Skopelos Greece - Greek Island Holiday, Beach, Walks and Photos Guides.
Skopelos is a peaceful, tree covered Greek Island with many lovely beaches and also has excellent tracks and paths for walks in the hills and to beaches.
Skopelos Town has a great little port to wander around and the tavernas are perfect to sit in during the evening and watch the
rest of the world pass slowly by - just what you would expect and hope to find on a holiday out on the islands.
Skopelos is very hilly and apart from the 4 or 5kms stretch between Skopelos Town and Stafilos (Velanio) Beach
- which only rises a little between the two coasts
- you are pushed to find anywhere particularly flat for more than a few hundred yards on the island.
Early in the holiday season perhaps up to the end of June Skopelos Town is
usually quiet with little traffic - the front by the tavernas and bars is shut to traffic (allegedly) in the evenings so mostly only people (beware of prams) and a couple of pony/horse carriages are likely to potentially mow you down.
However Skopelos Town gets very busy from mid July and then through into August since many Greeks from the mainland as well as Italians arrive for their summer holidays - then even getting a table in one of the many tavernas
particularly during the early evening can be difficult.
Skopelos Greece Buses, Taxis and Ferries.
When we arrived in mid-June the bus service was fairly limited through
the day with sometimes 2 hour gaps between services and not all buses going right through to Glossa. However by the second week more and more buses were being added to the timetable. The longest route is between Skopelos Town to Loutraki and takes about an hour.
The buses do pretty well keep to their timetables - they do however get very very packed - especially if you want to get on at Stafilos Beach to return to Skopelos Town on the last bus. One early evening the last bus arrived and already maybe a dozen people on it were standing, and am sure around another 30 or so of us then got on - talk about sardines.
Taxis can be found near where the hydrofoils come in (Skopelos Town harbour) and are quite reasonable - a bit of negotiating is always worth while on the cost for your journey and anyway as normal the price should be agreed prior with the driver. Taxis also linger around Panormos, Glossa and Loutraki. There is a very good ferry and hydrofoil service
between Sciathos and Skopelos as well as to the mainland with the hydrofoil trip between Sciathos and Skopelos taking about 45 minutes. They are quite small hydrofoils with windows so you can get a nice view of both islands on the trip since the boats keep quite close to the coastlines.
Larger ferries also visit Skopelos several times a week - usually in the evening - and the chaos surrounding their arrival and departure beats any TV.
One point worth mentioning is that the ferries turn round very quickly:- they unload and reload and are gone in just a few minutes so being late to catch one is not a good plan.
Skopelos Car Hire. There are plenty of car and scooter hire facilities in Skopelos Town - the insurance is a bit weird in that you cannot get true fully comprehensive cover - there is a damage fee which varies so you need to check the paperwork carefully. (Note that if you hire during a Greek holiday weekend the prices at least double). Apart from the Skopelos Town to Loutraki main road, most of the roads are very narrow and
hilly with tight hairpins - so hiring anything other than a small car just makes it harder to drive round. Also many of the roads are in reality dirt tracks - you can hire a jeep but curiously we never came across one jeep in our 100 odd miles of track walking. Nor did we see one jeep whilst we were driving on the tracks in the car, we only
noticed them on the tarmac roads. One particular issue to consider re hiring jeeps could be the bees - at times we had to close the car windows whilst on the tracks because we were being bombarded by bees and twice by wasps (the latter do try and sting you). If you
come across wasps when driving in an open jeep then avoiding the possibility of a sting or two is not a choice but a matter of luck of course.
Wildlife on Skopelos Greece - snakes, lizards, jellyfish, sea-urchins, bees and wasps. The only snakes we saw were on the tarmac roads, where they had been run over and from the
amount we saw there must be a lot of snakes (and ex-snakes) on the island. We did twice see live snakes crossing in front of us whilst driving on the road (and nearly put the car into the ditch to avoid running one over on one occasion so thank goodness at least that snake lived to see another day). Far as tracks and footpaths were concerned - we walked over a 100 miles on the island and
never saw one - as normal with most snakes they will try and stay out of your way so the noise of you walking on tracks will scare them off, and when walking on paths especially near damp areas we always scuff a little now and again to let them know we are around. Have not yet come across a vicious killer lizard yet on any island so they are seemingly not a problem and there are plenty to watch and enjoy.
We came across jellyfish in the sea (where else..) at Stafilos Beach, they were around 2 to 3 inches across and at times there were quite a few - they were mostly in the first few yards into the sea just floating along enjoying the warmer water etc. like the rest of us - nobody mentioned being stung by them though. Friends of ours were on holiday on Skopelos a few weeks before we went and said that at Panormos beach they had a problem with sea-urchins - we had some very
lightweight bubble-shoes which we used when going into the sea so did not have any problem with this.
Actually these shoes were useful anyway a) because the sand was very hot to walk on and b) they helped when walking into the sea due to the numerous rocks and stones on the seabed. There are so many bees on the island it's unbelievable - they did not sting us at least, but they are quite large and one type have very luminous green/turquoise eyes.
We found that if you are not moving these bees will land on you and may give you a sort of "nip" but they seemed unable to land if you are walking. The wasps are a different issue - they will happily land on you whether you are moving or not and they do try and sting you. We found that the wasps
seemed to be mostly near wet/damp areas and of course where there were fruit trees with rotting fruit. On the beach which we mostly used - Stafilos naturist beach - an occasional bee would turn up but when told politely to "bug off" they
would do just that. Occasional wasps turned up especially if you were eating fruit but a few swipes with a towel or hat would also make them clear off - so not a problem on the beaches really.
Skopelos Beach Tavernas. Generally the cost of sun beds(2) and umbrellas was quite reasonable on the
various Skopelos beaches which we visited. Prices being charged were generally similar on for instance Panormos and Klima and not a lot different to the old Dracula days - similarly the prices in the beach-side tavernas were much the same as found around the island. However a glaring exception were the costs on
the 3 Stafilos Bay beaches - sun beds/umbrella were double the normal rate and the beach tavernas were charging over the odds for a couple of fantas/cokes. Needless to say the tavernas were not so very busy and - apart from weekends when the local islanders were on the beaches - few of the sun beds etc were being used.
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