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The Sporades islands are located near mount Pelio, in the north-western Aegean sea and formed by 4 main islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros) and other smaller islands that form the national marine park of the northern Aegean sea.
The most popular islands of the Sporades is Skiathos, famous for the wonderful sandy beaches and the vibrant nightlife. Skopelos and Alonissos aren’t as famous but still surprise the tourists that visit it with their lush landscapes and small creeks. On Skiathos and Skopelos many scenes from the film “Mamma Mia” (2008) were shot.
Skyros is the less famous of the 4 islands, mainly because of its distance from the other islands of the Sporades and because of the almost inexistent transports. It is a wonderful place for relaxing and spending some time with your family, far away from many other tourists. According to mythology Skyros is the island where king Theseus was killed and where Achilles hid to avoid the battle of Troy before being found by Ulysses and convinced to take part in the battle.
The islands that are part of the Northern Sporades:
Long and well equipped sandy beaches
The group of Sporades islands located on the Northern Aegean sea are famous for their relaxing atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches. The most popular island of the Sporades is Skiathos, here you will find large beaches, bars, water sport centers and other touristic attractions. Koukounaries, Banana, Agia Paraskevi and Vromolimnos are incredible beaches with crystal clear waters.
The most famous beaches of Skiathos are located on the island’s southern coast while in the northern coast you will find quieter and less crowded beaches. One of the island’s nicest beaches is called Lalaria and can only be accessed by boat. Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros aren’t as popular as Skiathos but still have plenty of beaches where to spend some relaxing time.
The island is perfect for families and is surrounded by a lush vegetation that offers some useful shade, especially during the hottest months of the year. In Alonissos you can take part in a tour of the protected natural marine park in the Northern Aegean sea.
How to reach the Sporades islands?
By plane: The most famous and biggest airport is in Skiathos. This airport only receives national flights from Athens/Thessaloniki and charter flights during the summer. There is also a small airport on the island of Skyros that only receives flights from Athens and Thessaloniki.
By ferry: The main ports of the Sporades islands are Volos and Agios Constantinos, in central Greece. The ferries set from these two ports for Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. The ferries for Skyros leave from Kyimi, a small port on the island of Eubea. In summer there are also local ferries from Kymi to Skopelos and Alonissos.
Churches, monasteries and relaxing walks
Archeological points of interest, historical monuments from the past, hundreds of beautiful churches, monasteries and museums besides fascinating beaches that make the island very popular. A distinctive characteristic of Skiathos is the abundance of churches and monasteries. The monastery of Kounistra, built in the XVII century, has survived until nowadays in its original form. This is the island’s symbol.
The walls that used to surround the main city have wonderful religious pieces of art like the statue of the island’s protector. The village of Koukounaries is located on the western coast of the island is very important for the presence of rare plants that can only be found in this part of the island.
The island of Alonissos attracts many people that really love nature as it is the ideal place if you love nature and long walks. There aren’t many historical monuments as the island has been hit by many earthquakes over the years. The marine reservoir that occupies most of the island and includes many smaller abandoned islands is the main point of interest of the island’s archipelago. There are many rare species on plants and animals here like the iconic monk seal.
The island of Skyros has many historical monuments. Most of these are located in the island’s capital with many museums. One of the island’s most iconic symbols are the beautiful castle (kastro) and the monastery of St. George. For those of you that love walking around and enjoy the island’s history we suggest you visit the area of Palamari where archeologists found remains of a village from the bronze age. All the artifacts that were found in this area are now displayed in one of the local museums.
The island of Skopelos is the ideal destination for someone that loves long excursions. The mountain of Delfi is the highest peak of the archipelago and is located in Skopelos. The base of the mountain is covered by beautiful forests that hide many beautiful churches and monasteries (there are more than 300 monasteries and churches on the island).