Time to explore the more secluded beaches of Skopelos on the east coast
Having just explored some of the more well-known Skopelos beaches of the west coast, we can now venture off to the more secluded beaches of Skopelos.
Since there are a few ways to reach some of these hidden treasures, I will split this article into two parts.
In the first part, we will visit a remote beach halfway down the east coast. This route is best driven with a jeep. In the second part, we can either take the equally stunning, but safer route through Delfi mountain or drive through the wilder, east coastline once again. We will then end up on the north-east side of Skopelos. You don't necessarily need to drive a jeep to reach that point.
From Skopelos Country Villas to the beach of Vathias, via Kalogeros - secluded beaches of Skopelos
This route is also described in my 'Lighthouse of Gourouni' attraction. We're going to be following this same road and heading to the rural area of 'Kalogeros'. A jeep is recommended, (to the point of being essential). Excellent driving skills are also required since the last dirt track descending to this beach is not for the faint-hearted. Half of the road, from our premises to this area, is asphalted. The rest of the way is not paved, and regular maintenance is not taking place on a yearly basis. Although the road is wide enough for two cars, you do need to drive slowly and avoid potholes.
Once you reach the end of the track that leads to Vathias beach, (very winding), you will be rewarded by solitude. The landscape of this weather-beaten cove is not your typical groomed shore. You will not find sun loungers and umbrellas here of course nor any canteens or beach bars selling refreshments. You will need to have your stock of drinks and snacks to see you through your day. Due to the difficulty in reaching this beach, it's not unusual to find driftwood, seaweed and the occasional heap of litter rolled over by strong winds and big waves.
Some advice for Vathias beach on the east coast of Skopelos
You should try and visit Vathias beach on a calm day to thoroughly enjoy what this nature reserve has to offer. Peace and quietness is only the start once you turn off your car engines and plunge yourselves on your beach towels. If you enjoy snorkelling, you will love exploring the seabed. Since its a pebbly beach with rocks overtowering the entire length of the bay, it offers refuge to a variety of fish. If you are a keen explorer and a strong swimmer you may catch a glimpse of some larger, predatory species like groupers and sea bass. It's not uncommon for snorkellers to have brief encounters with shy eels as well.
For those keen to diving off rocks, Vathias beach may offer you more than enough rock platforms to plunge into the deep blue sea. Do use your common sense though and remember your safety first.
From Skopelos Country Villas to Agios Ioannis Kastri - secluded beaches of Skopelos
This place was not initially in my list of 'secluded beaches of Skopelos'. However, you can visit this site where the famous 'Mamma Mia Chapel' rests and have a swim in one of the two, small rocky beaches. If you have already driven through the road above, and you're after a smoother ride, you can go through mount Delfi road. I would highly recommend following the same route as above, however, via Kalogeros. It has zero traffic and the wild beauty of the rugged landscape truly feels like a road trip to the unknown. I found that the more I drove through it, the more I discovered along the way. Landscape details I missed, or photographic angles I discovered each time and inspired me in different ways.
Once you go past the turning point of Vathias beach, the same unpaved road continues for at least 3-4 km. It will offer you some unparalleled views of the more rugged, east coastline. The dirt track will eventually merge onto the main asphalted road on the west side. The last 200 meters is a very steep, cemented road, wide enough for just one car. Drive with caution and be on the lookout for oncoming traffic from your left.
Heading on towards the 'Mamma Mia' Chapel
You can then follow this route for approximately 2 km until you reach the turning point for Agios Ioannis Chapel. This is a tour that will last for most of your day. You can combine your climb to the chapel with a much needed, refreshing dive in one of the two beaches afterwards. The first beach will probably be a little busier since it is managed by the owners of the canteen on the main road to the chapel. Some umbrellas were placed here the last 2 years, but you can still find more than enough space for your own piece of real estate on this pebbly shore.
The 2nd part of Agios Ioannis beach challenges your adventurous side
As with all the coves of the east coast, this place will be a well-found treasure for snorkellers and cliff divers. If you don't have kids with you, you can try climbing over the rocks. You should be wearing sturdy trekking boots or shoes that allow you to climb over with great care. The rumble can be loose and you shouldn't risk it if you're not 100% certain you can do it. You can also swim towards it and enjoy some peace and quietness. It is slightly smaller, but a lot more secluded than its neighbour.
There is not much fun in visiting any of these secluded beaches here if the weather is windy. Familiarise yourselves with the 'Beaufort scale' and check the weather forecast before you venture off to your adventurous discoveries. You should avoid anything more than 2 or 3 on this scale. The east side of Skopelos gets more pounded by waves and stronger winds from the seas of the north. There is no land anywhere between you and the distant horizon.
Avoid swimming close to rocks if waves are pounding the shore. Moreover, sea swell may be hard to detect to the inexperienced eye. This can be your worst enemy even if you are an excellent swimmer. Strong swells combined with strong currents can carry you further out into the bay, or worse slam you against sharp rocks and injure you. Remember that there is no one to rescue you around these secluded beaches of Skopelos.
Safety before thrill seeking. If in doubt at any point in your driving, stop your car safely, (handbrake), and step out to inspect the road ahead of you. Sometimes it's best to turn around and head back to where you started. A little disappointment will turn out to be much better than falling off a cliff.
As a keen diver, I've learned to do my homework before flying off into mid-air. Always inspect the surrounding area and be on the look-out for rocks stealthily hiding under the surface. My goggles always come in handy if I don't have my snorkel gear with me. Skopelos was not named as such from sheer coincidence, (it means: reef, obstacle, a stumbling block - ouch).
SKOPELOS BEACHES VISITED - SUMMARY OF SECLUDED BEACHES OF SKOPELOS
Type of beach: Rocks, pebbles, fine shingles
Good for: Snorkelling and diving
Beach amenities: None whatsoever
Type of beach: Pebbles, rocks, fine shingle
Good for: Snorkelling, diving
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, canteen on top of road, no amenities on 2nd part
Type of beach: Pebbles, shingles some rocks
Good for: Snorkelling, diving
Beach amenities: Loungers/Umbrellas, canteen - no amenities on 2nd part
Parking: Some limited parking at the end of the dirt track
Type of beach: Pebbles, shingle, rocks
Good for: Snorkelling, diving
Beach amenities: None