By Thomas Panagiotopoulos

The entire island looks like a forest. Especially the south and the west side is a real paradise. Glittering sandy beaches, turquoise waters and tall pines descend to the edge of the beaches. Secure bays for overnight on board and taverns along the beach promise dreamy moments.

 

All this part of the island from Loutraki at north till Staphilos at south is literally covered in green. On the other hand, the eastern side of the island the landscape is wilder and rocky.

As far as the inner land is concerned, there are beautiful villages and magical landscapes that even the most experienced traveller would admire. It is worth taking the only road of the island which starts from the main port in the southeast and reaches at Glossa northwest.
The route through the dense vegetation and tall pine trees, among which the view at the sea is breathtaking, is magnificent.

AgnontasThe weather at that morning was wonderful. We took advantage of this opportunity, and after enjoying our coffee in one of the cafes alongside the port, we decided to circumnavigate the island, a distance not exceeding 32 nm. We left the harbour and we turned our bow to the south. We passed between Kiourto Cape and islet of St. George and got into the open bay of Stafilos facing southeast. It is a wonderful idea to  tie up for a while in the small pier, which is invisible even from a short distance, go up the stairs that are carved into the rock and reach the tavern located directly on the top of the hill. The view at the turquoise waters is magnificent.

Going on our course we arrived at the magnificent fishing port of Agnontas. It is one of the most beautiful corners of the Aegean Sea, nestled within the pine-covered slopes that descend to the sea, giving it an amazing green colour. There are two or three taverns by the sea, two small wooden piers in front and a little bit further a small sandy beach with crystal clear waters. The small colourful fishing boats alongside the quay which is on the south side of the bay complete this wonderful marine neighbourhood. Everything here is so beautiful and so simple, in harmony with the natural beauty of this small inlet.
skopelosLeaving Agnontas, we left the beautiful and peaceful like a lake Limnonari bay and cruising near the green shores we passed by Cape Miti. After one mile we meet Panormos, one of the most beautiful bays of the Aegean. This place is really drowned in green, resembling more a large lake than another bay.  At the northern entrance, next to the small cape of Andrina, a lovely beach is formed where there is a small wooden pier to accommodate boats of visitors of the homonymous hotel. It is ideal for those who combine a holiday with boat and staying in rented rooms.
On the south side of Panormos bay there is another narrow inlet formed, named Blo, ideal for overnight on board.

In the interland of Panormos bay a great beach filled with pebbles is formed, alongside of which there are a few low houses and shops in a row. The magnificent blue water of the bay, which is the most beautiful of the island, hosts many swimmers every summer.

Going out the magical bay of Panormos, just behind the small cape of Andrina, the great and beautiful beach of Milia lies, which attracts many visitors. It is perhaps the most popular coast of Skopelos while the small wooden bar in the middle of the beach undertakes to quench the thirst of the guests. From now on and northern, a series of small and usually isolated beaches begin, nestled amid the dense vegetation and tall pines that reach the sea. A small paradise with turquoise waters is extending to a length of about a mile, fascinating every traveller. The beauty of the landscape is completed by small islets located directly opposite, mainly the pure green one of Dasia which is surrounded by crystal clear waters.
At the end of this small chain of sandy beaches, we find the small seaside village Elios, isolated and forgotten by tourism, even when Skopelos is drowned with people.
KastaniGoing on our cruising at north, we arrived at Loutraki, which is the second port of the island. It is a beautiful coastal settlement, built on the ruins of ancient Selinountas.
Three miles northern we passed by the cape of Gourouni, with an imposing stoned lighthouse dominating on it and were approaching the east side of the island. From that point and after the landscape changes and becomes more rugged and inhospitable as the steep rocks speak about the strength of the north winds. In the top of a high rock, almost detached from the mainland, there is the chapel of St. John. It is worth stopping here and going up the vertical stairs that lead us to the top, where the view is breathtaking.
Keeping on our cruising at south to the port of Skopelos, we encountered the beautiful beaches of Glysteri and Glyfoneri, where there are some of the most famous taverns of the island. The whitewashed houses of the town already seem to appear with the red tiled roofs signalling the end of our wonderful circumnavigation.
In the afternoon we were walking along the cobbled streets adorned with numerous flowers mixing their wonderful scents and shops in a row where a lot of people are crowded looking for beautiful souvenirs.

Notes for navigators
The winds during the summer period are of north and north-east direction, so it would be better to moor at the western side of the island, which is the most astonishing one.
For those who prefer quiet holidays, the tranquil port of Elios at the western side, is a very good choice. Absolutely safe under every weather condition, it is very close to the most magnificent beaches while easy refuelling, water and ice are provided.
If we choose Panormos bay for overnight on board, we should have in our mind that if the wind of north-west destination blows, then fierce waves in the bay will cause many problems. In this case anchoring in the inlet Blo is recommended. Another proper place for anchoring is the picturesque fishing port of Agnontas, which is not protected from the western winds.