Activities and things to do on Skiathos

The wonderful beaches of Skiathos and the island’s lively night scene are more than enough to satisfy most visitors. But if you take the time to explore the island’s hilly, wooded interior you’ll find some lovely unspoilt countryside peppered with deserted monasteries and churches, cool mountain springs, olive groves and pine forests.

Spend a few hours browsing in Skiathos Town where the cobbled back streets are littered with 19th century sea captains’ houses and flower filled balconies. There are many good quality shops in town (interspersed among the inevitable tacky tourist outlets). You’ll find some excellent jewellery stores along with arts, crafts and antique shops some of which are more like museums than shops.

The classiest store on the island is Archipelago which has some beautiful antiques, jewellery made from fossils and various embroidered items. You’ll find it near the Papadiamantis Museum which commemorates the life and work of one of Greece’s greatest literary figures Alexandros Papadiamantis.
The writer was born on Skiathos and spent his childhood on the island before leaving for Athens to pursue his literary career. He later returned to his homeland and died in1911 in the house which is now a shrine to his memory. The house contains the bed where he died, some personal belongings and the writer’s pen and inkwell. Papadiamantis’ short stories and novels, many of which have been translated into English, focus on island life particularly that of Skiathos.

The town’s harbour is divided in two by the pine-clad Bourtzi islet – a former fortress which hosts an annual Aegean cultural festival each summer with performances of theatre, dance and music.

To the west of the Bourtzi there’s the fish market and a good ouzeri where locals while away the hours over tasty seafood snacks. From here you can take a boat excursion to one of the many islets that surround Skiathos or book a boat ride right around the island.

Many tours take in a visit to three spectacular grottoes at the northern end of the island and a stop at the beach below Kastro, a fortified hilltop town built in the 16th century and abandoned in 1829.

You can walk across country to Kastro from Skiathos Town, allowing about three hours for the journey, or save your legs and join one of the donkey trains that transport tourists over to the north west corner of the island throughout the summer months. The town was originally built to protect the islanders from marauding pirates and had 300 houses and 22 churches within its defence walls. Only three of the churches remain including the 17th century Christos church which has some ornate frescoes and an impressive iconostasis (the screen separating the altar from the main part of the church).

The most impressive of the island’s monasteries is the beautifully located Moni Evangelistria, poised 450 metres above a gorge about an hour’s walk north of Skiathos Town. The 18th century monastery was a hiding place for freedom fighters during the War of Independence (1821-1822) and the islanders claim it was here that the first Greek flag was raised in defiance of the Turks in 1807.

For guided walks of the island, visit Mare Nostrum Travel in Papadiamantis Street, the main street leading away from the harbour in Skiathos Town. Or explore the countryside on horseback with the Pinewood Riding Centre, located on the road from Troulos at the southern end of the island to the Kounistras monastery. The centre offers lessons as well as mountain excursions and all-day treks.

Sea sports

skiathos windsurfing Skiathos is a unique destination for adventure lovers. With its wonderful climate and its unique beaches, it is suitable for all water sports.

On such a small island, there are dozens of beaches for all tastes: the northern, less organized and with wild beauty are ideal for sports such as windsurfing as the waves are sensational and the southern, more organized and with calm waters are what you need for more family vacations.

It is characteristic that there are 15 ski schools in Skiathos: almost all of the beautiful southern beaches offer the possibility for organized water sports of all kinds but also for more relaxed activities such as fun curling and banana or enchanting water biking.

Dive into the bay of Lalaria

lalaria-skiathos Skiathos is famous for its emerald beaches and crystal clear waters next to lush green landscapes. But if you want to swim in the most exotic beach of the island, then you must visit the famous Lalaria.

Every visitor who comes to Skiathos, visits this particular beach for a swim in its turquoise waters and for a photo at the natural stone gates. Lalaria beach in Skiathos is unique not only for Skiathos but also for all of Greece.

It is a beach with large pebbles, hence the name of Lalaria, where many excursion boats that organize excursions visit the beach to see and bathe in this wonderful beach of unique beauty. You will arrive at Lalaria by boat. Due to the fact that the beach is not organized, it is advisable to take supplies with you.


hiking in skiathos The island presents several geomorphological changes, different natural landscapes, points of amazing view and great cultural wealth: hiking routes with images from forests to mountain masses overlooking the sea, impressive beaches, places of religious interest, archaeological and Byzantine treasures, ravines, springs and running waters, and of course locations mentioned by Papadiamantis, which complement each other to a very rich image in the eyes of the visitor – hiker.

