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Skiathos

Acres of pines extend across the hills of the interior, reaching all the way to many of its 60 breathtaking beaches

At a glance

Legend has it that Skiathos was given its name by its first inhabitants, the Pelasgians, because of its abundance of shade (“skia” in Greek). This is an island where an astonishing 70% of the land-mass is covered by forest. Acres of pines extend across the hills of the interior, reaching all the way to many of its 60 breathtaking beaches, not least the famous Koukounaries, a flawless sweep of sand fringed by the whispering stone pines that give it its name.

But it’s not all lush jade valleys and bays tinged emerald from the surrounding trees – the lunar landscape of Lalaria provides a complete contrast, with its dove-grey crags and off-white pebbles beneath the turquoise sea. The island’s architecture embraces top-heavy timber-strutted Pelio-style mansions and elegant neoclassical buildings as well as sugar-cube Cycladic homes. And the attractive port-town, guarded by an off-shore fortress, is considered so picturesque that it was singled out by location scouts for the smash-hit film Mamma Mia.

With an abundance of good food and lively nightlife scene too, it’s no wonder that Skiathos has remained an all-time favourite destination for international and Greek tourists alike ever since it first became popular in the mid-1960s.

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