In this 2nd part of ‘Best beaches of Skopelos not to miss during your holiday’, we will explore a few more beaches on the west side of the island.
If you have not already read the 1st part, ‘Some of the top Skopelos beaches not to miss‘, I suggest you start with that one. It will give you a good bearing on most beaches on the west side of Skopelos, as they can be visited from Skopelos Country Villas. The last bay we visited in part 1 was the magnificent beach of Panormos. It is one of my favourite beaches for quite a few reasons.
I love swimming the entire length of the beach, (about 350 meters) and then busking out on one of the loungers. There are several groups of lounger sets you can choose from along the length of Panormos beach. I usually prefer the ‘Espresso Café/Bar loungers, next to John’s Taverna. It is a nice feeling having a proper espresso freddo after a long swim, followed by one of their ‘make your own’ sandwiches. If it gets busy during July and August, my favourite compilation of Cafe del Mar music through my headphones and a good book blocks out all the unnecessary noise. A perfect way to end my day is to sit at John’s Taverna and watch the glorious sunset with some good, home-made food.
Now that we feel more rejuvenated from swimming in the deep blue waters of Panormos beach, follow me along this wonderful drive. Let’s explore some more beaches dotting the shores of west Skopelos.
I drive on the coastal road, leaving Panormos bay behind me. The road takes me inland, through the flat area of Loutsa, where I always enjoy driving through. About 5 km down the road, I ignore the left turn at the fork, (leading to Skopelos town), and continue driving downwards, passing a horseshoe bend. The density of the pine trees all around me makes them seem like they’re zooming towards me, making their presence known at every turn of the road. It’s great if you can stop by the side of the road for a few minutes and breath the fresh air, mixed with the distinct aroma of the pines. Look for the small shrubs of thyme with the purple flowers. They resemble those of Lavender. These thyme bushes have a really beautiful and calming smell that immediately relax you and make you feel like new.
The next road sign you will come across is that of ‘Limnonari‘ beach. It sits right on a sharp turn, directing you to go off the main road and take a right turn. I’ve decided to go past this beach since it’s not one of my favourites. I wouldn’t place it on this list of Best beaches of Skopelos. Many would argue against this but for me, there are a few reasons I don’t often visit it. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a great bay, (smaller than Panormos), sheltered and with great water to swim in.
The road leading there, however, can be a bit of a nightmare since it’s really tight and with huge drops. There is no room at all for a manoeuvre when you meet an oncoming car, especially on your way back when you have the cliffs and the sea on your right.
Half of the beach is full of rocks, which makes it a little tricky to get into and if the sea is a little rough, it makes it even harder.
The second half, that has some fine shingles and sand, gets dark faster as the imposing mountain above you will obstruct the sun past 5 pm. You can still visit Limnonari beach and check for yourselves. I do believe it’s worth seeing.
One thing you will notice right away is the size of the beach. It is one of the smallest, pebbly beaches you will see and with more than a few loungers and umbrellas sprawled on its entire length.
It is a combination of experiences, however, that you should go after. The water and the rocks on the right side are more than ideal for snorkelling. If you’re not much of a snorkeler, then a quick dip in the emerald water will refresh you. The reflections of the pine trees on the surface mix a beautiful palette of colours that put some exotic beaches to shame.
My suggestion would be to arrive here late afternoon and close to sunset. Try getting a table in one of the last 2 tavernas and watch the divine sunset while you have some meze and ouzo. This experience will be one of your holiday highlights in Skopelos.
As soon as you pass the turn for Limnonari, you will see the spectacular, smaller bay of Agnondas. The ease of access and the close proximity from Skopelos town are a few of the reasons that make this spot the heavenly place that it is.
