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Skopelos, Greece: Travel Guide

Skopelos, also known as the Mama Mia island, is full of wonders. With its stunning beaches and lush landscapes, it easily ranks among Greece’s most beautiful islands. Not to mention most one of the most authentic too, as Skopelos remains largely untouched by the mass tourism that many of its Cyclades neighbors experience. If you’re considering a trip to this hidden gem in the Sporades you’re in for a treat. Here you’ll find the most curated and updated Skopelos Travel Guide!

Use the index below to guide you through the post. As you scroll down, you’ll find comprehensive recommendations on best beaches to visit, things to do, where to stay and restaurants. Now, let’s get started and discover the best Skopelos has to offer!

Where is & how to get to Skopelos

Tucked away in the shimmering waters of the Aegean Sea, Skopelos boasts stunning beaches and landscapes. Nestled between its well-known neighbors, Skiathos and Alonnisos, this island often flies under the radar of many who plan a visit to the Sporades archipelago. But trust me you won’t want to let this gem out of your itinerary.

To the north of Skopelos lies Thessaloniki, to the west Pelion and to the south Athens. But non of these major hubs in Greece are close enough to make the trip a breeze. Nor has Skopelos an airport to facilitate arrivals. That’s why finding your way to Skopelos may not seem straightforward at a first glance. But don’t worry, it’s actualy simpler than it appears. Here are the 3 main options to get to the island:

  • The first and simplest option is to fly in to the island of Skiathos, which gets flights from multiple European capitals in the summer months. From there, you can take a 30 minutes ferry to the port of Skopelos. The ferries run multiple times a days during high season. Tickets cost 14€ and can be booked in advance here.
  • A second option is to fly to Thessaloniki in the North of Greece. A variety of airlines service this city, including several budget-friendly options. From Thessaloniki port you can get a ferry directly to Skopelos. The trip takes approximately 3,5 hours and costs 60€ each way. Tickets can be booked in advance here.
  • An alternative option is to fly to Athens, drive to Volos and from there get a ferry boat to Skopelos. The trip takes approximately 3 hours and costs 55€ each way. Tickets can be booked in advance here.

Find all travel guides about the Greek Islands here. You’ll surely get the inspiration you need to book your dream trip!

How long to stay in Skopelos

Despite being a small island, Skopelos is packed with beautiful beaches and things to do. Thus, I’d recommend staying for at least 5 days to enjoy the best it has to offer. That’s what we did and felt it was a resonable amount of time to enjoy the best Skopelos has to offer. However, if you’re in a lazy vacation mood, I’d say extending your stay to 7 days would be ideal. Rather than devoting your entire holiday to Skopelos alone, consider also allocating some days to explore Skiathos. 3 or 4 days should suffice. This neighboring island is equally enchanting, and traveling between the two is a breeze!

Skopelos traavel guide

Best time to visit Skopelos

The weather in Skopelos is relatively warm all year round, but Spring and Summer are typically the best time to visit the island. The end of spring (May to June) and late summer (September to early October) are particularly great periods to travel, as the crowds are fewer and the rates lower compared to the ones during peak summer.

Although we visited Skopelos in the end of July and got positively surprised about how tranquil the island was. Different from other Greek Islands, I’d say Skopelos is an appropriate destination for the buzzling summer weeks of July and August. It will hardly get as packed as some other Eurosummer hotspots. Or as expensive as some other popular islands in Greece.

Best things to do in Skopelos

There are many amazing beaches and charming villages to visit in Skopelos. In addition to other incredible attractions, such as the Agios Ioannis church, featured in the Mama Mia movie. We spent 5 full days in the island and enjoyed every second of it. Especially the ones spent bathing in the the crystal clear blue Aegean waters. This islands is really a dreamy holiday destination and here’s a list with our favorite things to do in Skopelos.

1) Skopelos Town

Skopelos town is the gateaway to the island, as it’s where most ferry boats arrive and depart from. It’s the area most visitors chose to stay, so it has a good number of restaurants, bars and shops to be explored. As the sun sets, the town comes alive with both tourists and locals gathering to enjoy the magical atmosphere this coastal village exudes.

