Arts and Culture

Skiathos, a rustic Greek island rich in history

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Found in the northwestern reaches of the Aegean Sea, Skiathos is a Greek island steeped in rustic heritage. A Mediterranean paradise replete with over 60 shimmering beaches, sprawling pine forests and oceans of deepest blue, Skiathos represents a picturesque, tranquil break away from the bright lights and restless nature of other popular European island hotspots.

An island famed for its exemplary beaches

For a relatively small island, Skiathos is blessed with a great number of outstanding beaches, mainly located on the southern and eastern coasts. The most notable of these is perhaps Koukounaries, a beautifully curved example smothered in fine, pale sand. At Koukounaries, pine trees creep right up to the sand provide an unrivalled natural shade from the Greek sun, and many claim that the beach is among the most unspoilt in Europe, perhaps down to its protected status.

As Skiathos' most famous beach, Koukounaries can become a little busy, so for a little more privacy and seclusion, the island's northern shores offer the perfect solution. Many nigh-on empty beaches, resplendent in their isolated, alluring nature, are etched along here and are best accessed by boat. Lalaria is a fine example of such a beach, and fascinating rock formations carved by eons of exposure to the wind and waves can be readily explored. Boats to the northern shores regularly leave the island's capital, Skiathos Town, so reaching even the most hidden of spots will not prove a problem.

A traditional Greek town

Away from the beaches, Skiathos offers a wealth of cultural and historical things to see and do. Skiathos Town is built around the island's natural harbour, a feature that the area has depended upon for its livelihood since the first settlers arrived. Today you can explore this rustic town and its cobbled, intimate paths that frame ancient streets and can lead to the most enchanting of places. Almost the entire permanent population of Skiathos live here in traditional Greek houses, simple in their elegant design.

Papadiamantis Street forms the main retail and entertainment district of Skiathos, snaking its way along much of the island's southern half. Named for the Skiathos' most famous son, writer Alexandros Papadiamantis, the street entails a great number of authentic Greek restaurants, as well as numerous international offerings, reflecting the island's cosmopolitan leanings. Numerous bars, serving the great Greek lager, Mythos, are dotted throughout the town, as well as the occasional nightclub, though Skiathos is not particularly known for its nightlife, preferring to revel in its laid back, relaxing reputation.       

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