Discover. Travel. Experience. Each year travelers are looking for at least one new place to visit. With the same drive I started planning my summer vacation. Due to Bulgaria’s proximity to Greece, more and more Bulgarians are choosing to spend their summer holiday there. For a lot of people Greece is exotic and for us it is simply our neighbouring country and summer destination. How lucky we are. 🙂
Have you ever intended to go to a certain destination but in the end destiny brings you somewhere else? So interpreting the signs and listening to my intuition, only few days after we said #ByeByeRoaming in all EU countries, I was driving in Greece with end stop being the Northern Sporades islands. To escape the continent and spend your holiday on an island recharges you, it lets carelessness run in your vеins and slows down your rhythm to the point of addiction. The time stops, your brain shuts down, far away from vanity and the daily life in the city. The air is different; the humidity rejuvenates you and makes your skin soft. Bliss.
Only one overnight in Meteora, 500 km and 3 hours with the ferry kept me away from this happiness. It is obligatory to get the ferry tickets in advance in Sofia. Very often the car places for the ferry are booked weeks in advance. There are only 3 ferries every day from Volos to Skiathos island, but thоse who are willing to escape to the island are plenty more. The one way ferry ticket costs from EUR 22 up to 25 per adult and approx. EUR 80 per car.
Fill the tank of the car on the mainland. The prices on the island are higher, but not drastically. The distances on Skiathos are short and there is also a public bus, which you can take. My advice is to avoid July and August. The island gets crowded not only with foreign tourists, but locals also spent their summer holiday on Skiathos. The prices are higher, so does the temperature.
Due to the combination of mountain and sea you will not feel the high summer temperature the same way as on the mainland. In fact this gives the name of the island. The origin comes from the Greek word for shadow (skia) and it was given to the island because of the fortress that “shadows” it from one end to the other. This paradise in the Aegean sea welcomes all guests with the only island’s town also named Skiathos. Book your accommodation outside the town in direction the southwestern side, where the coastline is the longest and every day you can go to a different beach.
Be aware that some of beaches are wild and you need to bring umbrella and take care alone about the shadow. Skiathos offers an option for every wish. You can choose a hotel, with beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach in front of the hotel that are included in the price. Or you can go for an apartment and relax on a wild beach free of charge and close to nature.
The star among the beaches is Koukounaries, a blue flag beach. To some travelers it may seem commercial, to others a great combination of beautiful nature, facilities, bars and parking. Let’s don’t criticize, but make a choice and find your place. The island offers a great option for everyone to spend the summer vacation.
Experience Koukounaries. A beach with blue-green waters, a sea shore made golden by the finest sand and the bright sun, a lagoon with migratory birds and a forest, where to escape during the hottest time of the day, while eating Greek salad and drinking cold Mithos beer or Uzo. The beach is hidden behind the tall stone pines (or “koukounaries”) in the natural park at the end of the road. The parking is free of charge, but you can reach the beach by bus or boat too and forget about the car the next days. It is suitable for families with children due to the shallow and calm sea and the presence of life guards.
After the relax on the beach in the evening you can enjoy a walk in the town of Skiathos (only 15-20 min drive by car).
Park your car at the free parking next to the port and enjoy the walk on the narrow cobblestone streets flanked by flowered courtyards of basil. Walk among the two storey houses, fascinating with the smell of traditional local sweets and nuts, that the Greek novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis merits a special reference. Today his house is a museum.
I didn’t have dinner in the town. I just got some souvenirs to remind me of the trip. The tasty food and friendly service of the family owned Taverna Pizza Jimmy’s made me return there and not even think to change the restaurant. Try the local moussaka, zucchini, squids, baklava. I started the day with fruits and frappe and finished it with ouzo, olives and delicious dinner in the evening.
Enjoy your summer and make memories, which to share with friends and your family during the cold winter. Drop me a line as a comment where you’ve spent your summer vacation and help me plan my next one.
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