This mountainous Greek Island in the North Aegean Sea is surrounded by turquoise waters, the wooded coastline is covered with olive groves, orchards and pine forests, all honeycombed with scenic walking trails. And along the coast, beaches come in every shape and form, from pebbly bays with mountain views, to cliff-framed coves that can only be reached by boat.
Skopelos showcases some of the most unspoiled scenery in the Aegean, draped in virgin pinewoods and fringed by sandy bays.
Known as the “Green and Blue” for its natural beauty, with mountain slopes clothed in pine forests rising from pebble beaches and turquoise water.
Skopelos' stunning beaches and iconic clifftop church of Agios Ioannis Kastri were the backdrop and setting for the Mamma Mia film.
The island’s capital, Skopelos Town, lets you take it easy by day, and let your hair down at night. The town is bracketed by pea-green hills, and full of faded white cottages that tumble down to the waterfront. Kastro, which is the name of the town’s old quarter, is set up high on the hilltop. Follow the stepped alleyways up to its Venetian castle, where the sea views stretch out for miles. Come nightfall, the whole city springs into life, with people spilling out of the tiny bars and restaurants.
Head south from Skopelos Town, and you’ll stumble upon the village of Stafilos. It’s nestled in the middle of a valley, and the whole place is blanketed in pine trees. As for what’s here, there’s simply a scattering of bougainvillea-smothered shops and houses, which huddle around a sandy bay. Glossa, in the north-west of the island, offers the best window into the Greece of yesterday. This picturesque hamlet is packed with rainbow-coloured window shutters and Venetian towers that march down to the sea with an unhurried vibe is right out of a history book.
The Island of Skopelos is bursting at the seams with authenticity.
Skopelos is the ideal island to enjoy various activities, such as sightseeing, mountain bike tours, hiking, sailing, yoga. The island is a green and blue paradise, where the green mountains and the blue sea come together, making a colourful visual feast.
The dense pine forests of Skopelos mix with the deep blue of the sea, creating a picture of amazing natural beauty. This is an idyllic place to relax in crystal beaches, such as Stafilos, Panormos, Agnondas, Milia, and others. Glossa has perhaps the finest views on the entire place of the Minoan King Stafilos. This site is also where a royal tomb has been found containing various objects of great value as weapons, gold jewellery, vases and a golden sword attributed to Stafilos. Traces of an ancient settlement have also been excavated on the headland.
They are great for a stroll while hiking paths in the centre of the island lead to monasteries and chapels. Such a chapel is the most famous site in Skopelos today: the chapel of Saint John Kastri, also known as the Mamma Mia church, after shots of the famous Hollywood movie was filmed there.
Like most other Greek islands, Skopelos’ origins are shrouded in mythological narrative. Aficionados of Greek storytelling will remember that the god of wine, Dionysus, fathered several sons, one of whom, Staphylus, founded Skopelos. With such lineage at play it should come as little surprise to learn that the island soon achieved fame for the quality of its wine.
While little wine is produced today, Skopelos’ unspoilt and fertile land continues to give up its natural bounty. Olives, plums and almonds, amongst others, are cultivated throughout the island, and bee-keeping traditions ensure that honey is in plentiful supply. Sheep and goats graze on the plentiful grass and a local version of feta cheese is produced from their milk.
Despite coming to the attention of the world after several scenes of Mamma Mia! were filmed there, Skopelos remains a humble, genuine and hospitable island where the simple pleasures of life reign supreme.
The town of Skopelos (known as Chora by the locals) is the capital and the largest settlement on the island. The old part of the town is built on slopes of two hills and most of the streets are steep and narrow. On the top of the town lies the remains fo a Kastro - Venetian fortress. In 1978 the town was declared and traditional settlement of outstanding beauty by a presidential decree and all the houses are now restored or built in the traditional way for the region; white facades, red tiled roofs, wooden balconies and blue stylе window covers.
Biking, birdwatching, or just hiking
An increasing number of visitors are exploring the wonders of Skopelos beyond its beaches and harbour cafes. The expanding network of vehicle-free kalderimi stone paths is taking them deep into its primeval forests, and up into its spectacular mountain fastnesses, to hike or just picnic, bird watching, plant-spotting or simply marvelling at the views (the cooling natural – and drinkable – spring at Ayia Anna is just one of the island’s many poorly kept secrets). While it is not recommended in the heart of midday or high summer, the best way to explore the island is off-road, by foot, bike or mountain bike, at the speed nature intended.
