Pine-clad Skopelos is officially the greenest island in Greece and the white-washed village of Glossa is its jewel, nick-named the ‘balcony of the Aegean’. More recently, it’s been dubbed the ‘Mamma Mia Island’ due to many of the film’s iconic scenes being captured here.
This is the island getaway for those looking for authentic Greece. At the height of summer there are tourists here, but not many, and mostly Greeks from the mainland who are in the know. Glossa is a living, working village that has a heart beat of its own outside of the summer and that absorbs guests happily during peak season.
Without an airport, Skopelos Island is just hard enough to reach to deter mass tourism, but easy enough to get to if you know how (we’re talking a fifteen-minute ferry ride easy) and have an ounce of the intrepid spirit.
For more information see Getting to Glossa.
In the spring the countryside is alive with wild flowers and almond blossom, lush and refreshed from the winter rains. Migrant birds arrive to supplement the local population – you can see Bee Eaters, Hoopoes, Eleanora’s Falcons and much more. This is the best time of year to explore the many walking trails that criss-cross the island.
The summer months offer the classic Greek ‘sun and sea beach-time getaway’ that’s a kind of therapy in itself, with a plethora of gorgeous beaches to choose from to while away long days, and music-filled tavernas to enjoy the balmy nights.
Early autumn sees cooler temperatures and a calmer atmosphere, while the sea is still warm enough to swim in.
Glossa sits on a hillside looking down to its delightful little harbour of Loutraki and over the sea towards Skiathos. The streets are narrow and more suited to the donkeys, which still sometimes use them, than to cars. Connecting the streets are steps and narrow roads, some of them long and steep. Most of the traditional town houses in Glossa have a front door downstairs and the back door upstairs, opening on to the next street up.
The views from Glossa are stunning and almost all two-storey houses have a balcony where you can sit and enjoy the Aegean vistas and catch the breeze. There are cottages, houses and villas available to rent for holidays.