Are you getting ready to take a trip to Greece? Do you want to step off the beaten path and explore some of the country’s insanely beautiful lesser-known islands? If so, a trip to the Sporades Islands is definitely in order.
The Sporades Islands are an archipelago (a group of islands) located along Greece’s eastern coast. They sit to the northeast of Euboea, another island in the Aegean Sea.
Twenty-four islands make up the Sporades, but the only permanently inhabited ones are Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos, and Skyros.
Each of these islands has its own attractions. Here’s a breakdown of each one so you can decide which one you want to check out first.
For those who want to spend time relaxing in nature, the island of Alonissos is an excellent choice.
This island is the most remote of the Northern Sporades and features stunning, rugged landscapes and offers pine forests, olive groves, and orchards, all of which are lovely places to take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.
Alonnisos is also home to the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades. This park serves as a refuge for rare seabirds, as well as other creatures like dolphins and the Mediterranean monk seal, also known as monachus monachus.
Alonnisos is generally quite laid back. During the summer, though, there are lots of local festivals and celebrations that are definitely worth checking out.
Skiathos is considered the most cosmopolitan of the Sporades Islands. It features pine forests, similar to those found on Alonnisos, but it’s also home to over 60 pristine beaches.
Of all the beaches found on Skiathos, Koukounaries is the most famous. It’s also known as “the most unspoiled natural beach of the Mediterranean.”
For young travelers who want to relax on the beach during the day and enjoy fun nights out, Skiathos is a great option. In addition to its stunning beaches, it also has a bustling nightlife with tons of clubs to choose from.
Skiathos also hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts and art exhibitions, during the summer months.
Skopelos is home to gorgeous beaches and some fascinating traditional Pelion architecture. Visitors can also explore rugged natural monuments while experiencing the island, which is considered the greenest in all of Greece (over half of the island is covered with pine forest!).
For those who love nature but also want to learn about Greek history, Skopelos is an excellent travel destination. It’s filled with rich history and educational opportunities, including visits to ancient ruins and settlements, including Glossa, Palio Klima, and Neo Klima.
Pay a visit to the Folklore Museum while you’re here, too. This renovated mansion is full of exhibits that explain and illustrate ancient Greek folklore and is a must-visit for history buffs.
Skyros island is connected to many different ancient Greek myths, including figures like Achilles, Lykomedes, Neoptolemus, and Theseus.
Visitors have lots of opportunities to learn about the history and mythology surrounding this island. They can also take in the unique Skyrian architecture and visit incredible monuments, including the Byzantine castle, the Palaiopyrgos (or Old Tower), the Little Stone Theater, and the Manos and Anastasia Faltaits Folk Art Museum.
Clearly, for those who value learning about history and culture while traveling, Skyros is a must-see.
Explore the Sporades Islands Today
As you can see, there’s a lot to do when you take a trip to the Sporades Islands. Keep this information in mind as you’re planning your vacation so you can make the most out of your time while visiting Greece.