Location : Stafilos
Drakontoschisma is an impressive rock that looks as if it has been cut by a person. The access is only possible from the sea
Fishing for supper or just getting to know the locals
The keen early morning bargaining around the kaikia along the quays proves that the fishing fleets of Skopelos are still a going concern. Restaurants and even individual households buy direct from the boat, as do some visitors. Some holidaymakers even bring or buy a rod to catch their own supper along the beaches and quays, and chartered deep-sea fishing trips are also an option here. A few words of Greek will win you new friends wherever you go.
Private boat trips
A private boat trip is a special and unique experience for each new visitor to Skopelos. Chartered trips allow visitors to explore the natural beauty, sandy pebbly beaches and rocky coves, and the crystal, clear waters of Skopelos and the neighbouring islands. All of these hidden treasures are accessible only through Skopelos Island boat tours.
Enjoy a boat trip exploring beautiful destinations and crystal blue waters of the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos on the wonderful “Bayliner”!
The departure time from the starting point is at 09:00 with a return time of 17:00, about 8 hours of whole enjoyment and absolute relaxation. The boat trip on the “Bayliner” is ideal for a family or group of friends, without any age restrictions for the members. It is available on a private basis while guests can work with the captain and customise the itinerary (within the time-frame and miles included). Final itinerary is dependent on weather conditions on the date of the trip.
“wander through Skopelos old town (Chora)”
The houses rising up from the port are built in the venetian style with balconies and terracotta roof tiles. Connecting them is a network of narrow stone paved paths, ideal for wandering on foot and cool in the summer sun. You can follow the harbour along past the tours and pretty fishing boats and climb the steps to the Church of the Virgin Mary at the end of the harbour. If you are ready to continue uphill you will pass two more small churches after which you will arrive at the ruins of the Venetian Castle and will be rewarded with stunning views over the town. There is a lovely cafe at the top for a cooling drink or coffee.
“Taste the local and delicious food”
There are plenty of typical local Greek dishes to try whilst you are on Skopelos, a lot of seafood with some local specialities to choose from.
In the past Skopelos island was famous for its plums which would be dried and exported all over the world. They can still be found in local delicatessens around the island and in dishes of rabbit or pork which will be slow roasted with prunes; delicious! Local honey is widely used; you will find it drizzled on Greek yoghurt at breakfast (our favourite), on deserts or used to drench almond cake. Another noteable Skopelos speciality is “Strifti Pie” coiled into a spiral with a filling of goats cheese or spinach and deep fried.
If you visit the town of Glossa you will find the Antoniou family olive oil mill and museum on the outskirts of town where you can taste and buy their cold pressed oil made from the local fruit.
“Have lunch at the beautiful port of Agnontas”
A short drive to the South side of the island from Skopelos town is the pretty fishing port of Agnontas. A perfect place for a long lazy Greek lunch in one of the tavernas and a swim in the clear waters.
Carry on along the small road at the end of the town that follows the coastline, there are numerous swimming spots to delight along the Amarandos Cape. Two pines sitting on top of a rocky outcrop with two turquoise inlets below make one of Skopelos most photographed views. A place used by the filmmakers in Mamma Mia whilst Sophie spends the day sailing with her three fathers!
The legend says that on the location Sendoukia at Mount Karia, Skopelos, there are the graves of pirates. In fact, on this spot, there are ancient graves carved on the rocks.
Location : Town
The Venetian Castle is located in the main town. It is built on the ancient ruins of the city of Peparithos. It was built on this hill during the domination of the Ghisi family, during the 13th century A.D.
Location : Glossa
The Gourouni Lighthouse, on the northern part of Skopelos, is one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece, built in 1889.
What Skopelos lacks in ruins, museums and art galleries, it more than makes up for with monasteries. There are dozens scattered around the island, including perhaps 10 on Mount Palouki alone. They make for a perfect ecclesiastical crawl. Each monastery comprises sun trap courtyards, a dusky chapel filled with glittering icons and intricate altar linen, and chirping birds in cages. Some – such as Evangelismos, built in 1712 and the only one visible from town; 16th-century Sotiris, and Prodromos can be reached by car, but the dirt road soon becomes a donkey track, so it is better to walk.
From Sotiris, you can join the T1 walking path (there are three other marked routes on the island). It meanders up the mountain, and darts in and out of the forest — ensuring moments of blessed relief from the summer heat. It’s a wonderful route, overwhelmingly green, teeming with life and with dramatic views of Alonnisos, the next island in the Sporades archipelago, yet remains largely untrodden.
Skopelos Monastery of Evangelistria
The Monastery of Evangelistria is located just 3.5 km east of Skopelos Town, the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria is among the most important post-Byzantine monuments in Skopelos island. The monastery was originally constructed in 1712 and in the middle of the 18th century, it was renovated by the local noble family of Daponte.
