We spent 2 weeks at the Skiathos Princess at the beginning of June. It is rated a 5 star and to an extent, for a Greek hotel, it achieves this – I couldn’t say our room was 5 star but the furnishings were nice and there was lots of storage, and the towels could be changed twice a day if you wished. The décor and furnishings in the public areas of the hotel. were lovely with lots of marble, flowing curtains and soft sofas; the sunbeds were plentiful and comfortable (and free to use on the beach). The layout of the hotel is good and, of course, a lovely sandy beach is right there. However inconsistencies let it down. Our bed (2 single beds pushed together) was very hard and the toilet seat was broken – we raised this with reception and a wide mattress topper was on our beds very quickly, making them into one large bed, but the sheet was still a single so wouldn’t tuck in (more annoying than you might think). The toilet seat was not replaced. We later reported that the patio chairs had split seats and again that the toilet seat was broken. 2 brand new chairs appeared within 20 minutes, but still no replacement toilet seat at that point, or later. The swimming pool is perfect but it is surrounded by a large area dark stained decking - and it burns your feet! We were also disappointed with the staff – they were cold, unsmiling and unwelcoming for the large part, and we did not feel they gave 5 star service, especially during breakfast at which time getting coffee in your cup was a test of patience and perseverance. There were exceptions of course - the breakfast receptionist, Leftares the night receptionist, and the 2 porters were all warm, friendly and professional. On the upside, there was every food type you would expect for breakfast and the quality was high.
We were on a bed and breakfast basis and ate out in the evenings – there are around 10 tavernas in the immediate vicinity and we had a warm welcome and good meals in Maistrali, Plantanias and Boubounakia. In our 2nd week, we discovered the old part of Skiathos town above the old port – here the many restaurants spill out onto the beautiful narrow streets, and the service and quality cannot be faulted. Here, we found what we were looking for in terms of traditional Greek hospitality in typical surroundings. We just loved it, and if we had found these earlier, I think we would have gone into the town every night. We took all cash with us this time due to the economic problems, but we found that a credit card could have been used everywhere with no problem. Just to note - the only place to find a cash point or change travellers cheques was in the town. Skiathos town in general, is very beautiful and picturesque, and we loved walking around. If we return, we will stay nearer the town. The pretty buildings, the blue sea, the restaurants on the waters edge, the views, the narrow streets – all just stunning. Also make sure you walk round past the new port towards the end of the runway – there are some fab views that way too.
Skiathos is a small island and there is one main road that runs most of the length of the south coast. A good way to get around is to use the local bus that goes along this road. It is cheap and stops a few yards down the road from the hotel (bus stop number 16) every 20 minutes or so. Taxis also go past and try to pick up business, often willing to negotiate and usually taking E10 (occasionally even less if a quiet time) to go into town - if you can share a taxi with another couple, this is not much more than the bus and is a lot quicker and more comfortable, particularly in the evening when it can be standing room only. The other way to get around is to hire a vehicle. Apart from the main road and a few side roads, most other roads are dusty dirt tracks and you need a jeep to travel on them. I feel you need to be a confident driver to do this as some bits are steep and rutted, but the rewards are great – the views from the cliffs on the north coast are magnificent and stunning, and you can get to beaches that have few people, or in one case, no people at all, to spoil your enjoyment of the natural and beautiful cove you find yourself in. The island is very green, and pine trees and greenery come right down to unspoilt beaches in many places. But don’t wear your best holiday clothes as you will come back very dusty. Also, don’t buy a road map – the island map that can be picked up at the airport or from the hotel shows all the roads. The water is good for snorkelling as it is very clear and generally calm, but there is not a great variety of fish to see.
If you like a boat trip, there are many to choose from. We saw that the bigger boats tended to be packed full with people sitting on bench seats. This does not appeal to us. We found a small motor yacht called Tuti Boni in the new port – it goes out with a maximum 8 people and you discuss between you where you want to go and what you want to do. We had a great day out with lovely people, and mostly sat up on the front soaking up the sun – there was enough wind to sail to Skopelos where we stopped to swim, then moored at the harbour to have lunch, then we motored to another island where we stopped again to swim and snorkel. Sadly we did not see that dolphins that day.
All in all, we had a fabulous holiday and agreed that Skiathos is the loveliest Greek island we have visited. I know this is a bit long, but I hope it is useful and that it shows how impressed we are by Skiathos.
Final note – take your mosquito repellent – you will need it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.