Here's an overview of 'Skiathos and the Islands', part 2 of my 32-page 'Villa Guest Guide' sent free when you book a Skiathos Villa (PgDn for advance copy)
... and click here for for more Skiathos Photos, then click ⇐ (left arrow) to return to this page.
Picturesque Skiathos village and harbour saw the 'arrival of the fathers' in "Mamma Mia" (the wedding in Agios Ioannis church on nearby Skopelos).
Skiathos village has a paved traffic-free main street and back lanes, a taverna-lined 'old harbour', with a huge choice of shopping and eating out, and all services - health, banks/ATMs, garages, hairdressing, travel, post, tourist etc.
(listings and details in the 'Villa Guest Guide’ part 2, and the ‘Sky/3D’ maps - free in shops that don't sell maps!)
... and literally dozens of sandy beaches, also within 5-25 mins or so drive of most villas (bar a few coves needing boat hire). Some, like secluded 'Elias' Beach (photos top left), are then a short walk through the woods, or a scramble down from the road to a favourite cove.
If you prefer to spend most of your time at the villa, use the reliable radio taxis or bus for shops and beaching, and water-taxis from the harbour. If not, you'll need car hire (in 'Getting Around' below).
The dozen or so main beaches have one or more tavernas and bars, and water-sports including water skiing; parascending; rides on inflatables (towed by speed-boat); dinghys, canoes, pedalos; windsurfing; SCUBA diving (book in village, or on Tzanerias beach).
My own favourite eight beaches and twenty-four tavernas are all in Part 2 of the "Villa Guest Guide", with plenty of ideas to discover more of your own.
For inland hikes and horse-riding, there’s plenty of pine-forest cover with woodland paths and tracks, wild flowers, and a couple of streamlets running all summer from high-level springs. Skiathos rarely suffers the extreme heat of Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus, or the often continuous meltemi winds that can blast the Cyclades islands and Crete... and most beaches are sandy, not the limestone shingle the holiday brochures don't tell you are a feature of so many other islands!
There aren't any 'classical ruins', but plenty of fascinating relics of the Skiathos in recent centuries - the beautiful restored and working Byzantine monastery of Evangelistria where independence fighters Nikotsara, Kolokotronis, and Miaoulis were sworn in on the new Greek flag; the ruined old town of Kastro (some reconstruction in course); the olive-grove beach taverna at the original island boatyard and water-mill at Tarsanas, with its summer brook and the Kechria Monastery decorated chapel up the valley ...
How to get here - full details, click Travel to Skiathos (in main menu above)
Recently extended Skiathos Airport has brought fares down, with direct daily UK and European charters, or budget flights to Athens or Volos and onward by local airline or express hydrofoil. It's also surprisingly quick and practical as a fortnight tour via eg. Venice and the Alps (by car/ferry, total time at wheel from Calais is 18½ hrs - call me for more).
Getting Around - our timings all assume you have a hire car, and to avoid the stiff and hot uphill walk from the nearest beach or bus-stop (no.9, not 8) I can recommend my pal Nicos Pappas and his Victoria Car Hire www.victoriarental.com (usual disclaimers). He knows my own villa well and goes the extra mile for guests - call me or see the 'Guide' for contact details. Nicos arranges all the paperwork and payments on your arrival at the airport - don't forget your licence!
But if you prefer to spend most of the time at the villa, there are reliable radio-taxis or the bus, and water-taxis to the beaches and village.
For local excursions to the neaby islands (Skopelos, Alonnisos, Evia) there are ferries and high-speed catamarans or hydrofoils, also serving mainland port resort Volos and the beautiful Pelion peninsula beyond; or on to Athens and (just about in a day!) some of the closer touristic sites like Parnassus (Delphi) and Meteora.
Do let me know if you'd like an advance copy of the Guide - although parts 1-3 are not so useful until you know you're coming, because:
Part 1 'Welcome, and Villa-life ‘how-to’s' is for Orchard Villa only - all the good stuff about how to operate the air-con and find the garden light-switches
Part 3, 'Food, Drink, some handy Greek' is - like books on cooking and love - not much use without the means on hand to try it out!