Beautiful Island - beautiful beaches

Old Sep 6th, 2014, 05:41 AM
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Beautiful Island - beautiful beaches

No wonder they call it Boomerang Island; people keep on returning. We have been there twice so are relative beginners. It is not easy to pinpoint why it takes such a grip on people but it is probably to do with the following:
1. Great beaches – there are 66 beaches on Skiathos making it the island with most beaches in Greece. They are superb with many having a great taverna attached;
2. Its friendliness – it is difficult not to get in conversation and make friend with people - locals and tourists alike;
3. Great transport system. The regular bus service runs all day and into the early hours. There are also many water taxis and boat trips. A ferry connects the island with nearby Skopeolos and the mainland Pelion area.
The main town Skiathos Town has a great harbour with excellent tavernas lining the front. Then there is the old town with its maze of streets and everywhere you turn there is a great looking restaurant. We only ever ate a below average meal in all of our stay.
There are many Greek traditional restaurants on the island and we left wanting to return to try some more.
We stayed at Achladies beach at the wonderful Filokalia Apartments. Our apartment had a nice big terrace which took the sun from dawn until dusk. Achladies is connected to the main town by Water Taxi for a romantic 10 minute trip. This costs 5 euros per couple. The bus runs every 15 minutes from Achladies and costs 1.40 euros each, and takes about 15 minutes to the main town.
About 20 minutes away by bus is the famous Koukounaries beach and nearby Mandraki beach. This is the one we favour – the water is very shallow but deep enough to swim in, and warms up very quickly. Everywhere on the island the two beach beds and umbrella cost 8 euros. Although Mandraki beach has its own taverna, we ate one time at Captain Michaels. This was following a tip from some friendly people on the neighbouring sunbeds. Captain Michael is an eccentric ex sea captain whose family has always been on Skiathos. He has built his restaurant out of sea flotsam and bits of old boat. He is crude, funny, and full of stories. He cooked food in an old clay oven and served us delicious sea bream with a most tasty Greek salad. The restaurant isn’t cheap and he is not to everyone’s taste but is a good example of the idiosyncracy to expect here.
For 15 euros each you can get a full day cruising around the island, calling at some sandy beaches and which even visits the mainland and a lovely beach with three excellent tavernas. Great value for money.
We have come away vowing to return for two weeks but even this will not be long enough.
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the report Steve.

I have always wanted to visit the island, one of the few larger islands I have seen.

Unfortunately, my Greek adventures ceased minutes after exchanging marriage vows, my wife's view of Greece is burnt lamb and sunbed reserving Germans. This wasn't encouraged a few years ago when her only trip to Greece, we sailed round the Ionian, was punctuated by truly terrible food. Lovely people, just terrible food.

Have you tried Corsica or Sardinia yet?
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Sorry "few larger islands I haven't seen"
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Sounds wonderful Stevelyon. Our Greek friends who live in Athens have recommended to us too so it looks like it needs to go on our travel list!
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Old Sep 6th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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Thanks both
We experienced no burnt germans nor lambs reserving sunbeds.

Sardinia is up there on my list I just have to convince "her who has exchanged marriage vows" to go - but she is warming to the idea.

I do find it strange that an island seems to have a magnetic pull on people and yet it is hard to put your finger on what that's about, although I have tried to do my best to explain it.
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Old Sep 7th, 2014, 06:15 AM
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To Dicki_Gr,

Maybe you need to switch course and sail around the Aegean. We've had amazing food on many islands, especially Paros and Santorini. Almost as good as Italy, ALMOST! And if you go end of May/early June, you'll have plenty of sunbeds to yourself!
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Old Sep 8th, 2014, 12:23 AM
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As far as the food being terrible we only had one average meal but granted that having been raised on pobbies, black pudding and tripe I am rather less discerning than some.
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Old Sep 8th, 2014, 02:15 AM
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Bookmarking, in case I ever manage to get to Greece. Greece has never been high on my wish list (only because so many other places are), but descriptions like this push it further up. Thanks!
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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Thanks so much for report. I am hoping to go back to Greece(3rd trip next Sept) I am looking around for suggestions. So this report is great.
One issue I seem to have is when I try to find out hotel prices so I can see whats in my budget it always says NO rooms available for your dates. I change dates & still can't get prices. It is very frustrating.Did your apt have a pool?? Thanks
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 04:49 PM
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"One issue I seem to have is when I try to find out hotel prices so I can see whats in my budget it always says NO rooms available for your dates. I change dates & still can't get prices."

Benecia, I can offer a couple of reasons for this. You may well find that it's not uncommon for Greek hotel sites not to quote prices on their website. Also, you may be searching for a date too far in advance. In many instances prices for next year have not yet been published. I suggest emailing the hotel for a quote - state the period you're after and the no. of guests.
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Old Sep 27th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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BeniciaChris, if already trying to book rooms for September 2015, the reason you are seeing "no rooms available" is almost certainly that mentioned by worldinabag. Greek hotels often don't open their books for reservations until after the New Year, even for dates in the spring. They probably haven't set their prices for next summer either.

One rule of thumb is that prices on the islands are generally cheaper in May/June & September, and most expensive from the middle of July through the third week of August. Mykonos and Santorini have a longer high season than most other islands.

If you can find prices for 2014 they won't be much different in € on the corresponding dates in 2015. The foreign exchange rate may change between now and then, and that can be either in your favour or disadvantage. Anyone have a crystal ball? ;-)
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Old Sep 28th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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Skiathos is only popular for one main reason.
That is Direct flights from some European countries making it very easy to access a small island with good beaches everywhere, few people are even prepared to take a relatively trivial ferry to Skopelos or Alonissos and even fewer to Skyros.

Prior to those flights it was just popular with Greek mainlanders and backpackers. Those prepared to make the journey from the likes of Athens or the mainland ports.

Another factor is English pubs at my last visit there were 3 of those. One of which is a well know tradition of Skiathos.

The food on Skiathos is not that good. Tavernas have a range of locations in town for sure, but most tavernas are pretty average, touristy and a variable bunch, some quite poor.
I have been going occasionally for 30 years, to all 4 so maybe things look somewhat different.

BeniciaChris
You are trying to book too early they won't start that booking business until around Greek Easter, April. Some places may only take people on packages as well.
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