Skopelos holidays

  • Overview
  • Travel guide
  • Travel advice
  • Currency

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.

Skopelos Town

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.  

Shopping

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.

Nightlife

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. 

Kastani Beach

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.

Family Fun

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.

Hiking

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.

Watersports

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.

Mamma Mia!

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.

Island Hopping

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.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including Athens | CorfuCrete | Halkidiki | KalamataKefaloniaKos | Lefkas | LesbosMykonos | Olympius Riviera | PargaRhodes | SantoriniSkiathos | ThassosZante 

 

Map of Skopelos

world_map
25-30 ℃

Given its position in the glittering Aegean Sea, the island enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers and cool winters. For the best bronzing weather, book your Skopelos holidays between June and September, when the temperature hovers between the mid-20s (°C) and the low 30s (°C).

View live forecast

Between three and a half and almost six hours

Flights to Skopelos land at Skiathos International Airport, which is a 15-minute ferry trip from the island. There are few non-stop flights to Skiathos, so you’ll have to seek out connecting flights, which can add to your journey time.

Skopelos is best for...

Couples: Stray away from the beaches featured in Mamma Mia and you’ll find stretches of secluded, sun-splashed sands that seem to melt into the sapphire seas. With its whitewashed tumble of sugar-cube houses, the town is the perfect place to get lost in. You’ll stumble across unique shops and romantic restaurants. The sunsets are spectacular too. Watch the blue sky turn to gold and orange while enjoying a quiet picnic on the shore.

Families: Holidays to Skopelos are as far away from tourist-centric resorts as you can get. The beaches are perfect for little ones, with shallow shores and safe, clean water. Head inland, and there are jasmine-scented forests to explore. Make sure you visit the Venetian Fortress in the centre of town for a glimpse into the past. Or spend your days exploring the tranquillity of the monasteries scattered across the island.

The Great Outdoors: Whether you’re travelling with the family or stealing some time away with your better half, Skopelos holidays offer plenty of scope for adventure. There are some excellent trails in the hills, many of which will lead you to hidden villages, abandoned monasteries, silent churches and even remote restaurants. To add a little spice to your walk, hunt out the Sendoukia Pirate Graves, the reported resting-place of three pirates. According to local legend, there is treasure buried nearby, which is protected by the ghosts of the ill-fated buccaneers.

Fast facts for Skopelos

Language: While the official language is Greek, most of the locals have a basic command of English. Download an app or pack a phrasebook for those essentials.

Currency: You’ll need to change up your British Stirling into Euros, before heading off on your holidays to Skopelos.

Local time: The island is two hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Skiathos International Airport, before hopping on a ferry for a 15-minute trip to Skopelos.

Flight time from the UK: Between three and six hours, depending on whether your flight is non-stop, or you need connecting flights.

Tourist information: Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at the official website for tourism in Skopelos.

Visa and Health: For the latest visa and health requirements, click here The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Getting around Skopelos

By bus: There’s a regular and reliable bus service, running 37km from Skopelos Town to Glossa, seven days a week. It operates four times a day from Monday to Friday and three times a day on weekends. You’ll also find many bus routes connecting you to the beaches during the summer.

By taxi: The majority of taxis are to be found in Skopelos Port, Neo Kilma and Glossa Square. Taxi drivers welcome tourists and will likely give you their business cards in the hope that you use them for the duration of your Skopelos holidays. But be sure to agree on a fee before you travel.

By car: Cars give you the freedom to reach destinations that aren’t serviced by public transport. The island’s main road is in good condition and easy to navigate, while many of the mountain roads are little more than dirt tracks.  Be sure to check which roads you are permitted to drive on with your insurance company. A full driving licence is required to hire a car.

Events in Skopelos

Loiza Festival: Book your holidays to Skopelos in August, and you might just catch the annual Loiza Festival. Held in honour of the Greek composer Manos Loizos, you can expect music recitals, theatrical performances, traditional dancing and a sumptuous feast.

Wine Festival: If you're a lover of a full-bodied red or crisp glass of white wine, then book a break in mid-September just in time for the Wine Festival. A free event, you can sample superb wines from across the Sporades and dance until the sun comes up.

Carnival: While the weather might be a little cooler, you’ll enjoy the warmest of welcomes during Carnival. Held in February, you’ll see colourful costumes, lively parades and traditional dancing. Locals welcome visitors and neighbours alike into their homes to share food and drink.

Skopelos safety and security

Do I need a passport? 

British citizens must carry a full UK passport when travelling to Skopelos. Your passport must be less than 10 years old on the day you enter and be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave. Before travelling, visit The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for advice.

Do I need a Visa? 

British citizens do not need a visa to visit Greece as a tourist. Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Greece as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

Should I get travel health insurance?

Wherever you travel, it’s best to take out comprehensive travel health insurance. If you were to become ill or have an accident on holiday, travel insurance will assist towards the cost of things like treatment or even returning to the UK. We recommend that you check your policy to see what’s included in your cover.

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Skopelos, please visit the FCDO website.

Skopelos weather

Between 20°C and 30°C outside of Winter

Best time to visit: If you’re looking to make the most of the sunshine on your Skopelos holidays, book your break between June and early September. These are the months in which you’ll experience the highest temperatures, peaking towards the end of August. April and May offer cooler conditions for sightseeing, with the temperature hovering between the high teens and early 20s. Autumn sees rain, but Skopelos still remains warm, with temperatures of around 20°C. In winter, the weather is cold and damp.

Similar destinations