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The Sporades were made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster, Mamma Mia. Spend a week getting to know the four main islands and the wildlife in the national marine park, the first in Greece and home to the Mediterranean monk seal.
- Skiathos – One of the most popular islands in Greece, known for its castles and sandy beaches. Legend has it that the island’s rocks damaged King Xerxes’ ship in the Persian Wars. This is a forested island with many inlets and beaches and is the home of the Mediterranean monk seal. On the southern side, visit the beaches at Koukounaries, Agia Paraskevi, or the famous nudist Banana beach. Lalaria is also a lovely beach. Sail to the small ports and unspoiled bays on the Gulf of Volos. Venture further north to Mount Athos, home to medieval monasteries, or relax shore side at the modern marina in Porto Carras
- Skopelos – Famous for the wedding scene in Mamma Mia, which was filmed at the church of Agios Ioannis Kastri right up high on the cliff face. Relax on its beaches, including Stafylos, Panormos and Elios, or explore the pine forests. Try the island’s speciality, cheese pie
- Alonissos – Enjoy a drink in the pretty harbor at Patitiri or a traditional donut called fouskakia. Stroll around Hora, the old capital of the island built into the hillside. One of the first inhabited islands in the Aegean, you’ll see Byzantine churches, such as Agio Anargyroi
- Skyros – Plot your visit around this island’s fine beaches, including Magazia, Molos, Papa and Lino, as well as Petritsa, Agios Petros and Theotokos. History lovers will enjoy the remains of the Byzantine castle, or you can explore the sea caves
The sailing in the Sporades and Chalkidiki Peninsula is extremely easy, as the Meltemi does not blow as strong as it does further south. The prevailing wind usually blows from the north-east, but occasionally in July and August a stronger wind blows from the north-west. During the summer months, it rarely rains and the temperature sits at a nice 68-86ºC.
There are no direct flights from the US, but you can book flights direct to Athens or Thessaloniki.
From Athens there are three ways of getting to the islands (prices are approximate per adult):
- Domestic flight with Athens Airways to Skiathos (approx. 30 min/€65)
- Bus from Athens Centre to Agios Konstantinos (approx. 2:15 hours/€18) and then hydrofoil to Skiathos
- Private transfer from Athens airport/city centre – Ag. Konstantinos. You may choose between a taxi or minibus transfer depending on the size of your party. The pick-up can be from the airport or city centre and it takes you directly to the boat departure port of Agios Konstantinos. A taxi is approximately two hours and costs €210 for four people and the minibus takes around two hours and can carry 10-17 people. Another advantage to a private transfer is that your boat tickets can be pre-reserved to Skiathos (crossing is about 2 hours 15 minutes and costs €48)
Day 1: Arrive in Marina Skiathos
The main sight in Skiathos town is the museum that used to be the house of the Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis during the 19th century. For theatre lovers, on the small peninsula of Bourtzi, there is an open-air theatre where performances of all kinds are shown there
Day 2: Skopelos Island (20 NM)
For those who love hiking, the view from the rock that stands in the sea located on the northern part of the island, will definitely reward you. Its 104 carved steps will lead you to the top of the rock where the chapel of Ag. Ioannis sto Kastri stands. Don’t leave Skopelos before you try the famous cheese pie available in most taverns.
Day 3: Linaria (Skiros Island) 42 NM
While in Skyros, you can visit the Faltaits Historical and Folklore Museum said to be one of the oldest, most beautiful and richest historical-folklore museums of Greece and it has an international reputation for decades. You should also check the ancient ruins of the Venetian castle built on top of the hill that has a breath-taking view. Under the castle, dominating the whole island is the monastery of Saint George (Ai Giorgis Skirianos, the patron Saint of this island) founded in 962.
Day 4: Paignio (Panagia Island) 40 NM
Day 5: Patitiri (Alonissos Island) 13 NM
Patitiri is the current capital of the island. The old capital, Chora, was destroyed in a 1965 earthquake. Try the local delicacy, roasted figs with honey, before you leave.
Day 6: Koukounaries (Skiathos Island) 25 NM
Day 7: Marina Skiathos 6 NM
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