Skiathos 2017

Old Jul 16th, 2017, 09:20 PM
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Skiathos 2017

Will we ever tire of the place? I don’t think so. Every year we have the same debate – somewhere else or Skiathos, and Skiathos always wins. We are already planning our 2018 trip.
Similarly, every year we try and put into words what it is that is so compelling about the place, and that’s difficult. Although this year sat on our favourite beach I think I worked it out. There is something about the quality of the light. On one of those slightly heat hazy days you cannot separate sea from sky and there is a shade of blue that I have never seen anywhere else. If you combine this with the transport system, choice of beaches-restaurants-locations, and blend it with its extrovert personality (you can’t fail to make friends there), you have an irresistible set of ingredients for a perfect holiday.
Now the detail, where we stayed, ate and visited.
We missed staying at the Filokalia Apartments last year, choosing the resort of Megali Ammos near Skiathos Town instead of Achladies. Don’t get me wrong, we had some near perfect apartments right on the beach, but we missed not having a pool and bar with all the fun that brings. Filokalia is near perfect also, it sits up a quiet lane and attracts a lot of like minded friendly people. Achladies is a great location – not a long bus trip into town or other resorts and you never tire of the watertaxi which costs near to nothing. There are some excellent tavernas at Achladies, a couple right on the beach near the water taxi and there is Porto Rosso on the lane that runs up to the Filokalia. Our secret indulgence is the sit in bakery at Achladies where you get the most fattening cakes swilled down with delicious coffee.
There are more beaches in Skiaithos than any other Greek Island and you can spend weeks getting round them all. One of the many boat trips features one that costs you next to nothing and sails round the island, which funnily enough is called “Round the Island” trip. Everyone has there own favourite beach but Mandraki is usually up there on most peoples lists. It’s a walk through shaded pine forest but then you are rewarded with the most wonderful beach and a shallow sea with water temperatures that are very comfortable. They have a ramshackle taverna which makes it even more romantic. Skiathos doesn’t have the upmarket, sterile, soulless beach restaurants you find in Hawaii or Barbados - it offers much more character than that.
Kolios is our second favourite beach. When you have tired of the sand and bathwater warm sea you can meander over to the fish taverna for an excellent and cheap lunch.
When you are sick of the beaches of Skiathos (as if…) you can get a small boat to nearby Tsougria with its excellent sandy beach and warm sea. There is a cheap romantic trip over to Tsougria at night to watch the sunset – the colours are amazing. The taverna over there is inexpensive. You can also visit Skopelos island is a short boat ride away.
We made some great choices of restaurants this year and only twice did I complain. The best one for sheer romance is Taverna Sklithri, set on its own beach and surrounded by flowers, it serves the most amazing fish. More expensive than most, expect to pay 60 euro for two people eating starters, a full fish, and a litre of wine. We also managed to get to a restaurant that has been on our list for over five years: Ta Psaradikia, a charming rustic place in the old port overlooking the boats and selling the most delightful fish.
Sofias Family Restaurant is a lovely experience, high up and overlooking the boats and port. I much prefer it to the better known Final Step which is in the same location. The Final Step offers the comfort of sameness. Its menu rarely changes largely because its dishes are great. Its customers like true Boomerangers (people who visit year after year after year) return consistently drawn to it (like Skiathos itself) because of its sameness yet outstanding quality.
This year we hired a car. I am always cautious about where I hire a car and annoyed with myself for being hassled into a place and signing a contract without consideration. I worried for days before we picked it up. Needlessly. When we went to pick the car up, we were charged exactly what they had said. They warned us to only put enough fuel in because the island isn’t large thus saving us money, and they gave us the most helpful advice. The car trip was wonderful. We visited the more isolated beaches on the north of the island, where there are excellent and charming tavernas selling fish and seafood. I liked the taverna and beach at Aselinos but we had lunch and stayed at the beach at Ligaries – excellent. En route you can stop at the Dog sanctuary and next door to it is a charming monastery. Returning to Skiathos Town you can stop at high up Platanos taverna with its excellent views of the island. Go on a Tuesday or Friday to watch the planes start their descent into Skiathos.
We are not returning to Hawaii or Barbados; but Skiathos, that’s a different story. So yes, we are returning next year and possibly the year after, although we may try and combine it with a week on the mainland in the Pelion area.
stevelyon is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2017, 02:46 PM
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I visited Skiathos in the summer of 1971, and there were virtually no other foreign tourists. We stayed at the home of a woman whose son was on the dock advertising her room for rent. It was a little house overlooking the docks. We rode the bus each day to various beaches, and our favorite was the one called "the beach of the pink pebbles." It was beautiful with a thick wooded area behind and clear sparkling turquoise water. It makes me sad to think of all the development on the island, but I guess it was bound to happen.
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Old Jul 20th, 2017, 12:12 AM
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Thanks enewell, that must have been some experience. I guess there must still be places like that in Greece (few and far between) - I have been going through my maps and trying to pinpoint interesting(less visited) places. The problem I will face is that I enjoy researching places nearly as much as the visit, and those that are off the map are hard to research.
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