What are the beast beaches in Skiathos

Skiathos has the best beaches in the Sporades including a couple which have often been cited as being the loveliest in the Mediterranean. There are more than 60 beaches to choose from, the most popular being the golden crescents of sand spread along the island’s south coast.

During high season there’s a continuous stream of cars, buses, scooters and pedestrians along the paved road linking Skiathos Town with famous Koukounaries beach in the south west corner of the island. The 14-kilometre road has several access points to various good south coast beaches but none can compare with stunning (albeit over-crowded) Koukounaries, a 1200 metre curve of fine yellow sand backed by a lagoon and acres of pine forest.

The beach is worth at least one visit, even if you find the hordes of fellow holidaymakers oppressive, because the setting really is quite exceptional. There’s a full range of watersports here including water ski-ing, windsurfing and parasailing. Wooden walkways cross the sand to several beach bars serving drinks and snacks and sun beds and shades are available for hire, enabling you to while away the hours until the late evening when the last bus leaves for Skiathos Town.

For a spot of nude sunbathing or skinny-dipping, check out trendy Krassa Beach, on the other side of the headland west of Koukounaries. The beach is better known as Banana Beach because of its curve of bright yellow sand. If you walk around the rocks at the far right end of the beach you’ll come to Little Banana Beach which is also nudist and has sun beds, shades and jet skis for hire.

At the far south west tip of the island, Agia Eleni Beach provides the best windsurfing on the island. You can reach it via a scenic one-kilometre walk from the main road.

Further north along the coast from Agia Eleni there’s Mandraki Beach which is relatively tranquil as it can only be reached by caique or via a half hour walk through a forest of towering pines. The beach is also called Limoni Xerxes Cove after the Persian King Xerxes who brought 10 galleys to conquer the Hellenic fleet moored off the coast of Skiathos during the 4th century BC Persian War.

Peppered along the island’s ruggedly beautiful north coast you’ll find plenty of deserted coves, accessed only by boat or on foot if you’re up for some fairly arduous hiking.

The most stunning north coast beach is lovely Lalaria, featured on many postcards and front covers of tourist brochures. Cliffs of perforated rock jut out to sea on either side of the cove which is lapped by startling aquamarine water, shimmering above a sea bed of white pebbles, marble and limestone.

You can book a boat trip round the island with a stop at Lalaria Beach and a visit to the nearby grottoes of Skotini, Glazia and Halkini. Skotini is the most spectacular of the three – a 20-foot high cave reached via a narrow crevice just wide enough to allow a small caique through the cliff wall.

Starting from the southwest towards the city, located the beach of Agia Eleni, which has perhaps the most beautiful sunset on the island, while the Megali Banana (big sandy beach) follows, which is especially loved by young people, since its beach bars make sure they keep the fun high even after the sun goes down, while nudists resort to little Banana.

Further down, in Ampelakia, the atmosphere is more relaxed and private. Next is Koukounaries, which is clearly the most famous beach of the island, with the beautiful pine forest that surrounds it reaching all the way to the sea.

It has golden sand and is organized, with many canteens and sunbeds. Right next door, the small beach, Maratha (a fine strip of golden sand), is ideal for those seeking tranquility.

Moving on there are the sandy organized beaches of Troulos, Platanias and Agia Paraskevi and the alternative and quiet Kolios. Vromolimnos is still one of the island’s must-sees, while the beaches near the town, Kanapitsa, Sklithri, Vasilias and Megali Ammos, are more family-friendly.

The other most famous beach in the north of the island, but accessible only from the sea, is Lalaria, with its characteristic rock immersed in turquoise waters with white pebbles. Other beaches that you should visit by boat are Xanemos Bay, Mavri and Galazia Spilia, the small beach under the Castle, Mikros and Megalos Aselinos, Mandraki with the large sand dune and the small cove of Kryfi Ammos. Most have a small canteen.

Xanemos beach

xanemos beach skiathos Xanemos is one of the island’s naturist beaches and it’s found off the end of the airport runway near Skiathos town. It can get very windy here and there is not much in the way of shelter.

Xanemos beach is deep and flat but scruffy, with more shingle than sand. Facilities are few – a cantina opens in the summer with a dozen or so sunbeds for hire.

Nevertheless, Xanemos is easily reached from Skiathos Town by bus or taxi or on foot around the eastern end of the island .

The village of Kalyvia is nearby, a pretty spot n the hills above Xanemos on the road to the Evangelistra monastery. There is no village, just a few houses and apartments among the pine trees.

