian Fortress in Skopelos Town or cycling through the scenic roads of Alonissos. There are plenty of things to do with the family in Skopelos, from sandcastle building on secluded sand spots to exploring ancient sites.
Amply named ‘the Emerald Island’, pine forests and olive groves engulf the landscape, making Skopelos holidays a hikers dream. You’ll find eight mountains to explore, with Mount Delphi (681m) being the highest. It sits in the centre of the island, in the dense Vathia forest. You can access the start of the 3km trek from Sentoukia. The second highest is Palouki which can be reached from Skopelos Town. This trail will lead you to some of the great monasteries along the way.
The sheets of green tumble down the hills of Skopelos onto unspoilt pebble beaches, graced by crystal clear waters. And while there are plenty of secluded bays to while away the hours, its underwater world begs to be explored by scuba or snorkel. Find dive centres along the north side at the port of Skopelos and over on the south side in Panormos. A great way to see the sheltered caves is by paddleboard or kayak, with tours and rentals available on Milia Beach. At Milia, you can also water ski, jet ski and tube across the Aegean.
Skopelos was thrown into the spotlight in 2008 when its sun-bleached beaches and lush greenery acted as the backdrop to the movie Mamma Mia! Abba fans might like to recreate movie moments while foodies will enjoy a slice of traditional Greek cuisine. Take a boat tour of the island to see the iconic Agios Ioannis Chapel, aka the wedding church. From here, you’ll head along the coast past Armaratos, where Sophie reads Donna’s diary, and then over to the Glysteri rock, which featured in Our Last Summer.
A short one-hour ferry ride will take you to the shores of the neighbouring island, Skiathos. Just as green and blue as its secluded counterpart, Skiathos is a cosmopolitan location, attracting A-listers with its glistening harbours and gourmet restaurants. Here you’ll find livelier bars and taverns. There are also over 60 beaches here, with the bustling Koukounaries and Big Banana drawing in the crowds. And don’t miss a trip to the small peninsula, Bourtzi. It’s drenched in lush vegetation, with a Venetian Fortress at its centre.
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We also have travel guides available for destinations, including Athens | Corfu | Crete | Halkidiki | Kalamata | Kefalonia | Kos | Lefkas | Lesbos | Mykonos | Olympius Riviera | Parga | Rhodes | Santorini | Skiathos | Thassos | Zante