Where to Stay on Skiathos: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

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Heading to the Greek island of Skiathos this year? Here’s a complete rundown on where to stay on Skiathos to help you choose which area of the island to choose, which town, resort or beach is for you, and the best beach hotels – whether you’re booking DIY accommodation or looking for a package vacation.

This resort guide will cover:

  • which part of Skiathos island to stay in
  • where to stay in Skiathos Town
  • Skiathos’ main beach resorts; the best places to stay for sandy beaches and good value package deals
  • a rundown of the quieter resorts and village on Skiathos and villages; the best places to stay for couples, families and nature

SKIATHOS OVERVIEW

WHICH PART OF SKIATHOS TO STAY IN?

  • NORTH – wild and forested with dirt tracks and remote beaches, no beach resorts
  • SOUTH – Skiathos Town and all of the beach resorts are located on the south coast and linked by bus
  • WEST – the blockbuster beaches plus walks through Mandraki forest
  • EAST – the airport landing strip separates Skiathos Town from the Punta peninsula, Xanemos beach and a cluster of 4 small islets

Skiathos island is green and lush with lots of off-road tracks, but hilly rather than mountainous. It’s about 7 miles long with over 60 beaches.

The capital – Skiathos Town, or Chora – is on the south coast, with most of the beach resorts to its’ west of it but along the south coast’s main road.

Skiathos is popular with package tour operators (particularly UK) thanks to its international airport and generous sandy beaches, but most of the rooms (and nightlife) are in and around the Skiathos Town area. The beach resorts themselves are small and quiet. You’ll definitely feel the presence of the English but it’s not overrun with ‘English Breakfast’ signs, and the scale of development is low key with few hotel monstrosities.

It’s affectionately referred to as the ‘boomerang island’ for the number of return visitors it gets.

Much of island’s accommodation is of the old-fashioned variety, which is good news for those who don’t like change in their destinations. Prices are low, on the whole. Gentrification is on the march though – most obviously at the Elivi end of Koukounaries which is obviously targeting the Mykonos crowd.

During July and August, the visitor numbers swell with Greek mainlanders on their summer holidays, particularly the younger crowd who come for the beach bars and Skiathos Town’s late night vibes.

Koukounaries beach
Koukounaries beach

HOW TO GET THERE: Skiathos is a 25-minute flight from Athens. Alternatively, there are 3 different ways to catch a ferry: from Volos, from Agios Konstantinos and from Mantoudi on Evia. Check Ferries in Greece for schedules and times.

Skiathos has an international airport. It’s is a 25-minute flight from Athens. Return flights to/from London are usually with charter airlines and cost £150+ but keep an eye on Skyscanner to find the cheapest fares.

HOW TO GET AROUND:

Skiathos also has an excellent bus service, one of the best on the islands. Plus water taxis run between Skiathos Town and the main beaches in the summer. 

You’ll only need to hire wheels if you want to get to the off-road tracks and secluded beaches on the north coast. Unless you’re familiar with riding a quad or a scooter then I wouldn’t recommend it – every year sees many injuries, plus many insurance policies don’t cover it – instead, rent a Jimny 4×4.

BOAT TAXIS AND TRIPS:

The following have water taxi service in high season:

  • Vassilias
  • Achladies
  • Kanapitsi/Tzaneria
  • Vromolimnos
  • Koukounaries
Blue shuttered white buildings at Skiathos Old Port
Skiathos Town

SKIATHOS TOWN

Skiathos Town is the island’s lively capital and home to most of the island’s resident populations. The focal point of the old town is the Bourtzi island fortress and the Old Port. 

The main street is Papadiamantis Street, which starts just opposite where the ferries dock. Here you’ll find cafes offering breakfast and fruit juices, cheap souvlaki joints, souvenir shops and floaty summer clothing. There are also some lively evening bars which can get quite noisy into the early hours during the summer. 

Between Papadiamanti Street and the Old Port are the prettiest old town streets, with blue woodwork accents, red tiled roofs, tumbling bougainvillaea and a selection of tavernas and jewellery shops. Head right up to the Plakes area to find the quieter sections of the old town.

The ‘club strip’ is on the airport road – Ammoudia – with large open-air clubs and outdoor cafes where people congregate to watch the planes come in.

To get a feel of Skiathos Town see Skiathos Town – A Visual Walkaround.

