The best things to do in Skopelos include visiting Agios Ioannis church, enjoying the beautiful beaches, walking around Skopelos Town, tasting the delicious local food, and more!
Things to do when you visit Skopelos island
Skopelos is a wonderful island in the Northern Sporades group of islands, in the Aegean Sea. It’s often referred to as the “Mamma Mia island”, as it was the main filming location of the popular movie. But there are so many more things to do in Skopelos!
The first thing you’ll notice about Skopelos is that it’s one of the greenest islands in Greece. Everywhere you go, you will see pine forests, that reach all the way to the island’s beautiful beaches. This makes it a great destination for nature lovers who like exploring, and visitors who are after a romantic getaway.
Here’s my guide to the best things to do in Skopelos Greece!
1. Enjoy the lovely beaches in Skopelos
Skopelos is renowned for its wonderful beaches. in fact, this is one of the reasons why people from far and wide visit the small island.
There are a few dozen beaches on Skopelos. Some of them have amenities, such as umbrellas, loungers and tavernas, while others are wild and pristine. Each beach is special and unique, so it’s worth exploring them all.
You can take a dip in one of the crystal-clear bays, soak up the sun on secluded sands, or even go snorkeling and scuba diving to discover an underwater paradise.
The best beaches in Skopelos
Let’s have a quick look at some of the best beaches in Skopelos:
- Kastani beach: A small, pretty sandy beach. It’s mostly taken over by the famous beach bar which was one of the filming locations for the Mamma Mia movie. Kastani is a popular stop with all the island cruises and can get very busy.
- Panormos beach: A popular, shallow sandy beach with a few beach clubs and tavernas.
- Limnonari: A small beach with a loud beach bar. Great for snorkeling.
- Milia: A long beach with beautiful water and a couple of laid-back beach bars.
- Stafylos beach: A peaceful beach with many sun beds and a small bar.
- Velanio beach: A lovely, quiet sandy beach with a small canteen and lots of free space. You can reach it if you walk from Stafylos.
- Perivoliou: One of my own favorite beaches in Skopelos. You will need to walk some stairs to go down. There are a few sunbeds on the beach, and a canteen at the top of the stairs.
- Hovolo Beach (Neo Klima): A nice, peaceful, off-the-beaten track beach. You can walk to Hovolo through the village of Neo Klima, on a coastal path which is usually covered with water on a windy day.
- Amarandos: A small, beautiful natural cove with crystal clear waters among hundreds of pine trees. There are no amenities.
Apart from these, there are many more beaches in Skopelos, which you can discover on your own!
2. Walk around Skopelos Town
Skopelos Town is the main port, and also the largest town of Skopelos Island. It’s a traditional Greek village built on a hillside, with a maze of whitewashed houses and narrow, winding streets.
Take your time to explore the charming little town, and the dozens of churches. Climb up and down the stairs, and enjoy the scenic views from the top of the hill, where you will see the remains of the old Venetian castle.
After you’ve strolled through the tiny streets and alleys, you can sit for a coffee or a meal at one of the local tavernas. There are many by the waterfront, but you will also find several tucked away in the backstreets.
3. Visit Agios Ioannis church
The iconic Agios Ioannis church is another one of the filming locations of Mamma Mia. Thousands of people visit every summer to see the place where Sophie’s wedding scene happened – or, well, almost happened 🙂
Agios Ioannis is located on a small headland, on the north-east side of Skopelos. If you are used to driving on winding roads, you can rent a car / scooter / ATV and drive there yourself.
If you don’t want to drive, an alternative is to book a Mamma Mia Skopelos tour, which takes you to all the famous spots around the island.
To get to the church itself, you will have to walk up about 100 rather steep steps. But don’t let that put you off!!
Once you are up on the church, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of Agios Ioannis beach!
It’s best to bring some water with you. However, it’s good to know that there’s a small canteen nearby, where you can have a coffee /drink or a snack.
4. Take a boat tour around Skopelos
Skopelos has a fascinating coastline, with many small coves and beaches. To really explore the beauty of Skopelos, you can take a boat tour around the island.
There are several tour boats departing from Skopelos town on a daily basis. You can usually book your tour a day or two before you travel, or maybe a bit longer in July and August.
5. Visit Alonissos on a day trip
Another boat trip you can do from Skopelos, is a day trip to Alonissos, and the National Marine Park of the Sporades. This is a full-day trip, including a visit to the island of Alonissos and the nearby islands, where you can snorkel and explore the sea life.
