You can be forgiven for believing that all the best things to do in Skiathos revolve around the fact that it has some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the Aegean. However, the island also attracts food and history enthusiasts with its fascinating museums and welcoming pubs. Explore the old churches and monasteries for a glimpse of the island’s intricate history, before sipping fresh local seafood at the riverside restaurants. Wander the winding streets of the Old Quarter, spot rare birds in the nature reserve or hike to the top of the island for stunning views across the Mediterranean. Skiathos has more than 50 beaches for you to swim, surf, ride a water motorbike or simply relax in the sun. And at night, the town comes to life with its relaxing jazz bars and vibrant nightclub beats. Experience the Top Best Things to Do in Skiathos (Greece) with our Skiathos to-do list.
Koukounariés Beach is a protected nature reserve and there’s very little development other than a few scattered beach bars. Rent a sunbed and umbrella, settle in, and enjoy views of the Aegean Sea. One of the most popular beaches in Skiathos, many travelers are drawn to its soft white sand and pine trees.
You can enjoy snorkeling, diving, and a range of water sports. Guided horseback-riding through the pine forests at the northern part of Koukounariés is also available. Behind the beach, you’ll find a lagoon and wetland reserve offering protection to rare species of migratory birds, including swans, herons and ducks.
In the 14th century, in the face of constant pirate raids, the capital of Skiathos was moved to this now abandoned promontory at the northern tip of the island.
Today there’s no easy way to reach this point as you’ll need a 4×4 for the dirt track through a nature reserve, or to catch a boat from the harbour at Skiathos town, serving the delightful beach under the promontory. From there it’s a hair-raising hike up to the castle, which is being restored.
After Greek independence from the Ottomans in the 1830s, the capital was moved back to its current location.
But on this scenic rock are the remnants of the imposing gate and drawbridge, as well as streets and houses. There’s also a mosque and three churches on the site; the largest church, Agios Nikolaos is open and worth a peek, while the mosque is closed to visitors.
Hit the hiking trails
Nearly 200 km of hiking routes cover the entire island of Skiathos, which can take you up to the island’s peaks, through fragrant pine forest, and along meandering streams. Trails are clearly marked and well-maintained, and range between 1 and 6 hours to complete.
There are guided group hikes covering just about everything, from the island’s history to its unique ecosystem. One of Skiathos’ most rewarding hiking trails highlights the medieval castle on Kástro, which was built to protect the island from pirates. Alternatively, you can take the path east of Skiathos Town that leads to Agios Georgios Beach, offering beautiful views of the coast.
Lalaria is surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs and bordered by the clear turquoise waters of the Aegean. The spectacular natural arch rising out of the sea is an icon of Skiathos, making it a popular place to take photos. The beach itself is mostly fine pebble, dropping off quite steeply into the water.
One of Skiathos’ more peaceful beaches, Lalaria is located on the northern coast and only accessible by boat. Excursions leave every day from Skiathos Old Port and usually include a stop in the bay for lunch and a swim. Many trips also stop near Kástro on the northern tip of the island, where you can see the remains of several old churches.
House of Papadiamantis
The house of one of the most prolific Greek writers, Alexandros Papadiamantis is this ‘House of Papadiamantis’. It now officially belongs to the Municipality of Skiathos, as the house is filled with the display items of the writer’s life and works. You get the most original manuscripts for view and it represents the best Greek culture. With this, the government has also preserved the furniture of the writer and the house represents the architecture of traditional Greek style. If you wish to know about the religious way this writer lived and how religion influenced the life and history of Greece, this place should be one among your priorities.