Precisely for this reason, while hiking tourism is still not quite widespread among the Greek public, Skiathos is an island that is relatively well-known to the general public as a hiking destination. 197 kilometers of rutted dirt roads, which embroider the interior of the verdant island and open your eyes, but also your soul, to another, more introverted side.

Definitely more eerie. And clearly less advertised. She is mountainous. But not hard – after all, its highest altitude is 433 meters. Among the pines, pine trees, hemlocks, shinas, oaks, olives and another 700 types of vegetation, extremely rich for an island. With views that take your breath away.

With fountains, threshing-floors, ravines, water-mills, olive-presses, churches and other monuments,
smaller or larger, that weave the history of the island from the inside and are just as fascinating as the incomparably beautiful pine-shaded beaches of the island. And, finally, they bring to life in our eyes the literary paintings of Alexandros Papadiamantis. The hiking difficulty level of the Skiathos trails varies from easy to difficult, their hiking time ranges from one to six hours. (Source: Municipality of Skiathos)


skiathos-sailing Skiathos is also an ideal destination for sailing holidays. Based on the island, you will charter the boat of your choice and have a wealth of options for all the islands of the Sporades. With day trips or weekly holidays, you can visit Skopelos, Alonissos, Skyros, but also about 20 rocky islets or smaller, beautiful islands, such as Arkos, Peristera and Tsougrias.

You will enjoy the natural beauty, as lush green landscapes with rare biodiversity almost touch the deep blue and crystal clear waters. You will see dolphins, enjoy diving in the Blue Cave and, if you are lucky, you will see loggerhead turtles in Skopelos, which is their birthplace, as well as monk seals in their place of residence, in Alonissos, on the enchanting island of Planetis in the north of the island. Eastern Skopelos and Alonissos are part of the National Marine Park. 

Walk to the castle of Skiathos

skiathos castle

It is certainly the most important attraction of Skiathos, since it combines the wild beauty of the landscape with the most important historical moments of the island. The tumultuous history of the Castle begins around the middle of the 14th century, where it was built to protect the inhabitants of Chora from pirate raids.

The castle walls defending the city from the land side were high and strong with many battlements and later reinforced with cannons. Since it was abandoned in 1830, it has been left to its own devices, with the result that today only parts of it have survived.

To get to the Castle you will drive about an hour from the city and you will need to walk about a kilometer and a half on the cobblestones. Wear your comfortable shoes and wander through the narrow streets of the island until you reach the Castle and enjoy the view of the island from above.

Visit Burtzi

burtzi-skiathos Bourtzi is the peninsula that you will see when you enter the port of Skiathos and in the past it was a fortress. It was founded by the Gizi family who occupied Skiathos in 1027. Bourzi was also called “St. George’s Castle” in the past because of the small church of St. George that existed inside it and was destroyed in 1660 when it was captured by the Venetian admiral Morosini.

Today Bourtzi is a place of recreation, which offers a magnificent view and is overgrown with pine trees. A municipal cafe is available on site where you can enjoy your coffee or drink with a view of the sea. The cultural events that take place here in the summers give another reason to put Bourzi on the schedule.

Horseback riding

Horse riding in Skiathos is something very pleasant, since the island stands out for its natural beauty and green landscapes with breathtaking views. Also, Skiathos, unlike the majority of the rest of the Aegean islands, has more horses than donkeys! This is because horse riding is a big part of the tradition in Skiathos, with annual horse races on Lake St George here
and many years. Thus, the island could not miss the possibility of horseback riding.

Wellness Tourism

Relax by walking the amazing trails, do yoga and meditation on the beach, swim in turquoise waters. The excellent Greek climate, combined with the healing properties of the sea, as well as the various wild herbs that embrace you in most parts of the island, gives you the feeling of being in a natural spa. Most hotels offer options for combining holidays with a wellness program.

Plane spotting

plane spoting in skiathos The airport of Skiathos “Alexandros Papadiamantis” was voted as one of the most interesting for plane spotting, having aroused the interest of the global community of plane spotters, a special audience that travels to photograph and closely watch the take-offs and landings of planes .

The airport is located between two beaches. The impressive thing is that one can see the take-off and landing of each plane from close range. This only happens in Skiathos and Saint Martin in the Caribbean, however in Skiathos the scenery is even more impressive.

The municipality intends to organize two areas where plane spotters, as well as all visitors, will be able to watch and photograph safely. Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport ranked third, based on voters’ preferences in the poll organized by the British private jet charter company