The Ultimate Travel Guide to Skiathos Town, Greece
Planning to visit the evergreen island of Skiathos Greece? You’ll most probably spend some time in Skiathos Town, the commercial center of the Greek island. Here’s your curated, slow travel guide Skiathos Town and the best things to do.
With its cobblestone alleyways, bougainvillea-saturated corners, whitewashed houses, and hilltops, Skiathos town is the charming little hub of Skiathos Island, Greece. As one of the most popular towns in the Sporades islands, exploring this charming town should definitely be on your itinerary.
Also known as ‘Chora’, Skiathos town sits on the island’s southeastern shore, 2km from Skiathos airport. While the town can get pretty crowded and rowdy during the high summer season, it’s easy to escape the crowds and explore at your own pace early in the morning or during the shoulder season.
With many things to do in Skiathos town, from boutique shopping to sailing trips and cultural attractions, spending some time here is a must. Here’s your complete slow travel guide to making the most of Skiathos town.
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What to See and Do in Skiathos Town
Stroll around the Center of Skiathos Town
One of the best things to do in Skiathos Town is just to stroll around the center of the old town, get your bearings and find all the most picturesque corners. The town is a delightful blend of narrow streets, white buildings with colorful shutters, and cozy squares that beckon you to explore. There are also plenty of atmospheric cafes and quaint shops to explore too.
Papadiamantis Street is the main thoroughfare that runs through the center of town, but make sure to also explore all the cobbled alleyways that come off it.
A sunset stroll along the port is also a must when in Skiathos town.
Discover the Back Streets
When exploring the center of Skiathos Town, it’s easy to just stick to the main street, the port, and the seafront area but the beauty and color of this wonderful town actually lie in its backstreets.
When wandering around, make sure to just put away the map and wander around the back streets to see what you can find. You’ll find bougainvillea-covered corners, white houses with famous blue shutters, and some local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes.
I spent quite a while aimlessly wandering the back streets of Skiathos town and I can firmly say that this is where Skiathos town’s prettiest corners are but you’ll need to get off the main street to find them.
Visit the Museum of Greek Writer Alexandros Papadiamantis
A trip to Skiathos Town wouldn’t be complete without immersing yourself in the rich literary history of the island. While there aren’t too many cultural attractions in Skiathos, one of the must-visit sights in Skiathos Town is the Museum of Alexandros Papadiamantis. The 19th Century Greek writer is an influential novelist, short story writer, and poet who was born in and lived in Skiathos.
The museum is housed in his former home where you can see a collection of personal belongings, manuscripts, and photographs, offering a fascinating glimpse into the life and works of this renowned Greek writer.
Even if you’re not massively interested in the life of the famous writer, a visit to this house museum will give you insight into life in Skiathos in the 19th Century and the island’s history.
Go for a Walk on Bourtzi Peninsula
It’s not easy to miss the Bourtzi Peninsula when taking a stroll along the shores of the old port. The little peninsula is covered by pine trees and it is a magical spot for an early morning stroll. The small island is connected to the mainland by a causeway, making it easily accessible.
On Bourtzi Peninsula you’ll find the 13th-century fortress that stands proudly atop the peninsula, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich history. Today the old fortress has been resorted and is now home to the Museum of Naval and Cultural Tradition of Skiathos. The museum was closed during my visit but it might be worth checking it out for an insight into the island’s maritime history.
Make sure not to miss lunch or just a drink at Bourtzi Skiathos, a wonderfully picturesque outdoor eating spot with tables right on the water. They have the most beautiful views of the water and Skiathos Town and the food is pretty good too.
Enjoy the Sunset
While the best sunsets are on the Western side of the island- Agia Eleni Beach is a famous spot- there are still some ways to enjoy the sunset from Skiathos Town.
Wherever you are on the island, you’ll get that magical golden glow, and being in Skiathos Town is no different. Here are some of my favorite spots in Skiathos town from which you can enjoy the sunset. Note that the following are great viewpoints to enjoy the golden glow of sunset- not all of these spots will have a clear view of the sun.
↠ Church of Agios Nikolaos – Located on one of the highest peaks in town, this church and the clock tower next to it is a classic viewpoint in Skiathos town. It’s great at sunset and at sunrise too.