The Monastery of Evangelistria, on the slopes of Mount Palouki, distinguished for its architecture that looks like a fortress and for its 18th century wooden-carved iconostasis that was constructed in a workshop in Constantinople. The monastery hosts valuable Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons. Located on the slopes of a hill, the monastery offers an amazing view to Skopelos Town and the Aegean Sea.
Monastry of Timios Prodromos
The temple of the church which is made up of wood and gold and is beautifully ornate with vines, animals and birds.
Skopelos Monastery of Agia Varvara
The Monastery of Agia Varvara is located about 6km North of Skopelos Town, close to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis. It is the oldest monastery of the island built in 1648. It is surrounded by strong walls and its fabulous location offers an amazing view to the sea, assuming that it was probably used as a lookout post for enemies. Its fortress architecture is quite well-preserved.
The church of Agia Varvara has a cross-like dome and a beautiful, wooden temple with three gates: one dedicated to Agia Varvara, the second to the Circumcision of the Christ and the third to Agios Charalambos. Today the monastery is abandoned but it is well worth visiting and admire the rare Byzantine icons and lovely frescoes from the 15th century.
Location : Kastri
The small church of Agios Ioannis is located in the region of Kastri, about 7 km east of Glossa, northern Skopelos. This lovely church stands on top of a rock and provides an amazing view to the coasts of Skopelos and to Alonissos. Its name actually means Saint John on the Castle, assuming that probably there was a small castle there in the past to protect the island from pirates and enemy invasions.
This small church gained a huge reputation after the Hollywood movie Mamma Mia was released, where many scenes from the wedding were actually filmed there. The impressive rock is linked to the rest of the island through a narrow path with 110 steps carved into the stone. A small beach is formed right beneath the rock and it gets pretty crowded in summer. The interior of the church has beautiful icons and old ecclesiastical items to see.
“Visit the Mamma Mia chapel and beaches”
Ever since the island was used as a location for the hit film Mamma Mia in 2007 many people have visited the island and marvelled at its beauty. One location on the film was the chapel of Agios Ioannis featured in the wedding. Climb the 110 steps to the tiny chapel and you will be rewarded by stunning views of the rocky coastline and the beaches below.
The Ionisi has a spectacular beachfront position nestled in a lush pine-tree forest at one end of the Blue Flag-certified Panormos Beach.
A Greek island is nothing without its beaches and while those on Skopelos are largely shingle or pebble, they are picturesque backed by rocky green hills and are super quiet.
With a coastline of mostly steep cliffs, the island's beaches have a special importance and are noted for their immaculate condition. The hillsides are made up of wild flowers and fruit trees, olive groves and pines, and are dotted with small churches and whitewashed monasteries. The only sounds are the bells of wandering goats and the calls of birds, and everywhere you look there are dramatic views across the Aegean Sea to neighbouring islands.
The closest to the capital is Glysteri, on the road north out of town and reached via a scented valley dotted with olive trees, however the best beaches are found on the west coast. Limnonari on the coastal road north from Agnontas, hemmed in by rocky headland, is as close to a truly sandy beach as you’ll find. Kastani, a key Mamma Mia! location is equally pretty – however it is the only place on the entire island that gets overcrowded.
For real solitude rent a motorboat from Panormos and head North – you’ll find beautiful spots all the way up the coast (such as Hovolo, Ftelia and Neraki) that are inaccessible to cars and subsequently occupied only by other couples who have rented motorboats.
Skopelos Town beach The main beach of Skopelos Town lies near the ferry quay. This is a modern section that concentrates many accommodation options, as well as the taverns and the nightlife of the island. However, the beach itself does not look very appealing, as it has some pollution signs, mainly because of its closeness to the port. In addition, it has pebbles of all sizes and it is not very well reputed when it comes to swimming. However, one good reason to visit the beach is the ruins of the ancient temple of Asklepios, just 200m to the east of the port.
On the far northeast of Skopelos is the secluded sandy beach of Perivolou surrounded by pine trees reaching the level of the sea and impressive rock formations. This beach is reachable by foot or boat. It is located 4 km from Glossa and 30 km north west of Skopelos Town.
Limnonari This small lovely sandy beach is hidden in a magnificent cove a short distance northwest of Agnondas and can be reached by foot from a path overlooking the sea or by little boat (caique). Because the bay is surrounded by pine trees the waters of Limnonari appear to be green. Sun beds, umbrellas and a waterside tavern can be found there.
