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 is called Skopelos Town
, or just Chora.
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.
You can reach Skopelos by ferry from Volos or hydrofoil from Agios Konstantionos. The nearest airport is on the neighbor island of Skiathos. 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 are narrow and steep and you may experience some problems with parking in the capital. While on Skopelos, you will definitely notice two things - the very green landscape and the number of churches. The island is known as the greenest one not only in the Sporades group, but also in the Aegean. As to the churches, there are more than 360 as half of them are in the capital (seems that each house has a church).
Skopelos is predominantly mountainous and has high and thick pine trees, mixed with olive trees. The main road goes along the sea from Glossa
(northwest) to Skopelos town (southeast) but there is one more route which passes through the middle of the island and offers some very dramatic views of both the west and east sides of Skopelos. The beaches are small and pebbly, except for Kastani
which has sand and some gravel around the shore. Some of them are organized in the summer and easy to get to, other are more picturesque and accessible on dirt roads. The beaches on the east and northeast coast are more difficult to reach because infrastructure is less developed in that area. Except for the capital, permanent residents also live in the villages of Glossa and Neo Klima
. The small resorts of Stafylos
and Agnondas are uninhabited during the winter period.
Skopelos is suitable for tourists who prefer quiet holidays as there are not much entertainment options and activities to do. The most famous place where all visitors go is the church of Agios Ioannis
, located on a large piece of rock above the sea. It provoked people`s interest after the Mamma Mia! movie as it appeared in some of the scenes. Daily trips are organized to the neighbor islands of Skiathos and Alonnisos