The boat stops at Patitiri, the main town in Alonissos, where you can spend the time as you wish. There’s time for an optional trip to the charming, sleepy Old Town of Alonissos. Later, you will head to the best known beach in Alonissos, Leftos Gialos.
On the way back to Skopelos, you will pass by the deserted islands in the Marine Park, and you will have the chance to see many colorful rock formations.
Again, you can find these tours right at the port in Skopelos Town.
6. See the sunset from Agnondas bay
Santorini is not the only island with a nice sunset! Sunsets in Skopelos are also beautiful. All you need to do is to find your favourite spot on the west side of the island.
We really enjoyed the sunset from Agnondas bay, a quiet resort with a small pebble beach. There was no loud music or crowds, just a few low-key tavernas. This was one of the most peaceful spots on the west coast of the popular island.
If you are looking for more vibrant places to see the sunset from, you can head to Panormos, Milia, or Kastani.
7. Explore the numerous churches and monasteries in Skopelos
Like all other islands in Greece, Skopelos has its fair share of churches and monasteries. While Agios Ioannis church is the most iconic church in Skopelos, there are many more to visit.
In Skopelos Town, you can’t miss the Church of the Virgin Mary, right at the edge of the town. It was built in the 17th century, and it offers amazing views of both the Aegean Sea and the town itself.
Walk up to the Venetian castle, and you will discover many more churches on your way. They say that there are over 120 churches and chapels in Skopelos town alone!!
We also enjoyed driving to the various monasteries on Mount Palouki, especially the winding road up to the Monastery of the Annunciation, Prodromos Monastery and Sotiros Monastery. Not for the faint-hearted!
As these monasteries are built high on the mountains, they offer panoramic views of Skopelos, as well as stunning views of the surrounding islands. There are also several hiking paths you can take to reach them.
8. Go snorkeling or scuba diving
Skopelos is a fantastic place for water sports and outdoor activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. The summer months are the best time of the year to enjoy the blue sea and the crystal-clear water.
If you want to explore the breathtaking underwater world, head to Skopelos Dive Center, in Skopelos Town. They offer different activities for novice or experienced divers, and provide all the necessary equipment.
If you prefer snorkeling, there are many secluded spots the island that are perfect for swimming and exploring the sea life. The water around Skopelos is insanely beautiful and clear, so don’t forget to bring your underwater camera!
9. Explore the history of Skopelos in Pavlos Nirvana’s House and Vakratsas Mansion
These two really interesting museums will give you a glimpse of the history of Skopelos. They are both located in Skopelos Town, a short walk from each other.
Pavlos Nirvanas House was once the residence of the modern Greek poet and writer, Pavlos Nirvanas. Today, it hosts the Historical Museum of Skopelos. Here, you can see the island’s history through the millennia.
It’s worth spending some time reading the biography of Pavlos Nirvanas, who is a local legens in Skopelos. He was born in 1866, and studied to be a medical doctor / psychiatrist. In 1884, he published his first collection of poems. Nirvanas was not his real surname – he chose it as a nickname, as he was influenced by Indian philosophy.
Vakratsas Mansion was once the house of a wealthy family of Skopelos. It is a 3-storey mansion built in the 18th century. Inside, you will see items that once belonged to the Mr Vakratsas, the head of the family, and his three daughters, who were among the first Greek women to study at University level.
The last descendant of the family, Mrs Antigone Vakratsa, had no children of her own or other relatives. She donated the mansion to the Municipality of Skopelos, in order for it to be used as a museum.
I found both these museums interesting, and was impressed to read the history of these people, who seemed to be way ahead of their times!
10. Hike to the Sendoukia Carved Graves
If you like hiking and exploring, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a unique landmark in Skopelos that you can hike to.
It consists of four carved graves up on Karya mountain, at a location marked as Sentoukia. They probably date from late Roman or early Christian times, and people refer to them as “pirate graves”.
We were planning to hike there on our last day in Skopelos, but the weather was rainy, so we had to give it a miss. If you go, I’d love to know what you thought!
11. Taste the delicious food in Skopelos
No Greek vacation is complete without trying some of the delicious Greek food! And Skopelos couldn’t be an exception to the rule 🙂
One of the best-known traditional dishes from Skopelos is the famous Skopelos pie. In Greek, we call it Skopelitiki tiropita, which literally translates to “Skopelos cheese pie”. You will find similar versions of cheese pie in the rest of the Sporades islands.
