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Sailing holidays in Skiathos, the Sporades islands & Evia

Koukounaries beach

Area

The (Northern) Sporades are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea (Evia),in the Aegean Sea. They consists of 24 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited: Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros.

These islands are the greenest in Greece (Skopelos is over 70% pine forest) and are famous for some of the best golden sandy beaches (Koukounaries) and isolated pebbly beaches (Lalaria) as well as being world famous as the setting for the Mamma Mia movie.

Skiathos welcomes charter flights from many international locations. You can also access the islands via the mainland port of Volos by ferry, or Agios Konstantinos if you are coming from Athens.

Lalaria beach

History

According to the archaeological evidence, the islands have been inhabited since the Palaeolithic era but the first settlers arrived in Kokkinokastro in Alonissos. All the main islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros) flourished economically when they were inhabited by the Minoans and this lasted until the Mycenaean period. During he Byzantine years these islands were used as places of exile and were frequently used by pirates (legend says Redbeard / Barbarossa used the islands) for illicit trade, as they are conveniently located between Athens and the Bosphorous (Black sea to Asia). The island have experienced both Venetian and Ottoman influences, though the islanders fought hard in the war of independence against the Turks.The islands only regained their independence in 1881.

Weather and Saiing Conditions

The yacht charter season runs from April to October, with July and August being the hottest months. Like elsewhere in Greece, temperatures average around 30 degrees celsius in August, but heatwaves of over 40 degrees are becoming more common.

Prevailing winds are from the north (sometimes NNW) providing fantastic sailing conditions. Do look out for the Meltemi, which can get up at times. Also look out for the ‘Sirrocco’, a southerly wind that blows every few weeks in early and late season.

The area is recommended for novice to experienced sailors because, although the islands are close together and relatively well protected, at times it can be quite challenging to sail these islands. Sticking to the southern route can make things easier.

Skiathos main port

Planning your trip

You can fly directly to Skiathos island from many international airports. The main port is only a five minute drive by taxi and from here you can set off at once for the other islands.

Alternatively, fly to Volos and start your holiday from there, or catch a ferry to Skiathos (about 2 hrs). If you are flying to Athens you can take a bus to Agios Konstantinos (near Evia on the mainland) and a ferry from there, or you can also fly to Thessaloniki in the north and catch a bus or train to Volos and a ferry from there.

Skiathos can be very crowded, especially in high summer, and it is not always easy to find a berth in the marina, so make sure you arrive early on hand-over days.

Key locations

  • Skiathos (main town, Koukounaries beach, Lalaria Beach)
  • Skopelos (Panormos bay, Skopelos town: Chora)
  • Alonissos (Patitiri, Steni Valla)
  • Kyra Panagia (Planitis)
  • Skantzoura (deserted but beautifully tranquil)
  • Skyros (a bit out of the way and the reason the islands are 'Sporadic')
  • the national marine park*

The national marine park protects an area around Alonissos and the northern islands. An important inhabitant of this area is the Mediterranean Monk Seal, Europe's rarest mammal which breeds here. Fishing and anchoring is forbidden in much of this area, so make sure you plan your route to avoid disturbing the wildlife. You will also likely see dolphins, turtles and many species of native flora and fauna.

Travel notes
Direct flights to Skiathos, Skyros, Nea Ancheallos (Volos), Thessaloniki or Athens. Regular charter flights operate between May - late September direct to Skiathos and Skyros from most European cities, and from Athens, Olympic airways. Remember, if you are planning to have just a sailing holiday, it is better to arrive in Skiathos directly on a Saturday, to pick up your boat, but there are many alternatives. Ferries depart daily from Volos to Skiathos, Skopelos, Glossa, Alonissos, Skyros (information - tel: ++30 4210 38888) and from Ag. Konstantinos (166 km on the Athens - Lamia highway on the mainland). Direct connection to Ag.Konstantinos by bus from Athens. We can also arrange for you to be picked up by taxi for a reduced fee, should you decide to fly to Athens or Thessalonika. Please let us know if this is convenient for you well in advance.

Sporades map

1 week itinerary from Skiathos
1 Skiathos Marina check-in at 17:00  
2 Skiathos - Panormos (Skopelos) 10 nm
3 Panormos - Skopelos town 15 nm
4 Skopelos - Patitiri (Alonissos) 8 nm
5 Patitiri - Steni Valla 5 nm
6 Steni Valla - Agnondas (Skopelos) 13 nm
7 Agnondas - Skiathos Marina 12 nm
8 Check-out, Skiathos, at 9:00  
1 week itinerary from Volos
1 Volos check-in. Volos - Trikeri island 15 nm
2 Trikeri island - Skiathos 28 nm
3 Skiathos - Glossa (Skopelos) 7 nm
4 Glossa - Chora (Skopelos) 10 nm
5 Chora - Patitiri (Alonissos) 9 nm
6 Patitiri - Skiathos 20 nm
7 Skiathos - Volos 40 nm
8 Check-out, Volos, at 9:00  
2 week itinerary from Skiathos
1 Skiathos Marina check-in at 17:00  
2 Skopelos 20 NM
3 Patitiri (Alonissos Island) 7 NM
4 Linaria (Skiros Island) 37 NM
5 Paignio (Kira Panagia) 40 NM
6 Porto Koufo 40 NM
7 Kalithea (Halkidiki) 23 NM
8 Porto Carras (Halkidiki) 22 NM
9 Zagora (Volos) 48 NM
10 Trikeri (Volos) 43 NM
11 Orei (Evia) 18 NM
12 Glifa (Volos) 6 NM
13 Koukounaries (Skiathos) 24 NM
14 Skiathos 6 NM
15 Check-out at 9:00
 

Download printable 2 week itinerary: Volos - Skiathos (one way)

2 week itinerary from Volos
1 Volos port check in at 17:00  
2 Trikeri island 20 nm
3 Orei (Evia) 20 nm
4 Skiathos  
5 Panormos (Skopelos)  
6 Patitiri (Alonissos)  
7 Skantzoura  
8 Steni Valla (Alonissos)  
9 Kyra Panagia / Planitis  
10 Skopelos town (Chora)  
11 Glossa (Skopelos)  
12 Skiathos town  
13 Agia Kyriaki (mainland)  
14 Volos  
15 Check-out at 9:00
 

Download printable 2 week itinerary Volos - Volos

 

Sporades map



Odyssey Sailing
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Odyssey Sailing is registered and bonded with the Greek National Tourist Organisation (GNTO - EOT) and is a member of the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA). © Odyssey Sailing

Antonopoulou 158D, Volos, 38221, Greece
Tel: +30 24280 94128 | Tel / fax: +30 24210 36676
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