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Skiathos Travel Guide

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Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos © Jason Dixon

Possibly the most popular of the Sporades islands, Skiathos boasts more than 60 beautiful beaches and was the setting of the popular film, Mamma Mia. The island is only four miles (6km) wide and seven miles (11km) long, but with its own airport and each year attracts thousands of tourists to its busy and beautiful coastline.

Away from the resort areas along the south and east coast it is relatively undeveloped with shady woods, olive and walnut groves and quiet beaches that can only be accessed by boat. The seafront in Skiathos Town is lined with local tavernas, cafés and some excellent seafood restaurants that look over the lively marina. From here boat trips leave to take tourists around the island to swim in the sparkling blue-green waters and see the sights, which include a ruined Venetian fortress dating from 1207, and the deserted 14th-century town of Kastro. The island offers a satisfying combination of modern amenities and resort attractions and unspoiled natural wonders for visitors.

The most famous beach on the island, and perhaps Greece, is Koukounaries, a one-mile (2km) long strip of fine golden sand and crystal clear water set in front of a thick pine forest. It attracts many visitors, especially during July and August, and offers all sorts of water sports facilities.

Aside from the stunning coastlive, Skiathos attractions include the ruins of a 12th century Venetian fortress, and a visit to the deserted medieval town of Kastro is a sightseeing must. There are also a number of monasteries to visit, including the 17th century Moni Evangelistria (the Monastery of Annunciation) and the Monastery of Agios Charalampos, where the local writer of short stories, Alexander Moraitidis, spent the remaining years of his life. Other interesting buildings include Bourtzi Fortress, and churches like Ayios Nikolaos and Trion Ierarchon.

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