Best things to do Skopelos Greece
Skopelos town
Skopelos town travel guide
Skopelos town travel guide
Skopelos town

While in Skopelos Town, make sure to wander around its narrow alleys filled with cute shops. Also visit the Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagitsa of Pyrgos) and the beautiful views from there. The Venetian Castle is another point of interest in Skopelos town. After visiting the landmarks take the time to stroll in Skopelos waterfront and pick a place to sit and have a delicious meal. I’ll spare the restaurants recommendations for a later topic, but should let you know upfront that there are many great places to eat and drink in Skopelos town. You’ll surely have a great evenings there!

2) Hovolo Beach

Hovolo is the most beautiful beach in Skopelos. It’s straight out of a dream with its long extension and crystal clear blue waters. Getting there may not be easy, but it’s worth all the effort. You should head to Neo Klima village and park in the vicinities of Capitan Spyros restaurant. From there, take the trail that leads to the beach and continue until the very last part of it. You’ll be greeted by a magnificent beach surrounded by imposing cliffs.

Hovolo beach in Skopelos Greece
Hovolo beach Skopelos Greece
Best beaches Skopelos Greece

There’s no structure at the beach, so make sure to bring refreshments and snacks. You should also bring shelter from the sun, as shadows are sparse. We always bring a sun tent to Greece and consider this the best way to enjoy the country’s wild beaches. The water in Hovolo is not only beautiful, but also really comfortable to swim in. Paradise if you ask me!

3) Kastani Beach

After Hovolo, Kastani was the most beautiful beach we visited in Skopelos. It’s where a lot of Mama Mia scenes were recorded. And to be honest, I thought the beach was way more beautiful in real life than in the screens. The water in Kastani is super clear and has the most beautiful blue tone. Temperature is amazing, which invited us to explore the nearby coves and shore, which you can actually spot in the pictures. We spent so much time swimming there and could never get enough of it.

Best beaches Skopelos
Skopelos travel guide
Kastani beach Skopelos
Skopelos best things to do

There is a very well established beach bar at Kastani Beach, where we spent the day. While I must confess the music was a bit too loud for my taste, the amenities offered by Kastani Beach Bar more than compensated. A pair of sun beds with an umbrella cost 10€ and you can stay for as long you want. Their menu is reasonably priced and comprised of light meals such as salads, wraps and sandwiches. It was a great place to chill and enjoy a day at the beach. However, if you prefer, you can also bring your own gear and set camp at the beach. It’s a short one, so expect to close to other beach-goers.

While visiting Kastani, make sure to swim to the nearby coves on the left side. The water there is so pristine it almost seem unreal. You can also check these coves if you walk the trail connecting Kastani to Milia. Which is something I definitely recommend!

3) Milia Beach

Despite being so close to Kastani Beach, Milia doesn’t have the same water color tone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a beautiful beach and it has good structure. But I must confess it wasn’t my favorite spot in Skopelos. I’d definitely prioritize spending the day at Kastani, which is just around the corner. But at the same time I’d recommend checking Milia out, especially if you’re up for the hike between the two beaches. That’s what we did and absolutely loved the views!

While Milia Beach is just a stone’s throw away from Kastani Beach, their waters showcase different hues. Milia is undeniably beautiful and boasts good structure, but it didn’t quite capture my heart as Kastani did. I’d definitely prioritize spending the day at Kastani, which is just around the corner, instead of Milia. However, I’d still recommend checking Milia out. Especially if you’re up for the hike between the two beaches. That’s what we did and absolutely loved the views!

3) Chapel of St. John (Ioannis)

A little break from the beaches to mention the super unique and gorgeous Church of Agios Ionannis. A chapel sitting atop a huge rock with the most beautiful views. It’s been featured in Mama Mia and is a very popular place to visit in Skopelos. To sidestep the crowds and the intense midday heat, we arrived bright and early at around 8 am. It was the best decision and allowed to enjoy the chapel almost by ourselves, which added to the magical atmosphere. The panoramic views from up there are simply unbelievable. The dazzling water hues and the beach at the bottom of the church create the most surreal views!

Mama Mia church Skopelos Greece
Mama Mia church Skopelos Greece
Skopelos travel guide
Mama mia church Skopelos
Mama mia church Skopelos

I’d recommend visiting the chapel early morning or close to sunset. The morning is particularly advantageous, as parking becomes quite a challenge as the day progresses. Wear comfortable shoes and come prepared to climb the 105 steps leading to the church. It’ll be worth it, I swear. We loved visiting this distinct place, especially after having watched Mama Mia movie. This was the setting for Sophies wedding, even though church’s interior doesn’t quite reflect what’s depicted in the movie.

