Skiathos

With about 45km of coastline and a population of 4,000 Skiathos is a remarkable little island for one with such a huge A list pedigree. Sometimes you have to barge past half of hollywood, just to get to the bar for another bottle of Mythos. The narrow lanes of Chora are a wonderful maze to rival Rhodes old town and they have some excellent little eateries. Nearby you really can find some of the finest beaches in all of Greece. Inland, Skiathos is a green island covered by a thick pine forest that attracts wildlife watchers in their droves. As a result of all these factors, Skiathos has become one of the most cosmopolitan Greek islands. At night Skiathos town is a-buzz with people, but it isn’t a teenage disco town. You will find sophisticated europeans, hollywood royalty and local farmers all rubbing shoulders as they make their nightly walks around, meeting old friends and making new ones.

Skiathos holidays needn’t mean endless plates of chips with everything and the same predictable offerings you find throughout the Aegean. Alongside the gaudy tourist restaurants (sadly, there are one or two; best avoid them at all costs) and the traditional ouzeri-fish tavernas, a new breed of restaurant has taken root on the island. You can get high quality meals with not a french fried chip in sight if you are prepared to pay just a tiny bit more than you would in those tacky tourist places where they have photos on the menus (never a sign of a chef aiming for Michelin stars).

No, Skiathos is a step above all that. It is a real modern cultural haven amongst the Greek Islands. However, they haven’t forgotten their roots and lovers of archaeology and history are as well served here as on the neighbouring islands. Monarch flies there directly from Gatwick so no transfers or mucking about with ferry timetables.

If you happen to like ferry timetables, or just want to explore other local places while you are there, Volos andĀ Agios Konstantinos on the mainland, Glossa on Skopelos, Alonissos and Skopelos are all directly linked with boats running at least twice a day to each.