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Trip Report Greek Island Less Travelled? Skiathos

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Skiathos is a Greek Island which, despite my title, is that popular that they call it Boomerang Island. Its popularity is partly explained because of its many beaches (there are more here than any other Greek Island) and most of these have tavernas. It also has an excellent transport system although, as explained later, this was more busy than previous years. It also has excellent restaurants, many are international but its got a lot of restaurants serving Greek and fish dishes.
We stayed again at the wonderful Filokalia Apartments in Achladies. It’s worth staying in Achladies for both the romantic boats (water taxis) to Skiathos and the lovely bakery (in its vicinity) where you can sit and sip coffee and munch on baklava and French tarts.
The beaches are excellent and a great way to experience these are via boat trips from the harbour. For around 25 euros you can go on a Round the Island Trip. It visits many of the best beaches and includes a trip to Greece mainland where you can choose to eat at a family tavern serving great fish.
Another great trip, although more expensive, is with the sailing boat Lena 2. This boat sailed by two Brits visits various beaches en route to Skopeolos. They only take small groups. We were very lucky as the boat attracted a family of dolphin that stayed with us for over 15 minutes. The price includes all drinks and use of snorkelling equipment. The couple gave a great insight into the politics of the island.
It was a tremendous holiday focused on relaxation and eating (my research resulted in a restaurant list) but I must say we were let down by two restaurants.
Amfiliki (on my list): Okay if you are rich, famous, local, Greek or regulars. In which case you don’t wait over an hour for the main course and you get placed somewhere overlooking the sea. These were well looked after and served, whilst we mere mortals waited for our fish dishes to arrive. The excuse was “We pride ourselves on our cooking and make sure it is cooked to perfection”. I’m no Jamie Oliver but even I know that fish hardly needs to touch the sides before it’s cooked. To cap it all, they expected us to part with a shed full of euros for the privilege of sitting with the rich, famous, and local Greeks.
Marmita: (wasn’t on my list). This restaurant in the middle of Skiathos Town is both beautiful from the outside and beautiful from the inside. And, to be fair, they did try and make amends for forgetting a starter (came 30 minutes after the other) and serving stone cold mains and after another long wait. When it did arrive it didn’t taste good . Because of all this, they refused to accept payment. Let me add, though, people coming out of this restaurant could not praise it enough, and people who went the night after us couldn’t praise it enough. Our experience could well have been the exception.
Let me balance this with two great restaurants.
We stumbled across Exandas ( Not on my list but should have been) This taverna is worth visiting just for the atmosphere – it oozes it. It’s a ramshackle of a taverna; when you pass it at dusk it begs you to visit, despite our plan to definitely visit a specific restaurant in town. It was a fluke that we came across it as I had seen a few starving kittens on my way to a bar in the area ( Swell Bar) and determined on my last night to feed them some biscuits. Thursday might is barbecue night at Exanadas, and you are served big chunks of pork and chicken. Wine and food less than 35 euro.
Porta Rosa in Achladies, was right on our doorstep but is worth the boat trip from Skiathos Town to eat there. Ensure you are hungry as they provide large portions and it was all too much for me. But the food is really delicious. People who had eaten there before us also praised the place.
The restaurants with the best views were the Olive Land and Platanias. Olive Land overlooks Achladies and the staff will provide a lift back and forth from the restaurant.
Platanias is a bit of a walk, on the way down to Skiathos Town from the monastery. Fantastic views. Take the bus up, look round the lovely monastery and then find your way to the restaurant for lovely pizza and Greek salad.
The Final Step Restaurant is well known in Skiathos Town and also has some great views also, but we were rather disappointed with the food. The duck was a little too rare. Starters were nice and I would recommend the mixed fishcakes. The crowning feature is the desserts to share – its difficult to put the sensation into words especially as my mouth us still watering at the thought of them.
The other great view was from a taverna on Kanapitsa as it looks out over a fabulous beach there. There is also a lovely taverna at the beach of Kolios where I ate my beloved sardines.. really delicious (unlike the awful ones served at Bakaliko Restaurant) .
The nicest staff were to be found at Swell Bar who kept us informed why our food was so late in arriving. We also enjoyed the banter of the waiter at the Sunset Beach Bar at Eleni Beach - a real character.
We also ate at Milos Taverna (great sardines) and at Maria Coccina, a very atmospheric Italian Restaurant. Both are in Skiathos Town.
The best beach gave us our ‘funniest’ experience. Tsougria is most like the Caribbean – lovely sand and warm waters (31 degrees) It is a 30 minute boat ride for 12 euro (return) and well worth it. The taverna there gave us great laughs. The hopeless waiters didn’t know what day it was. They didn’t know who had ordered, what they had ordered, who had paid and what they were paying for. It was a riot. Waiters came with bread, were sent away with bread, came back with bread ad infinitum. I got the wrong meal served twice but couldn’t complain for laughing.
Just to finish on a negative note: the buses were ‘hammered’ – much more than I had known before and the taxi drivers were cashing in and overcharging everyone. The taxi drivers are doing no one any favours. I certainly thought twice about going anywhere out of the way as the predatory taxi drivers would know you are sitting ducks. What a shame for those lovely tavernas off the beaten track who may suffer from the lack of trade, because of the taxi fayres.
Regardless, I will be back again but it won’t be next year as we have other plans: New York and Hawaii.

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