25 September 2015

Skopelos – the Classic Greek Island Experience

Skopelos (Σκόπελος) is part of the Northern Sporades island group located in the western Aegean Sea.   Skopelos means “sharp rock” or “reef” and it gets its name from the rocky terrain on the island’s northern shore. Skopelos is covered with pine forests, olive groves, and orchards and is the greenest island in the region.

Skopelos remains an unspoiled gem despite the filming of the movie Mama Mia on the island. This is one of Greece’s quintessential island paradises and a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Many of our Pensacola families hail from Skopelos.

ayios yiannis closeup

Getting There

Skopelos island doesn’t have an airport so the only way to get to the island is by boat. You can fly to nearby Skiathos and take a ferry from there. If you are starting from Athens you can take a ferry from the Piraeus port. From the Athens airport, you can take a bus to various ports that service Skopelos. The ferries in Greece are a relaxing way to travel.

Map of Skopelos

Where to Stay
Skopelos has two main settlements – the capital and main port of Skopelos Town on the east coast and the villages of Glossa and Loutraki on the west coast. Skopelos Town has been designated as a Traditional Settlement and has more than 300 churches. The church featured in our 2015 Festival poster is called Panayitsa for the Virgin Mary and is located in Skopelos Town. Glossa, with its

Legendary Beaches
Skopelos is known for its more than twenty beautiful beaches, most of which are fairly secluded from regular tourist crowds. You can either visit one of the organized beaches, such as Stafylos or Panoramas, or a private beach such as Adrina. Stafylos offers calm, crystal waters among the pine trees. Milia is Skopelos’ longest beach and considered by many to be its best. It is secluded and the views of its white sands, clear waters, and green trees are magnificent. One thing that makes many of these beaches unique is that they are often surrounded by forests, which gives them the illusion of seclusion. All of these beaches are accessible by public transportation and by taxi so a car rental is not required.

Skopelos Stafilos-beach

Sights/Activities

Besides swimming and eating, there is plenty to do on Skopelos Island. There isn’t much in the way of ruins, art or museums, but there are hikes throughout the island that will take you to breathtaking views and to scores of monastaries and churches. Along the port in Skopelos Town you can take a day trip by boat to nearby Alonissos Island or charter a sailboat for a day or more.

Skopelos Monastary photo

Dining and Nightlife

Skopelos is also known for its food and has many restaurants and tavernas that offer local specialties. For the best restaurants, look for those which are family-run and offer a good selection that utilizes local ingredients. Wash your meal down with some local wine and you’ll have an authentic experience. Skopelos has a more relaxed nightlife than nearby Skiathos, but nightlife fun can be found as there are plenty of bars, cafes, and discos that come to life after midnight. Skopelos is known for keeping rembetika music (a Greek version of American blues) alive. Rembetika can be heard at local tavernas until late in the evening.