Undulating green countryside, some fine rural monasteries and a labyrinthine old town notwithstanding, the real business of Skiáthos is beaches: by far the best, if also the most oversubscribed, in the Sporades. There are over fifty strands (plus a few more on satellite islets), most with fine, pale sand, though still barely enough room for the legions of visitors; Italians and Greeks in summer, Brits and Scandinavians in spring and autumn. The main road along the south and southeast coasts serves an almost unbroken line of villas, hotels, minimarkets and restaurants; although they’ve not impinged much on Skiáthos’s natural beauty, they make it difficult to find anything particularly Greek here. But by hiking or using a 4WD vehicle, you can find relative solitude, refreshing vistas and charming medieval monuments in the island’s north.

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