STAY THERE

If you’re after boutique vibes then Meltemi Port of Skiathos Hotel is freshly renovated and has some balconies overlooking the harbour.

La Piscine Art Hotel is a centrally-located adults-only hotel. There’s a big outdoor pool, restaurant and wine bar. It’s part of the local Philian group of hotels. It’s comfortable but 5-10 minute walk from the centre.

Bourtzi Boutique Hotel is another modern town hotel with a pool, this time centrally located (with soundproofed rooms) and with a popular cocktail bar.

Atlas Hotel is one of the best value places to stay on the island – it has spotless modern rooms with orthopaedic mattresses, good showers, friendly staff and breakfast included. It’s right on Papadiamantis Street.

Ritsa Studios is right in the heart of town and has clean spacious studios set around a central pool.

Hotel Villa Orsa is a hidden gem in a beautiful historic building with views straight out onto the rocky shore below. However, it is difficult to access (steep walk required) and somewhat more basic than you might expect from the rather grand exterior with its ornate wooden balconies. For old-school charm though, you can’t beat the view.

On the budget end, Babis has basic studios with bougainvillaea-draped balconies overlooking the new harbour. Design Architectonika sports sleek contemporary design and a simple roof terrace.  Pension Eliza and Pension Chrysoula are amongst the cheapest in town.

Twilight Taverna sign with Megali Ammos beach in the background
Megali Ammos beach

MEGALI AMMOS

Megali Ammos is the first proper beach around the headland due west from Skiathos Town. It’s walkable into town (10-15 minutes, uphill required). and a popular choice with visitors who want the best of both worlds. There are enough tavernas and beach bars to keep you occupied for a few 

The beach is narrow does get busy during summer days as it’s so close to town but it quietens down at night. 

There are some pleasant walks in the hills. The main road runs a block or two behind the beach (slight uphill) and is on the bus route.

The beach from Swell Bar in Megali Ammos
Swell Bar

STAY THERE

There are a few choices for accommodation right on the beach. Angeliki Beach Hotel is the best of them – clean bungalow rooms with a shady garden that leads straight to Swell Bar, their friendly beach bar, and sun loungers on the beach. It’s a good choice for solo and sociable travellers.

Also leading straight to the sea are the simple rooms at Megali Ammos House, which is at the Skiathos Town end of the beach and has had a recent revamp.

If a sea view is your priority then Aphrodite Studios at the other end of the beach should fit the bill.

Villa Anna is another guest favourite for hospitality, situated between Skiathos Town and Megali Ammos – up the hill with amazing views and a 10-minute walk to each. 

Right at the end of Megali Ammos is luxe 5* abode Aegean Suites.

Vassilias Beach
Vassilias Beach

VASSILIAS

Keep walking down the main road and the beach morphs into Vassilias. It’s not so much a resort as a few hotels placed near a bear.

The sand is a bit grey and gritty and it’s also quite a few steps down to the beach from the main road, but on the plus side this beach doesn’t get too busy – particularly the stretch next to the road. As the road swerves inland, there are a few hotels nestled behind the beach.

STAY THERE

The accommodation around these parts is mostly resorts with their own pools, making the most of the views – such as the 5* Kassandra Bay Resort & Spa, and the luxury suites at Golden King.

Vassilias Beach Hotel and Suites is not quite so pricey and has the advantage of being right on the beach (though some buildings are situated further back than others).

path down to Achladies beach
Achladies

ACHLADIES

The first proper resort that you come to along the coast is Achladies. It’s small but popular – accommodation is never too far from the beachfront here. There are a few friendly tavernas and cafes along the beach and in the backstreets.

Achladies is connected to Skiathos Town by water taxi as well as bus and it does get busy in the summer days, but makes a sensible base for the best of both worlds.

The beach itself is not the most exciting on the island – it’s narrow and a mix of sand and gritty pebbles which can feel quite sharp underfoot, but you there are softer patches at either end of the beach. Nevertheless, it’s clean and popular with families.

STAY THERE

The most obvious place to stay in Achladies is Esperides Beach Resort which is right on the beach. This big chunk of concrete is probably the closest thing Skiathos gets to ugly tourist development. Better to be in it than looking at it, perhaps? It’s a tad dated and institutional-feeling, but you can’t beat it for proximity to the beach.

