Skopelos may not be for all types of travellers
It is a dilemma we all 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! Sure I could be! But, the opinions throughout this post come from a guy that has lived in 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 5 years ago, (UK was my last stop).
I'm confident you're more convinced now to go on reading. This article was not written by a wandering traveller. One that just stepped on Skopelos for 2,5 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 dialogue with yourself.
Have you given some thought about the places you visited before?
What type of places did you have the most fun at and why?
Is it a typical Greek island of the south, (like the Cyclades), with white-washed houses everywhere and mostly barren?
Is it a classic party island, the likes of Mykonos, Ios etc?
If you've only visited the beautiful islands of the south, it may be time you visited Skopelos and the islands around here.
We're not known to be a party island, however. So, if your ideal holiday includes heavy partying and you base your life's motto around the following:
We work Hard We party even Harder
You may want to re-think your visit here. We do have some lovely night life. Quite a few great bars, a few discreet places that barely touch the notion of a club and a few Beach bars as well. We don't compete with the night life of our neighbour Skiathos or other such party destinations.
What I can guarantee about our nightlife is that if you're looking to go out for a night or two, you will never find any shortage of great places to have a drink either.
Will Skopelos be my type of place?
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 than the islands of the south that you need to witness and appreciate this difference.
If you're expecting white sandy beaches and palm trees, you'll be disappointed. Most of our beaches are pristine and have 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 late 90's we were voted the 'Greenest island of the Med', and that is still true. Most people don't realise how green Skopelos is until they arrive here. Our trees literally plant themselves even on the most obscure places. On dry beds of rock in the sea. In tiny little crevices of a wall. Where you'd never expect a tree to grow.
Our island is mountainous. The tallest peak on the island is approx 685 meters, (that's taller than what you'd normally expect of a Greek island the size of Skopelos). This means it's ideal for lovely walks and hikes. It means that you can easily forget yourselves during a walk.
Reach the top and spend 3 hours just gazing out into the eternity of the Blue that the Aegean so abundantly offers.
It also means that your driving skills should be good enough to cruise up and down hills. You won't find too many stretches of long endless roads that vanish into eternity. Most 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 practise at home, or have your more experienced partner do most 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).
Great architecture with amphitheatrically built towns revealing the true essence of this area.
One of the Greenest islands of the world
Great tavernas and restaurants to choose from
Mountains to discover, explore 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)
Access can be more challenging due to extra boat ride
Nothing else really...!
I gave you my most honest and non-biased opinion about these 2 islands. I truly struggled to find more 'cons' for Skopelos Island. 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 some spectacular views of the sea and the majestic Skopelos shoreline during those 45 minutes. The pics here are just 2 of the many I've taken over the years in the hundreds of crossings I have done between Skopelos and the mainland. Even as a local, I never get tired of this scenery and the abundance of the myriad shades of blues.
You now have the huge advantage of knowing ahead of time how Skopelos can live up to your expectations.
What's more is that these are not the opinions and thoughts of some wandering soul that stepped on and off the island in 2 days either. It comes from a guy that not only is he local, but has lived many years abroad in hugely diverse places around the globe.
Why would this work in your favour? Because Skopelos managed to win him back despite all experiences accumulated in all these places.