Skiathos is a beautiful and unspoilt Greek Island

The Greek island of Skiathos lies in the northwestern Aegean, about 1 ½ hours by ferry from Ageos Constantinos or two hours from Volos on the mainland. Though it is relatively small (about 48 square kms) Skiathos is notable for its lovely beaches, some of them busy tourist resorts but others still quite remote and unspoiled.

Whatever your agenda, the island offers a variety of pleasures from peaceful relaxation to rowdy nightlife; it’s just a matter of where you go. Skiathos town on the southeast coast is the main port and centre of activity. Though inundated with Brits and other northern Europeans in the summer, the town retains its charm; narrow pedestrian streets, interesting old churches, a castle/fortress and lots of bars, cafes and restaurants.

There are more than 60 beaches along the 44km coastline, most backed with the lush green pine forests that cover much of the island. The north coast is rockier and rougher than the southern parts, much of it inaccessible except by boat. However you can rent a car or moped (the most popular transport for the younger crowd, which also gets you to places a car can’t go) and there is a good bus system that covers most of the island.

Kastro, the old and long-abandoned medieval capital on the north coast, was built as a haven and fortress against pirates and other invaders, and its walls and cannons pointing at the sea still stand firm on its headland. There is also a beautiful and secluded beach below the old town.

Probably the most popular beach is Koukounaries, a two kilometre stretch of fine golden sand and crystal-clear water that is well supplied with amenities and offers a variety of water sports. For true nature-lovers there’s even a nude beach, called Little Banana to distinguish it from the larger ‘regular’ adjoining beach, Big Banana. Vromolimnos, with beach bars and a nice taverna, is considered the party beach, but basically there’s a quiet secluded cove to be found not far from any of the busiest beaches.