If you followed along on social media you’ll know that last month my blogger buddy, Vicky Flip Flop, and I hopped our way around 3 Greek Islands in just 1 week. Our islands of choice were Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos in the Sporades and as each of these islands have such distinct personalities it was like we went on 3 different holidays in just 1 week. As Olympic Holidays took care of all the logistics all Vicky and I had to do was get ourselves to Gatwick.
Alonissos is the least known of the Sporades and that, for me, turned out to be a big part of its attraction. Tourism has touched just enough of the island to keep holiday-makers happy but overall you feel like you’re slipping into local life here rather than disrupting it.
The main draws for Alonissos are the marine park surrounding the island (the fantastically friendly and informed team at Alonissos Triton Dive Center can take you for introductory dives) and the near-empty beaches hidden amongst the woodland.
Vicky and I hired a car to explore and in some places we could literally drive right up to the water’s edge. Our favourite stop was Agios Dimitrios, known as ‘The Pimple’ because it pops out like a little lump on the coastline. The water here is pure turquoise and although the beach is pebbly it has a gorgeous little café run by a striking lady who makes great frappes.
The main port in Alonissos is lined by a quaint row of family-run restaurants, and Olympic’s in-resort rep, Chrissy, is a totally charming local personality.
Vicky and I stayed at the Atrium Of Alonissos, an immaculately clean and serene hotel, which has striking ocean views and is within walking distance of the harbour and its restaurants.
Skopelos is the island made famous by Mamma Mia and personally I loved how they have embraced this claim to fame without losing sight of what else the island has to offer. Although we primarily joined the Mamma Mia Highlights Tour to hear Hollywood gossip and sing ABBA songs all day long, the tour taught us lots about the geography, cuisine and history of Skopelos as well as ticking these boxes. It also served as a great introduction to places we wanted to go back to and explore on our own steam, especially the lesser-known beaches and incredibly photogenic villages.
The architecture, churches and hidden bars of Skopelos Town are what made me fall for this island, not to mention the incredible meal we enjoyed at Agnanti Restaurant in Glossa.
We checked out a couple of different accommodation options in Skopelos and the choice mainly comes down to whether you want to be near the beach or the town. If you’d like a little luxury, check out Skopelos Holidays Hotel and Spa, which is tucked away in a quiet spot on the outskirts of town.
As the only one of the 3 islands to have an airport, our trip to The Sporades was book-ended with a stay in Skiathos and it was the perfect way to start and end the holiday. Although not the biggest of the 3 islands, Skiathos is the most touristy – albeit not to the same extent as the likes of Santorini and Mykonos. If you know where to look (psst check out this post) it’s possible to have an extremely chic holiday in Skiathos but in a low-key, understated kind of way.
The best thing about Skiathos, for me, was the beaches as I’m a golden sand kind of girl. I liked that most of the beaches were paired with a taverna or two and you could seek a different beach depending on your mood – active, lazy, party etc.
Skiathos Town is also an incredibly pretty place to go shopping and for a giggle-filled night out you can visit the open-air cinema and see a Mamma Mia screening. We stayed at the Skiathos Palace Hotel which is on the western side of the island (near my favourite beach- Agia Eleni) and has one of the best-looking pools in Skiathos.
Island Hopping With Olympic Holidays
Our trip was definitely island-hopping made easy! If you book an island hopping itinerary with Olympic Holidays they look after all the details including ferry tickets, transfers and welcome meetings to get you up to speed on the best things to do on each island.
As we learned on this trip, ferry timetables are subject to change so it’s great to have an in-resort rep keep on top of this for you – you are on holiday after-all!
We spent some time with the Olympic Holidays team in Skiathos and they are a dynamic and fun-loving bunch who truly care about their customers. Olympic’s Skiathos guests have a great season ahead of them!
Tips For Island Hopping In Greece
- We did find that the boats were susceptible to delays, which isn’t a big deal if you’re happily sipping a frappe on the harbour while you wait, but it does mean you should factor this into your overall itinerary. Make sure you give yourself enough time in each destination to do all the things you want to, bearing in mind you will lose half a day each time you change hotels/islands.
- Travel times vary depending on your route but to give you an idea we were scheduled on the following:
Ferry from Skiathos to Alonissos – depart 11.30 arrive 13.30
Ferry from Alonissos to Skopelos – depart 16.30 arrive 17.00
Flying Cat from Skopelos to Skiathos – depart 07.10 arrive 08:05
- Make sure you can lift your own luggage. The men on the ferries were kind enough to give me a hand when I struggled to get my bag on board but there’s no porter service as such. It’s down to you to get all your belongings on and off without falling overboard!
- State your destination when you get on board. The ferry will likely be making several stops so state where you’re heading when you hop on board so that your luggage is placed in the correct bucket.
- Be adventurous! I wasn’t sure what the public ferries in Greece would be like and was totally surprised by how smooth the ride was and what good condition the loos were in. On every ride we took I noted passengers of all ages – from little ‘uns to retirees – so don’t be afraid to mix your next Greek holiday up with a bit of island hopping.
I travelled to Greece as a guest of Olympic Holidays. All opinions are my own. Visit olympicholidays.com for more information.
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