Agios Ioannis: is one of the most picturesque locations in Skopelos. Its crystal waters and the natural beauty are some of the features that characterize this region, which is found 30 km north west of Skopelos town and 8 km from Glossa village.
Like most of the beaches on the island, Agios Ioannis beach is gifted with turquoise waters and a majestic landscape. Usually, it doesn't get very crowded and has no tourist facilities around. There is the church of Agios Ioannis perched high on the rocks overlooking the small cove and pffering a breathtaking view to the coasts of Skopelos and Alonissos.
The church and the beach of Agios Ioannis have become famous after the American movie Mamma Mia.
Loutraki : The beach in Glossa is called Loutraki and it is located 25km to the north-west of Skopelos town. The trip by car or bus takes approximately 45 minutes, through a mountainous area. The beach is pebbled and quite steep. It is not a highly developed tourist resort but known for its beauty and tranquility. All the necessary facilities you may need are found in the nearby village of Glossa or around the port of Loutraki. If you like history, there are the ruins of the ancient town of Selinus close to the beach.
Elios beach : Elios is where the island's patron saint Reginus is believed to have delivered his flock from a fearsome dragon. The beach is located 19 km west of Skopelos Town. The beach is pleasant enough but this part of the island is intermittently affected by deep earthly rumblings. The unsightly village was created after the 1965 earthquake dislodged the hillside village of old Klima.
You can drive right up to it and it is the only one with shower facilities. The village has plenty of taverns and mini markets. There are also many sand and shingle coves along the coast like the beach at Hovolo.
Agnondas is on a paved road from Stafilos beach leads to a beautiful bay and beach. The name Agnondas was given to the bay, during antiquity, by its inhabitants to honour Agnodas who won a race at the Olympic Games in 569 BC.
Agnondas is the third port of Skopelos where ships and ferries anchor when the winds prevent them from reaching the other ports of the island. It is a picturesque coastal settlement built around a beautiful region of pine trees forests.
The pristine beaches with the emerald waters and the impressive surroundings charm every visitor. At the port of the settlement many boats moor and private yachts during the summer season. It is located 8 km south of Skopelos Town.
Milia is at the north side of Skopelos, amidst the pine tree forests is the famous and beautiful beach of Milia, a long, white sandy shore that stretches for nearly a km alongside the enchanting landscape.
Milia is located 13 km west of the capital and is extremely beautiful with glimmering white sand and turquoise waters, ideal for swimming and diving. The beach offers some rental facilities like sunbeds and umbrellas and a nice beach bar serving cold drinks and snacks.
Right opposite the marvellous beach is the verdant islet called Dassia, adding to the idyllic scenery. A nice beach bar, sun beds and umbrellas are located in the middle of Milia. It is It is usually affected by the strong winds.
Kastani is one of the loveliest beaches in Skopelos, with lovely crystal waters and white sand, located 15 km west of Skopelos Town. It has a remarkable environment surrounded by pine trees that reach the edge of the shore.
Its majestic landscape has made a worldwide tour with the American film "Mamma Mia", most of the scenes were shot here. Kastani becomes busy in summer, but not as busy as Elios or Klima. A sloping dirt road, just 500 meters from the bus route, will lead you to the beach.
Stafilos is one of the closest beaches to Skopelos Town. Just 5 km away from the capital, the stunning bay is accessible by local bus or private car. A nice fish tavern welcomes the visitors and some wooden steps lead down to the lovely pebbled bay with fine grey sand and crystal clear waters. It is a really beautiful beach that is also listed among the most incredible beaches of Greece.
Stafilos offers some rental facilities and a nice beach bar with cold drinks and snacks. It is partly organized, meaning that the other half of the beach is totally unspoilt. The beach is actually one of the most popular places for swimming for its crystalline bay and its close proximity to the town. This bay owes its name to the Minoan king Stafilos who was supposed to have disembarked in this lovely cove.
Armenopetra is a beautiful and unspoilt beach that is possibly unknown to most visitors. It is located 20km from Skopelos Town, between the villages Palio Klima and Elios. It stretches for many meters and when there is no wind, it is a calm place with splendid blue waters.
Armenopetra is a favorite spot for families, due to the shallow and the crystal clear water. It is also ideal to appreciate the picturesque landscape of Skopelos and to enjoy some privacy. There are no umbrellas or sunbeds but within a short distance of 3km, you will reach Glossa, a village that will provide you with all the amenities. The road to access the beach is quite narrow and winding.
Adrina is a walk through the woods north of Panormos and towards Milia will lead you to the beautiful area known as Adrina with it’s has many small and isolated coves, often deserted and surrounded by pines. The only access now is a footpath from Panormos beach or by boat.
