Skiathos is a beautiful island getaway with excellent viewpoints providing breathtaking scenes. With over 60 beaches and a host of historical towns, there's an incredible collection of striking attractions to visit as well as vistas to experience. Thanks to its international airport, Skiathos is the liveliest island in Greece's Sporades archipelago.

    Spread along the pristine coastline and up into Skiathos' rugged hills, countless viewpoints overlook ancient coastal castles, acclaimed beaches and harbourfront promenades. These must-see places deliver the absolute best sunset views for those embarking on a summertime adventure across Skiathos.

    1

    Big Banana Beach

    The best beach to watch the sunset

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    Big Banana Beach, located on the southwestern corner of Skiathos, is easily one of the most popular destinations on the island. Stretching down the coastline, the beachfront is dotted with an array of traditional Greek tavernas and blissful bars. Pine trees line the rear of the beach, giving you plenty of spots to escape the blistering heat.

    During peak season, Big Banana comes alive with young people who flock to Skiathos for live music events and DJ performances, which take place late into the night. The beach also offers some of the best vistas on the island, with the sun dipping below the distant landscape across the sea.

    Location: Skiathos 370 02, Greece

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    2

    Skiathos Castle

    Skiathos' scenic 14th-century landmark

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    Skiathos Castle at the northern point of the island displays the region's ancient past. While it protected locals from frequent pirate raids during the 14th century, the castle currently lies in relative ruin but still provides you with a fascinating glimpse into history, as well as some spectacular coastal views.

    Skiathos Castle occupies a rocky outcrop that stretches out into the sea. Make your way out along the stone steps and enjoy the views across the nearby beachfront. Each day, both fishing boats and larger vessels drop their anchors here, so you can spend the day watching as they come and go.

    Location: Agios Nikolaos 370 02, Greece, Greece

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    3

    Bourtzi

    A picturesque peninsula with castle ruins

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    Bourtzi is a small peninsula that divides Skiathos Harbour into 2 sections – the ferry terminal lies on one side, while shops and restaurants can be found on the other. The landmass of Bourtzi might appear somewhat insignificant, but it was a fortified position dating back to the 13th century.

    It’s best known as a popular dining spot where you can soak up the island's distinctive coastal atmosphere. Sit along the seawall and watch as the boats dock at the harbour. There are also dozens of modern eateries waiting to serve you a delicious meal, as you watch as the sun fades across the hillside townships on the other side of the bay.

    Location: Skiathos 370 02, Greece

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    4

    Evangelistria Monastery

    A peaceful landmark with modern-day monks

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    The Evangelistria Monastery is tucked away in the hills of Skiathos, overlooking a scenic gorge. As the island's most renowned religious landmark, the monastery features pristine grounds that burst with colour coming from the region's wildflowers. Wander the landscape and experience this serene place away from the summertime crowds.

    Located about 5 km from Skiathos Town, the monastery offers a library, a museum and a chapel, which provides stellar insight into the island's natural history. There's also a cosy cafe that sells snacks and drinks, as well as olive oil and wine, which is produced by the monastery's monks who continue to live on-site.

    Location: Agalinos, Moni Evaggelistrias 370 02, Greece

    Open: Summer: daily from 9 am to sunset (winter hours vary)

    Phone: +30 2427 022012

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    5

    Skiathos Old Port

    A charming labyrinth of shops and bars

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    Situated south of Bourtzi, Skiathos Old Port provides travellers with a variety of ancient highlights as they roam the island's most populous town. Along the waterfront, there are water taxis and marine tours ready and waiting for you to climb aboard. The promenade breaks off into a mazy network of bars and cafes.

    As you head deeper into the Old Town, you'll soon come across the boutiques of Papadiamantis Street. Here, you'll find markets selling souvenirs and snacks, as well as ice-cream parlours and delicious gyros shops. Continue onwards out of town and you'll find the community of Plakes. Admire the ramshackle houses that overlook the sea, while the charming pebble beach is great for swimming and watching the sun go down.

    Location: Skiathos 370 02, Greece

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    6

    Agia Eleni

    Catch the last rays of the sun

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    Agia Eleni, a gorgeous little inlet on the far western side of Skiathos, gets some seriously awesome sunset views. Getting there involves a pleasant 20-minute walk over scrub hills and through pine groves from the resort of Koukounaries. You'll be greeted with a scythe of biscuit-coloured sand and shallow waters that roll over reefs.

    Stick around for the later hours, when you can watch the sun dipping low over the Pelion headland on the opposite side of the Aegean. It's a stunning sight, as the waters glow ochre and orange against silhouettes of mountains.

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    7

    Koukounaries

    Find the pristine sand beyond the pine forests

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    Koukounaries Beach stretches in a long arc of honey-coloured sand by rows of shore pines. Behind it is a sloshing sea lagoon, which drifts inland from the extreme southwest of the island. It takes around 30 minutes in the car to get here from Skiathos Town, which means trading the happening harbour for rows of sunbeds right on the sand.

    The most attractive aspect of Koukounaries is surely the surrounding forest. Green and lush, it sways in the light shore breezes; rows of cypresses and eucalyptus going this way and that. At happy hour, look between the trees. They hide the occasional beach bar, where tables await in the shade gazing across the Aegean.

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    8

    Mandraki

    Crystal-clear waters and breezy beachcombing

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    Mandraki Beach dashes along the north-western end of Skiathos under sheer cliffs of mud and pine forest. It's one of the most remote strands on the island, where you can head to escape the rows of sunbeds and cocktail-sipping holidaymakers.

    Dominant onshore winds in the summer months bring warm breezes across Mandraki bay. They churn up the sea and move the trees to and fro, making the place a doozy for beachcombers. When the wind subsides, Mandraki’s still waters are great for swimming. Come evening, the sunset is sure to get the camera a-clicking – think red-orange hues dancing over the Aegean Sea.

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    9

    Lalaria Beach

    A scenic white beach with striking rock formations

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    Lalaria is surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs and bordered by the clear turquoise waters of the Aegean. The spectacular natural arch rising out of the sea is an icon of Skiathos, making it a popular place to take photos. The beach itself is mostly fine pebble, dropping off quite steeply into the water.

    One of Skiathos’ more peaceful beaches, Lalaria is located on the northern coast and only accessible by boat. Excursions leave every day from Skiathos Old Port and usually include a stop in the bay for lunch and a swim. Many trips also stop near Kástro on the northern tip of the island, where you can see the remains of several old churches.

    Location: Lalaria, Skiathos 370 02, Greece

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    Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer

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