Having holidayed on a great many Greek Islands we are looking for one this year that we have not visited before. Although some years back we did land on Skiathos en route to a stay on Skopelos we are now considering an actual holiday there and would appreciate any advice on resort and accomodation. Getting on in years we prefer flatter ground but have no issues with walking to our destinations (within reason) - a good walk sets up your appetite and gives a perfect excuse for a sit down with an ouzo before selecting the evening's taverna. We like pretty beaches but prefer pools for lounging and swimming. A good choice of eating places is high on our priority list and our preference is for Greek and not British (or any other nationality) influenced - a couple of years back on Zakynthos we were amazed at the number of Mexican menus available. Apart from Gyros fast food is out. We like harbours or a village (fishing or otherwise) atmosphere but am not sure if this matches any of the resorts on Skiathos. When we went to Skopelos it was September and the restaurants at the resort we stayed at soon started closing down for the season and we ended up taking a taxi in to the town each evening - as we are planning to go in early July this year I do not expect that to be an issue.
Many thanks for your speedy reply and I do not envy your task of a 600 mile drive. We normally travel on package holidays but if we find the type of holiday we want by going independent we have no aversion to the idea - we have done it several times but only with shorter trips.
Well now, I'm not an expert on Skiathos - we've only been to one place, Troulos, fell in love with the place and the accommodation so we have stayed there every visit.
Briefly then, the island is small, so nowhere is far from anywhere. We have always thanked our lucky stars that Troulos and our accommodation are on the level - some accommodations are up some seriously steep approaches, which for us would be a problem.
At least two other "resorts" are generally level - Koukounaries at the furthest end of the one road and bus route, Ayia Paraskevi about the halfway mark (as is Troulos - remember it's a small island, that road is about 12 miles long.
Frankly, I'm stopping at that. There are places I wouldn't stay at but other people swear by.
So get yourself a long drink or three and read everything on this forum - there have been many offers of advice which I'm sure you will find very useful.
Good luck. We shall be there first two weeks of July.
Strangely enough Villa Maria was one of the first I looked at. Will check out the other recommendations but yours will hold a strong position. Any info you can give on Troulos as a resort would be appreciated.
Post by Woody (Admin) on Feb 10, 2017 15:29:50 GMT
Trebor, welcome to the forum.
Nowhere on Skiathos is large enough to be crowded and loud. The biggest and livliest place is Skiathos Town, but even that is nothing like some resorts around Greece or the rest of the Med, but a cosmopolitan place where there are good bars and tavernas. The other resort villages and that's what they are, they are not old fashioned locals villages or harbours, are Megali Amos, Achladies, Kolios, Aghia Paraskevi/Platanias, Troulos and Koukounaries. Each one of these is within easy reach of beaches, bars and tavernas. They are also mainly on flatish ground, but as Dennis has said, probably Aghia Paraskevi, Troulos and Koukounaries are the flatest.
Aghia Paraskevi and Troulos are situated about half way along the island and have plenty of places to eat and drink. Their only downside is that they are situated about halfway along the road and so if you want to cacth the bus into town in the evening, it can be abit of a squeeze.
Koukounaries is at the far end of the road and is within 1/2 mile of about 4 beaches including the 1km long Koukounaries Beach. There are slightly less tavernas here and they are slightly more spread out, but not too badly.
Out of those 3, I would prefer Troulos, but that is personal preference. If you can, hire a 4x4 and go and see the beaches on the Northern coastline. Stunning views from high up in the hills overlooking the coast. As for where to stay, that really is personal preference, there are so many places. What do you want from your accommodation? Most are small apartment complexes, but there are a splattering of hotels on the island.
Take a look at my map of Skiathos (link below) which gives many accommodations and shows all the resorts.
Dennis I think you hit nail on head when saying places others like but not you, Skiathos has something or somewhere for everybody. I personally enjoy a day in troulos and maybe an evening visit to one of many good tavernas it has to offer,but personally I prefer either town early or late in season or kanapitsa But individual choices vary. What I can honestly say is nowhere on the island I will give you a bad experience. If you have specific requirements post them on forum, between us I'm sure someone will give you guidance . Whatever you choose enjoy the H
Looking at your original post, the only thing I'd pick up on is pool swimming. I have yet to see a decent sized pool on Skiathos - but I'm not well traveled out there so there may be some. My vision of them is pools where (back in my water polo youth) I could have swum underwater both ways without coming up for air. Not now! A few decades of nicotine put paid to those capers. If it's important to you, I suggest you look at any provided pictures of accommodation to see if sun beds and umbrellas give an idea of size. Villa Maria's pool is big enough for my dabbling, but you wouldn't want to practice training for the Olympics there, and from what little I've seen, no other pools either. About four years ago I discovered the joy of sea swimming and now it's something we do at 8am every day (in Skiathos) after a gentle stroll through the fields - it's a highlight of my holiday, before everybody else comes to choose their perfect beds and brollies.