↠Bourtzi Peninsula– A great viewpoint in general, lovely during sunset.
↠ Paralia Beach– This little peninsula and beach is a great spot to view the coastline west of town.
↠Megali Ammos Beach– the closest beach to Skiathos town, it’s actually quite a good spot for seeing the sunset. (note the sun sets behind you in summer but the glow on the water is really nice)
Indulge in some Greek Cuisine
Skiathos Town really does have some amazing restaurants to try during your stay. The options really are endless and you’ll run out of time way before you’ve even come close to trying all the best spots to eat. From quaint tavernas to trendy restaurants, this charming town offers a delightful culinary journey.
Start your day with a typical Greek breakfast at a bakery. Make sure to try mouthwatering spanakopita (filo pastry with feta cheese and spinach) or tiropita (cheese pie) paired with a strong Greek coffee.
Other dishes to try in Skiathos Town are classics like moussaka, gyros, and souvlaki but there are also many other Mediterranean dishes like grilled fish, seafood, and pasta. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of ouzo or locally-produced wine.
For all the best restaurants in Skiathos Town, check the ‘Where to Eat’ section below.
Go Shopping in Skiathos Town
Skiathos town is full of amazing boutiques to browse during your stay. Whether you’re after some handmade jewelry, crafts, accessories, clothes, or food there’s plenty to buy in Skiathos town so make sure to arrive in Skiathos with a little extra room in your luggage.
Moving away from the cheap souvenir stores on the main street you’ll find some excellent Greek fashion boutiques, traditional craft shops, and delis where you’ll be able to spree on handmade jewelry, intricate ceramics, vibrant textiles, and exquisite artworks. Here are some of the best boutiques in Skiathos Town you must browse before leaving.
↠ Ega (Aegean Concept Store) – beautiful clothing, accessories, and ceramics from all around Greece. There’s also another lovely concept store, big on ceramics just opposite.
↠ Atman Concept Store – A lovely little concept store with gorgeous bags, ceramics, and jewelry. A must-visit. Find it in a small alleyway off the main street.
↠ Bibi Skiathos– Lovely boutique selling Mediterranean-themed fashion items and resort wear.
↠The Blue Art House and Gallery – Great little store for handmade jewelry and other art.
↠Mikro Kosmos – Beautiful boutique located down a very picturesque alley. Lots of clothes, bags, jewelry, and paper items are on offer here.
Visit Evangelistria Monastery
A visit to Skiathos Town wouldn’t be complete without exploring the historic Evangelistria Monastery, which holds a special place in the island’s history. Nestled on a hill just outside the town, this monastery has witnessed centuries of events and is a testament to the island’s spiritual heritage.
The origins of Evangelistria Monastery can be traced back to the 18th century when it was established as a spiritual refuge. It played a crucial role in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, serving as a secret meeting place for Greek revolutionaries.
Inside the monastery, you’ll find a fascinating museum that showcases artifacts and memorabilia from this pivotal period, including weapons, documents, and ecclesiastical items. Make sure not to miss the monastery church too which contains ornate frescoes and intricate woodwork.
From the monastery’s panoramic terrace, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Skiathos Town and the surrounding landscapes. It’s the perfect spot to capture some incredible photos and appreciate the beauty of the island from a different perspective.
Go on a Hike
For those with a little more energy to burn, you’ll be pleased to know that Skiathos is full of beautiful hiking trails, all around the island. Due to its small size too, most hikes are manageable and can be done in a day.
One of the most popular hikes is from Skiathos Town to Kastro- the ancient capital of Skiathos. You’ll hike through stunning pine forests and along the coast so get ready for some amazing sea views as you hike.
The ruins of Kastro perched on a rocky hilltop offer a glimpse into Skiathos’ past, and the panoramic vistas of the Aegean Sea are very picturesque.
Another great hike is to the Monastery of Panagia Kounistra, a hidden gem tucked away in the pine-covered hills. The trail winds through fragrant forests, and reaching the monastery feels like stepping into a serene sanctuary. The views from the monastery are also worth the climb.
If you’re hiking in Skiathos in the summer months, make sure to bring plenty of water with you, non-toxic sunscreen, and a hat, even though the pine forests do provide a nice blanket of shade.
