WHY IONIAN ISLAND HOLIDAYS?
AWARD WINNING HOLIDAYSWe are delighted to have been voted at the prestigious British Travel Awards "Best Small Holiday Company to Hellenic Europe" in 2011, 2012 & 2013, as well as Runner Up for "Favourite Specialist Tour Operator" in the 2013 Telegraph Travel Awards.
EXPERT ADVICEOur team of experienced and knowledgeable advisers are here to make your holiday to the Greek islands memorable - and for the right reasons!
There is however much more to the island than its sixty eight famous magnificent sandy beaches, fantastic watersports and resorts offering a cosmopolitan and sophisticated nightlife.
The west coast, for instance is spectacular and almost undeveloped. It appeals to those who enjoy wild and lonely landscapes with hidden valleys, wooded hillsides and cliff top paths. The air is filled with the scent of aromatic herbs and the only sounds are the waves breaking far below or bells sounding from a tiny village church.
The interior is rural with olive groves, pine woods and hillsides that few explore. Small, traditional houses can be found whose architecture blends in with the classical mansions in graceful Venetian styles.
Skiathos Town itself is littered with church towers and paved alleys. During the day it is busy with the hustle and bustle of the locals, their fishing boats and the arrival of numerous ferries. At night the whole area is transformed into an array of waterfront restaurants and cafes welcoming locals and visitors alike.
The history of Skiathos is also fascinating. The Cretans were amongst the earliest settlers here and its present name may be derived from the Cretan “Skiathos” or Dionysis. The Ionians came here in the 8th century BC and must have been pleased to discover an island as green and fertile as their own!
Over the following centuries up until the birth of Christ, the island allied itself at different times with Sparta and Athens. It was during this period that Skiathos became famous for the quality of its ships, shipwrights and sailors, using timber from the magnificent pine forests that covered the island.
This tradition continued into the Byzantine era, but unfortunately the island’s reputation for the quality of its timber and boat building, as well as its natural produce, became a magnet for the pirates that terrorised the Aegean. In fact, the islanders invited the Venetians to take possession of the island and the first major fortress at Bourtzi was built by two Italian brothers. The site is now a popular and interesting cultural centre that is well worth a visit. The island changed hands regularly over the next three centuries according to the fortunes of the Ottoman and Venetian Empires.
In 1807, the first Greek Flag was designed, woven, blessed and raised at the Monastery of The Annunciation on Skiathos, the island became a special place in the history of the Greek struggle for independence.
Modern Skiathos is very much like its larger Ionian counterpart, Corfu. It has magnificent beaches, bustling resorts with a cosmopolitan and sophisticated nightlife on the one hand, but also quiet, secret valleys, wooded hillsides and cliff top paths the air filled with waves breaking far or a bell sounding the hours from a tiny village church. An island of contrast with something for everyone.
- Visit Skiathos Town for its waterfront tavernas and bars as well as for shopping and the narrow streets of the old town
- Enjoy any of the islands 68 beaches including 4 Blue Flag beaches
- Visit the beautiful frescoes of the monasteries Evangelista & Kousitra and the church of Agios Nikolaos
- The Bourtzi, a small peninsula and fort that separates Skiathos Port in two, hosting concerts and events
- ‘Kastro’ (Castle) ancient fortress in the north of Skiathos, fantastic views and surrounding natural beauty
- Papdiamanti’s House, Skiathos’ only museum, home of the famous Greek monk, poet and writer
- Join in the celebrations of the Assumption of the Virgin on the 15th August
- Take a day trip to Skopelos, Alonissos and the Marine Park
Direct flights from London Gatwick and Manchester
Your hire car will be waiting for you at the airport with driving instructions, otherwise you will be transferred to your accommodation by taxi. Approx transfer time: 10 mins to 30 mins
PRE-BOOKING YOUR AIRCRAFT SEAT
To pre book your seat please contact the airline directly quoting Ionian Island Holidays as your tour operator, your booking reference number, flight number, date of departure and specific flight request. Payments for these seats are direct with the airline.
AIRLINE CONTACT DETAILS
Fly Monarch: 0871 940 5040
20kg for checked baggage, 5kg hand baggage.
Security restrictions may apply, please contact the airline, the airport or ourselves before departure.
We are able to offer a limited number of flights direct to Kefalonia, Preveza and Corfu. Contact out UK office for further details on 020 8459 0777.
Please also fully inform us of any disability or walking difficulty you may have, so we can provide assistance at the airport. This must be made at least 7 days before departure.