Skopelos may not be for all types of travellers
Choosing a 'perfect' destination for a holiday can be hard. It can become a dilemma many of us can face when the time comes to choose a particular holiday destination over another.
The area of our brain responsible for such holiday decisions, (not sure if there is one but I'll make it up anyway), seems to go into overkill.
There are many questions that you, as a traveller, may have about this island.
Will it be suitable for you and your family?
Will it encompass everything that makes a 'near-perfect holiday destination?
There are also plenty of online resources about Skopelos Island. All you have to do is Google 'Skopelos, Greece' and you will be bombarded with about 2.230,000 results, (that's the number I got using this search term).
Does that mean that you'll go through them all? Not even a lifetime would allow for such meticulous, psychotic behaviour.
Here I come to your rescue
This is where I will attempt to answer most of your questions about our beautiful Skopelos. I may be biased you'd think, having been born and grown up here.
Sure I could be! But, the opinions throughout this post come from a guy that has lived on 3 continents and 8 cities across the world. Despite this wander across our globe, despite all the experiences I accumulated, Skopelos still managed to work its gravity and pull me back (the UK was my last stop).
This article was not written by a wandering traveller. One that just stepped on Skopelos for 2,5 hours or days. Nor a wannabe 'travel blogger' either.
So, without further ado,
What type of place is ideal for me?
To truly answer this question, you would first need to do some honest chat with yourself.
Here are some questions and answers to help guide you through this process:
Have you given some thought to the places you visited before?
What made you choose them over others? If your answer is similar to ...' never gave it much thought or ...'I heard from others it was great..', keep going.
Where was the most enjoyable place and why?
Remember that the idea of 'enjoyment' and having fun changes throughout our lives and as we get older.
What could be a fun activity 5-10 years ago, may not be true now.
One way to solve this dilemma is to imagine yourself doing those exact same activities during your upcoming holiday.
When you think of Greece, do you mostly think about the islands of the south, (like the Cyclades)? White-washed houses everywhere and mostly barren?
If yes, you may be suffering from the 'White-washed and Barren' syndrome!
Side effects could include 'Party all you can' or the even deadlier 'FOMO' (Fear of Missing Out).
It's time to pay a visit to your Holiday Doc and get a large dose of 'Green on Blue' medication. Your doc will advise that ...it's time you visited Skopelos and the islands around here.
We're not known for our nightlife here. This doesn't mean we don't have any, however.
We have a happy medium of everything it takes to create a memorable holiday experience.
Will Skopelos be the place for me?
It all depends on your true expectations. If you need a place to get away from a hectic and somewhat, chaotic lifestyle, then yes, by all means, come along.
If you've never been anywhere but Mykonos and Santorini, then, you ought to visit Skopelos.
It is so different from the islands of the south that you need to witness in order to appreciate this difference.
If you're expecting white sandy beaches and palm trees, you'll be disappointed. Most of our beaches are pristine with pebbly shores.
Some have some sand with shingles, others have patches of sand and pebbles.
Our waters are dominated by deep blue colours with shades of green. The result of pine tree reflections touching the water surface.
In the late 90's we were voted the 'Greenest island of the Mediterranean', and that is still true.
Most people don't realise how green Skopelos is until they arrive here. Our trees literally plant themselves even in the most obscure places.
It also means that your driving skills should be good enough to cruise with ease up and down the numerous hills.
You won't find too many stretches of long, endless roads that vanish into eternity. All of the main roads are asphalted, however.
If you've never driven on uneven hills before or two-way roads that should really be one - think twice before you hire a car.
Either do some practice at home or have your more experienced partner do most of the driving.
Should I go to Skopelos or Skiathos?
The two islands are only a 30-45 min boat ride. If the travel area of your brain is still tormenting you with this dilemma, visit both. Seriously, dedicate half of your holiday in Skiathos and the other half in Skopelos. Only then will you notice the striking differences between these two islands.
If you can't have this kind of luxury though, let me brake it out as briefly as I can.
Skiathos is a beautiful island.
Similar in architecture with Skopelos.
Nearly as green as Skopelos.
It has numerous beaches, most of them happen to be sandy.
It has its own airport.
A bustling nightlife
Skiathos airport brings in a much bigger influx of tourists. This translates into a more crowded everything.
You encounter more of the 'All-Inclusive' tourist culture.
You may even find a "McDonald's" there or something similar.
A lot more Hotels occupying prime real estate, (beaches, forests, once public areas).
Yes, Skiathos is a smaller island.
Great architecture with amphitheatrically built towns revealing the true essence of this area.
One of the Greenest islands of the world.
Visitors arrive here to experience Skopelos for what it is, not just for the ease of access.
Great tavernas and restaurants to choose from.
Mountains to discover, explore the nature and hike through trails.
Beautiful beaches mixed with pebbles and sand.
You can still find deserted beaches without beach bars, loud music and loungers everywhere.
Skopelos doesn't have its own airport, (we rely in our neighbours for that) - see Pros also.
Access can be more challenging due to extra boat ride
I gave you the most honest and non-biased opinion about these 2 islands. One that most visitors agree with after visiting both islands.
It is a struggle to find more 'cons' for Skopelos. As you can see the main one is the extra effort it takes to get here.
Because of this boat ride, our visitors get here because they want to visit Skopelos as a destination. Not because of its ease of access.
They want to be part of a more authentic experience. One that is rooted more into a true Greek experience.
You will be rewarded with spectacular views of the sea.
You'll be mesmerised by the majestic shoreline of Skopelos during those 45 minutes.
The are many pics like the one above, that I've taken throughout the years and 100's of ferry crossings. Even as a local, I never get tired of this scenery and the abundance of the myriad shades of blues.
Immerse yourselves in the deep blue of Skopelos beaches below:
The end of your Dilemma - Skopelos Island is an all-round holiday destination.
We went through all the pros and cons of both Skopelos and Skiathos.
You have a big advantage in knowing ahead of time that Skopelos can indeed live up to your expectations. Through the questions and answers given to possible dilemmas, we concluded that Skopelos is a destination that is suitable for most travellers.
It will not be the best place for those looking for extra nightlife.
It's better suited for those looking for quality time. A place with a more laid back atmosphere and those looking to spend more than just a weekend.
The rich nature of Skopelos will reward every hiker. Hidden trails are waiting to be discovered, and the rugged and beautiful coastlines will ignite every photographer's imaginations.
Majestic beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters can offer many delights to scuba divers and snorkelers.
Cliff divers will certainly summersault off the entire coastline and its dramatic scenery.
Culinary enthusiasts can choose between different restaurants to pleasantly spend their evenings and try out our rich Meditteranean cuisine.