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Traditional greek hoses on rocky cliff by the sea in skiathos

Compare the best Skiathos holidays

Skiathos has earned a reputation among in-the-know holidaymakers as a well-heeled and beautiful Greek island, where the views, the food and the beaches compete to be the most tantalising part of your sunshine holiday. This is a great island to get away from it all in authentic Greek style.

Why go?

Golden sandy beaches are sandwiched between sparkling blue seas and lush green forests, and the island's charming villages await...

Sitting pretty in the Aegean Sea off the east coast of Greece, the green oasis of Skiathos is a holiday paradise. The setting is uniquely beautiful, and the island attracts a cosmopolitan crowd that appreciates fine Greek cuisine and sophisticated nightlife by night and beaches minus the crowds by day. It's no wonder that the makers of Mamma Mia! shot some scenes for the musical movie starring Meryl Streep here.

Skiathos holidays begin after you've arrived at Skiathos Island Airport (JSI). Once you've reached your holiday resort, unpack your sunshine wardrobe, and then set about discovering one of the island's 60 or so sand and pebble beaches. Perhaps the cliffs and arch formation of stunning Lalaria Beach will have you reaching for the camera? Maybe the beach at Kolios will have you reaching for the sun cream? Wherever you choose to laze on the sand, lie back and soak up the sunshine in this simply stunning part of the world.

The villages of Skiathos are traditional and a world away from high-rise resorts and thumping nightclubs. Here the pace is slower and the locals will welcome you with typically warm Greek hospitality - expect a shot of traditional raki on arrival in your resort.

The most popular resort choices for visitors are Megali Ammos, Vasilias, Achladies, Kanapitsa, Kolios, Platanias, Aghia Paraskevi, Troulos, and Koukounaries.

Staying in the capital, Skiathos Town - the island's only town - is also popular, with shops and stylish bars on the doorstep of your hotel or self-catering accommodation.

The harbour is a wonderful place to spend the evening relaxing in laid-back cafés and bars as the sun sets on the horizon.

When to go?

The resorts are open during the main summer months, but for the rest of the year they are firmly shut and very few holiday here then...

Skiathos is a summer destination, with high rainfall and lower temperatures in the winter months keeping most visitors away. In July and August the island bakes, with average daily temperatures around 30C.

What's on?

The island is sleepy in winter and comes alive at Easter, ready for the summer rush. Get away from the beaches and hills to explore some events...

Holy Week; March/April: The locals go meat free and take the Holy Week rituals very seriously. Visit a church to savour the atmosphere. Note that not all restaurants will be open during this time, partly because the tourist season is not yet in full swing.

Cultural events at the Bourtzi; summer: The Venetian-styled fort hosts a number of events and exhibitions during the summer months, including art, photography and traditional performances. Check the events calendar on arrival.

The Feast of the Virgin Mary; July/August: The whole island joins in the summer celebrations during this annual event. Make sure that you head to the ancient Greek theatre of Limenas to be a part of the action.

What to do?

Skiathos holidays can be quiet and sedate if you wish, or you can pack your days with excursions to some of the island's main attractions...

Bourtzi is the 13th-century Venetian fortress near Skiathos Town (keep an eye out for musical events and concerts held here), while history and intrigue can also be found at the monasteries of Evangelistria and Kounistra. The House of Papadiamantis is the only museum is Skiathos and the former home of poet and writer Alexandros Papadiamantis. Kastro, the old medieval capital, is also worth exploring. You can even hop on a ferry to visit the unspoiled neighbouring islands of Skopelos and Alonissos.

Relaxing: Skiathos isn't short of beautiful beaches for those seeking ultimate relaxation. But if you fancy a day exploring at a leisurely pace, consider an island boat cruise. Trips include visits to Lalaria Beach and sea caves which are both otherwise inaccessible by land.

Active types: Horse riding, scuba diving and mountain biking are all on the menu for sporty types in Skiathos. But if you're looking for something a little gentler, why not discover some of the island's hidden gems by donning your walking boots and going for a hike?

Shopping: Skiathos Town has an impressive variety of shops offering everything from designer labels to traditional Greek wares, textiles and jewellery.