Back in 2013 we found ourselves in Skaithos – like many others before us, not for the first or last time. One day we went on an ‘around the island’ boat trip from Skiathos Town on the good ship Kalypso and on another day we did the ‘Mamma Mia!’ trip to the neighbouring island of Skopelos.
The first stop on the ‘around the island’ trip was Lalaria beach – turquoise waters surrounded by white pebbles and a photogenic rock arch – the saying goes that if you swim through it once and you’ll meet the love of your life, swim through three times for eternal youth.
Swim through two times and… meet Jim Morrison? There was the rotting carcass of a dead seagull on the beach and it seemed the pebbles may have been white due to the amount of seagulls shitting on it. They detracted from the otherwise tranquil surroundings. The pebbles were uncomfortable for sun-bathing but great for skimming.
Second stop was Kastro Old Town, the old capital of the island. The old town is in ruins up a steep path, so we went up and had a neb, getting very sweaty in the process. Some mentalist had a bike up there and was clad in lycra cycling gear and helmet. ‘Helmet’ was what I was thinking. We only had time for a cursory look around and then we had to turn around and head back down to the boat. The schedule seemed a little less than generous for this particular stop.
Third stop was Kati Yorgi in the nearby Pelion region of mainland Greece, where we had lunch. There were three tavernas on the beach front and Siggy and I opted to go to the one furthest from the one recommended by the crew, awkward buggers that we are.
We got served very quickly and I had grilled sardines (which I have to have at least once per holiday) and a massive Mangum ice-cream for pud-pud. There was a giant Mr Whippy style dog poo on the beach which despite possessing its own gravitational field was not stepped in by anyone, although there were a couple of flip-flopped near misses. I sat on a rock and monitored the situation while Siggy sun-bathed.
We then cruised back to, and around, the south and east coast of Skiathos, looking at all the beaches we’ve visited on previous holidays and some we were yet to get to. There was a gigantic yacht called Al Mirqab moored off Koukounaries beach. I later learned that it belonged to the PM and Foreign Minister of Qatar and is one of the top 3 largest private yachts ever built.
The weather was calm with only a light breeze and so the Aegean was unruffled and neither of us felt seasick. The crew of the Kalypso were very friendly and the trip was very reasonably priced when booked directly with them at the New Port in Skiathos Town. I was a little disappointed with Kati Yorgi as a lunch destination – I should’ve taken a book with me – there’s not much to do there after you’ve eaten beyond sit on the beach. As a whole, the trip was really enjoyable and a great way to get a good look at the island. Here’s their board –
Later in the same holiday, we went on the ‘Mamma Mia!’ trip to Skopelos. Skopelos is an island in the western Aegean Sea; one of the Northern Sporades islands, lying east of the Pelion peninsula on the Greek mainland. The nearest inhabited islands are Skiathos to the west and Alonissos to the east.
The boat’s sales person mentioned dolphins in her sales pitch, but we didn’t see any. However, we didn’t see a giant dog shit or a dead seagull either, which was nice. I enjoyed this trip just as much as the ‘around the island trip’. The three beaches we visited were very nice and we had more time on each beach. Some people paid 30 Euros each for the trip via their tour reps, we paid half that by booking direct with the boat at the New Port. More money for cocktails later!
Kastina Beach on Skopelos was where a lot of the film Mamma Mia was filmed in case you didn’t know. The Abba side of things wasn’t forced down your neck which was also a good point – I had visions of an hour-long happy clappy sing-a-long on the way to the island. There was music from the film on the boat which was okay, I’m partial to a bit of Abba, and then there was a short quiz and a dance along to Dancing Queen on the way back to Skiathos Town. I answered the question ‘what is a Supertrouper?’ and won a free ticket to see the film at the open are cinema in town that night (which remained unused). I knew the answer from watching Swap Shop as a kid – I’m sure it was the question for a phone-in competition.
I had a rather disappointing mackerel in a taverna on the second beach we visited, Panormos, which was served up as ‘fish of the day’ but had all the hallmarks of being yesterday’s leftovers, and was no better than something you could buy in a tin from Tesco.
The third beach, Milia, had a little bit of a nudist section near where we came ashore. Some bloke was lying face down on the beach with his bare arse on display prompting remarks as we disembarked along the following lines; ‘it’s a full moon’, ‘run up and give it a slap’, ‘when I said I’d come for the craic that’s not what I had in mind’ etc.
Both trips were a nice getaway from the usual beaches of Skiathos, which in themselves are mostly brilliant, and that’s why this is number three in this series of posts.