Last summer we travelled to Skopelos, a Greek island in the Sporades chain and stayed in Skopelos Town. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it where the sing-along guilty pleasure, Mamma Mia was filmed! The island is known as ‘The Emerald Isle’ due to its lush, green forests and wonderful aqua-blue seas and it certainly does not disappoint.
One of its many charms is that it has no airport. Living in London, the skies are full of aeroplanes along with their noise and trails. One thing I loved about Skopelos was that there was no aircraft noise, and certainly no trails in the sky. This does, of course, add in an extra leg to your journey. You need to fly to nearby island Skiathos, and then catch the ferry across. This takes an hour to Skopelos town. Personally, the ferry ride to me adds to the pleasure of getting to this special place. It also means the hordes keeps away. British and European tourists are definitely in the minority.
Skopelos town is utterly charming. The town nestles around the port, with traditional white houses snaking up the surrounding hillsides. If you were to daydream what a little Greek town looks like, this would be it. As the windy streets are so small, there is no way of cars driving around. This makes it even more special. It has an air of sophistication, with chichi bars and restaurants nestling alongside the everyday shops.
We loved Cafe Bar Thalassa, which sits on top of Skopelos town, and looks down onto the harbour. Stunning views, perfect for a sundowner. We also had a wonderful meal at Molos restaurant in Skopelos Town Old Harbour: The most exquisite vines leaves, followed by a delicious seafood pasta dish. I highly recommend this restaurant.
This is in easy reach of Skopelos Town by bus / car / moped. Agnodas is wonderful little harbour, with a pebbly beach. You can often see the fishermen setting off or returning with their catches. The water is ideal for swimming, with a safe, clear watered area for you to swim and snorkel to your heart’s content. The beach has a changing cubicle and a shower, which makes it even more family friendly. There are a couple of tavernas, so an ideal spot to grab an ice coffee during the day, and then some fabulous seafood or souvlaki after a hard day of swimming and sunbathing. There is also a little pier where my children reenacted •that• Mamma Mia scene!
As we dropped down into this scenic cove, it all looked beautiful. However, the lovely beach has a rather large beach bar which belts out music.For a sleepy island, this was quite a surprise find! This was a big plus point for the youngsters (oh my goodness! Did I really just say that?!) who were bussed in and took to the beach / waters to dance along. Although it was fun to people watch for a while, its family friendly criteria were limited and we headed back to one of the quieter beaches!
Again, very close to Skopolos Town, this a wonderful little beach. We spent many a lovely afternoon, swimming around the cove and its caves. The swimming was safe enough for my two, but there is quite a steep drop off. However, they loved just playing around in the shallow waves. You can hire sunbeds and an umbrella for the princely sum of 6 euros a day, and there is a simple beach bar serving drinks and a few snacks. I have to admit a cold beer at about 5pm from here really hit the spot. Many yachts anchor here for a swim, which just says how wonderful it is!
I highly recommend a trip to Skopelos, with its sleepy hilltop villages, wonderful tavernas and (generally) tranquil way of life. Go enjoy Greece – it is still very much at its best.