Greek Island Hoping will lift off your summer vacation! The Northern Sporades Islands, along with their turquoise “lacy” coasts and their verdant landscapes, synthesize a real paradise of peace and quietness.
What is “Island Hopping”?
Island Hopping is one of the most famous traveling trends. Actually, it is about common summer vacation, though including more than one islands. Island Hopping includes nearby islands which one may explore all-in-one. In other words, instead of spending all your time of vacation on just one island, you may take the chance to visit two or three islands!
Doing Island Hopping on Greek islands, you can discover and explore fascinating and unique destinations, mingle with locals and their culture, taste a variety of cuisines, enjoy swimming at numerous beaches and fill your luggage with wonderful summer memories. Disembarking on various islands in just one trip is one of the best experiences that one may gain as a visitor in Greece.
Island Hopping in the Northern Sporades Islands
The Northern Sporades Islands is the absolute destination for Island Hopping. Each island is an ultimately new challenge for your senses! Everyone loves them due to their pristine beaches and their pine-forests which gained international reputation in 2008 thanks to the movie Mamma Mia, mainly filmed on Skopelos Island. Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos and Skyros are four islands scattered in the center of Aegean Sea, like an extension of the peninsula of Pelion – Magnesia. Each of these islands, along with its unique color, is going to captivate every traveler!
Discovering the islands of the Northern Sporades
Skiathos is the most cosmopolitan island of Sporades Islands. It is also considered as the gate because, in addition to its extraordinary beaches and the night life, it offers an international airport. Being verdant, Skopelos is the ideal destination for nature lovers. With its picturesque port and the natural landscape, it indeed looks like a cart postal! Alonnisos “hosts” the National Marine Park of Nothern Sporades. Skyros is more isolated and different from the other islands. It attracts visitors who respect the distinctiveness and the authenticity, the tradition and its peaceful profile.
Skopelos, the greenest island of Northern Sporades
There are many reasons to say to Skopelos “yes”! This small “paradise” of the Northern Sporades is characterized by its verdant pine-plant landscape, it is famous thanks to its coastline and beaches with the crystal-clear waters and providing the proper features for a relaxing and hospitable atmosphere, it welcomes everyone to experience dreamy vacation!
The admirers of the movie Mamma Mia are going to love exploring this alluring island, starting from the Kastani beach and Saint John of Kastri. One additional beach that is worth visiting and considered by many people as one of the best beaches on the island is the Milia beach, also surrounded by pines and covered with tiny white pebbles. Besides, Panormos beach, with its unusual dark blue waters and the windless bay, is maybe the most famous one.
Simultaneously, the visitor will admire the long-standing history of the island, called Peparithos in the ancient era and having a highly famous Asklipieion in the east side of Chora. Skopelos is also an island crossed with scenic paths for hiking lovers that lead one to amazing archeological and historical spots through ancient landmarks.
Take the chance to enjoy a traditional island life on the top of Glossa, where local taverns serve fresh seafood. Alternatively, you may take a walk in the scenic Chora with its ascending paved paths, the traditional houses and the flowering yards, ending to the port for unique gastronomic experiences, such as the “skopelian” cheese pie and the sweet plum “avgato”.
Skiathos, the cosmopolitan island
The enormous advantage of Skiathos is nothing but its beaches, reaching about 75 and being distinctive for their clear blue waters and the verdant landscapes, features that you rarely meet in other places! At its famous beaches, such as Koukounaries, Banana, the Small and the Big Aselinos, the Big Ammos and the Lalaria, the visitor will meet perhaps the most pristine sea of all Mediterranean. Koukounaries has the natural shadow of the pines and is adjacent to Strofilia, a scenic lake considered as one of the most important wetlands in Greece. There, flamingos and endangered wild life may be often spotted, including sea turtles.
If you wish to learn more about local traditions, follow Papadiamantis street in Chora that leads to Papadiamantis’ house, one greatly beloved Greek novelist. Wandering around the cosmopolitan paved routes of the town, you may see white houses with red roofs and colorful gardens. At the verdant peninsula of Bourtzi, standing proudly between the two wonderful ports of Skiathos, you will meet a remote Venetian fort with fantastic view of archipelagos, an undoubtedly unique romantic spot.
Alonnisos Island and its submarine museum
One hour away from Skiathos by boat, Alonissos is an attraction for divers who visit the island to explore the first Submarine Museum of Greece on the islet of Peristera, where the exciting exhibits include the remains of a merchant ship, dated back in the 5th century B.C. Alonnisos is also well-known for the first National Marine Park of Greece, the largest one in Europe.
The best way to explore the pristine waters of the island is by using a traditional wooden boat. Sailing through crystal seas, you will discover hidden bays loved by the seals monachus monachus. Travel in time inside the old town of Chora, from the ancient churches and the traditional stoned houses to the medieval castle and stop to admire the vast view from the sea. The rhythms here are mild, the distances are really small and most beaches are hidden between the pine-forests and the olive groves. The ship moors in the port, called Patitiri, a colorful but with asymmetric architecture settlement.
Skyros and its fascinating beauty
Skyros is the southernmost and largest island of the Northern Sporades. The 365 chapels, the famous recipes of lobster spaghetti and goat meat, the protected Skyrian small-bodied horses and the rich folklore offer the island a unique style that gains each visitor at first glance! The northern part of Skyros consists of deep green pine-forests while its southern part is featured by wild, fascinating beauty.
Chora, the northeast part of Skyros, with the white houses built amphitheatrically on the hill and the imposing castle, almost chiseled on the rock, is definitely one of the most attractive places of the island. Bury yourself in the cultural side of the island while shopping ceramics and other souvenirs in this small labyrinth of well-made paths and stairs.
Don’t miss the marine adventures! Nearby the port of Linaria, there is a complex of marine caves full of stalactites that can be explored through a trip by boat. In addition, you can embark on Ydrovatis, a small boat sailing to Sarakiniko island and to the most beautiful beaches of the island during a day trip. Visually, it offers scenes of an island consisted of wild beauty as well as scenes of a verdant island, synthesizing an extraordinary destination!
The Northern Sporades are connected by ferry to the mainland from the ports of Volos, Mantoudi (Euboia), Kymi (Euboia), Thessaloniki and Aghios Konstantinos, while there is regular connection among them.