Skopelos: The Greenest Island of Greece | Hellenic Seaways

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The Greenest Island of Greece

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Discover Skopelos

Skopelos is the second largest island in the Sporades and the greenest in Greece, as 80% of it is covered by virgin pine forest. In 1997 it was declared the “green on blue” island by the Biopolitics International Organization.

Its luxuriant vegetation, with pine trees that come down to the sea, and exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise waters, create a cinematic setting made world-famous by the movie Mamma Mia.

Skopelos also has a significant cultural heritage. The island is well-known from Antiquity for its wine, its long history of pottery and wood carving, and the countless churches that adorn the countryside. Picturesque villages with impressive stone and wood architecture complete the charming mosaic that is Skopelos.

Romantic and traditional, but also cosmopolitan, Skopelos is a timeless attraction for families and couples looking for a quiet vacation, wonderful swimming, good food, outdoor activities, and enchanting sunsets.

5 memorable experiences on Skopelos
  1. If you choose one of the itineraries to Skopelos, don’t miss the opportunity to admire its ecclesiastical architecture, as the island has in excess of 360 churches and chapels.
  2. The outstanding exhibitions at the Photography Festival organised by the Skopelos Photography Centre every July.
  3. A romantic walk from the quaint church of the Virgin Mary of the Tower (at the edge of the port) to the 13th-century Venetian castle of Gizi. With every step, the vastness of the Aegean unfolds before your eyes.
  4. Buying a traditional handcrafted item from the workshops of local artists. Skopelos is renowned for its hand-forged knives, miniature wooden boats, and painted ceramic plates.
  5. Enjoying the glorious sunset on Panormos Beach, where the sun paints the sea golden before disappearing below the horizon.
Beaches of Skopelos

Skopelos has some of the most attractive beaches in the Aegean, with dense vegetation that comes down to the crystal-clear sea. In addition to the famous Kastani, it is worth discovering:

  • The popular and pine-covered Stafylos, with caves that are great for exploring. A stone’s throw from Skopelos Town, it has amenities including a beach bar.
  • The youth-oriented Milia with its amazing sea and fantastic views of the island of Dasia.
  • The gorgeous Velanio, with its abundant pine forest, a favourite of nudists. There is a cave at one end of the beach.
  • The sheltered and verdant Panormos, with its enchanting sunsets, water sports, and the many idyllic coves known as the Mikres Andrines.
  • The superb Limnonari Bay, with its white sand and emerald waters.

Discover the most alluring crystal-clear blue-green waters by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Skopelos.

Postcards from Skopelos: 10 things not to miss

Skopelos Town
Built across three hills, the island’s capital is a protected settlement full of atmosphere, with whitewashed cobbled streets, classic white houses with stone roofs and hanging balconies, and an extraordinary 123 churches!

The Chapel of Saint John on Kastri
Perched at the top of a 100-metre-high rock that juts out into the sea, this stunning chapel achieved worldwide fame in the wedding scene in Mamma Mia. With magnificent views of the Aegean, it can be reached by a stone path of 112 steps carved out of the rock.

The National Marine Park of Alonissos and the Northern Sporades
The largest protected marine park in Europe and the world’s largest habitat of the Mediterranean monk seal is just a short distance from Skopelos. Discover a landscape of unparalleled virgin beauty full of treasures such as the ancient sunken city off the islet of Psathoura and the beaches of Kyra Panagia.

Ancient Selinounta
The ruins of the acropolis of ancient Selinounta on Paleokastro Hill in the Loutraki area testify to the greatness of a city that spanned the ancient Greek and Roman eras from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Visitors can explore the walls of the castle, the 5th-century-BC sanctuary of the goddess Athena, and the Roman baths.

Skopelos Folklore Museum
Housed in a restored 18th-century mansion in the centre of Skopelos Town, the museum’s excellent collection of everyday objects covers two centuries of the island’s history.

One of the prettiest villages in the Sporades stands out for its characteristic Macedonian architecture and a lifestyle that seems unchanged by time. Situated at the top of a 300-metre hill, it is among the most beautiful vantage points from which to see the sunset with views of the Aegean. Women of the village still wear the traditional island dress.

Kastani Beach
A harmonious arrangement of white sand, turquoise sea, and pine-covered hills that come down to the water’s edge make this one of the island’s most exotic beaches. It was used as a location for Mamma Mia.

The Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation
Built on the verdant northern slope of Mount Palouki, this imposing monastery stands out for its fortified architecture, gilded wooden icon screen, and the 16th-18th century icons that adorn its walls. The area is scattered with monasteries and churches of the same period in spectacular settings that make it seem as if they are suspended between the sea and the sky. They include the Monasteries of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Barbara, and the Holy Taxiarch.

Dragon’s Cleft
This steep gorge of astounding natural beauty ends in a small beach. According to a local myth, the rocky fissure was created when a dragon tried to escape from Saint Riginos by jumping from its nest into the sea. Located on the road between Stafylos and Amarantos, it can only be seen properly from above.

The Sedoukia
These four remarkable stone tombs on Mount Delfi date back to the late Roman period and, legend has it, belonged to pirates. The spot can be reached by a hike along a stone path.

Tastes of Skopelos

Skopelos is celebrated for its traditional cuisine and pies, most notably the cheese pie, which is coiled into a spiral and fried, and makes an ideal snack. There is also onion pie (baked or fried, including soft mizithra cheese, fermented grain and eggs) and pumpkin pie (made with rice).

Also try rofos stifado (a kind of fish stew), cod with plums, beef or pork with quinces or plums, stuffed squid, shellfish with rice, stuffed sea urchins, lobster yiouvetsi (cooked in a tomato sauce), and crab with orzo.

If you fancy something sweet, sample the famous hamalia (confectionery made from almond paste), rozedes (hamalia with walnuts), katsares (pancakes with honey and almonds), and fouskakia (bubble-shaped doughnuts).

The island produces a variety of plum called avgato, from which an excellent preserve is made.

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