Skiathos: A Practical Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

Discover Skiathos' best attractions, dining, & accommodations in our comprehensive guide. Your perfect Greek island getaway starts here!

Skiathos: A Practical Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

Getting to Skiathos

Located in the northwest Aegean Sea, Skiathos is an island that perfectly exemplifies Greece's mystical beauty. The island is part of the Sporades archipelago and can be reached by either flight from Athens or ferry from Volos and Agios Konstantinos.

Historical Context

Skiathos holds a rich history dating back to the prehistoric era. The island was occupied by the Pelasgians, Cretans, and Mycenaeans before falling under the rule of Athens in the 5th Century BC. Its strategic location made it a battlefield during the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. Later, during the Byzantine era, it became a place of exile, followed by brief occupations by the Venetians and Ottomans.

Cultural Practices

The local culture of Skiathos is largely influenced by its historical occupations. The customs and practices imbibe elements from Athens, Byzantine, and Venetians, creating a unique cultural blend. Icon painting, pottery, and traditional dance forms like Balos and Sousta continue to be prevalent.

Festivals in Skiathos

The island celebrates several Christian Orthodox ceremonies due to its predominantly Christian populous. Some notable festivals include:

  • 'Panagia Limnia' celebrated every 23rd of August
  • 'Agios Georgios' on April 23rd where horse races take place
  • The 'Carnival festival' around February, showcasing local music, dances, and traditional foods.

Local Anecdotes

The 'Bourtzi', a small peninsula jutting out in the sea, has served multiple roles over the centuries, from a fortified stronghold to a school, and now a cultural center. The locals often relay tales of pirates who tried to take over this fortification in the Venetian era.

Interesting Facts

DID YOU KNOW? Skiathos has more than 60 beaches, the most famous one being 'Koukounaries', which is heralded as one of the best in the Aegean. Also, the Hollywood movie 'Mamma Mia' was filmed on this island, shedding an international spotlight on its beauty and charm.