41 nautical miles from the town of Volos lies the fairly green island of Skiathos, with some 170 sandy inlets, several bays and 3 harbors. Its highest wooded summit rises to 438 meters. Around the island, there are no less than 9 smaller islands. Two of these, called Tsougries, lie across the main harbour offering safe anchorage to boats, with a small marina for yachts.
The principal town, also called Skiathos, was built in 1830 on two low hills. It is the hub of the tourist summer season, with several hotels, neat villas and rooms to let. Of interest in the town is the home of the Greek writer, A. Papadiamantis, who immortalized Skiathos in his short stories.
There is a good road in Skiathos, which goes along the southern coast with its many bays and beaches, linking the town with Koukounaries - a pine grove, close to a lake which is important for migrating birds - and the beach of Agia Eleni. Another road connects the town with Asselinos. A convenient way to get to know the island is by taking a boattrip around the island as parts of the northern island cannot be visited any other way.
Beaches and Places of interest
Koukounaries beach - the pine grove after which the region is named is a long, sandy beach, which lots of tourist. You get there if you take the bus to busstop number 26 (12 KMs from town) that is if you managed to get on the bus. It is normally very crowded in high season. At the same busstop you can also reach two nearby beaches, one for nudists, and one for gays. The Koukounaries beach fringes a long stretch of golden sand for 1,000 meters, and most of its 30 meters width is shaded by pines and shrubs. The beach is famous, but I personally found it too crowded and not that special apart from the pine trees. From Koukounaries you can walk to the beach of Agia Eleni, which faces the southern shores of Mt Pelion.
Also from Koukounaries, it takes 40 min. by foot to reach a quite unspoiled strip of coast, Mandraki, also known as the port of Xerxes.
Lalaria, is another famous beach with large pebbles on the N.E. side of the island, accessible from town by boat. Lalaria is beautiful but has no facilities, no tavern, no toilets or such and can get rather crowded when the tourboats get there and lots off boatloads of tourists.
The Kastro, an ancient walled town, lies two hours to the north of the town by foot, accessible by motor boat as well. There is also a non-paved road leading there from Skiathos town. In the 16th century, the whole population moved to the impregnable rock, which rises to the northeast of the town of Skiathos, and built their Kastro. It stands on a rock projecting into the sea and overlooking a wild and jagged coast. A drawbridge was its only link with the rest of the island in the old days, but today it can be approached by climbing up some steps. Its walls once enclosed 300 houses and 22 churches. None of the houses remain, and of the two churches, the Church of Christ is worth a visit for its icons and carved wooden Screen. Close to the Kastro is a small beach with a small coffeehouse. The boattrips around the island stops there for coffeebreak and swims and for a walk up to the Kastro (about 20 min each way).