Legend has it that the Gods created the Sporades Islands by tossing colored pebbles into the Aegean Sea. The myth is reflected in the name Sporades, which means “the scattered ones,” and in the colors of their verdant green hills, sapphire blue waters and sandy beaches.
Located off the east coast of Greece, the Sporades archipelago includes four permanently inhabited islands, each offering visitors a unique travel experience. Feel free to take notes and add these to your next trip plans.
Less developed than other islands in the Sporades archipelago, Alonissos boasts an array of natural attractions, and there’s an extensive trail system that invites exploration too. As the center of a National Marine Park, the protected waters around Alonissos are crystal clear. The pebbled beach of Megali Ammos is great for swimming, and though it’s located close to the island’s main port Patitiri, visitors often have the beach all to themselves.
The southernmost island in the Sporades and the largest, Skyros is a study of contradictions. Its central location in the Aegean made the island an attractive naval base for a long line of civilizations but the Skyrians themselves rarely took to the sea. While there are more than 300 churches on the island, most are privately owned. Although the island has many beautiful beaches, it lacks the luxury accommodations offered on other Greek isles.
Lovely Skopelos is the most populated island in the Sporades, and the locals are determined to ensure that the island’s growing popularity as a tourist destination doesn’t destroy its natural beauty. That resolve was tested when the movie “Mamma Mia!” was filmed in Skopelos in 2008, exposing the island’s charms and attractions to a global audience. Skopelos remains one of the prettiest islands in the Aegean, full of beautiful beaches, simple taverns and small hotels.
The closest of the Sporades islands to the Greek mainland, Skiathos is the most accessible island for visitors. With more than 50 beaches and a wide assortment of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs, it’s the most popular vacation spot in the Sporades as well. Most people come to Skiathos for the beaches, and there’s a stretch of sand sure to please every visitor. Southside beaches boast calm waters that make them perfect for swimming and water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.