A popular excursion when visiting Skiathos is to go island hopping to the neighbouring islands of Skopelos and Alonissos. Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos are part of a cluster of Greek islands known as The Sporades, located in the Aegean sea. Skiathos is actually smaller than the other islands but Skiathos is the only one with an airport.
You can reach the islands by ferry, from Skiathos old port, and a popular option is to stay a couple of nights on each island. It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Skopelos from Skiathos and 2 hours from Skiathos to Alonissos.
Both islands absolutely took my breath away and if I was ever to go back, I’d definitely want to do a bit of island hopping to explore more of what Skopelos and Alonissos have to offer.
Both islands were absolutely beautiful, so expect *plenty* of photos!
Skopelos is actually twice the size of Skiathos but has a lot fewer people and fewer beaches too. You’ll arrive by ferry, from Skiathos, to a beautiful scene of white houses, scattered along the hills. The harbour is postcard perfect and there are lots of restaurants along the waterfront which are great spots for having a Greek coffee and doing a bit of people watching.
We had a little wander around the old town, getting lost down side streets and making friends with all the stray cats. Skopelos is a labyrinth, but it was designed this way to confuse pirates, who used to come onto the island to rob the locals.
Skopelos grows olives, walnuts, almonds and prunes so it is important to get your hands on some locally grown produce. Try the walnut cake with ice-cream or the local marzipan which is made with both almonds and walnuts. They also have a famous Skopelos cheese pie – feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry, shaped like a spiral and deep fried. You have to *really* like feta to enjoy it, it wasn’t too my taste, but David enjoyed it.
You will also see the pottery that is unique to the island, local shops have pottery with wonderfully colourful designs. Have a wander around the side streets, find some boutique shops and shop to your heart’s content!
If you would rather sunbathe or go swimming, there is a couple of beaches about 10 minutes away from the harbour. We didn’t go there ourselves, but I heard they are beautiful.
Alonissos is the furthest island away from Skiathos, 2 hours from Skiathos and 40 minutes from Skopelos. It is also bigger than Skiathos, but has a much smaller population, with only 2000 people living there.
Nature has taken over on Alonissos, with beautiful lush greenery covering every inch of the island. The old village of Alonissos is on top of a mountain, which can be reached by a 10-minute bus journey. People lived here until 1965 but there was an earthquake, which meant everyone got moved down to the harbour. The old town still retains its authenticity and offers some incredible views across the whole of the island – there are a couple of bars right at the top of the mountain and it’s very special to have a drink overlooking the whole island!
Down on the port, there is a small beach and plenty of waterfront bars and restaurants. It’s very cheap to eat and drink here – a welcome change to the more expensive Skiathos.
If history is more your thing, there is a museum near the harbour which showcases the history of the island and what the pirates left behind. Entry is 4euros.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the beautiful islands of Skopelos and Alonissos and would desperately want to return to Skiathos so I can also do a stay at the neighbouring islands. Skopelos is postcard perfect and I could get lost in all of the side streets for hours. If you are visiting Skiathos, make sure you add on an island hopping experience. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you visited any of the islands of the North Sporades before? Any other Greek islands I should add to my list?
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