Skopelos

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Getting to Skopelos

Sporades map

Where is Skopelos? This is one of the Saronic group of islands off the east coast of mainland Greece that includes Skiathos, Skopelos and a host of tiny islets.

Skopelos doesn't have an airport so holiday arrivals are by ferry or yacht. Although the airport on Skiathos is not far away, flights and ferries rarely connect so getting there often requires an overnight stop on Skiathos.

There are two ports at either end of the island at Skopelos Town and at Loutraki, about 30 kilometres apart.

Skopelos is big enough for holiday visitors to need a car or motorbike to get around. There are bus services but they are not frequent.

Skopelos has very good walking trails in the heavily wooded hills and the main road from Skopeos Town to Glossa in the north is generally in good repair.

Accommodation can be hard to find on such a small and popular island, especially in high season.

Updated for 2016

Skopelos flights: travel by air

There is no airport on Skopelos, nor any likelihood of one being built. Visitors arrive by boat after flying to the neighbouring Skiathos International (JSI) airport.

Skiathos airport was opened in 1972 and lies about two kilometres from the port where ferries can be caught for Skopelos.

Skiathos Airport was notorious for its short runway but this has now been extended so planes can take off with a full load of fuel. They were once required to land at Thessaloniki to refuel.

Most visitors to Skopelos fly to Skiathos, get a taxi to the port where there are daily ferry and catamaran services that operate to the port of Loutraki on the south-west coast, a journey time of 30 minutes and/or to the main port of Skopelos Town which takes about one hour.

An alternative is to fly to Athens and get an internal domestic flight to Skiathos. This is probably the most flexible option and can be the cheapest but internal flights to Skiathos usualy leave very early in the morning.

Visitors can also fly to Thessaloniki Airport on the mainland. Seasonal cheap flights operate from April to October and there are ferry sailings from there or from the port at Volos.

Skopelos ferries: travel by sea

The Saronic islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos are linked with a reasonable numbers of ferry services. The airport at Skiathos makes getting to Skopelos comparatively easy.

The sea journey from Skiathos to Skopelos takes about 15 minutes by hydrofoil or fast ferry to Loutraki and 40 minutes to Skopelos Town. Conventional ferry boats take longer but they are cheaper. In poor weather, ferries may smetimes be diverted from Skopelos Town to the small, but sheltered harbour at Agnontas, where taxi telephone numbers are posted in the waiting room.

Hellenic Seaways runs high speed and conventional ferries daily from Volos to Alonissos, calling at Skiathos and Skopelos, a journey time from Volos of over four hours. The company also runs flying cats on the same route with a journey time of about three hours from Volos.

Anes Ferries also operates the Proteus car ferry on the same Volos to Alonissos route daily, calling at Skopelos every day except Wednesday. The company has also recently started a daily route from Mantoudi on the island of Evia to Skopelos and Skiathos.

Three car ferry services a week operate in summer between Skopelos and Skyros, via the mainland port of Kymi, run by Skyros Shipping.

To get to Volos, KTEL runs nine buses daily from Athens from Terminal 260 on Liossion St, four services daily from Thessaloniki (031 543087) and four daily from Patras (061 222164).

OSE also runs five Athens to Volos buses daily from Larissa Station (018 231514) and three daily from Thessaloniki (031 517517). Trains to Volos leave Athens seven times daily (015 240646) and there are three daily trains from Thessaloniki (013 517517)

Hellenic Seaways also operates seven sailings weekly from Agios Konstantinos on the mainland east coast, with a crossing time of around three hours.

Caiques leave Skopelos town for various beaches including Glysteri and tourist offices in the main harbour often organise excursions to the more popular beaches. From the small port at Agnondas visitors can also get a boat to Limnonari each day as well as to Glyfada, Kanaritsa and Amouditsa.

Skopleos map: getting around

Skopelos, at around 96 sq km and with a coastline of 67 kilometres is located in the Sporades island group between the islands of Skiathos and Alonissos. On the north and east sides the terrain is rugged with sheer cliffs; the south and west are mainly predominantly hillside slopes.

The main port is Skopelos Town, sometimes called Chora, which lies in a large bay on the north-east coast. The south-west is flat with fertile soil that has olive groves, plum orchards and vine plantations. Plums are harvested in June and dried in huge ovens to make prunes.

Skopelos has a wide variety of flowers, trees and shrubs. The hills are covered in pines, oaks, citrus and olive orchards. Mount Delfi (662 metres) and Mount Palouki (556 metres) are the highest peaks. Skopelos also belongs to a Marine Park, created mainly for the protection of rare seals.

Skopelos summers are typically Mediterranean with long spells of sunshine, up to 12 hours daily in July and August.

Some years Skopelos gets no rain from July to September. In the spring and autumn the weather can be quite changeable, with frequent showers, although they rarely last long.
Skopelos can be windy and wet from November to February and the winter rains help keep Skopelos lush and green throughout the year.

Skopelos transport: travel on land

Car rental

Roads on Skopelos are generally good. The main asphalt road runs for around 35 kilometres from Skopelos town goes through Stafylos (4 kilometres) then Agnontas (8 kilometres), Panormos (18 kilometres) then Milia and to the villages of Elios (24 kilometres) and Klima (28 kilometres) then to Glossa (32 kilometres) when it drops down into the port of Loutraki.

The route is very scenic, wending its way through pine forests, olive groves and plum orchards often skirting the island beaches. Minor roads turn to gravel and dirt. There are four petrol stations on Skopelos so filling no problem but finding a parking place in Skopelos Town can be difficult in August as cars are banned from all but the main road to the port and along the waterfront.

Skopelos buses

Three buses daily run the length of the island from Skopelos to Stafylos, Agnontas, Panormos, Milia, Elios, Klima, Glossa then back through Loutraki, Milia and Agnontas. There are also several buses daily to Agnontas. Extra bus services are added during the high summer season. The main bus stop in Skopelos Town is 100 yards from the harbour next to the taxi rank.

Skopelos taxis and car hire

The main taxi stand is on the Skopelos Town waterfront near the bus station. Taxis have fixed rates to various destinations. Note that ferries often leave Skopelos port at around 7am when taxis can be in short supply. It is often a good idea to hang on to your hire car until the last minute. There are also the usual cars and mopeds to rent in Skopelos Town and Elios. Most are found on the eastern outskirts of Skopelos Town and some offer very cheap deals.

Skopelos rooms: places to stay

Rooms

Skopelos is a relatively small island and attracts hordes of holidaymakers in high season. Many hotels are booked up months in advance by the tour companies so it's best to arrange holiday accommodation before arriving on the island, especially in July and August.

The Hotel Owners Association of Magensia has lists of available rooms for rent. It's located next to the town hall on the main waterfront. Room owners meet arriving ferries.

The bigger hotels in Skopelos Town are usually full except in the spring or autumn but there are many comfortable rooms to rent, at good rates.

The main Skopelos beach holiday resorts at Panormos and Stafylos are well stocked with hotels, apartments and studios and there are private houses to rent.

Away from the crowds is the hilltop town of Glossa in the north of Skopelos and taverna owners usually know of rooms to let in the village or nearby.