Famously used for filming Mamma Mia, Skopelos beaches are idyllic. With pine trees reaching down to the clear aquamarine waters, where they lack golden sand, they make up for it in natural beauty. The climate here is kinder than in Crete and the southern Aegean but still provides copious sun all summer and temperatures averaging the high twenties – perfect for long days on the beach.
Most of the beaches on the southern side of the island are served by a bus which runs from Loutraki (port of Glossa) to Skopelos Town, stopping at the beaches.
Loutraki has a few little beaches, just over the harbour wall from the port and can be easily walked to from Glossa, though the path is quite steep in places. Calm waters, 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.
Armenopetra / Kalyves is the first beach stop on the bus to Skopelos Town. It’s a ten minute walk from the road down a track to the beach, or you can 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, beach umbrellas and water as there is no services here – this is for those who like peace and quiet.
Agios Ioannis has become something of an icon ever since Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sang under its gaze. The little church perched on a craggy cliff out to sea is well worth the might climb to get there. There’s a small beach at the foot of the church, with sunbeds and a nearby snack bar.
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 good-time holiday beach with parking, restaurants, beach bars and sunbeds and is great for snorkelling. 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 next to 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 beach is named after the son of Dionysos and was the 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 steps lead down to the narrow strip of sand and shingle beach basking beneath 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’s also possible to walk from Glossa.
Perivoliou beach is a real hidden gem. Reached by a long flight of rocky steps it’s 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 relaxed, shady beach bar on the cliff above. Good parking.
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