Stafylos and Velanio among the best beaches of Skopelos
Their distinct landscape, the beautiful snorkelling areas and diving spots, place them in my list of Skopelos best beaches. Stafylos is the first beach sharing the bay of Stafylos and is very popular with visitors and locals alike. If you can overlook its popularity, you will be rewarded with a great swimming experience. As with Limnonari beach, the sun departs here after about 5-6pm, so it’s best if you can base yourselves towards the end and get more of a suntan.
Those of you that are after some rock climbing and diving, an excellent spot is the group of rocks at the beginning of the beach. I have been rock diving there since I was a young kid. These rocks offer a magical snorkelling experience as well. You can swim all around them and spot a variety of fish and interesting underwater flora. The end of the beach is even more abundant with marine life, some interesting looking rocks and caves as well. Don’t be surprised if you happen to meet any monk seals that roam the area. Although they are shy and avoid people, this far end of the beach is always quieter and offer more hiding spots for them.
Velanio beach could easily occupy a whole section by itself as one of the TOP Skopelos beaches. Discreetly hiding behind Stafylos and occupying the south-east part of Stafylos bay it’s visited roughly by about 1/3 of people. As soon as you reach the top of the small path leading to the beach, just stop there. Breath and take in this heavenly landscape. The first part of the beach is just below you. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the deserted islands between Skopelos and Alonissos. A refreshing breeze is almost always present on this very spot. It rewards you for your walk across Stafylos and the hike you took to get here. The beach itself is split into 2 parts.
The first part is where you normally see most sunbathers. There were no beach bars or loungers here for many years, but since 2017, there is a small beach bar. It is still a much quieter beach than its neighbour and you can, of course, get water and drinks now. This peninsula of Stafylos beach provides daredevils with some excellent diving platforms. If you feel as brave, you just need to swim to the far right of this part. After some serious climbing on the vertical rock wall, you can decide how far up you can dive from.
To access the second part of the beach, just walk through the big rocks dividing this first part with the rest of the beach.
This second part is an official Nudist beach. It is the only known, clothing optional beach in Skopelos and an even bigger area. The rocks at the beginning provide great shelter from the strong sun rays during the day. I strongly suggest that you visit this part and try skinny dipping if you have never tried it before. It is a lot more liberating and rejuvenating than you can imagine.
The landscape changes the further off you walk from this point and becomes rockier. Most of the sunbathers will lay their towels on the first 60 meters. If you prefer more privacy, the end of this beach will be ideal.
I wouldn’t say these two are among the easiest to access, despite their proximity to Skopelos town, (only 4km). Parking is non-existent and can be an issue if you are visiting between July and August. All cars will be parked on both sides of the road. If you find a decent spot in the first 200 meters, park your car and walk the rest of the way. Trying to reverse at the end can be very tricky.
It is this lack of access that keeps Velanio beach off the radar. Having to walk the 500 meters from the end of Stafylos road and through the entire length of the beach puts off most visitors.
These last 2 beaches found in the SW part of Skopelos, conclude the 2nd part of this 3 part blog series on ‘Best beaches of Skopelos’.
Follow me as we embark on the last part of our expedition. In this final part, we will discover most of the beaches of Skopelos on the east coast. This will be geared more towards our visitors that have some more time to spare during their visit and are here for at least a 10 day holiday. You can read our final part ‘Skopelos most secluded beaches – part 3‘, and get ready for more of an adventure while discovering these hidden coves.
SKOPELOS BEACHES VISITED – SUMMARY OF BEST BEACHES OF SKOPELOS
Type of beach: Rocks, pebbles, some sand
Good for: some snorkelling on both ends
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, taverna
Type of beach: Pebbles
Good for: Snorkelling
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, tavernas
Type of beach: Pebbles, sand
Good for: Snorkelling, diving
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, beach bar, taverna
Parking: None at all, (park above Stafylos beach
Type of beach: Pebbles, shingle, rocks
Good for: Snorkelling, diving
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, beach bar
These are the directions from Skopelos Country Villas to the beaches visited in this article. You can visit the same route as in the 1st part, however, this is a slightly shorter route for these beaches.