Rigas has smart and simple rooms.

If you need more space Sea View Villas is round on the headland and has an appealing white-and-blue theme.

Tzaneria beach
Tzaneria beach
Kanapitsa beach
Kanapitsa beach

KALAMAKI PENINSULA

The nub of land between Sklithri and Kolios is known as the Kalamaki Peninsula. It’s a lovely quiet area, with some of the island’s prettiest scenery. Kalamaki is popular with Greeks tourists and Germans who appreciate the walking trails which criss-cross the peninsula and visit hidden beaches.

Kalamaki is the most romantic area for couples looking for somewhere tranquil and beautiful, though the distance from the bus stop means you have to be happy with walking or to hire some wheels.

The main area for accommodation is Kanapitsa Bay which incorporates 3 beaches – Sklithri, Tzaneria and Kanapitsa itself. From Kanapitsa Bay you can also walk across the Kalamaki peninsula to Vromolimnos.

Sklithri is the nearest beach to the main road and there’s parking for those who want to visit the waterfront taverna for a fresh fish supper.

Tzaneria is a 5-minute walk down a dirt track that has good parking. It has watersports, a jetty for the water taxi, and a beach bar/taverna which is aiming itself at a lively younger crowd in the summer months.

There are a few mini-markets around for those with self-catering. Accommodation is up in the surrounding hills rather than directly behind the beach so be prepared for steps.

Kanapitsa beach is the next bay around and also has a water taxi and beachfront taverna.

STAY THERE

Accommodation is a mix of secluded villas and resorts making the most of the views, though there are some budget studios available too.

Uphill between Kanapitsa and Tzaneria is the Cape Kanapitsa Hotel & Suites which is the chicest of the lot and a good choice if you’re happy not to leave your hotel so often.

Skiathos Blu, an adult-focused resort tucked away up in the hills and bookable through tour operators. Thankfully it has a decent pool because it’s at least 350 steps down to Tzaneria beach! Check before you book to see if they’re running shuttle buses or have the funicular up and running.

On Kanapitsa  Plaza Hotel is set back a bit but has a pool and sea views.

Vromolimnos beach
Vromolimnos beach

VROMOLIMNOS

Technically Vromolimnos is also part of the Kalamaki Peninsula, but it feels quite separate.

The beach itself is a 10-15 minute walk off the main road and is one of the nicest beaches on the island, with lovely sand and an inviting eucalyptus fragrance. There’s a small dried-up lake behind the beach adding to the natural atmosphere, and watersports at one end.

The lack of development and access makes it a great place for nature lovers in the shoulder season, and in the summer months, the beach bars here are some of the liveliest (as there are no neighbours to disturb).

STAY THERE

There are only two places to stay in the area – Skiathos Holidays Resort is the closest to the beach (5-10 mins) and set in its own manicured field with an emphasis on the outdoors.

There are a few villas too – Bouboule has good views.

Kolios beach
Kolios beach

KOLIOS

Kolios has a lovely sweep of beach with course golden sand, languid shallow waters and lovely sunsets. Despite its decent size, it’s not as busy as some of the other beaches on Skiathos. The vibe here is quiet and traditional.

There are small boats for hire so you can reach one of the tiny secluded beaches along the coast. Parking is available, and it’s walking distance to Agia Paraskevi for food and amenities.

STAY THERE

Kolios is a small resort (if you can even call it that), with most of the accommodation spread out from the main road. There’s a leaning towards budget studios and apartments.

Kolios Beach Seaview Apartments are right on the beach, it’s a bare bone but cheap option.

Kleopatra Villas are comfortable and also located right by the beach.

Agia Paraskevi beach
Agia Paraskevi beach

AGIA PARASKEVI

Agia Paraskevi (also sometimes known as Platanias) is one of the best beaches on Skiathos – it’s wide, long (600m) and sandy and suitable for families, with gentle waves and watersports available.

It’s a beach of two halves really, with the luxury resort Hotel Skiathos Princess encroaching on the western end and offering day beds and fancy loungers for guests.

There’s little development directly on the beach itself. Towards the eastern end, you’ll find a few beach bars and tavernas. The beach is backed by pines and a patch of scrub with eucalyptus trees and grasses, parking spaces, and the remains of an ambitious development. Behind this, you’ll find the main road and bus stops.

