Sun Sea Sand and Skiathos
Posted by TJMCKAY on 24 Sep 2012
Category: Skiathos General
So, another years holiday is over and will soon be a distant memory. 2 weeks of sun, sea, sandy beaches, a bit of shopping and relaxation in Skiathos, what more could you want? Did I say 2 weeks of sun? Yes, that would have been nice.
There had been no rain in Skiathos since the begining of May, but there was plenty when we were there. In fact we had 5 days of it!! We were assured on a daily basis it hardly ever rains in the day on Skiathos, normally overnight and if it does rain in the day it only lasts a few hours or 1 day at the most. Unfortunately this year some one forgot to tell the rain God. Mick and I had been looking forward to this holiday for a long time, after a really hectic year and had had some really good feedback about the island. Maybe, we picked the wrong time to see it at its best.
Althouh green, there was very little colour. All the oleanders, bourganvillia and other plants were either dying or had finished flowering. This, coupled with the imense amount of apparant waste land, the delapidated and run down builings, those only partly built give the islnd a feeling of neglect and sadness. I feel short changed, as we had expected something a bit more.
We stayed in Koukounaries but with hindsight should have stayed in Skiathos town. Koukounaries is really just a series of apartments and hotels with restaurants attached. There is the odd bar and stand alone restaurant, but not much else. The supermarkets were poorly stocked and gift shops non existant. Night life is limited to your hotel bar/reataurant. While we are not "party animals" we do like a bit of atmosphere and like to wander around bustling shops or sit in a taverna/cafe and watch the world go by.
Having got the negatives out of the way, now to the positives. The beaches at Koukanaries are extremely good. Koukounaries beach is huge and well equipped, with lovely views. It is also an easy stroll from the hotels etc. Then there are the Banana beaches. Big Banana is a full on activity beach, with 2 beach bars in close proximity both playing their music as loud as they can. The later on in the day the louder it gets, as they both try to out do each other. Again the facilites are good. Then there is small Banana. This is where you can go to get an "all over" tan. There seemed to be a lot of older couples on this beach, although the single sex couples were mostly younger. There is a small beach bar with restaurant and a toilet. It is a bit of a treck to get to both Banana beaches especially when hot.
On the way to the Banana beaches, if you do a left turn at the first sign you see for the beaches and follow the road up it takes to a run down unused hotel called the Xenia (I think). Find your way to the steps on the right behind the hotel and this will take you down to Mystic beach, a small beach with lovely views and an expensive bar and restaurant, used mainly by the boats that anchor up for the day. Also just up the road from the hotels in Koukanaries is Agia Eleni beach. You can get to see amazing sunsets from here.
The whole island is probably no more than 15 kilometres long and has 26 bus stops going from Skiathos town harbour to number 26 at Koukanaries beach. It is only 2 euros to do the whole journey and takes about 25 minutes. The buses run every 10-15 minutes. It is a really good way to get around. We used the buses to go into Skiathos Town on several occasions especially in the evening. The new and old ports are full of restaurants and Papadiamanti Street has a superb range of shops to suit everyone.
Take the time to wander behind the main streets and find the little shops and tavernas. 1901 is a very good restaurant and is situated up behind the church. The Rock and Roll bar is by a flight of steps, which are covered in cushions for people to sit on. The church is up the top of those stairs, although are other ways of getting to it. There is a must see antique shop by the church next to Maria's Pizza restaurant. It has the most amazing collection of things for sale.
The food generally was really good. Our hotel The Panorama served a good selection of dishes that were well cooked, as did the Golden Beach and The Muses hotels, which are either side of the Panorama. If you want simple food then Agustera bar is ok, but for a special meal go to the restaurant just up from bus stop 16, they do the most amazing cheesecake and have a lovely menu. The staff are very excellent, you get a complimentary ouzo on arrival and an almond liquer and coffee and the end of the meal.
So, that's my take on Skiathos. We probably wouldn't go again, but there were lots of people in our hotel and on the beaches who have returned time after time. Everyone has diferent expectations of what they want in a holiday it is just a shame that for us Skiathos didn't match ours. But unless you go, you don't know!!!
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