Kalyvia is popular with tour operators who tout the peaceful location and the extensive views. It is relatively isolated with no bus service and a long and steep walk to Skiathos Town.

There is a small British ex-pat community here but few facilities. The nearest supermarket is a 20 minute walk and a couple of tavernas on the road to Skiathos Town open over the summer.

Megali Ammos beach

megalli-ammos-skiathos Another beach within walking distance of Skiathos town (but in the opposite direction) is Megali Ammos; a mixture of sand and shingle that slopes gently into the sea and makes up part of the same beach as neighbouring Vassilias.

The name Megali Ammos means ‘large sands’, although the beach is quite narrow, especially when covered in sunbeds. So close to Skiathos Town, the beach at Megali Ammos fills up early in the day and it can be heaving by lunchtime.

The road to the beach is steep but the hill behind does offer protection from northerly winds. There are all the usual facilities here including plenty of watersports.

The pretty waterfront is lined with tavernas and cafes and there is a small quay for fishing boats. Inland are several more tourist shops, cafes and a clutch of bars although many holidaymakers head to Skiathos Town for the nightlife.

For walkers there is a road to the right of Villa Ella that peters out into an old coastal footpath leading to Katsarou, Platanias, Kolios, Livetakia and Kechria.

Vassilias beach

vassilia-skiathos-beach The narrow sand and pebble beach at Vassilias (it translates as the King’s beach’) lies west of Skiathos Town and is an extension of the busier and more popular Megali Ammos.

The best of the sand is to the east where a cantina serves up the basics and there are sunbeds for hire and plenty of natural shade from the trees that border the back of the beach.

Further west are several hotels so the beach gets a little more crowded, although nowhere near as busy as its neighbour. Vassilias sits below steep hills that protect both beaches from northerly winds.

At the western end it’s hardly a beach at all actually, just a very narrow strip of sand and rocks hugging the steep cliffs that rise almost vertically behind and a steep road that winds down to the shore past a small taverna.

Vassilias is a pleasant place to avoid the crowds, especially to the west. The steep cliff gives hotels and apartments here some outstanding sea views.

Achladies beach

achladies-beach-skiathos Achladies, is not the easiest beach to find, unless you are a resident of the large and shoe-box Espirides hotel that backs onto the sands and pretty much monopolises the shore.

There is steep track to the east or some zig-zag steps through an apartment complex. An alternative is to walk through the hotel itself or to take a fenced concrete path to the west that leads through a friendly taverna whose owners don’t seem to mind the traffic.

Achladies beach (the name means ‘Pear Trees’) is long and narrow but the sand is very fine and the waters shallow. The small clutch of tavernas at the western end provide good food for those not guests of the hotel and a more romantic setting.

The beach is set at the end of a small valley floor, planted out with olives and citrus. There are views from Achladies beach to the islet of Tsougria offshore and on the horizon you can just make out Skopelos. The hotel has tennis courts and water sports. Tavernas and mini markets have sprouted up on the main road above.

Tzaneria beach

tzaneria-skiathos Small and sometimes heavily crowded, Tzaneria is the ‘gateway’ to the Kalamaki peninsular and dominated by the huge Nostos hotel complex whose apartment blocks climb all over the nearby hill.

Tzaneria beach is not very wide but it’s deep and the fine sand is regularly raked flat by staff from the hotel. Sheltered by cliffs, the water here is often mill pond still.

A small taverna backs onto the beach and nearby woods offer shade along the edge of the sand although the woods trees have been fenced off with wire mesh.

For the more sporty visitors there is a scuba diving school on the beach and there are tennis courts at the Nostos Hotel.

Nearby, down a dirt track from bus stop 11 is the small and delightful beach of Sklithri, hemmed in by hills and with a small traditional taverna. The small bay provides very good shelter for boats.

Kalamaki Peninsula beaches

The pine cloaked Kalamaki peninsula juts out o the sea between the resorts of Tzanaries and Kolios.

Kalamaki remains one of the more exclusive areas of Skiathos, dotted with up-market homes and apartments.

The area is also noted for its walking trails through the pines with fine sea views especially between Tzanaries and Kanapitsa.

The road from Bus stop 12 to 13 goes right around the peninsula. Beaches in the small bays around the Kalamaki coast may not be the most spectacular and not easily reaches but they benefit from being far less crowded.


