When some place is very close to you, you always put in on the “oh it is here, I have time for it” list or on the “I will visit it when I do not have anything smarter on my mind” one. On top of that if you have ever visited the place (no matter it was ’99 and you were with your parents), you consider it as “checked off the list”, and always prioritize new spots. But as the year, was passing and nothing happened, we spontaneously decided ok it is now or never. The choice was between Thasos or the Sporades islands, and just on an unchecked suggestion that Skiathos is better we decided to go for it.
It was the first time that I didn’t check anything, I mean the most important things the ferry schedule or the ferry price. The only things that I had on my mind were two tsipouro spots in Volos.
With the COVID situation and travel restrictions, Greece was asking for PLF (tracing document) where you don’t need to state the exact address of your stay, but all the cities that you are going to visit, even if you just stop by for a coffee.
DAY 1 – ROAD TRIP TO VOLOS & FERRY TO SKIATHOS
There isn’t anything spectacular on the highway on a friday, so apart from countless paytolls, we reached Volos. And since we realized we have 3 hours to our ferry, we decided to check what is opened. Nothing was opened. Literally except two spots that I found about in an airplane magazine, and i had them on my list. Success. The first one was packed with locals, it was so local that we couldn’t exchange a single word with the hosts, but we ordered tsipouro and ouzo and they started bringing tapas, all for 10 euros. Then we continued to a bit more modern tsipouria, which turned out to be one of the best dishes of the vacation. We ordered “meze prime” and we received octopus head and it was amazing. Then the fastest shopping ever happened as someone only had one pair of swimwear and off to the ferry. Our accomodation was in the area called Kolios, and since we arrived late, we stayed in the area, in a newly opened bar/restaurant Crazy Rooster.
DAY 2 – Beach Agia Paraskevi & Kolios
Our accommodation was in Kolios, village about 10 kilometers far from the capital, therefore we decided to give the car and ourselves rest and visit the walking distance beaches. The closest was the entrance to the Bamboon Beach bar, since all the beds were occupied we opted for the bean bags, frappe and sunscreen. There were some round of cards included. As a lunch spot we chose the Ammos Beach restaurant, which belongs to the Skiathos Princess resort, and we were satisfied with it. Kolios beach was the place for the second part of the day, I preferred the first one of the two, since people were almost parking their cars directly at Kolios beach.
DAY 3 – Beach Agia Eleni & Banana & Krifi Ammos
The day started with we don’t know where we are going, but it is on our list kind of attitude. Initial plan was to visit the north, but suddenly the course of the day changed and we parked at Agia Eleni beach, the beach bar there was pretty basic, we just had a frappe in the shadows and then left, also because it was very kid friendly beach, then 10 minute hike to Mini Banana beach, since we didn’t felt like nudists we continued to the Banana beach. And water and beach wise it was probably the best, but apparently the beach has lost its old-days glory as it was bought by a big boss, and since then the parties arent happening anymore here. It used to be the party beach of the island. Now the sun beds were between 20-50euros. We had a cocktail here and many swims, but decided that we want to explore more in the close area and ended up on Krifi Ammos beach, and it was the best. There is a nice small beach bar, just a few sun beds and not so many people. It was the only beach that we visited twice. The lunch of the day was in the restaurant with the highest review in the area – “Under the Pine tree”, not bad, but also not the best, but the service is extraordinary and the food is overall not expensive. On my “want to go list” was a restaurant/bar called AlaMar, but as we didn’t come back it was left out unseen.
DAY 4 – SKIATHOS castle & KAstro beach
The long awaited North side of the island. The two most famous beaches on this side are Lalaria beach, only accessible by boat and Kastro beach. On the riviera in the city there will be endless offers for this type of tour, but we decided we will just go for one of them. The road to Kastro beach was a bit, let’s say tricky, and on the last stop where the sign Kastro is placed, we decided to continue on foot. I can’t say if the decision was good or bad. If you are coming with an ATV or 4×4 probably you should go for it in all the other cases, I’m not sure. The way down was easy peasy, and the way up was uh i do not even want to comment. You will need a lot of water. The beach itself is nothing special, there aren’t sun beds or umbrellas, so it is up to you to bring one or search for a shadow, and if you are not in the beach bar, there is only one stone that is providing some. Very unlucky coincidence was that this part of the sea was full of medusas at this time of the year, so we didn’t even enjoy the time in the water. On the way back to. the car we did a sightseeing in the Skiathos Castle, the views around it were magnificent. Tired and dehydrated, we decided to give a chance to one of the “city” beaches , so we went to the Achilades Beach, i would just describe it as an average. And the night was for chilling.
DAY 5 – SKopelos
The long awaited Skopelos day. We caught the last train, literally the last opportunity to have a round trip with a ferry, this was possible only on tuesdays. Again we wanted to avoid the tour operators that bring you to the Mama Mia filing locations. Instead we went to the capital, which was magnificent, has skopelos pie, took thousands of photos, rented a quad and visited few beaches, including the most famous from Mama Mia. The water there was amazing, the quad experience was our first of this kind so it was also good, and this was one of our favourite days from the vacation. Real chill happened on the Limonari Beach and i am recommending it 700%. Our visit ended with buying souvenris from the Craft Brewery Spira. And our night with the catch of the day in restaurant Basiliko in Skiathos.
DAY 6 – beach Koukounaries
After a busy day comes a laidback one, and the tourist classic in Skiathos is Koukounaries beach. Sun bed, umbrella, shadow, book, another book, nap and all of that repetitive. A really busy beach with 3 or 4 bars with similar offer. But the night was mega special. Table in Marmita restaurant and full night of enjoyment, everything was on point but the mousakka was simply the star of the night. We’ve tried as much as we could from here and everything was A M A Z I N G.
day 7 – beach Mandraki – Krifi Ammos
The time is ticking and the to -do list as well. I really wanted to check out the north-west beaches, preferably with a hike, but as the temperatures were so high, that was not very smart option. Mandraki Beach is a long white sand beach, with a bar serving hedgehogs, because of the temperatures, we spent all of our time in the bar and not on the beach, we did anyways a hike to the next beach but didnt felt like staying, then it was time for the great return to the beach we liked the most Krifi Amos, and stayed almost till sunset. The hosts in Maria’s bar were also super friendly. On the menu of the night there was gyros and souvlaki.
day 8 – Beach Vasilias – Ferry to volos
Bye Bye day meant, beach closest to the city, and we chose Vasilias. It was surprisingly good. First of all empty, who would thought, for a beach situated right under one of the biggest hotels, Kasandra Bay. The views were also amazing and the water was dark blue, that was the only activity we had time for and off to ferry land, and route back home.
Did we see everything, I do not think so but we saw a lot, we tried most of the good restaurants, and visited Skopelos where I would love to go back one day, so I would say it was a success. Every time we say that next time our agenda will be more chill, but that never happens and I love it.