It may be the smallest of the Sporades Islands but Skiathos (approximately 12km by 6km) with its sheltered south coast and naturally scenic north coast is the most famous, notably for its delightfully pretty beaches of which there are more than sixty. Koukounaries beach in the southwest, at the end of the main coast road from Skiathos Town, is the most attractive; it is named after the surrounding pine trees and boasts golden sands and clear Aegean waters along a shoreline more than a kilometre long.

As with many Greek island beaches, there are tavernas and bars plus sun umbrellas and watersports aplenty. In addition to the stunning coastline, Skiathos enjoys some interesting history principally as a resting place for travellers including those battling against Troy, and Jason and his Argonauts. Skiathos Town, the capital, is built on two hills and the iconic Bourtzi fortress, originally a Venetian Citadel, sits on a tiny peninsula between two harbours.

The town’s narrow streets are lined with whitewashed houses and crammed with geranium and bougainvillea. From the town, transport by bus is frequent and easy along the south coast, by boat there are unmissable day and sunset trips and, by ferry, thrice-daily 90 minute transfers to Skopelos.

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