The Greek island of Skopelos is the second in the chain called the Sporades (scattered islands). Closest to the mainland is Skiathos and the nearest airport.
Skopelos Island is just hard enough to reach to deter mass tourism, but easy enough if you know how and you are prepared to be a little independent. Have a look at getting to Glossa
There are beautiful beaches and pine covered mountain walks – something for everyone. The climate is kinder than in Crete and the southern Aegean.
Most of the beaches on the southern side of the island are served by the bus which runs from Loutraki (port of Glossa) to Skopelos Town.
In Loutraki there is a beach just over the harbour wall from the port. Safe and simple, shingle and sand with showers and changing huts. There are shops, kiosks, cafés and restaurants nearby.
If you walk along the road to the yacht moorings and beyond, a five minute stroll will bring you to the little beach of Katakalou. At the end of the road and just before the remains of the Roman baths, this little shingle and sand beach has shady trees behind it. No other facilities.
The first beach stop on the bus to Skopelos Town is Armenopetra / Kalyves. It is a ten minute walk from the road down a track to the beach. You can also drive down with a car or motorbike. On one side is the stony beach of Kalyves and the other the long sweep of sand and shingle Armenopetra beach. Take all your food and water as there is no Kantina here.
Elios village has beaches to the left and the right of the harbour. Facing the sea, if you go to the furthest left (eastwards) you can scramble and wade round to a tiny beach which is often deserted. Shops, kiosks, cafés and restaurants in the village.
Kastani beach is famous for being where Mamma Mia was filmed with the jetty and tiny taverna. Those are long gone, but the area inland has been developed and you will find food and drink here and music all day. It is particularly popular with young people and there are sunbeds available.
Milia beach is a beautiful, typical holiday beach with good parking, restaurants, beach bars and sunbeds. Turn left when you reach the sea and keep going for the most peaceful area without sunbeds.
Panormos is a lovely sheltered bay with a good beach backed by shops and restaurants. It is very popular with families and can get crowded in high season. Sunbeds with umbrellas are available for hire, but plenty of free beach if you prefer.
Limonari beach is quite a trek from the bus stop, but well worth it. The track is narrow but driveable by car. There is a good taverna overlooking the long crescent of sandy beach.
Agnondas is the third harbour of Skopelos Island and is where ferries arrive when the wind is too strong for safe approach to Skopelos Town. This is rare in the summer and the sleepy harbour enclosed with wooded hills attracts a few yachts and small boats. There is a good safe beach at the head of the inlet backing on to the main road with a few shops and some great tavernas. Agnondas is a favourite place for lunch by the lapping waters.
On the main road between Agnondas and Stafylos is a new dirt track which branches though the forest leading to several secluded small coves at Amarandos. Pines sweep right down to the water’s edge offering privacy and shade.
Stafylos was the son of the god Dionysos and ancient ruler of Skopelos c 1600 BCE. However mythical his parentage, he was a real person and a golden sword – now in the Archaeological Museum of Athens – was found in his tomb. The Staphylos area has many apartments and a steep road and steeper steps lead down to the narrow strip of sand and shingle beach basking beneath steep and high scrub-covered cliffs. The water is shallow with stone underfoot so beach shoes are needed. If you cross to the other side of the promontory, you will find an official unofficial nudist beach.
With a car or motorbike it is easy to reach a couple of beaches on the North side of the island. It is also possible to hike from Glossa.
Perivoliou beach is reached by a long flight of rocky steps and is a glorious beach for swimming and lazing except when there is a strong North wind to hurl rollers crashing on to the shore. Perivoliou beach is often more or less deserted even in high season. Nowadays there are sunbeds on part of the beach and a shady kantina on the cliff above.
There are a couple of other beaches you can scramble to in this area and the little beach of Hondrogiorgi is nearby.
Lots of secret places to discover
Kayaking in Skopelos
This is a great way to see parts of the island you can only reach by sea. Day trips and sunset outings on offer. The best way to contact them is by email or the contact form on their website www.kayakinggreece.com. If urgent, call Yvonne: +30 698 090 0565.
What about other times of the year? See Glossa out of Season