Spend the Day on Megali Ammos Beach
The closest beach to Skiathos Town is Megali Ammos Beach which you’ll find just west of town. Just a short walk from the town center, this sandy beach offers a laid-back and inviting atmosphere. You can start your day here with a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear turquoise waters before settling down on a comfortable sunbed or exploring Skiathos’ beaches further.
With beach bars and tavernas lining the shore, you can easily grab a delicious snack and refreshing drink without straying too far from the beach.
Whether you want to bask in the sun, take a leisurely stroll along the coastline, or simply enjoy the tranquil ambiance, Megali Ammos Beach is the ideal spot to spend a day of pure bliss in Skiathos Town.
It’s the ideal beach to head to if you don’t have too much time or you don’t plan of leaving Skiathos town.
Relax and Do Nothing
More than anything else, Skiathos really is a vacation destination. The island really has a relax-and-do-nothing vibe to it and one can really feel that.
With most people coming to the island to relax and enjoy the beaches, there really is nothing better to do than slow down, open a good book, savor the sunrise and sunset, lounge in a cafe over good coffee and wine, and do not much else.
Go on a Boat Tour from Skiathos Town
Taking a boat tour or boat trip is one of the best activities to do on Skiathos Island, Greece. Skiathos town is where most tours depart and they can be booked online or at the port.
Whether you’re after just exploring Skiathos and its beaches by boat, or heading on a Mamma Mia tour of Skopelos Island, you’ll be able to find that perfect tour for you.
I’d highly recommend going on a small group tour as some of the boat tours can get quite big (80+ people). You’ll be able to find most of the boutique, private boats docked here which offer tours around the island and to Skopelos.
Where to Stay in Skiathos Town
There are many places to stay in Skiathos Town. While many will opt to stay in some large resorts close to Koukounaries, staying in Skiathos town means you’ll be close to all the best restaurants in Skiathos in the evening.
Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Skiathos Town.
La Piscine Art Hotel – One of the best luxury hotels in Skiathos Town, you can expect classic Mediterranean design, bright, large suites, a great pool area on site, and an epic wine cellar. Check rates and availability here.
Aegean Suites – Located just outside Skiathos town, right on the coast. Beautiful Mediterranean design, cozy, and very welcoming. With a lovely outdoor pool, sea views, and a stunning bar area, this is the place for sundowners in style. Check rates and availability here.
Evgenia Seafront House- For those looking for the ultimate sea views in Skiathos Town make sure to check out this stunning studio. With a bedroom and terrace overlooking the ocean, and all the facilities you need for the ideal self-catered stay, this rental is a winner. Check rates and availability here.
Where to Eat
Skiathos Town has so many amazing places to dine, grab a quick coffee or have a special, romantic meal. I have to say that I didn’t have a bad meal my entire trip and I found the dining scene in Skiathos to be truly outstanding.
Here are some of the best restaurants to head to for a memorable dining experience.
Marmita– Probably the best dinner I had in Skiathos, the food, vibe, and service here is just unbeatable. They use locally sourced ingredients, and craft typical Greek dishes bursting with flavor and freshness. They get really busy so make sure to book a table.
1901– A romantic tavern covered in bougainvillea, this is one of the best spots to dine as the sun goes down. With many delicious Greek dishes, dinner here is a must.
Bourtzi Skiathos– A lovely outdoor cafe/restaurant on the tip of Bourtzi Peninsula that’s open all day for a delicious meal right by the water. It’s a very atmospheric place with beautiful views all around.
Meltemi Café Bistró Bar– a chilled spot perfect for brunch. A range of mostly international dishes with solid brunch and lunch options. Many plant-based options too.
Lo&La – Right on the seafront, this restaurant uses local Greek produce to produce wonderful, more Mediterranean dishes.
Bean Tree– one of the best spots for coffee in Skiathos town, even though it’s a little walk away from the center towards the airport.
Ergon– A lovely Greek deli and cafe right on the main street. They have all the staple Greek dishes, all the food is super fresh and there’s a great selection of wine. Once you’re done you can also shop for local olive oil and other culinary treats to take home.
Lyhnari– A great, local, Greek taverna. A solid choice in Skiathos.
What do you plan to do with your time in Skiathos Town? Let me know your questions and comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
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