The picturesque island of Skopelos, the largest of the Northern Sporades, is the perfect location for a Hollywood movie or dream vacation.
The Americans already thought of the film a decade ago: it is the sugary musical Mamma Mia! an improbable love story, with a happy ending of course, punctuated by the songs of Abba, which all takes place on the enchanting Greek island of Kalokairi… which is none other than the fictitious name of Skopelos on the big screen.
Imagine the beautiful beaches where you will spend hours of total relaxation, the ancient monasteries that you will go to photograph or the taverns where you will spend your evenings enjoying the local specialties and sipping a glass of wine. Don’t you feel already on vacation?
Skopelos can boast of a number of striking beaches, bathed by crystal clear sea and framed by green pine trees. The north coast of the island is wilder, with high headlands exposed to the winds, while the beaches of the southern part, mostly pebbles or a mixture of sand and stones, are more sheltered.
Here is an essential list of the best beaches of Skopelos:
Discover more about the most beautiful beaches of Skopelos
The main center of the island is Skopelos, a quaint town in the north of the island that resembles an amphitheater: from a semicircular bay climbs up the slopes of a mountain with a maze of narrow streets, white houses and pastel-colored roofs.
Life here flows quietly, between walks along the seafront, dinners in a typical tavern, young people on scooters and old men playing backgammon. Tourism is the main activity but without being intrusive; the nightlife is cheerful but not boisterous.
In the town of Skopelos you will find all the essential tourist services including bars and restaurants, car rental agencies and a couple of souvenir stores.
If you have some time, check out the original Bakratsa Museum, housed in an elegant 18th century mansion that belonged to a doctor. It displays a bizarre collection of medical equipment and clothing for married and unmarried men and women.
The second place of the island is Glossa, a traditional village in the north of the island that has not wanted to open itself to mass tourism, thus preserving an atmosphere of authenticity now very rare to find.
Not even having been in the Hollywood spotlight – Agios Ioannis Kastri, the little church where some of the most important scenes of Mamma Mia! were filmed, is located here – has affected its slow and no-frills lifestyle, with few cars and still a few donkeys used as means of transportation.
You don’t have to be a fan of the film to want to visit this wonderful little church on top of a hill overlooking the sea: tiny, it almost blends in with the surrounding landscape of rocks and sporadic green patches.
From Glossa going down a 2 km long road or following a shorter cobbled path you can reach Loutraki, the main port of the island of Skopelos; next to the port you can see the remains of the ancient Roman baths.
If you are looking for a corner of authentic romance, visit the lighthouse of Cape Gouroni, 9 km from Glossa. The road to reach it is a bit bumpy, better to go on foot and enjoy the view. You will be able to rest in the enchanting beaches near the lighthouse, usually uncrowded.
The ancient monasteries are the greatest tourist attraction of Skopelos: there are about a dozen of them scattered throughout the island, with a greater concentration on Mount Palouki; four are still inhabited.
Almost always placed in a panoramic position, isolated and romantic, can be reached by car but it is much more suggestive to arrive on foot, along paths in the mountains and ancient mule tracks.
Which to visit? Here are some ideas: Evangelismos, built in the eighteenth century, is the only monastery of the island visible from the city of Skopelos; the oldest Sotiris, dating from the sixteenth century, is run by a single monk who has the reputation of being perpetually frowning; Varvaras houses a museum and a small store of local products.
On the island of Skopelos are different structures for all desires of tourists: from cheap studios to hotels and villas with all services: discover the best places to choose as a base on the page dedicated to advice on where to sleep in Skopelos or use the search engine below to find in a few seconds all the facilities available on the island.
If you love active vacations or experiential tourism, you can fill your day with activities in Skopelos: snorkeling, fishing, hiking and canoeing are just a few examples; those who want to pump more can try the trail along one of the beautiful mountain paths.
Do you prefer cooking to sport? We recommend you to attend a local cooking class during which you will discover the tasty traditional cuisine for which the island is renowned.
There is no airport on the island of Skopelos: the easiest way to get there is therefore to take a flight to the nearby island of Skiathos and from there a ferry to Skopelos.
What's the weather at Skopelos? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Skopelos for the next few days.
The magical island of Skopelos was the backdrop for the blockbuster film Mamma Mia! based on the sweeping ABBA soundtrack, starring Meryl Streep. The film’s producers visited 25 other islands before choosing Skopelos for its authentic character and unusual greenery.
In fact, the island retains the charm of 50 years ago, in which everything has been preserved with extreme care in an absolutely Greek style
The turquoise sea island enchants travelers with its crystal clear waters surrounded by fragrant pine forests, picturesque villages with pastel colors and small churches such as the small chapel of St. George (Agios Ioannis Kastro), where the scenes of the wedding of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan were filmed.
The island has become so famous that couples from all over the world decide to make long journeys to get married on its fairy-tale beaches and the inhabitants of Skopelos have even prepared a Mamma Mia! movie tour, an itinerary that touches the main places of the film for real movie buffs!