The crew of Loutraki, leading flotillas in the Sporades Islands, have put together a list of some of their favourite places to visit in the area.
Whether you have been to this part of Greece before, are heading out soon, or just fancy getting some inspiration for a future flotilla holiday, we're sure that you'll enjoy reading their recommendations.
1. Hovolo Beach, Nea Klima
Nea Klima is a favourite stop for many. The pine forests on the steep hills and non-traditional Greek houses make it look like an Austrian village. The best part is their beaches, Hovolo beach in particular. The water is crystal clear and perfectly refreshing, especially for an early morning swim where you can see the island of Skiathos being slowly bathed in sunlight. This is also where they filmed the memorable “Lay all your love on me” scene in Mamma Mia, so it is definitely a place worth visiting!
2. Armolói, Skopelos
Armolói is an excellent ceramic shop in the heart of Skopelos town. It is family-owned and has displays of pottery made by all members of their family - grandma, parents or their 18-year old daughter. They each have different styles of decorating them. We wish we could keep their fruit pots and trays on our lead boat but we sail too hard to risk having that pretty pottery flying around the galley?
3. Tassia’s Taverna, Steni Vala
Tassia’s in Steni Vala is a place we just can’t stop coming back to. It feels like stepping into a giant greenhouse with plants, flowers and singing birds everywhere. Christina, the hostess, will take great care of you while you dine here, and maybe even tell you how she was the Olympic torchbearer for Greece in 2004! Her food is to die for, particularly the smoked trout which is the best we’ve ever had!
4. Monastery, Kyra Panagia
Kyra Panagia is mostly an uninhabited island, except for the 4000 goats and 2 monks! We absolutely love to visit the monastery, where the monks are always happy to show us around! It is definitely a bit of a hike to visit, but well worth it when they serve us Greek delights and Tsipouro, whilst happily and humorously explaining the history of the island and the monastery.
5. Peristera Bay
This very sheltered bay quickly became a favourite for Lead Crew Loutraki. The crystal-clear water, a beach that’s perfect for potluck dinners and morning water aerobics, it’s a place we love revisiting!
6. Blue Bar, Skopelos
This bar is quite the definition of charming. You will have to sit in the small backstreet where it’s placed, on the stairs on comfy cushions. As the name suggests, the speakers play blues music all evening, while Yorgo, the owner, will provide you with the best local beers available.
7. Diavlos Taverna, Paleo Trikeri
There is a reason why the hosties warn guests about a different service in Greece, and this place is definitely very Greek! The taverna is family owned and though the food might come out in quite a special way, it is well worth the wait. Just sit back and relax, - you are on holiday after all!
8. Alonnisos Old Town
There are quite a few old towns in the Sporades, but this is our favourite! The white washed buildings are interspersed with excellent bars, tavernas and shops, but the view is definitely the best part! You can spot both Evia, Skopelos and all the smaller islands in the distance, so we love taking it all in whilst enjoying a cold one in the Piano bar!
Our favourite bar on the whole route is in Skiathos. It’s owned by Danny and Zoe who play live music every night, and they do it so well that it feels more like a concert than a bar!