Agia Paraskevi is the most resort-y feeling of all the settlements along the south coast. It has a few sports bars and mini markets selling inflatables and poolside reading. It’s one of the best places on Skiathos for families with young children.

STAY THERE

The 5* Hotel Skiathos Princess Resort has direct beach access and is highly rated for service and amenities. It’s ideal for families. 

Alternatively, 4* Atrium Hotel has fresh modern rooms and sea views.

If you’re looking for a large villa in the area then GoldiLocks should fit the bill (sleeps 14), particularly if you’ve got kids to entertain as it has a large pool as well as steps directly down to the beach.

Troulos Bay
Troulos Bay

TROULOS

Troulos is a favourite with return visitors to the island for its lovely beach and a good variety of restaurants. If you’re a looking for a base with plenty of eateries so you don’t have to trek into Skiathos Town for your evening meal then Troulos is probably your best bet.

It’s quite spread out – with hotels and apartments lining the secondary roads out of town as well as the main road. There are two bus stops in Troulos, one in the main village and one nearer the beach. 

The sand is soft and nearly as nice as at nearby Koukounaries, with a lovely view over the domed islet opposite which gives Troulos its name (the word means domed). There are a few basic tavernas by the sea – no loud music here, so popular with young families and mature couples who appreciate its simplicity.

STAY THERE

For location over luxury, Troulos Bay Hotel is slap bang in front of the beach, but there are plenty of bargains to be had – I recommend browsing Booking.com for deals on apartments. La Luna and Hotel Morfia both come recommended.

Koukounaries beach
Koukounaries beach

KOUKOUNARIES

The most famous beach in Skiathos is Koukounaries. It’s one of the best sandy beaches in all of Greece – and you’ll understand once you see it. This beautiful crescent of fine golden sand is ringed by picturesque pine forest, lending the water a dazzling emerald colour. The waters are crystal clear and shallow, perfect for kids (and big kids).

The area behind the beach is a protected natural area comprising pines and Lake Strofilia, a unique wetlands habitat. This means no permanent development on the beach – just a few wooden beach cafes/bars linked by a boardwalk. The dive centre is at one end, watersports at the other. There’s also a small pier where you can catch water taxis to other destinations on the island and mainland as well as boat trips.

Koukounaries village is not a large resort. There’s one road with low-slung development, and accommodation options are more limited than you might expect.

It’s the last stop for the Skiathos coastal bus end (and the bus heading back into town gets very busy in the late afternoon/evening). If Koukounaries gets too busy for your liking there are a number of other beaches to explore in the area, some of them requiring a walk through the beautiful Mandraki Forest.

STAY THERE

All the accommodation in Koukounaries is off the main road that runs on the inside of the lake. There’s no beachfront accommodation. It’s a 10-20 minute walk to the beach, depending on your accommodation.

If you like a room with a view then reliable luxury resort Skiathos Palace has stunning vistas of the bay. It’s up on the hill before Koukounaries though, so a bus ride or steep walk to the beach.

In the town itself, Mandraki Palace Hotel is a 10-minute walk to beach access at the east end and has recently had an update. 

At the other end, rooms Aelia Studios are good value and some of the closest to the beach at the west end – though there’s a sharp 5-minute uphill walk to the building.

Panorama Hotel is a favourite with return visitors to the island. 

The peninsula past Koukounaries has been developed into Elivi, a large new luxury resort with boho-chic vibes. That sprawls over 3 different beaches on a hilly headland. The Grace section of the complex consists of luxurious suites, many with private pools or infinity pools, overlooking Ambelakia beach (pictured below).  The Nest complex has larger villas each with a pool. Finally, there are a few larger villas up above Little Banana beach.

Luxury suites at Elivi
Elivi luxury suites

Read more:

12 Beautiful Beaches on Skiathos

7 Things I Loved About Skiathos (And 1 Thing That I Didn’t)

Skiathos: On Boar the Mamma Mia Boat Trip to Skopelos

Skiathos For Solo Travellers

How to Use the Coastal Bus on Skiathos

A Quick Guide to Skiathos Town

Where to Stay on Kefalonia: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

Where to Stay on Lefkada: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

Where to Stay on Rhodes: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

15 Best Greek Islands for Beaches

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Image credits: all images © The Mediterranean Traveller

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