Skiathos

Skiathos packs a whopping 50 beaches into just seven by four miles, alongside everything you want from a Greek island.

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Surrounded by the sparkling Aegean Sea, it is the smallest of the inhabited Sporades, boasting an historic harbour town, fantastic seafood and natural beauty.

Arriving at Skiathos International Airport

From London City Airport you’ll touch down directly on Skiathos at the Alexandros Papadiamantis airport, named for a 19th-century Greek writer who was born here and set much of his work on the island.

The beachfront airport has a famously short and narrow runway, and coming in to land over the Aegean is a novel experience – bag a window seat if you can. The airport is a couple of miles north of the island’s capital, Skiathos Town, and there is no public transport that serves it.

Taxis are easily available and good value though, setting you back around €12 to Skiathos Town, a quaint and beautiful harbour town with a sweeping cobbled seafront, with traditional whitewashed, red-tiled buildings.

If you don’t mind braving uneven footpaths — and you don’t have much luggage — you could actually walk from the airport to Skiathos Town easily.

Alternatively, make your way from the airport to nearby Xanemos Beach, where you’ll find the nearest bus stop.

Essential sights

Kastro

The Castle of Skiathos is a must-see for anyone interested in history. On the site of the island's old Byzantine capital, the 14th-century fortress on the northern tip of Skiathos is accessible via steep and rocky mountain roads. Sturdy wheels and footwear are required, but if you make it you’ll be rewarded with amazing views, sunsets and the black sandy beach below.

Cathedral of the Three Hierarchs

For wonderful architecture, Byzantine art and to see how Greek Orthodox Church remains at the heart of things in Skiathos, visit the Cathedral of the Three Hierarchs in Skiathos Town. Join prayers on a Sunday or pop in and light a candle on a weekday – the cool interior is a welcome escape during the scorching summer months.

Panagia Kechria monastery

This beautiful 16th-century monastery in the mountains is a steep uphill climb from Kechria beach. But it’s well worth it. Enjoy the sight of wildflowers and an enchanting pine forest before you reach this wonderfully peaceful historic site. Today, all that remains of the monastic complex is the main church building, richly decorated with frescoes in its interior.

Papadiamantis House

You won't find any large museums on Skiathos, but this little one is a must if you're interested in literature or island history. It's the birthplace of the island’s biggest cultural export: the writer and poet Alexandros Papadiamantis. Situated in a pleasant square in Skiathos Town, the house is an opportunity to see how islanders lived at the beginning of the 19th century.

Agios Nikolaos church and clocktower

The winding walk up hundreds of steps from the port to Agios Nikolaos Church is best attempted just before sunset, when it's cooler and you'll get spectacular views over Skiathos Town. The church is modest in size, but the interior is delightful, and the view over the Aegean is even better.