Skiathos Town (Part Three): Off the Beaten Track…

If you want to keep a memory of Skiathos other than a Greek Saint-Tropez, I suggest you to leave as soon as possible the places I’ve just mentioned. When you reach the end of the old harbor just before the fish market, you will see some stairs. Climb them up. Fight your way through the people who sip their cocktails, sprawled on cushions scattered on the steps. Go to the square of the Church of Tris Ierarches, the former cathedral of the island, and get lost in the alleys.

Tight white or stone houses with red-tiled roofs huddle in the shade of these narrow steep streets, which can be climbed only on foot or with a motorbike. Their iron balconies often topped by a pergola chestnut are stormed by fragrant jasmine bushes and bougainvillea. The lucky ones have mini gardens or courtyards overflowing with geraniums and oleander.

Ask for the district of Plakes. The part facing the sea, which has a view overlooking the small beach below, is the prettiest. A few steps and you are in the sea, clear and calm. The crowd is far away and you are out of time.

Beautiful houses line the promenade. Most of them are very well restored by foreign owners or some families of native sailors who, after travelling the world, have come to enjoy their retirement in one of the most beautiful places in their island. These houses have their garden on the other side of the road, almost hanging over the sea. The owners have built small pergolas, under which only a small table and a few wobbly chairs can fit. From the beginning of the summer, in these tiny shelters, they eat, drink ouzo or wine and sing some old Greek ballads, the eyes full of tears. Sometimes they even invite the lucky passersby to share their meal.

Take a stroll through the small peninsula on the path that winds among the pines, Judas trees and rocks. Away from the hubbub of the crowd, you will hear only the sound of the sea and of the cicadas...

A nice way to end this walk is to climb to the church of Aghios Fanourios, where you can enjoy a magnificent view to the town and its surroundings. Read Part 1 and Part 2