Here is why you shouldn't be missing out on a local's view of Skopelos town
Skopelos island is definitely not one of the biggest islands of Greece.
We're just a small dot scattered in the Aegean Sea.
Most people, however, are surprised when they get here. With 96sq Km to cover, it's no small feat to visit all 4 corners of this island.
Having been born and raised here, I decided to concentrate on Skopelos Town.
Why just Skopelos town I hear you say?
Well, the best way to uncover a place on your first visit starts by exploring its main town. I will give you a glimpse of some of the most important spots you should visit while here.
I set out to write one 'small' post for what to see in this town. Outlining briefly where you should go.
I quickly realised, half-way through the article, however, that this would turn out to be one big article after all.
I'm so passionate when it comes to my town of Skopelos, that I couldn't write a 'summary' of places. It's been done by a lot of visitors around the web, so why reinvent the wheel?
Conveying the reasons for selecting these places through my perspective, is essential for me. I'm against mass-produced, articles of 'things to do in Skopelos'. Written by someone who's only been here for 2 days and then left to hop onto another island.
I decided to follow my usual course of writing instead and also split this topic into 2, more 'digestible' pieces of writing.
You can also combine this post with my bigger guide of 'The Perfect 7 Day Itinerary for Skopelos Island'. That one is packed with great ideas of what to do in Skopelos without missing out on some of the most beautiful corners this island has to offer.
1. The Horseshoe Waterfront walk of Skopelos town
This is an absolute must and the first walk you should do. After you've settled in Skopelos Country Villas, drive down to the port area and use the municipality's parking lot.
You will spot it right after Skopelos town beach, (a small sandy beach).
It is in a perfect spot, and it offers you a great start on this walk. Strolling along this waterfront area will give you a great perspective of the town's architecture.
You will pass plenty of cafes, tavernas and novelty stores.
Don't forget to pause every so often to take in the different views that unfold before your eyes.
Photography enthusiasts should get plenty of inspiration. A perfect opportunity to improve your architecture photography skills.
Start noticing the different angles of buildings and how they transform the closer you get.
When you reach the old harbour, (right after Skopelos Town Hall), make sure you walk to the front to see the 'Old Sailor's Monument'.
This is when you will also get your first glimpse of the iconic Skopelos Town Church, (more of this in the 'Ascent to Skopelos Old town').
Pass this picturesque church for the final stretch of your walk. This is what I call the '300-meter Yacht Docking Stretch'.
It's best if you walk here from early evening on when all the yachts have returned back to the safe haven of the harbour. Taking in the views of Skopelos town at night will compensate for your long walk.
Yachts dock here from all 4 corners of the Aegean and beyond. If you listen closely, you will hear many different languages being spoken among the crews.
You can also walk here early in the morning before they sail away for other harbours.
It's during these times that you can see different lights being cast upon the town. The early morning sun, ascending from the east side and behind the mountains of Alonnisos. Illuminating the white-washed houses with this special glow that you can only see in the Aegean.
The dusk colours bouncing off each other and Mount Palouki, (where the monasteries of Skopelos town are located). Mixed with the last remnants of brilliant orange hues from the sunset.
2. The iconic church of Skopelos - 'Panagitsa tou Pyrgou'
The steps leading to this beautiful church seem endless. Add to that the sun's reflection on the whitewashed steps and the summer heat, you may be tempted to quickly give up on the idea of climbing them.
But I urge you not to do that - this is only the beginning of your ascent. It is, after all, a well-known landmark of Skopelos.
As soon as you climb up, the gentle summer breeze will reward you.
Visit the back of the church first so that you can take in the sea views of this side. I have taken numerous pictures from this side over the years. The shadows created by the main church over the whitewashed walls and the sea blues will make some wonderful frames.
This church goes back to the 17th century, which makes it one of the oldest churches of Skopelos.
Inside, you can admire icons that have rested there since the 18th and 19th centuries. A legend has it that the biggest icon there was salvaged from the sea.
A very popular church with many weddings as well as christenings taking place during the summer months.
If you like to see the interior of this church, it's best to revisit during the evening hours when it's open. Father Nikolas usually sits by the entrance and welcomes you inside.
There is also a 'miniature' chapel next to the main church, complete with its own traditional roof. Only 1 person can fit inside and you need to ask the priest's permission to check out the interior. The name of the chapel: 'Agioi Pandes'.
3. The Ascent to Skopelos Old Town
Leave this iconic church behind you and start making your way up. You'll be climbing along the edge of the old part of Skopelos town.
I'll warn you here that there is nothing else but steps on this steep climb.
It's time to burn some calories and work on some of these aerobic moves. With each step that you take and each little corner you turn, you will be immersed more into Skopelos architecture.
Everything looks like a picture-perfect frame. There's charm and there's character, even in the old houses. Their once glorious days compete with the newer, more polished buildings.
Meanwhile, the views of the blue sea below you get more breathtaking the further you climb up.
You will also see some restoration going on, beyond the protective wall and right next to another small chapel, (Agios Nikolaos). The way they set up that scaffolding puts a new meaning to 'working on the edge of the town..'
Keep battling these steps going further up. Before you realise, you will have entered the Old part of Skopelos town and the lower-east side of its castle.
This is one of my very favourite spots in the whole of Skopelos. This small square - the ancient sentinel to the Aegean Sea and the fearsome pirates.
You've climbed up a long way so you earned some time to relax. Sit around here for at least 10-15 minutes before you take off. Relax and take in the amazing views over Skopelos town to your right.
This is the time to shoot those pics. Gaze at the endless horizon towards your left. A perfect place to just be grateful. You're witnessing such a gorgeous display of the big blue, unlike anywhere else.
Wrapping up part 1 of Top things to do when in Skopelos town
We walked a long way from the main port area to the very end of the '300-meter Yacht Docking Stretch'.
We climbed all the way from the iconic church of 'Panagitsa tou Pirgou' to the NE entrance of Skopelos old town and the remnants of its Venetian Castle.
Feeling strong and ambitious we carry on the journey into the labyrinths of Skopelos town.
Follow me in part 2 as we ascent further to the very top of Skopelos old town.
We'll dive into a bit of history of this castle and try hard to listen to some of its old stories.
Then we battle some of the cobblestone streets and alleys of the town itself. We'll also visit a few key buildings that will solidify our understanding of this town's old past.