All you need to know about Skopelos island!
Skopelos is a Sporadic island known for it’s unspoiled charm, relaxing ambience and verdant landscapes. The island is so picturesque that scenes from the movie Mamma Mia were filmed on the island. It’s two main villages are Skopelos town and Glossa, both of which cling to lush mountainsides and boast breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Aswell as it’s enchanting villages, Skopelos boasts mesmerizing beaches and impressive sights.
Each beach of Skopelos is more breathtaking than the last, each one possessing soft white sands and crystal waters on a backdrop of lush vegetation. Below is a list of the most popular.
Stifilos: This beach is located 5km southeast of Skopelos town and is one of the most popular on the island. It’s fine white sands and crystalline waters are surrounded by tall verdant cliffs and it’s rugged seabed creates the perfect conditions for snorkeling. Waterfront fish tavernas and beach bars are avaliable.
Panormos: 12km west of the capital is the beach of Panormos which is considered to be one of the most stunning beaches on the island. The long bay boasts fine white sands and turquoise waters surrounded by rich greenery. Tavernas and other touristic facilities line the beachfront.
Kastani: Kastani’s glassy waters, white sands and pine tree forest have gained a lot of attention since the beach’s appearance in the movie Mamma Mia. It’s secluded location maintains it’s calm atmosphere.
Hovolo: This beach is also considered to be one of the most stunning on the island with it’s white- faced cliffs that engulf the beach’s soft sands and turquoise waters. The beach’s rugged terrain gives an unspoiled and tranquil charm.
Elios: This remarkable beach is said to be where the island’s saint, Reginus rescued his flock from a terrifying dragon. It is also known to encounter rumblings from the island’s frequent earthquakes. It’s unique icey blue waters and sugar white sands make this a truly stunning place to relax.
Agios Ioannis: 30km northwest of Skopelos town lies the famous beach of Agios Ioannis. This beach has attracted tourists from across the world since it’s beachside cliff and charming chapel were seen in the movie, Mamma Mia. The small beach possesses emerald waters and blonde sands. Due to it’s lack of facilities the beach is rarely crowded.
Church of Agios Ioannis: Located in the region of Kastri, perched precariously on the top of an imposing cliff stands the lovely church of Agios Ioannis. This church is reachable by the 110 stairs carved into the cliff side and is worth the climb for it’s spectacular views. This church is now especially famous due to it’s appearance in the movie Mamma Mia.
Monastery of Timios Prodromos: Located 6km east of Skopelos town is the Monastery of Timios Prodromos. The majestic building was built in the 17th century and hosts a small ecclesiastical museum.
Monastery of Evangelistria: On the verdant slopes of a mountainside stands the Monastery of Evangelistria. Established in 1712 this whitewashed building offers stunning views of the island.
Museum of Cultural Heritage (Library Perseus Athineos): The museum and library were both opened in 2008 in an effort to keep the history of the island alive. The beautiful stone building was built in 1926 and due to it’s altitude offers lovely views of the village below.
Monastery of Agia Varvara: This fortified monastery is located close to the capital and presents frescoes dating back to the 15th century.
Folklore Museum: This museum is housed in an 18th century mansion and exhibits traditional costumes, paintings, ceramics and furniture.
Lighthouse: The Gourouni lighthouse was built in 1889 and is located on the northern side of the island. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece.
Venetian Castle: Located in the main town, this castle was built during the 13th century on the ancient ruins of the settlement of Peparithos.
Monastery of Metamorfosi: The monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ is located 3km east of Skopelos town. It was founded in the 16th century and hosts exhibitions of rare icons.
Pirate Graves: Located on the mountain of Delphi lie the rock graves of various fallen pirates. Legend says that buried with these pirates were twelve chests of gold that are now protected by the ghosts of the pirates. The area offers breathtaking views!
Local products of the island include: Virgin olive oil, excellent wines and honey.
Local specialties include: Cheese pies and blackfish casserole.
Events and festivals
The island, like most of the Greek islands, celebrates many religious feasts that entail litanies, lots of food, local wine, traditional music dancing. The biggest feasts celebrated on the island are:
February 25th: Feast of Agios Riginus, patron saint of the island
August 6th: Feast of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ
August 15th: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary
August: The Loizia Festival is considered to be the most important and most popular event on the island. Taking place predominantly in the town of Glossa, this festival honors the most important Greek-Cypriot composer of the 20th Century, Manos Loizos. Throughout the island, concerts of his music, theatrical performances, storytelling evenings, dancing and feasts take place.
Summer: International Film Festival- Starting in July and continuing through to August, this festival offers cinema workshops and film screenings from participants from across the globe.
September: Skopelos Wine Festival (lots of dancing and lots of FREE local wine!)