The smallest of the Sporades islands offers relaxation along with inspiration
By Haris Argyropoulos
Skiathos, the westernmost and smallest of the Sporades island group, off the coast of the Pilio peninsula in central Greece, is best known for its contribution to modern Greek letters, notably by Alexandros Papadiamantis — the austere and influential 19th-century writer in whose novels it figured prominently. Papadiamantis provided lyrical and lucid portraits of the island’s harsh country life, marked by an inclination toward religious tradition but also deep psychological insight.
His descriptions of rural life no doubt helped put this pine-clad island of 48 square kilometers on the tourist map decades later, attracting large numbers of Greek and foreign visitors, who now conjure a much happier picture. Its trendy image has largely worn off in recent decades — possibly receiving a boost since the filming there of scenes for “Mamma Mia!” a few years ago. But Skiathos is sure not to lose its diehard fans, who belong to all age groups, attracted by the pine forest that touches the water, the golden sandy beaches as well as the cosmopolitan and youthful atmosphere that are all strongly reminiscent of the Saronic island of Spetses.