Agios Panteleimon beach

The beach of Agios Panteleimons takes its name from the small church that is built above it and is located immediately after the Cape of Agios Sozons.

Just below the hill where the beautiful and all-white church of Agios Alexandros is built.

It is only accessible by sea. You will be able to see the beaches from afar, if you walk along the pedestrian path towards the Castle of Skiathos.


Kanapitsa beach

The main beach resort on the Kalamaki peninsula is at Kanapitsa which has two stretches of beach, both long and narrow but very sandy and with shallow water.

kanapitsa-skiathos-beach A large beach taverna provides refreshments and there is a small pool bar at the Hotel Plaza that sits behind Kanapitsa beach. The beach has a watersports centre and there is an hourly water taxi service to Skiathos Town which is a 20-minute journey.

There are many small coves around the coast of Kalamaki that offer a break from the crowds on the busier beaches. Half-way round the peninsula on the opposite site from Kanapitsa, and down a very steep footpath, is the small beach of Koutsouri, never very busy.

A small beach cantina opens in the summer and it can be visited by boat excursion trippers who spend an hour or two on the beach. There is room for parking above but it is a steep scramble down and an exhausting climb back up.

Another scramble around some rocks at Koutsouri brings you to the tiny but beautiful beach of Delfiniki which translates as ‘Little Dolphin’. It can be reached from the road but it is an even tougher scramble than Koutsouri so most arrive by boat.

The western side of the Kalamaki peninsula tends to be hotter, away from the prevailing northeast breeze, but there are spectacular views across the sea to Evia and to the Greek mainland.

Vromolimnos beach

vromolimnos-skiathos-beach The beach at Vromolimnos is very popular with youngsters thanks largely to a beach bar that blasts out loud music all day long and even throws the occasional foam party on the sands.

It has all the usual watersports and plenty of beach facilities for the young but, as the sands are both popular and narrow, it may feel claustrophobic at busy times of the day.

Vromolimnos is a splendid beach with powder-puff sand and some pleasant swimming in the shallow waters, an ideal spot for children.

Hills on either side give shelter and, being west facing, the beach both escapes the prevailing north-east winds and offers some fine sunsets. A brackish pond behind the beach dries up in the summer.

Kolios beach

kolios-beach Kolios sits in a small and attractive bay and has a narrow beach of sharp sand. Boats regularly tie up to the small jetty and there is a pleasant and shady taverna up some steps at the back of the sands.

A popular destination, both for beach visitors and day trip boats, Kolios beach can get crowded in the high season. Most of the time though Kolios is pleasantly low-key.

The sands shelve gently and there is good swimming to be had, making this a fine beach for families with children. Tree-covered headlands both west and east also make for a sheltered spot.

Several new apartment blocks have sprung up in the area around Kolios and there is a selection of tavernas, mini markets and pool bars built to service them.

A short walk in either direction reveals many small and attractive coves where the lucky ones could end up with their own ‘private’ beach all day.

Platanias beach

platanias-beach The large valley at Platanias is about six kilometres from Skiathos Town and has a pleasant stream that runs throughout the year. A couple of exclusive hotels have been built here and apartments have mushroomed recently. Several tavernas and snack bars have been added to accommodate the annual influx of visitors.

The long and sandy Platanias beach (also called Agia Paraskevi) has a couple of beach tavernas that open in the summer and a pool bar at the nearby Skiathos Princess Hotel. The beach lies in the same large bay as the beaches at both Vromolimnos and Kolios.

The sand at Agia Paraskevi is fine and soft but does shelve quite steeply into the sea so it’s not ideal for families with young children. But a range of watersports is on offer as well as boats for hire.

There are several good walks in the area, the most notable from bus stop 16 to Kechria beach, with an abandoned monastery on the way, or a right turn takes walkers over the hills to Skiathos Town.

Troulos beach

troulos-skiathos-beach The big, sandy beach at Troulos is a popular holiday centre and has plenty of tourist facilities, including a couple of decent tavernas and a small hotel on the beach.

The wide sands at Troulos (the name means ”Dome’ and there is a dome-shaped islet offshore) leave plenty of room for everyone with low dunes behind.

Secluded coves are also be found along the coast those prepared to explore the woods, but the going can be difficult on foot and may be better to hire a boat if you want to explore.

The Troulos village resort is some way inland, and purpose-built for the tourist trade. Visitors based here face a long trek to the sea, although apartments are appearing nearer Troulos beach.