4) Agios Ioannis Beach

Below the Chapel of St. John lies Agios Ioannis Beach, one of the most pristine beaches in the whole of Skopelos. The water there is crystal clear and the ocean warm and calm. It’s a perfect place for a refreshing dip after having climbed the to the church. That’s precisely what we did and loved bathing in such pristine waters.

If you prefer to spend the day at Agios Ioannis Beach arrive early. There are some sunbeds and umbrellas being rented at the beach for 10€. But in the high season, they’re likely to be taken by 10.30 maximum. There’s a taverna right above the beach, where you can get meals and refreshments for the day.

Agios Ioannis Beach Skopelos
Agios Ioannis Beach
Best beaches Skopelos Greece

5) Amarandos Cove

This small rocky cape is adorned with a couple of lonely tree and surrounded by the most pristine blue waters. It has become the landmark of Skopelos and it’s indeed a beautiful sight. Amarandos was a Mama Mia location, reason why it’s quite popular amongst visitors. We both loved this spot, especially the views and coves that surrounds it. There a couple of small coves to the left which are pretty great to swim in. The sheer beauty of this spot had us in a state of awe!

Amarando cove Skopelos Greece
Best things to do in Skopelos Greece

6) Panormos Beach

Panormos is a beautiful bay surrounded by two islets and the lushest landscapes. The waters are so calm it looks like a lagoon rather than a beach. There are many restaurants by the water offering sunbeds to its clients. We had lunch at Linarakia Restaurant and absolutely loved the food. The moussaka was the best I had in the whole trip, and trust me, I’ve had my fair share of moussakas!

I’d recommend spending some time at this calm beach making the most of its structure. Every so often, excursion ships make their brief stops, momentarily transforming the beach into a bustling hub. But as quickly as they arrive, they depart, restoring the serene ambiance of the beach.

7) Glossa village

Glossa is the second biggest town in Skopelos and is located in the north of the island. Nestled on the mountainside, the town is laid out in an amphitheatrical fashion, which gives it a very imposing feel. It’s houses are really charming, mostly white washed with orange tiled roofs. Most of them have balconies overlooking the ocean adding to their charming features.

Glossa Skopelos Greece
Glossa Skopelos
Glossa Skopelos

Our visit to Glossa was perfectly timed with sunset, and it was an absolute delight. Strolling through its enchanting alleys and immersing ourselves in the authentic Greek ambiance was an experience to cherish. We checked the church at the base of the village, right by the beach. Later, we treated ourselves to a delicious meal at Vrahos Restaurant. Positioned right by the water, this restaurant not only offers a mesmerizing view of the setting sun but also serves the freshest of seafood.

8) Limnonari Beach

Limnonari is a stunning beach boasting crystal clear emerald green waters. The beach is lined with inviting bars that promise a day of pure relaxation. We chose Limonari Beach Bar, the first one as you arrive. They charge a 25€ cover charge which you can spend on drinks and food. Given they have a really good restaurant, I’d say it’s a fair deal. Our day there was spent bathing in the calm emerald waters, reading and snacking on authentic greek food. The structure of the restaurant is really good and includes showers, which I really appreciated!

Limnonari beach Skopelos
Limnonari beach Skopelos
beaches in Skopelos

9) Stafilos beach

It’s the closest beach to Skopelo town with crystal clear water and structure. Thus, it can get quite busy during summer. Being specially popular amongst families, as the calm waters of the beach offer a safe heaven to kids. We didn’t stay at this beach, but it the structure seemed quite good.

10) Perivoliou Beach

This wild beach located at the northmost part of Skopelos is a gem. The water is really pristine and the landscape gorgeous. A perfect spot for spending a calm day at the beach. Since there’s no structure make sure to bring refreshments and snacks. As well as shelter from the sun, as shadows are sparse.

11) Visit monasteries

There are many monasteries in Skopelos which were built between the 15th and 18th century. They are all monuments of the islands and deserve a visit. Monastery of Timios Prodromos, Metamorfosi Sotira, Panagia Evangelistria and Agia Varvara are the most fascinating. They are open to the public and have some sort of exhibition, which can vary from antique books to beautiful frescoes.

