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Ask Elena about Skiathos, Greece

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General

The name Skiathos is derived from the word "skia", meaning shade and "athos" for Mount Athos. It is argued by some that Skiathos cannot be 'in the shade of Mount Athos', but tradition has it that this is the origin of the name. The island is an extension of the wooded Mount Pelion on the mainland and its lush vegetation is ensured by an underground river which flows under the sea, popping up in the numerous springs on Skiathos. This makes it one of the greenest of the Greek islands. Olive and almond orchards are planted among the pine forests and grapes grow successfully on the slopes.

Climate

Skiathos has an ideal climate for sun-seekers, with two-thirds of the year having eight hours or more of sunshine every day. Skiathos benefits from a Mediterranean climate with sunny, warm summers. The occasional summer shower cools and freshens the air, watering the profusion of roses, oleanders and bougainvilleas. In mid-summer average temperatures range from 30-35C, but can climb to around 40C during the day. In spring, early summer and autumn temperatures average 20-26C, ideal for those holiday-makers who wish to avoid the hottest times of the year. The average sea temperature ranges from a comfortable 17C in April to 24C in mid-summer and early autumn.

Festivals

On Skiathos life is unhurried and tranquil, with the local people still following the traditions of their island forefathers. Easter is the most important religious holiday in Skiathos. Visitors wishing to experience this remarkable spiritual and devotional week should note that in Greece the dates on which Easter is celebrated differ by about a week from those observed by the rest of the Christian world. In July the Feast of Ayia Paraskevi takes place and is an ideal opportunity to witness the colourful folk dances of the island. Visitors are encouraged to join in. Traditional music and charming local costumes set the scene for a thoroughly enjoyable day. On 15th August the Evangelistria Monastery celebrates the Ascension of the Virgin with a beautiful service and on the 21st November Kounistra Monastery celebrates the Presentation of Virgin Mary.

Getting there

Scheduled ferries and hydrofoils leave from Volos, Agios Constantinos, Kymi and Thessaloniki in the summer season.
Olympic Airways offers daily flights from Athens (Spata) directly to Skiathos.
There is a convenient bus service from central Athens to Agios Constantinos connecting with the hydrofoil to Skiathos.

Things to do

The island's coastline offers an endless choice of pristine bays, rocky promontories and golden beaches which are all suitable for swimming. A full range of sea sports is available; try parasailing, windsurfing or water-skiing or rent a jetski for an exhilarating race across the clear waters of the Aegean.
Take a leisurely stroll along the coast or inland, but remember that in summer it becomes very hot towards midday, so time your walk carefully. Early mornings and evenings are the perfect time, leaving the middle of the day for the beach or, better still, a siesta in your comfortable suite.
Mountain biking is becoming very popular and this is an ideal way to see the island and have a lot of fun. So why not rent a bicycle for a day or two and enjoy fresh air and exercise in an idyllic setting.
Or take one of the small boats to the more remote northern beaches and spend a peaceful day sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.

After a day of simply soaking up the sun on the beach, wander through the enchanting narrow lanes of the town and sample the best of Greek cuisine in one of Skiathos' many excellent restaurants.
Plan to spend the rest of the long summer evening enjoying the lively nightlife of the tavernas, disco clubs and bars.
If you feel like a change of scenery, board one of the daily ferries for Alonissos or Skopelos or sail across to the tiny island of Tsougria, which lies at the entrance to the port of Skiathos.

Phone numbers

Airport: +30 24270 22049
Olympic Airlines: +30 24270 22200
Harbour-master: +30 24270 22017
Customs: +30 24270 22510
Police: +30 24270 21111
Post Office: +30 24270 22011
Health Centre: +30 24270 22222, 22040
Pharmacies: +30 24270 22988, 21230, 22666
Papadiamantis Museum: +30 24270 23843
Telephone Company: +30 24270 22399
Town Hall: +30 24270 22233
Chief Forester: +30 24270 22994

 

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