Sporades


The Sporades is an island group east of the Greek mainland and north from Athens. There are four main islands; Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros. The number of tourists visiting the island has gone up significantly in the past 20 years. One of the reasons is probably the airport that was built on Skiathos in 1983.

Alonissos
Picture: Marco Forante - Fotolia.com

Because of the proximity to Athens the islands are popular with Athenians. Especially in summer they literally invade the island on weekends. For probably this very reason there are few foreign tourists visiting the islands. If you are planning a visit try coming during the week rather than the weekend.

The Sporades are easy to reach from the mainland. Ferries to the island go from Agios Konstantinos, Volos and Thessaloniki. As you would expect the islands are also connected with each other. The regular ferries tend to be a lot cheaper than the fast boats. If you got plenty of time I suggest using regular ferries. They are far more comfortable.

Skiathos is the most important island within the group. 5000 people live there. The island is well known for the fine sandy beaches and clean water. The 800 meters long Koukounaries Beach is considered the most beautiful among the over 50! beaches but this popularity comes at a price. In summer it is packed with people. The local capital is called Skiathos as well. It is a busy small town. It is quite charming and the restaurants and tavernas are excellent. Skiathos also has an airport.

Skiathos
Picture: Susen Heyde - Fotolia.com

Skopelos (3500 inhabitants) is only 7 kilometers away from Skiathos. The island is well known for excellent beaches. Most of the island is covered in Pine forests. The local capital (Skophelos) is picturesque. There are over 100 hundred churches in chapels which is astonishing considering the size of the town. The second bigger settlement on the island is Loutraki. It is the islands main port. Worth visiting is the acropolis of Selinoutra nearby.

Skopelos in Greece
Picture: Stelios Filippou - Fotolia.com

Alonnisos (2800 inhabitants) is a prime spot for hiking. It is not as densely populated as the other islands.

Skyros (2500 inhabitants) is somewhat further away from the mainland than the other islands. It is the biggest of the islands. Since a little bit more difficult to reach than the other Sporades it is a lot less touristy. It is a fine spot for hiking.

Skyros
Picture: Dimitrios Rizopoulos - Fotolia.com

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