Skopelos is rich with history, and this is showcased through the monasteries standing in the island. Most of which were constructed between the 15th and 18th centuries. These monasteries aren’t just relics of the past; they’re living testimonials to the island’s rich heritage. Monastery of Timios Prodromos, Metamorfosi Sotira, Panagia Evangelistria and Agia Varvara are the most fascinating. Each offers its own unique appeal, from antique tomes to intricate frescoes. they warmly welcome visitors, allowing a deeper dive into the island’s religious and artistic past.

How to get around Skopelos

If you want to explore Skopelos well, you’ll need a car, ATV, or motorcycle. Cars are, in my opinion, the best way to explore the island. Renting a car will not only allow you to explore villages and get to the best beaches on the island. It will also provide you a safe refugee from the extreme sun and heat typical of summer months – which is something an ATV or motorcycle can’t provide.

We rented a car with Magic cars and had a pleasant experience. They charged 50€ per day for a C category vehicle which comfortably held 4 people. We were greeted by a representative of the company at the port, making the key collection process seamless. Returning the car was just as hassle-free; we simply dropped it off at the same location before boarding our ferry. All in all, I’d recommend their services!

Kastani Beach Skopelos Greece
Kastani Beach Skopelos Greece

If you prefer to check with more establish rental companies click here and get a quote!

Where to stay in Skopelos

We spent 5 days in Skopelos and split our stay in 2 different areas. The first 3 days were spent at Neo Klima village. Which is conveniently located between the most beautiful beaches in the island. Once we explored the northwestern coast, we headed back to Skopelos town, where we spent 2 more nights. I definitely recommend following a similar itinerary to avoid long drives from Skopelos town to the beaches in the north. Here are the top hotel picks in Skopelos:

If you prefer to look for other options besides the ones above, you can check with Booking.com. When book through our links, we may earn a small commission. You don’t pay extra for this, so it’s a win-win! 🙂

Where to eat in Skopelos

Skopelos is a foodies paradise. The local dishes, such as cheese pie and meatballs with a sweet and sour sauce with plums, are delicious. And so are the dishes based on seafood served by the local tavernas. The fishes, shrimps, octopus and squids are as fresh as it gets, most often caught during the same day.

We indulged in varied and tasty meals during our stay in Skopelos. To be honest, the Greek cuisine is one of the main factors that keep us coming back to the country. We’ve been 3 times now and can’t wait to come back soon. The moussakas, souvalakis, saganakis and many other dishes are to die for. These were our favorite restaurants in Skopelos. Try it for yourselves and thank me later!

Bes restaurants in Skopelos
Where to eat in Skopelos

Restaurants in Skopelos town

  • Muses: elegant atmosphere and tables by the water
  • Anantoli: beautiful sunset views and unpretentious vibes
  • Τa Kymata: a family-run taverna serving delicious traditional dishes
  • Soya Asian & Mexican food: delicious fusion menu for a break from Greek food
  • Skopelos Zoupa: Open-air restaurant with a really charming atmosphere
  • Vrachos All Day Cocktail Bar: a super cool drink bar with by the water
  • Mercurius Cocktail Bar: traditional drink bar with beautiful views over the bay

Restaurants across the island

  • Manolis Tavern: a family run taverna in Neo Klima with delicious dishes
  • Agnantis: in Glossa with the best sunset views and fresh sea food dishes
  • Limnonari Taverna: by Limnonari beach serving traditional and tasty meals
  • Vasiliki Taverna: by Panormos Beach with a reasonably priced menu and great views
  • Linarakia Taverna: by Panormos beach
  • Stafilos Restaurant: by Stafilos beach with gorgeous views
  • Vrahos Restaurant: in Glossa serving super fresh sea-food

What to pack for Skopelos

As you will most probably be visiting Skopelos during spring or summer in Greece, you should be prepared for very sunny and warm days. Hence, my suggestion is that you pack light and fresh clothes, beachwear, and casual shoes. Aim for beach attire and bring a light jacket just in case – chances are that you are not going to need it!

How long to stay in Skopelos
Travel guide Skopelos

For women: you should pack summer and fresh dresses in various styles, from flouncy to long ones. Skirts, linen pants, fresh tops, and shorts are also great items to bring to Lefkada. Flat and comfortable shoes should be your way to go and you absolutely won’t need high heels or heavy makeup.

For men: You can pack linen shirts and fresh fabric shirts, as well as t-shirts, shorts, and fresh pants. Shoes should be casual and comfortable, with no need for fancy items.

You will also need:

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