If your idea of paradise is a Greek island with sandy beaches, then the island of Skiathos might be just for you.
This paradise in the Aegean Sea is a varied island – full of plunging cliffs, wooded valleys and barren rock. Oh, and beaches, did we mention the beaches? Over 60 sandy beaches, including Koukounaries Beach, run along 40 kilometres of coastline.
Skiathos isn’t particularly big. At 12 kilometres long and six kilometres wide (in most places), the entire island can be circumnavigated by speed boat in only a couple of hours. But you are probably going to want to spend more time on the island than off it.
One sight not to miss is the Evangelistria monastery which was founded during the Byzantine period. The monastery is said to have been a hide-out for Greek Rebels during the Greek War of Independence. It also holds the honour of being the location where the first flag of Greece was created and hoisted in 1807.
But it isn’t just history and sandy beaches that make Skiathos interesting and one hotel knows why…
Perched on a hillside amongst olive trees, just two kilometres from Skiathos Port and Airport, is the Aegean Suites Hotel. This exclusive all-suite hotel has more to it than magnificent sea views and tranquillity. With approximately 1,000 different types of herbs growing on the island, Aegean Suites Hotel is leading the way with their very own herb walks.
Together with Mr. Widmann, Skiathos’ local expert, hotel guests can head out on one of the twice weekly walks to learn about the various herbs that flourish on Skiathos and their medicinal and therapeutic qualities.
Participants will be able to smell, taste and even take a small quantity home with them as they are guided around some of Skiathos’most famous landmarks and monuments.
The herb hikes follow one of two main routes – a four and a half hour walk from Aghios Antonios to Panagia Kechria and back or the three hour trek from Karababa to Aghia Irene – and cost 15 Euros (EUR) per hotel guest (minimum four people, 60 EUR private tour).
That might be more exercise than you were looking for on a relaxing holiday but we’re pretty sure that the sights and smells will be worth it.