The first thing we noticed about Skopelos was the bright turquoise colour of the sea on entering the Skopelos Town. It must be seen to be believed! The town is built on the lower mountain slopes around a large harbour, perfect for sailors and visiting ferries. Glossa – in the far north-west – are both wondrous. The kafeneon in Skopelos Town still attracts the older guys, who play backgammon and put the world to rights over raki and coffee. Narrow alleyways are frequented by mopeds and a fish van crawls along advertising the day’s catch via loudspeaker.
Glossa features steep slopes, with whitewashed shuttered houses in quiet, shrub-filled streets, and small shops selling local olive oil, plums and honey. The town square has the most amazing views and is an oasis of welcome shade in the heat of summer.
Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group, which lies east of the Pelion peninsula. Skopelos is located between the islands of Skiathos and Alonissos and is the second largest of the Sporades island chain after Skyros.
The writer and long-term resident of the Greek islands, Lawrence Durrell, once said there were so many churches on Skopelos (more than 360 at the last count) that islanders suffering insomnia would count churches rather than sheep.
Skopelos harbour is large and home to
several yachts during the summer, taking refuge from the sometimes strong Meltemi winds.
80% of this pretty island is covered in pine trees while several sleepy resorts lie scattered around the deeply indented shoreline.
Olive and plum groves also help make up much of the lush, green interior of Skopelos and there are many lovely walks along forest trails.
Skopelos is popular with day-trippers escaping the crowds on nearby Skiathos and with those who prefer a quieter Greek island holiday retreat. Skopelos continues to entice up-market travellers.
There are regular daily ferries from nearby Skiathos where the airport (landing is interesting) welcomes regular charter flights. It is a short ferry trip to Skopelos Town or to Loutraki, the island's other port which is a welcome retreat for sailors.
The island has cashed in on the popularity of the hit musical movie 'Mamma Mia', starring Meryl Streep, which features many location shots on Skopelos including the beach scenes at Kastani. It is wonderful to climb up to the little church on top of the rock and reward yourself with a swim afterwards in the crystal clear waters below.
Top Tip: Visit Panormos Bay, a safe anchorage, and one of the most beautiful spots in the Sporades.
Is Skopelos the perfect Greek Island?
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