Yes, Woody, I know you favour Diamond Apartments, so clearly they are good, and the pictures demonstrate it. Not for me though, just personally prefer smaller and closer to the bus.
Strangely, I have just looked up on Thomson for booking the same holiday - we are booked for 30th June flight from Birmingham, two weeks in Villa Maria. Checking to book the same now would cost a total of £8 more than when we actually booked it last April (yes, 14 months in advance!). According to the website, there is only one room left available for that fortnight.
Thanks for the welcome and the info Woody - the link to the map is extremely useful. However I assume that there will be more eating and drinking establishments than those indicated (or am I expecting too much?).
Dennis - thanks for the extra info - poolwise I am not in to anything strenuous these days either - something for a lazy dip and down is all that is required.
From the map none of the resort areas appear to have a "centre" of any kind - everything seems to be stretched out along the various roads - is this right or are my map reading skills somewhat lacking? Do I take it that accommodation has sprung up to support the beach areas and the tavernas and bars have followed to support them and there were no villages as such in these resort areas before tourism expanded?
Woody has done a fantastic job with the website, including the map. But I'm sure he wouldn't claim comprehensive coverage - indeed he is always very glad to be informed of more details. So, yes, eating, drinking and accommodations can all be added to. Many of the site members contribute - it's part of the attraction of the site - I think we all like to help.
Quite true the only centre is in town. The resort areas are strips along the one main road and each have plenty of choice of tavernas - for us there are more in Troulos than we can patronise - we circulate between a mere five during the holiday. We either don't like or haven't even tried several which other people say are the best. I think the same can be said of the other resorts.
I really do recommend getting yourself a large drink or several and spending some hours reading the forum - recommendations, opinions, advice, photos, videos and the feedback pages. So many people have contributed it would be a shame to ignore them. Just for one example, member 'jules' has posted a video of the full length drive from Koukounaries to town. Woody has prepared a whole bunch of walking routes.
Post by Woody (Admin) on Feb 11, 2017 21:51:41 GMT
I think you are right there Trebor. The resorts have grown up around the beaches and road, there was probably nothing there than a few farmsteads before us Brits arrived. Dennis is right, Skiathos Town is the only proper town/village on the island.
Thanks to both of you - I have already started searching through the different sections of the forum and I doubt that there will be enough time to cover them all but the ones I have read so far are very informative. Skiathos seems to be very different to the other Greek islands we have so far visited but maybe that is the reason for its attraction. The enthusiasm of the members of this forum speaks volumes so I would be stupid not to give it a try - now is the problem of deciding where!
Troulos is standing out so far but it would be interesting to hear why Dennis in his Sept 2016 diary / blog on the forum appears to spend most of his days in the town and not at the resort where he is staying. Would a town base be more effective with the occasional trips out to the sticks? Our experience on other islands has mainly pushed us away from the major town (small islands like Symi being the exception) is there something on Skiathos that is different?
Available dates with the major holiday companies seem to be disappearing fast so we need to make a decision soon - fortunately your replies are very quick so anything you have to offer is truly appreciated. Just in case it influences your advice we are more than happy to spend our days relaxing by the pool with a few days allocated to exploring the island and other localities. However the other islands we have visited have been able to offer a little more to explore in the resort we have stayed in which enabled us to include shorter excursions within the resort.
As an aside I envy Dennis' ability to take the early mornings exercise - we are about a decade younger and would find his regime very challenging.
Many people enjoy staying in Skiathos Town, as they enjoy the more lively atmosphere, but as I stated earlier the town is nothing like some resorts elsewhere in the Med where you have larger louts and younger people keeping you up all night. Skiathos Town just has more atmosphere than the other resorts. Personally it is not for me, I enjoy visiting the town in the evening, but prefer the relatively tranquility of the resorts. I believe there are some nice hotels and apartments in and around the town.
Skiathos Town also doesn't really have it's own beach and as such it is a bus ride to any others. The nearest one is Megali Amos, which is a small strip beach alongside the road out of town. The town has an old harbour where the fishing and tourist boats work from and around the headland (The Bortzi) is the ferry docking area, right next to the end of the main shopping street (Papdiamantis Street), further along the harbour wall is the marina. Further towards the airport is a small strip of nightclubs and tavernas. These are well away from the town centre though. Behind the old harbour there are a plethora of small back streets, which can be a joy to walk around.
Quite a few people like to stay in the resorts and catch the bus or taxi into town for the evening. Remember, the bus journey from Koukounaries (the furthest resort) is only a 20-30 minute trip and from Troulos a 15 minute ride. There are also from a couple of places along the coast, where you can catch a water taxi, which makes a nice way to get into town.