Greek Islands Pictures
Koukounaries Beach pictured in late September, as are all following Skiathos photos.
is the most popular of Greece's Sporades islands, even if it just 12 kms long and about 6kms wide.
It's a cheap holiday destination close to the Greek mainland so requires only a short flight or ferry ride, it's well-developed but not over-developed, with plenty of good value rental apartments and hotels, packed with excellent beaches (65) of all shapes and sizes but mainly coated with foot-friendly sand; the best sand is found in the island's southerly half. Skiathos is much
favoured by British sun seekers so locals are comfortable speaking English.
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and busy, Koukounaries has clear reasons why it's one of the island's best beaches and arguably one of the best beaches in Greece.
It's at the end of a bus route, it's long, the sand is unusually
soft, the water's warm, shallow and Blue Flag clean and a good variety of watersports are
on offer. There
are several tavernas around, kiosks for drinks, snacks and cigarettes, hotels too within easy walking distance and the whole caboodle is embraced by a pine forest that offers a cool retreat in the middle of the day (photo below).
Koukounaries backs onto a pine forest reserve which offers shade, alternative activities or quiet time, but note that allergy sufferers may have problems with pine
pollen in Skiatos and some other Greek islands.
the crowds and activities of Koukounaries are not to your liking, ten minutes walk southwest
is the more relaxed Banana
Beach, and just around from Banana is Little Banana beach (below), a popular place for nudists to hang out.
sand in a pretty little bay, backed by pine trees, Banana is near the last bus stop for the #24 bus, has clear
water and a couple of tavernas, one of them (pictured above) being
the funkiest establishment we came across on any island in Greece. This is a brilliant place for sunset drinks, popular with younger, non-family visitors and also supposed to be the best windsurfing spot on the island as there is a regular breeze offshore, though getting boards down to the beach is not easy.
Just around a little rocky headland lurks Little Banana beach where naturists are in the habit of saluting the passing of the daily round-the-island-ferry boat.
Little Banana beach, also known as Spartacus beach. Hard core Banana nudists as well as gays roam free a little further along the bay.
A satellite map of Skiathos with approximate location of the best beaches. Reference sources are contradictory!
Skiathos beaches Map © Bugbog.com
Skiathos' Blue Flag beaches in 2012 were: Achladies (dominated by Hotel Esperides), Kanapitsa, Koukounaries, Maratha (next to Koukounaries), Megali Ammos (the best beach within walking distance of Skiathos Town), Platanias, Agia Paraskevi, Troulos, Vassilias, Vromolimnos.
However, as you can see from Lalaria's water below (not Blue Flag), most of the island's beaches are rinsed by superbly clean water. Not being listed as Blue Flag may be simply that no one has applied for or completed water testing.
Walks: There are masses of nice trails from beach to beach, such as 30 minutes through pine forests from Koukounaries to Mandraki, 55 minutes from Troulos to Aselinos, 2 hours from Platanias to Kechria.
Over-hyped Lalaria beach, on the island's north shore is accessible
only by boat. Next, more Skiathos beaches pictures or see Skiathos town.
This smooth pebble beach has super-clear turquoise
water, but no taverna, no sand, little shade and frequent landings
by shiploads of packaged people who scrunch around and paddle for 10 minutes before shipping off again in a cloud of marine diesel.
So pretty, yes. Comfortable, no.
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