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Why Should I Visit Skopelos?

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Skopelos at a glance

A rich abundance of nature, with dense pine forests descending to the sea; exotic beaches with white sand and emerald waters; Macedonian stone and wood architecture against a white Cycladic background, along with beautiful neoclassical houses and picture-postcard villages; countless churches and imposing monasteries that have perched for centuries on dramatic cliffs overlooking the Aegean; generations of artists and craftspeople creating works of carved wood, pottery and painting. All this and more will have you searching for the itineraries of ferries for Skopelos without a second thought.

Skopelos is not only the famous island of “Mamma Mia” – it is so much more besides. Known in Greece as a "green on blue" island paradise where the forest meets the sea, its idyllic setting in the North Sporades makes it equally attractive to nature lovers, free spirits, and cosmopolitan seekers of relaxation and tranquillity.

10 reasons to visit Skopelos
  1. To walk up the cobbled streets of the picturesque Skopelos Town. Full of white houses with stone roofs and tiny courtyards, hanging balconies, and numerous (123) little churches, it is arranged in the shape of an amphitheatre over three hills above the port and has been declared a protected settlement of outstanding beauty.
  2.  To take in the breathtaking sea view from the courtyard of the Chapel of St. John on Kastri. This tiny church, built on top of a 100-metre-high rock that juts out into the sea, achieved worldwide fame as the setting for the wedding in the movie Mamma Mia. It can be reached by climbing the 112 steps carved into the rock.
  3. To taste the famous Skopelos cheese pie.
  4. To explore what is the greenest island in Greece, with 80% of its surface covered by virgin pine forest. In 1997 it was declared the “green on blue island” by the Biopolitics International Organization. So it is a good opportunity to book a ferry for Skopelos, as it is a destination that is special and different.
  5. To visit the excellent Folklore Museum in the centre of Skopelos Town. The collection housed in the renovated 18th-century mansion presents a two-century account of life on the island through unique everyday objects.
  6. To see some of the outstanding exhibitions at the Photography Festival organised by the Skopelos Photography Centre each July.
  7. To explore the acropolis of ancient Selinounta on Paleokastro Hill in Loutraki. The Greco-Roman city was inhabited between the 8th century BC and the 4th century AD. Admire the remains of the castle, the sanctuary of the goddess Athena (5th century BC) and the Roman baths.
  8. To visit the mountain village of Glossa, one of the most picturesque settlements in the Sporades, perched on a 300-metre-high hill. The village stands out for its characteristic “Macedonian” architecture and traditional lifestyle, which seems untouched by time. In its narrow streets you will come across women wearing the traditional island dress. It is known as one of the “balcony villages” of the Aegean, with fantastic views of Evia and Skiathos.
  9. To swim at the exotic Kastani Beach, made famous by Mamma Mia, a paradise of white sand, turquoise waters and pine-covered hills that slope down to the sea.
  10. To sit on Panormos Beach and watch the sun paint the sea gold as it sinks below the horizon.
The top 5 beaches

Milia: The enchanting setting of Milia consists of a long expanse of sand and pebbles, turquoise waters, pine trees, and a magnificent seabed. A favourite beach for younger people, it has tourist amenities and offers fantastic views of the adjacent deserted island of Dasia, which is well-worth a visit by boat.

Stafylos: One of the island’s most popular beaches, 4 km from Skopelos Town and the port. Its clear waters and shingle make it irresistible. Half of it has tourist amenities, while the other half offers unique opportunities to lovers of tranquillity and adventure, as it offers rocks for diving off and caves for exploration. The beach takes its name from the mythical Prince Stafylos, reputedly buried in the ancient tomb found on the promontory here.

Panormos: Surrounded by greenery, this is a large, sheltered pebble beach with deep blue waters. From Panormos you can enjoy magnificent sunsets and you can reach a series of small bays known by the locals as the Andrines (after the pirate woman who drowned in the sea there during a failed attempt to capture the island). The beach has tourist amenities and offers unique opportunities for water sports.

Velanio: A beautiful long beach with fine sand and calm waters, surrounded by pine-covered hills. The section near the rocks, next to Stafylos beach, is popular with nudists.

Limnonari: This verdant, sheltered cove with emerald waters and white sand is a paradise for lovers of idyllic locations, while offering the amenities of an organised beach. Its name may come from the god Ares, who was captivated by its beauty, or from its similarity to a small lake (“limni” in Greek). Access is by boat or by car with a 700-metre walk.

Don’t leave Skopelos without…
  • Seeing the vast expanse of the Aegean Sea revealed to you with every step on a romantic walk from the small Church of the Virgin Mary of the Tower (on a hill overlooking the port) to the 13th-century Venetian castle of Gizi.
  • Discovering the 16th-18th century monasteries and churches perched in spectacular locations on the northern slope of Mount Palouki. As you approach the Monasteries of the Annunciation of the Virgin, the Transfiguration of the Saviour, St Barbara, the Holy Taxiarch, and St John the Baptist, you will feel as if you are suspended between the sea and the sky.
  • Walking the stone path that leads to the famous “Sedoukia” on Mount Delfi. According to legend, these four stone tombs dating from the late Roman era belonged to pirates.
  • Visiting the Women's Cooperative in Glossa to buy homemade local delicacies such as “avgato”, a preserve made from the sweet local plums.
  • Taking a day cruise to the National Marine Park of Alonnisos and the Northern Sporades, the largest protected marine area in Europe. Here, you can tour the world’s largest habitat of Mediterranean monk seals and discover a landscape of unparalleled beauty and unspoiled nature, see the ancient sunken city of Psathoura, swim at the beaches of Kyra Panagia, and stroll through the old town of Alonnisos.
  • Visiting local workshops for pieces of traditional arts and crafts. The best souvenirs are hand-forged knives, miniature wooden boats based on authentic designs, and painted ceramic plates or decorative vases.
  • Making a stop between Stafylos and Amarantos to gaze down on Dragon’s Cleft, a steep gorge of outstanding natural beauty that ends in a small beach. According to legend, it was created when a dragon, pursued by Saint Reginus, jumped from its nest into the sea.
Tasty experiences
  • Pop into one of the island’s traditional bakeries for the famous local cheese pie (a coil of pastry filled with goat’s cheese and fried in olive oil).
  • Choose the ferry to Skopelos and take a seat at a taverna and discover the secrets of the island’s traditional cuisine with dishes such as rofos stifado (a kind of fish stew), cod with plums, beef or pork with quinces or plums, and handmade pasta with tomato sauce and cheese.
  • Stop for seafood at the picturesque Agnontas harbour to savour delicacies such as stuffed squid (in a casserole with rice, feta cheese, courgette, tomato, pine nuts, green peppers, onion and dill), shellfish with rice, stuffed sea urchins, lobster in a tomato sauce, and crab with orzo.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with hamalia (sweets made from almond paste), rozedes (hamalia with walnuts), katsares (pancakes with honey and almonds), and fouskakia (bubble-shaped doughnuts).
  • Don’t miss the chance to try a piece of sweet pumpkin pie (with pumpkin and rice) sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • Be sure to sample the local onion pie (made in a coil with onions, myzithra cheese, trachanas and eggs, baked in the oven or fried).
Trivia

Skopelos is said to have over 360 churches and chapels, an impressive number considering the size of the island. Of these, 123 are in Skopelos Town.

MAP OF SKOPELOS
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