If you choose to charter a yacht from Skiathos, you will experience reliable sunshine and excellent sailing in the Sporades. This pine covered group of islands, which includes Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos, is surrounded by deep blue crystal waters. The islands are close together and the southern coasts are relatively well-protected from the Meltemi winds which blow down from the north in the summer. There are many sheltered coves and anchorages where you can relax for a swim or even stay overnight. On this route, you will cover a minimum of 75 nautical miles and visit three different Greek islands.
Skiathos town is just five minutes from the airport; in fact, the planes approach over the marina and it seems like they are almost touching the yacht masts! The town of Skiathos is a very pretty place to start your holiday, with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, and tavernas on the waterfront, all of which will charm you.
For your first day’s sailing, you will sail 7 nautical miles east to the island of Skopelos. Skopelos is perhaps the ideal holiday destination – it is unspoilt and beautiful. You can quickly get away from the stresses of everyday life. On your charter yacht from Skiathos, you will berth in the pretty harbour of Loutraki. If you prefer to anchor, this too, is possible. This small, traditional Greek harbour is the island’s second port, and is used by ferries and hydrofoils. There are several good waterside tavernas, including ‘Flisvos’ which serves locally caught fresh fish. If you are feeling adventurous, a visit to Glossa, the old hill town high above the harbour, is definitely worth a visit, with spectacular sunset views over Skiathos island to the west.
Following the southern coast of Skopelos from Loutraki, you will head for the big harbour of Skopelos town, 18 miles away on the other side of the island. For a lunchtime stop on the way, you could anchor in the fabulous sheltered bay of Panormos on the west coast of Skopelos. This beautiful bay is surrounded by trees and is popular for swimming. A short dinghy ride will take you to a taverna. Also, the remains of an ancient village can be seen on the beach.
When you arrive at Skopelos town you will find it is a busy harbour, with large ferries arriving at various times of the day. Once you are safely moored, take a walk around the pretty harbour and relax with a coffee or beer at one of the numerous bars overlooking the waterfront. The town forms a steep amphitheatre of white buildings with terracotta rooftops. There are said to be over 130 churches here. You can enjoy a very pleasant walk through the winding streets and experience the sort of Greek life which hasn’t changed much for centuries. Old men sit and chat outside the ‘kafenion’ while the grandmothers keep their shady yards spotless.
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Your next sailing destination on your yacht charter from Skiathos is the pretty harbour village of Patitiri, on the next island, Alonissos, just 8 nautical miles east of Skopelos. Patitiri takes its name from the wine presses (patitiria) that were once used in the production of wine in this area, although the vines are no longer grown here. It is the capital and main port of Alonissos. It was rebuilt by the residents of the hill village nearby, who left their homes and moved down to the port after the earthquake of 1965. The harbour retains a peaceful and calm atmosphere but has plenty of amenities - you will find a selection of local shops, cafes and tavernas.
A short bus ride will take you uphill to explore the little streets of the ancient chora (hill village), which is slowly being restored. Whitewashed houses cling precariously to the steep slopes, their colourful shutters closed to keep out the midday sun. Here you will see some exquisite cafes, gift shops and bars in a wonderful location. The town square, shaded by plants and trees, offers maybe the finest views on the island.
It is a short hop by yacht from Patitiri along the coast of Alonissos to Steni Vala, approximately 10 miles to the north-east. This is a small narrow inlet, reminiscent of a little fjord. It is said that pirates once hid their ships in the bay. The quay is primarily used by local fishermen, who are tolerant of visiting yachts. This largely untouched Greek harbour village is slowly embracing tourism and there are several tavernas here. The family run ‘Fanari’ fish tavern will offer you a selection of delicious seafood and other home-made dishes. There is what they call a 'supermarket' here - it resembles a museum, with many artifacts and crafts on display inside the shop. A short walk out of town to the north will bring you to small narrow beach which is home to the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre for the monk seals which live in the seas in this area.
You will sail 15 nautical miles SW from Steni Vala, going back round the southern tip of Skopelos to the picturesque bay of Agnondas. It is named after one early occupant of the village, who won a race at the Olympic Games in 569 BC. Here you will find a pretty beach village with a small port; is the alternative destination for ferries and passenger boats if bad weather closes the main port in Skopelos town. You will be charmed by the pristine beaches backed by pine forests, as well as the beautiful emerald waters. Anchor in the bay and take your dinghy ashore to sip a coffee or a local ouzo at one of the beachside tavernas and enjoy the wonderful Greek sunset. The Korali beach restaurant serves fresh lobster in an enviable setting at the end of the pier.
You will be charmed by the pristine beaches backed by pine forests, as well as the beautiful emerald waters.
At this point in your charter yacht holiday from Skiathos you will have visited the three main islands of the Sporades. Now, just before you finally return to base, you have the chance to visit another, lesser known one – the small, uninhabited island of Tsougria, which is 4 miles south of Skiathos harbour and approximately 12 nm NW of Agnondas. As you arrive the wonderful stretch of sandy beach will make you feel like an explorer discovering your own piece of paradise. You can anchor off the beach in clear water over white sand, and swim from your yacht to the beach. In the summer months there is a small taverna open for refreshments.
As you arrive (at Tsougria) the wonderful stretch of sandy beach will make you feel like an explorer discovering your own piece of paradise.
As an alternative, you could sail on to the famous Koukounaries Beach, on the south coast of Skiathos, a further 5 miles west from Tsougria. Here you will find a long stretch of fine white sand backed by a lagoon and a pine forest, from which the area got its name. You can take a cool walk through the large forest and lagoon area behind the beach, which is a classified nature reserve. Koukounaries beach is often voted amongst the ten top beaches in the world. This is a very busy place in the summer months, with numerous hotels, camp sites, tavernas and bars close by. It is a popular venue for many water sports. If you anchor here, you can escape the busy beach and crowds and withdraw to the tranquillity of your own yacht. You may though find yourself in the company of a huge super yacht - this is a favourite place for them to visit.