In the inland village complex there are five supermarkets, car hire and taxis plus tennis courts. There is also a dog shelter near the monastery above and the dogs love being taken for a walk if you fancy something different.

Walkers can head off along dirt tracks that reach northern beaches at Asselinos, passing the Kounistra Monastery on the way.

Maratha beach

maratha-beach The secluded bay at Maratha lies below the Skiathos Palace hotel just beyond the beach resort of Koukounaries and has virtually been commandeered by the hotel.

However, it is just a short walk down from the bus stop to a small sandy bay, well protected beneath pine covered slopes where trees reach right down to the shore.

There are sunbeds and a good beach taverna in the woods behind. The water at Maratha is quite shallow so the beach is good for families with children and there is plenty of natural shade from the pines that overhang the back of the narrow beach.

The Skiathos Palace hotel overlooks the beach but the pines are so thick and deep that visitors will hardly notice. Marathi is a peaceful alternative to neighbouring Koukounaries which tends to attract the big crowds, especially in the high season.

Koukounaries beach

koukounaries-beach Regularly voted one of the top ten beaches in the world, Koukounaries boasts a kilometre-long sickle of golden sand backed by a wooded nature reserve and a large lagoon.

Impressive at first light, the rising sun soon lures the tour buses and by noon the overpriced sunbeds are heaving, the sea is littered with motorboats and the air is humming to the dentist drill whine of jet skis. It is just too popular for its own good.

The nature reserve status of the lagoon has helped curb tourist development and there are just a couple of beach tavernas. The sands are also overlooked by two hotels and the resort’s popularity has long put paid to reasonable prices.

The nearby lagoon is a haven for mosquitoes and virulent squadrons of wasps regularly patrol the overflowing waste bins.

That said, Koukounaries is still a spectacular beach. The deep long sands and shallow water will appeal to families and there are walks in the surrounding woodland. Three watersports centres offer all manner of fun and there are toilets and changing facilities nearby and an attractive harbour at the eastern end.

Large crowds cluster for a teatime scramble aboard the half-hourly buses to Skiathos town and no quarter is given as homebound tourists elbow aboard in a stampede for seats. Crammed to sardine-tin capacity the buses lumber away in a cloud of dust while taxis lie in wait to pick up any survivors.

There is no village in Koukounaries, just a scattering of small scale hotels and tavernas strung along the road behind the Koukounaries lagoon. A horse riding centre is near the bus stop.

West and north coast beaches of Skiathos

Exposed to the winds, the west and north coasts of Skiathos are wilder and less accessible than the south. There are also far fewer beaches and all are more difficult to reach. Good roads lead to Agia Eleni in the west and to Megas Asselinos in the north but other beaches can only be reached by boat or on foot. Those that venture north are rewarded with less commercialised surroundings and some wonderful walks through the pine forests.


Banana Beach

banana-beach Between Koukounaries and Agia Eleni is the popular Krassas – better known as Banana Beach. It’s signposted from the car park at Koukounaries but it is quite a long trek through the woods so some prefer the water taxi from Skiathos Town.

Banana has two beaches. The main beach is deep, long, sandy and heavily decked with sun with beach bars tucked away in the pine and scrub that lines the small cliff behind.

The soft sand shelves steeply into the sea and sunbeds are expensive but Banana Beach is hugely popular with younger people. Beach parties can erupt in high season and it can get very noisy.

The second beach, called Little Banana, lies just around a rocky headland. It’s the island’s semi-official nudist beach. Small and flat, it’s bound by steep, rocky cliffs that offer some privacy.

There is less well known, but equally attractive, beach nearby called Spartacus by tourists but known as Apelakia among Greeks. It lies further round the rocky headland and offers relief from the crowds.

Agia Eleni beach

agia-eleni-beach The secluded beach of Agia Eleni is at the western end of the island, just a short walk from the bus stop before the Koukounaries car park. The road forks right over a small hill to the small bay.

Two small cantinas sit of the northern end of a narrow beach of sharp sand and fine pebbles. The water is shallow and Agia Eleni is popular with families. West facing, it has good sunset views.

A rough track leads around the headland to other small bays. Signs point to Krifi Ammos (Hidden Beach) a 15-minute walk to a lovely cove with a sand and pebble beach.

A beach cantina sits on the hillside but the drop into the sea is very steep so it’s not really suitable for children. There is also no room for turning cars so they are best left behind.

