The Sporades

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Little mentioned in mythology or history, the Sporades confidently rely on their great natural beauty and cultural history to attract visitors. Some locals poetically claim them to be the handful of colored pebbles the gods were left with after creating the world, and as an afterthought, they flung them over the northwestern Aegean.

Bustling with visitors, Skiathos sits closest to the mainland; it has a pretty harbor area and the best nightlife, a stylish line-up of restaurants and bars, and tasetful resort hotels. Due east is Skopelos, covered with dense, fragrant pines, where you can visit scenic villages, hundreds of churches, and neat pebbled beaches. Much less contemporary than Skiathos, it is the most naturally beautiful of the Sporades and has a fascinating old hill town.Read More

Little mentioned in mythology or history, the Sporades confidently rely on their great natural beauty and cultural history to attract visitors. Some locals poetically claim them to be the handful of colored pebbles the gods were left with after creating the world, and as an afterthought, they flung them over the northwestern Aegean.

Bustling with visitors, Skiathos sits closest to the mainland; it has a pretty harbor area and the best nightlife, a stylish line-up of restaurants and bars, and tasetful resort hotels. Due east is Skopelos, covered with dense, fragrant pines, where you can visit scenic villages, hundreds of churches, and neat pebbled beaches. Much less contemporary than Skiathos, it is the most naturally beautiful of the Sporades and has a fascinating old hill town.

Then there is traditional Skyros. Some visitors return year after year to this mythical isle, southeast of the other islands, for its quiet fishing villages, expansive beaches, and stunning cubist eagle's nest of a town that seems to spill down a hill. This remote island is hard to reach, so a visit is all the more rewarding for those with some extra time to make the journey.

Like emerald beads placed on sapphire satin, the aptly named Sporades ("scattered ones") are resplendent with pines, citrus orchards, pomegranate trees, and olive groves. The verdant countryside, marked with sloping slate roofs and wooden balconies, reflects the aura of the neighboring, hauntingly beautiful Pelion Peninsula, to which the islands were once attached. Only on Skyros, farther out in the Aegean, will you see windswept, treeless landscapes.

The Sporades have changed hands constantly throughout history, and wars, plunder, and earthquakes have eliminated all but the strongest ancient walls. A few castles and monasteries remain, but Skiathos and Skopelos are better suited for relaxing and having fun than for sightseeing. Skiathos is the most touristed, in certain locations to the point of overkill, while less-developed Skopelos has fewer beaches, a less contrived nightlife, and a main town that, while being the hot spot for most of the island's tourist stores, is hailed as being the most beautiful in the Sporades. Late to attract tourists, Skyros is the least traveled of the Sporades (probably because it is by far the hardest to reach). It's also the quirkiest, and the most traditional, with its distinct ways and customs.

Quintessential Greek-island delights beckon on all three islands: sun, sand, and surf, along with hazy, fragrant evenings and starlit al fresco dinners. Almost all restaurants have outside seating, often under the shade of trees, where you can watch the passing of ubiquitous Greek life.

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Language

Greek

Nearby Airports

JSI

Electrical Outlets

200v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Electrical Outlets

200v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Nearby Airports

JSI

Winter is least desirable, as the weather turns cold and rainy; most hotels, rooms, and restaurants are closed, and ferry service is minimal...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in The Sporades with curated recommendations from our editors.

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Winter is least desirable, as the weather turns cold and rainy; most hotels, rooms, and restaurants are closed, and ferry service is minimal...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in The Sporades with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Winter is least desirable, as the weather turns cold and rainy; most hotels, rooms, and restaurants are closed, and ferry service is minimal...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in The Sporades with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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