Other typical dishes of Skopelos include slowly stewed pork with plums, and grouper cooked with tomato, onions, garlic and plums.
For more amazing Greek dishes, have a look at this guide to 50 tasty dishes to try in Greece!
12. Head up to taverna Anatoli for live Rembetiko music!
If you want to experience the real Greek nightlife, head up to taverna Anatoli in Skopelos Town. It’s a traditional Greek tavern, where they play live rembetiko music every night.
Rembetiko (or rebetiko) is a type of folk music that emerged during the early 20th century in various cities in Greece. The creators of this music were called “rebetes“, and they were often considered to be the underworld musicians of the times.
Due to its controversial lyrics and references to drugs and prostitution, rebetiko music was banned in Greece in the late 1930s. It remained censored for years, until it re-emerged in the 1950s and 60s.
The rebetiko band playing at taverna Anatoli is led by George Xintaris, a contemporary, self-taught rebetiko musician born in 1952. So it’s as close to authentic as you can get! The food is decent as well, so it will be a memorable night out.
Tip: The longer you stay, the more the chances of Greek people singing along with the band. And if the name of the taverna, Anatoli, is anything to go by, this is a fantastic spot to see the sunrise from 🙂
How to get to Skopelos
The easiest way to get to Skopelos from Europe is to fly to nearby Skiathos, and then take an onward ferry. You can check ferry routes and book your tickets at Ferryscanner.
Note that Skopelos has two ports: Skopelos Town, the main port, and Glossa, a secondary port which is much closer to Skiathos island than Skopelos Town. Make sure you get off at the correct port!
When you are leaving Skopelos to go back home, make sure you check the weather forecast. Sometimes, if it’s too windy, the ferry from Skopelos to Skiathos only stops at Glossa port, as it’s an easier port to navigate. We didn’t have this issue, but I’ve heard that it’s not so rare!
Where to stay in Skopelos
There are plenty of accommodation options in Skopelos. If you want to have a choice of nightlife, the best place to stay is Skopelos Town. For example, Thea Hotel is excellent value for money and the location is great.
Alternatively, if you like to be closer to the best beaches in Skopelos, you can choose to stay by the coast. Areas like Stafylos, Agnontds, Prodromos or Neo Klima are quieter, and you won’t have to drive to go to the beach.
How to get around Skopelos
You can use the public buses or taxis to get around Skopelos. But if you want to be more independent, you can hire a car, ATV or scooter.
DiscoverCars is an online platform where you can compare car costs between several reputable companies, and book a vehicle for the duration for your stay. Have a look!
FAQs about things to do in Skopelos
Here are a few more things you should know about Skopelos:
Is Skopelos very touristy?
Skopelos is a popular tourist destination, but it’s still much quieter and more relaxed than other Greek islands. For example, Skiathos, Santorini, Mykonos, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos are much busier than Skopelos.
How many days should I spend in Skopelos?
It really depends on how much time you have available and what kind of holiday you are after. If you want to explore Skopelos and its lovely beaches, you should spend at least 3-4 days, or maybe a week if you can.
Which is better Skiathos or Skopelos?
Both Skiathos and Skopelos are nice. Skiathos is busier and more developed, whereas Skopelos offers a quieter Greek experience. The beaches and landscapes on both islands are lovely. It’s up to you to decide which one suits your needs best!
What month is best to go to Skopelos?
The best months to go to Skopelos are from May to September. July, and especially August, are the peak season.
Can you drink Skopelos tap water?
The water in many areas of Skopelos is safe to drink, however the taste isn’t always great. You might prefer to stick to bottled water instead.
Is there a Mamma Mia tour in Skopelos?
Yes, there is a Mamma Mia tour in Skopelos, which takes you to all the filming locations by bus, so you don’t have to drive yourself.
You can book your Mamma Mia tour here: Skopelos Mamma Mia tour
Have you been to any of the Greek islands?
I hope you enjoyed this guide with things to do in Skopelos. If you’ve been to any of the islands in Greece, I’d love to hear what you thought, so feel free to leave a comment down below!
And, as you are here, have a look at these two articles, which will inspire you to travel to Greece:
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens, and I love traveling around the Greek islands. My goal is to visit all of them! Follow me on FB and Instagram for more Greece-related news and inspiration!