Mandraki beach

mandraki-skiathos The densely wooded area of Mandraki offers, after a 40-minute walk from Koukounaries, the three lovely beaches of Xerxes, Elias and Agistri. There are several ways to reach these beaches with trails from Agia Eleni, Megas Asselinos and from the Caravos Hotel at bus stop 21 on the south coast road.

The beach at Xerxes, often referred to as Mandraki, is the furthest west and is backed by a cliff of red sandstone. Expect calm, shallow water and sunbeds around the beach cantina.

The central beach of Elias is long, deep and sandy and, although it drops sharply at the western end, it is far more shallow to the east where the dunes roll up behind. A small cantina is sited on the edge of the wood overlooking the beach

Flotsam tends to litter the eastern end of Elias before it merges into the cove at Agistri or Angistros and there is often enough driftwood lying around for visitors to build complex and arresting sun shelters among the plastic rubbish that gets blown in with the northern winds.

This is a popular port of call for excursion boats but the relative isolation keeps numbers down and this north coast beach trio makes a fine alternative to the south shore beach strips.

Kastro beach

kastro-beach At the northernmost tip of the island, 11 kilometers from the town of Skiathos, below the old medieval town of Skiathos lies a beautiful beach, also called Kastro.

With crystal clear waters and imposing natural scenery, the beach usually has waves as it is exposed to the wind. It is not organized but there is a refreshment stand. Don’t hesitate to visit the ruins of the ancient city afterwards and admire the view from above.

You can reach the beach very easily with one of the boats that leave every day from the port of Skiathos. If you decide to approach it in another way, you should know that the road stops before the Castle and you will have to walk the rest of the distance.

Asselinos beach

aselinos-beach The big, wild and windy beach at Megas Asselinos is the most accessible northern beach on the island with a new road through the woods from Troulos.

It has a huge taverna, clearly built to cater for the daily boat trippers that arrive for lunch on their round island tours. There is also a large campsite nearby.

In August the meltemi wind can blow your socks off and litter can be a problem for bathers as it gets blown in on the waves. It’s a huge beach with plenty of deep sand and some pebbles but there is little shade if you don’t have a sun bed.

A fork right on the approach road to Megas Asselinos takes you to Mikri Asselinos, a much smaller, much more secluded beach that is a favourite with naturists.

Lalaria beach

lalaria-beach The lovely beach at Lalaria is accessible only from the sea and is famed the world over for its white pebble beach, turquoise waters and spectacular rock arches.

The bleached white stones and undersea marble slabs are responsible for a dazzling aquamarine seashore. Less dazzling were the ugly four foot high letters LALARIA painted in red on cliffs above when I last visited.

Lalaria beach is on the itinerary of almost every pleasure boat on the island and scores of visitors embark in the hourly boat landings. Check before you board – some boats will anchor up for two or three hours and there are no facilities on Lalaria Beach.

It is a very pretty spot but there is nothing to do but avoid the crowds and more pleasure might be gained from the ubiquitous postcards of Lalaria beach that are on sale in almost every shop on Skiathos.

Lygaries beach

Crystal clear sea and exotic desert environment. Avoid it if there are north winds and you are not a fan of waves.

The drive to get there is really great, even though you have to cross quite a dirt road. But one can also get there by sea.
The waters are crystal clear, as they are exposed to the north and the sand is beautiful.


Lehouni beach

Directly below the monastery of Evangelismos, the visitor faces the beach of Lehouni, one of the places untouched by time.
The beach is deserted, rocky with white pebbles and has wild beauty. The road is difficult but leads all the way down to the sandy beach.


Kehria beach

Kehria beach located on the north side of the island, about 13 km from the city, and a route that compensates you. It is accessible from the sea, but also after a long walk through the dirt road that exists. It has few umbrellas and sunbeds, the sea is crystal clear, surrounded by green mountains and exposed to the north wind, which, when strong, brings quite a few waves.


Elia beach

The beauty of the landscape and the route, the clean sea and the silence will surely offer you one of the most enjoyable baths of your life.
An ideal choice for someone who doesn’t like crowds and is looking for peace and relaxation. Powder fine sand, crystal clear shallow water, accessible by car about 20 minutes walk through the lovely pine forest. There is a canteen on the beach.


Agia Paraskevi

A fairly long beach, approximately 8.5 kilometers southwest of the town of Skiathos, with clear waters and fine blond sand next to the small church of Agia Paraskevi. The beach is very well organized with many options for water sports and with plenty of hotels and restaurants and refreshment bars.