Velanio is located 5 km south east of Skopelos town and near the village of Stafilos, where a footpath leads directly to the beach. It is definitely one of the nicest beaches of the island with calm crystal waters and unusually on Skopelos, fine golden sand. It is protected from the strong winds. This beautiful beach is surrounded by mountains and pine forests. It is the only official nudist beach on the island and a real marvel. Take plenty of water and a picnic.
Glyfoneri or sometime called Agios Constantinos, is a lovely little beach around 2kms North of Skopelos Town. It has limited parking. It is looked after by a charming old gentleman who always gives you some fruit and provides sun loungers, sun shades, a basic shower and changing hut. The sea is crystal clear with a sandy bottom for approximately 15 feet and is completely safe for children.
On the road just above the beach Is a delightful taverna for lunch or an evening meal run by Mrs Stella. The food is wonderful with fresh ingredients, the vegetables and fruit come straight from the garden outside. You certainly wont be disappointed !
Hovolo is rated among the most beautiful beaches of Skopelos due to its crystalline waters and the peaceful environment. It is located at the western coast of the island, 18 km from Skopelos Town. Actually there are three amazing coves in the region of Hovolo, each one with its own unique beauty. They are all surrounded by huge rocks with sparse vegetation that reach the shore.
The crystal water creates a perfect combination with the remarkable rocky landscape. You will not find watersports facilities or beach bars but peace and quiet, as in most of Skopelos beaches. You have the opportunity to wander around the coves and discover the natural beauties of Hovolo. You will find some traditional taverns along the beach serving delicious dishes. Hovolo is close to the popular beach of Elios.
There is something about arriving by ferry at a picturesque Greek port that has an immediately relaxing effect. Arrival at Skopelos is no different. Reached by hydrofoil or ferry from Skiathos, stepping onto Skopelos feels like you have shed all of your former stresses and hang-ups and entered a world of simple, timeless pleasures: translucent waters, cerulean skies, star-filled nights and good food and wine in friendly company.
The steep winding warren of Skopelos Town and the intimate tavernas under the lights of the waterfront are part of the changeless pleasures of Greek island life.
Skopelos Town is 16 km away from The Ionisi and is easily accessible via the bus that stops just outside the hotel and travels around the island.
Located in the centre of the North Aegean Pelagos in the Northern Sporades, Skopelos is easy to get to from various points by air and sea.
Skopelos does not have an airport, but you can fly to Skiathos Airport - Skiathos National Airport Papadiamantis JSI airport. The airport for Skiathos is just 3 km from the port which takes just (5 minutes by car). During the summer visitors can access Skiathos and onward to Skopelos from all over the world with a combination of scheduled flights.
The following cities have flights to JSI (Skiathos Airport):
Amsterdam, Oslo, Belgrade, Berlin, Vienna, Bucharest, Gothenburg, Zurich, Copenhagen Larnaca, London, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stavanger, Stockholm, Stuttgard, Trondheim, Frankfurt.
Skiathos national airport is a small airport that meets the needs of the Northern Sporades (Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos). Skiathos is around 3km from the port of Skiathos. There are no other means than by taxi to go to or from the airport. The taxi rank is located just outside the airport. The fare is around €6.00. From Skiathos port there are frequent ferries to Skopelos as well as water taxis that make it even easier for you to travel.
The following airlines fly into Skiathos (JSI) airport:
British Airways London to Skiathos
TUI from Birmingham (BHX) to Skiathos (JSI)
TUI from Bristol (BRS) to Skiathos (JSI)
TUI East Midlands (EMA) to Skiathos (JSI)
TUI London Gatwick (LGW) to Skiathos (JSI)
Jet 2 from Manchester (MAN) to Skiathos (JSI)
Jet 2 from Stansted (STA) to Sklathos (JSI)
TUI from Newcastle (NCL) to Skiathos (JSI)
Air Berlin Vienna (Austria), Zurich (Switzerland), Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Nuremburg (Germany)
Lauda Air Vienna (Austria)
Condor Munchen (Germany)
Transavia Amsterdam (Holland)
Blu Express Rome (Italy)
Skopelos is easy to reach from Athens from the three ports of Evia Mantoudi, Agios Konstantinos and Evia Kimi by boat, especially in summer when ferry companies add to their schedules. Skopelos has three ports : Skopelos (Skopelos Town) South East of the island, Glossa Town (Loutraki) and Agnontas Port.
Aegean Flying Dolphins
This lush island has a full season May - September, so its important to book your crossing in good time. Contact us for further information.