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The Island Life of Skopelos

Skopelos by Ntino Poulak

Only those who truly want to be on the Greek island of Skopelos will find themselves there. The absence of an airport strikes out all hopes of a quick journey across the gorgeous aquamarine sea. Travellers have to fly to neighbouring Skiathos and then take an hour-long ferry ride to Skopelos’ picturesque Greek port. Any travel stress or fatigue is immediately forgotten the instant Skopelos Town comes into view.

The hillside is a vision of white walls and terracotta tiles. The ruins of a Venetian fortress overlook the water and beyond that lie dozens of chapels. And if you are really lucky, the peal of church bells will herald your arrival. It is easy to see why Skopelos port is one of the most beautiful and heart-warming in Greece.

Skopelos’ claim to fame stretches far beyond the fact that it was the setting for the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! Unlike Greece’s other islands, Skopelos lacks the charm of ruins and art galleries. But it makes up for that with dozens of monasteries scattered around the island, particularly in Mount Palouki. Each has a sun-drenched courtyard, a chapel and birds in cages.

The island’s capital of Chora, which is located along a hill slope, offers a fantastic view of the ocean and promises a wonderful afternoon of exploration. For some quiet time, head to the chapel of Agios Ioannis on the north-west of the island. It sits on a 100m rock and is the best-known Mamma Mia! location. There is rarely a crowd there and you may be among the smattering of tourists at the chapel and on the beach below.

The other Mamma Mia! location – the Kastani beach – is another story. It is known as the only place on the entire island that tends to get overcrowded. Other nearby beaches, like Glysteri, are strewn with pebbles but also backed by quiet green hills. Limnonari is likely the only sandy beach you will find close to the town.

But do not limit yourself to just the beaches and monasteries on Skopelos. Go sailing in the region of Northern Sporades, take long nature walks, rent a studio overlooking the water to paint or write or book yourself a holistic retreat.

Whatever you choose, one thing is for certain. The inner glow from a holiday in Skopelos will remain long after your tan has faded.

 

Stay:

Adrina Resort Built on a green slope that leads to the private beach of Adrina. What more could you ask for?

Villa Aetoma One of the best-situated properties on Skopelos on the side of the mountain with a superb view of the harbour yet a stone’s throw from Skopelos Town.

Skopelos Village Hotel 
Where the green forests meet the clear blue sea, and where the natural beauty of Skopelos is reflected on the Aegean waters.

 

Dine:

Aganti Restaurant Glossa There is a very good reason this restaurant has been around long enough to celebrate 60 years of traditional Greek cuisine.

Anna’s Restaurant  The clear fine tastes of ancient Greece accompanied by the best Greek wines.

 

Image credit: Ntino Poulak

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