The first of the Sporades Islands is Skiathos. This is a popular resort as it has its own airport. The harbour is full of bars and restaurants and pleasure boats offering trips to places where Mamma Mia 1 was filmed. We anchored in the bay around the corner where it was a little quieter and met up with some people who we wintered in Cartagena with, Steve and Gill on Coriander.
We then hopped across to an anchorage at Skopolos where we stayed just the one night (we did return to Skopolos but later in the month) and then off to a small island opposite Allonosis (are you keeping up with all these names) called Peristera. We anchored in a small bay where there was one other boat a catamaran, at least there was for a while. As the day wore on there were a few more but most disappear at the end of the day. Ashore there was nothing apart from goats. We tied to the rocks here so the boat didn’t swing around.
Our next stop was to Vitso on Allonosis. It is a small village with a small harbour. The harbour wall is full of small boats so we anchored up and tied to the rocks of the hillside behind us. We were told that there is room for approx six boats to tie up to the rocks. There were eventually 14 boats. They kept coming and coming, in fact a couple came in and had to leave.
The capital of Allonosis, Patitiri, was a 30 minute walk so off we went. Patitiri was destroyed in the 1965 earthquake so it’s not so quaint as it’s modern. We discovered there was a Pirate Museum here. We could see it from the harbour up on the hillside but it took a while to find how we actually got up to it. It was easier coming down.
We did more island hopping from here, which is easy to do as the islands are fairly close together. Anchoring in very picturesque bays. From Allonosis back to Limnonari on Skopolos and then back to Skiathos. We met up with some of the crew we wintered with in Licata, Dave and Vickie on “We Dun It”, Colin and Maggie on “Serafina” and Clare and Andy on “Ula”. After a lovely few days catching up off we hopped again to Millia and then to Loutraki, Skopolos.
The town of Glossa is up on the hillside from Loutraki. Some say you can walk it but having taken the bus up we realised that bus or taxi was definitely the better option. The narrow streets were quite steep in places and you do wonder how the elderly manage. We were pretty puffed out by the time we got to the top! With three quarters of the Licata Crew from Skiathos (minus Ula) we found a restaurant that wasn’t your usual Greek cuisine, which made a real change. You don’t get the choice of food types like you do in the UK. The view from Glossa was amazing, one of the best we’ve seen so far.
We left here and headed back to the bay at Vasiliko, with just the goats. We picked up a stray on the way in the form of a “Praying Mantus”, fascinatingly strange looking insect. From here to the island of Panagias in another bay with nothing more than goats. The crossing, albeit short thankfully, was awful with big swells and gusts which meant we had lots of water over the boat.
I was flying back to the UK again for a week so we needed to head back to Athens, so we were on a timescale again. We left Ula and We Dun It behind and headed to the island of Skyros which is known to be windy. Our route to Skyros meant we had to go through the Stenon Valaxa Strait which at its narrowest is just about 500ft wide and only 2-5m deep. It was quite stunning. Unfortunately, as I was on Facetime at the time I don’t have any photos but my Mum and Dad got to experience the trip through with us albeit remotely.
We moored up on the Harbour wall at Linaria. The harbour has an excellent reputation for being very helpful and good facilities. The harbourmaster came alongside and directed us where to go and offered help with getting in and mooring up. Linaria is where the ferries come in. The harbour front is very pretty with lots of tavernas. Everything was close by, petrol station, bus stop, shops and harbour front. Every evening between 7 and 8pm the showers has a bubble disco. So yes we did go and have a shower at this time and bubbles and music was what we got. The showers were very nice too, which is not always the case.
We took the bus into Skryos Town, where I’ve never seen so many boutiques. It was very touristy but pretty. There is a statue of the poet Rupert Brooke, who died on Skyros and is buried there. He was known for his poems of the First World War.
Waiting for the bus we met the Scarecrow Family, someone certainly has a sense of humour.
We now had to push on to get to Athens as we had a few days in the marina to see the sights of Athens before I headed to the UK. Not the best conditions as it was windy and gusting up to 26 knots and with big seas of 2 /2.5 metre swells. Not the best trip I’ve had. The wind was behind us, we had various reefs in the sails to reduce the power of the boat but we were still hitting speeds between 9 and 14 knots which Ian thought was great but not me! Pictures and videos never show quite the extent of the conditions. Very pleased to anchor up eventually after 11 hours.
We made two further hops to Zea Marina, where we were greeted by Karen on CopyCat. It was nice to be in the marina for a while.