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The Sporades Islands are some of the most visited islands of Greece. For the most part, the islands are heavily wooded, the landscape is more lush than most people imagine.
On our Sporades Map, the bold names indicate the more interesting (read touristy if you'd like). Skiathos, being quite close to the mainland and easily accessed, is the most crowded in summer. It also has the most hotels.
Skiathos has the only commercial airport in the Sporades, the Skiathos Island National Airport (JSI). (Check Prices and times of flights to Skiathos)
Ferries leave from Agios Constantinos on the mainland to Sporades ports of Skiathos, Alonissos, and Skopelos. A bus can take you from Athens to Agios Constantinos (You can get a combined bus/ferry ticket from Alkyon Travel in Kaningos Square, Atherns). For ferry information, see Open Seas.
Skiathos - The movie Mamma Mia was filmed on Skiathos (you'll see it in the distance in the opening scene).
One of the pleasures of securing a boat there for a day is sailing to an uninhabited Sporades island, deploying the anchor, and swimming to a secluded beach. Back in Skiathos, sailors can freshen up at a nice hotel and find lively evening entertainment.
Susan also considers Skiathos a cultural treasure, with fine castles and monasteries and interesting architecture.
Alonissos - This protected island is part of the National Marine Park created to protect the Mediterranean monk seal. It is wooded and lush, a favorite amongst yachtsmen escaping the crowds of more famous islands and the huge ships that are forbidden to pass thorough these islands. See: Alonissos - Unique Ecotourist Destination in Greece.
Skopelos - One hour from Skiathos by ferry, Skopelos is a relatively unspoiled island with lots of good beaches. Skopelos town, also called Hora, is a recommended place to stay. Skopelos carnival is a time to see some Greek traditions from the locals (of which there are fewer than 5000) For dates, see: Greek Carnival Dates. Frommers recommends a visit to the five monasteries south of town accessable by a path continuing south from the beach hotels.
Skyros - Folks go to Skyros for its isolated beaches outside of Skyros town. Outside of Skyros town or Chora, the villages are small and poulated with folks who farm and fish. Like Alonissos, it's a place for relaxing and for nature lovers. There is a Byzantine castle on a hill overlooking Chora. For a glimpse at the local culture, visit the Falaits Folklore Museum. Poet Rupert Brooke died on Skyros during WWI, and his statue and grave can be visited.
Giora or Youra has a unique breed of goats in a protected area. I spent almost 7 weeks excavating a cave on Youra, and can tell you that it's desolate and (was) inhabited by a couple charged with protecting those goats. There is a little boat dock facing the interesting island of Piperi--just in case you have a yacht and want to spend time camping on the island.
Check Prices on Flights to Greece (Athens)
Greece - User-Rated Hotels (Book Direct)