The island of Skopelos lies between Skiathos and Alonissos, with an area of 96 km2 and population of less than 5 000 residents. It has become more popular in 2008 as one of the islands on which the movie Mamma Mia was shot. Its capital is the largest and liveliest settlement on island and it is called Skopelos as well.
According to the legend, the island was founded by Staphylus - son of the god of wine Dionysos and Princess Ariadne of Crete. In ancient times the island was known under the name Peparethos, colony of Crete, and famous for wine production. Тoday the residents are involved mainly in the production of olives and feta cheese. Archeological excavations have uncovered a tomb with gold accessories from the Mycenaean period. Remnants of Venetian fortress can also be seen.
Skopelos is predominantly mountainous and its settlements are set along the coasts. The western coast of the island is more populated while on the eastern one only the capital is located. Yet more than half of the population lives in the capital so the other settlements are very small and can hardly be called villages.
Except for the town of Skopelos, other popular settlements are Glossa, Loutraki, Neo Klima, Panormos, Agnontas and Stafylos.
You can go to Skopelos by the ferryboat departing from Volos. Public transport on the island is well organized to use if you have come without a car but car and bike rentals are also available. Yet be aware that all streets on Skopelos are narrow and steep and you may experience some problems with parking, especially in the capital. An interesting place to visit is the church of Agios Ioannis located on a rocky hill above the sea. This is the most famous church on the island although Skopelos has more than 360 churches and temples. Daily trips are organized to the neighbor islands Skiathos and Alonissos.
There are about 10 small beaches on the island which can be reached from mainland. Some of them are organized, predominantly shingle mixed with sand, all with crystal clear water. You can rent a boat and visit also all the beautiful secluded beaches which can be reached by sea only. As a whole, the beaches on the north coasts are more difficult to reach because the infrastructure in that area is less developed.
highlights: settlements, beaches, trips, transport and interesting places, place in Sporades Islands, Greece