6 Drives and a Boat Ride to the Beauties of Skiathos
Discover Skiathos, the island of the Northern Sporades group with the incredible beaches, each one of each with its unique beauty. The main road network covers the eastern and southern coast of Skiathos where most of the sandy and organized beaches are. The rest of the coast is rugged and mountainous, with older, narrower roads passing through the lush slopes, reaching a very different, wilder landscape.
Rent a car in Skiathos and drive to…
Skiathos town, at the southeastern side of the island
At the southeastern side of the island is the town of Skiathos, probably the busiest town of the Sporades group. While most of the town has adjusted to the needs of visitors with numerous tavernas, shops with local products, cafes, bars and accommodation options, you can also see the everyday life of the inhabitants of Skiathos as most of them live here. Park your car and walk up the hill to the old part of the town towards the churches of Treis Ierarches and Agia Triada for a taste of authentic Skiathos. The seafront is the centre of the island’s nightlife. The green Bourtzi peninsula separates the commercial part of the port with the old one which is picturesque and ideal for an evening walk by the sea.
Kastro, 9 km southwest of Skiathos town
When the island of Skiathos was raided by pirates the 14th Century, the islanders made the most of the local geological characteristics and moved from Skiathos town to the less accessible north coast. There they built Kastro (Greek for “castle”) where they managed to defend themselves using canons and a drawbridge. You can almost feel the history of the people who came here and built a settlement reaching 300 houses and around 20 churches. The settlement was abandoned around the 1830s and today you can only see the remainings of the old castle. However, the view from the coastal cliffs is also rewarding.
You can reach Kastro by boat or by car. The first option involves getting to Koukounaries first and taking a boat to Kasτro from there. The only problem here is that you will need around half an hour to walk uphill from the coast to the actual fortress. The other way is to rent a car and drive to Kastro, however, you should consult your car hire service in order to rent the right vehicle that will allow you to drive on the rough dirt road.
Banana beach, 14 km southwest of Skiathos town
Banana beach actually consists of two beaches, a larger and a smaller one, both with friendly shallow waters and old pine trees providing refuge from the summer heat. The larger Banana, as you can probably guess is more popular, organized, with sunbeds, water sports, tavernas, cafes and frequent parties. A short walk on the rocks will take you to the smaller Banana beach, a more quiet and calm option.
Mandraki beach, 15 km west of Skiathos town
This quiet beach is one of our favourites, a place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean summer, especially outside busy August. Golden sand, crystal waters and beach and aromatic beach lilies, a small friendly tavern, what more can you ask for?
Rent a car with Simplybook to drive to Mandraki beach early in the morning. Drive towards Koukounaries and just before reaching it take a right turn following the sign to Agia Eleni. Follow the dirt road for around 4 km until you reach the parking area. Leave your car here and walk for 5 minutes till you reach the beach. Our advice is that you do not plan anything else for the day as you will probably want to spend the whole day here.
Koukounaries, 14 km southwest of Skiathos harbour
14 km southwest of Skiathos town, Koukounaries (=Greek for pine trees) beach takes its name after the local coastal pine forest. Where the pine trees meet the sea you will find one of the busiest beaches of the island also known for its fine sand. The beach is organized and the area offers accommodation options, restaurants and shops. The coastal forest is of great natural importance and provides a shady, relaxing environment.
Asselinos beach, 13km west of Skiathos town
At the northern coast of Skiathos, after a beautiful drive through the pine forest of the island you will reach the beaches of Small and Big Asselinos. Thick sand and pebbles, under the green slopes of Kounistra mountain. Big Asselinos is partly organized and here you will find a taverna and a few umbrellas and sand beds, but also plenty of room to lay your towel. Next to this beach is Small Asselinos. This is a more quiet beach, although this means that you will need to park your car and walk down the 2 km dirt road to get there.
Probably the most popular and photographed beach of Skiathos is Lalaria. This beach is accessible only by boat which you can take from the port of Skiathos. The crystal waters and the impressive rock formations attract visitors who want to spend a day on an exotic beach. Make sure that you bring with you water and snacks and that you do not take back with you any of the white round pebbles, a practice that has raised the concern of geologists and Skiathos cultural group and which has been forbidden by the local authorities.