- The city beside the sea
Explore Skiathos Town which has retained its traditional local charm.
- Come on in – the water’s lovely
The sea around the Sporades islands is clear and inviting, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving or messing about in boats.
- Mamma Mia! It’s Skopelos
On Skopelos join a walk from the islands wooded interior to beautiful Panormos beach with lunch in a local restaurant here.
- Half board
If you want to be seduced by the beauty of Greek island life then head for the Sporades archipelago
Venture off the beaten track to explore three exceptionally beautiful islands from the lesser-known Sporades archipelago; pretty Skiathos, tranquil Alonossis and seductive Skopelos. Here Greek island life remains true to its cultural origins. Swim, follow hiking trails through idyllic countryside, and hop on a boat to see the protected marine flora and fauna of Europe’s largest marine park. You’ll soon see why the makers of the film Mamma Mia were attracted to the area as a location.
Please note: Take a suitcase on wheels as you will need to get your own bag on and off the ferries.
14 nights in hotels
30 meals: 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 14 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Skiathos countryside walk
- Kalamaki Peninsula walk
- Boat trip to the National Marine Park of Alonissos
- Alonissos nature trail
- Mountains to sea walk on Skopelos
- Scenic inter-island ferry crossings
Day 1 UK-Skiathos
Fly to the island of Skiathos and stay five nights at the locally rated 5-star Skiathos Princess. Skiathos was the first Sporades island to be developed in the 1960s and is the only one to have an airport. It remains exceptionally pretty and has an absolute wealth of gorgeous beaches. It’s the perfect place to start your holiday and recharge your batteries.
The Skiathos Princess has a superb location directly on the beach near Aghia Paraskevi on the island’s south coast. Luxurious and contemporary in style, it has two restaurants, a bar, swimming pool, spa (treatments extra charge), and fitness centre. Enjoy a welcome dinner here tonight. D
Day 2 Skiathos
This morning you can join an included walk around the wooded Kalamaki peninsula which boasts numerous unfrequented coves. The hiking is quite easy but very interesting, on clear pathways, with little traffic, traditional villas and lovely views, including of the two small but beautiful uncrowded beaches, Kanapitsa and Kalamaki. The walk is approximately four kilometres and should take about one hour.There is very little shade, so protect your skin and take a hat and a bottle of water with you. On a crystal-clear day you might even catch superb views across to Mount Athos on the Greek mainland. With your afternoon at leisure why not hop into a water taxi here and head for Skiathos to explore the town? Stroll around the old and new ports, or just sit beside the beach with a retsina in hand! B, D
Day 3 Skiathos
Today you might like to join an optional tour that visits Evangelistria Monastery. B, D
Day 4 Skiathos
This morning, join your tour manager for a walk through countryside and orchards to see the pomegranate, pistachio, fig and quince trees that thrive here. Later, perhaps explore the lovely cobbled streets of the charmingly old-world Skiathos Town. There are cafes and tavernas here aplenty, so you’ll be spoilt for choice for places to buy lunch. Later why not enjoy time on one of the island’s inviting beaches – there are buses and boats that will take you to the best places to swim and sunbathe. B, D
Day 5 Skiathos
Relax or explore independently. Perhaps visit the famous Greek author Alexander Papadiamantis’ house, now a museum or perhaps join an optional full day boat trip around the island. B, D
Day 6 Skiathos-Alonissos
After breakfast travel by ferry across the Aegean Sea to the tranquil and unspoilt island of Alonissos, where you spend the next five nights at the locally rated 4-star Marpunta Village Club. This is the most remote island of the Sporades archipelago where life continues much as it always has and tourism has had little impact. Blessed with an other-worldly beauty, the land is heavily forested, with parts cultivated to create terraces of olive groves and orchards. Inhabited since Neolithic times, Alonissos has a long history of viticulture, as far back as the ancient world it was renowned for its wine. With a strong island culture the local produce is creatively employed in the kitchen, and fresh fish features prominently on the menu.
Facilities at the Marpunta Village Club include two restaurants and bars, gym facilities a swimming pool, a nearby beach and gardens. Explore your peaceful surroundings and perhaps pop down to one of the quiet, pine-fringed beaches for a stroll or a swim before dinner. B, D
Day 7 Alonissos
Hop on a boat for a full-day excursion, with lunch, to the National Marine Park of Alonissos, the largest protected marine area in Europe. There are numerous uninhabited islets in the Sporades and these, and the waters around them, provide important habitats for fish, birds, reptiles and mammals, notably the endangered monk seal. You’ll stop off at various islands with the opportunity to swim, plus you’ll enjoy a photo stop at the Blue Cave where you may be lucky enough to spot the Eleonora Falcon. On the island of Kyra Panagia, you may spot dolphins before you climb 52 steep steps for a guided tour of the monastery (or you may prefer just to swim in the bay). A vegetarian lunch will be served on board ship, along with wine or soft drinks. Your final call of the day is the island of Peristera, where you may like to swim before returning to your hotel. B,L,D
Day 8 Alonissos
At leisure. You might like to join an optional beach safari and go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, and in the evening you can join an optional guided tour of Alonissos Old Town. B, D
Day 9 Alonissos
Join your tour manager for a short walking nature trail to see some of the local flora, such as Jerusalem sage, rock rose and the strawberry tree. B, D
Day 10 Alonissos
Perhaps walk to the island’s capital, the diminutive seaside town of Patitiri where you’ll find a sweet little museum of local artefacts and you can take a dip in the clear waters of the pretty bay. Alternatively, perhaps join an optional excursion when you can spend the day swimming and snorkelling at the Marine Park of Alonissos. B, D
Day 11 Alonissos-Skopelos
Travel to Skopelos by ferry to spend four nights at the locally rated 4-star Adrina Beach. This is the largest island of the Sporades and is so pretty it was selected as the location for the film Mamma Mia! Despite this fame it remains scenic and unspoiled. The beachfront hotel has a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. B, D
Day 12 Skopelos
See the beauty of the island for yourself on an included excursion. Take a short minibus ride into the hills and the start of this easy hike from the mountain village of Pirgos, downhill through pine woods where the air is perfumed with the smell of pine and eucalyptus, to the sea. Stop awhile at the remote church of Panagitsa and end your walk on the beaches of Panormos. Here, lunch is included at one of the local tavernas. If the visibility is clear, you can enjoy views across the Aegean to the three-fingered claw peninsulas of Halkidiki in northern Greece, where, according to Greek myth, the Olympian gods did battle with the Titans B, L, D
Day 13 Skopelos
Enjoy the day at leisure. If you’re exploring independently you might want to see Ayios Ioannis, the incredibly picturesque church used in the film Mamma Mia! There’s an awful lot of steps if you want to actually climb up to get the view from the top.
Day 14 Skopelos
Enjoy your last full day here at leisure or maybe join an optional evening excursion to see some of the island’s isolated monasteries in their idyllic settings. B, D
Day 15 Skopelos-Skiathos-UK
After breakfast, travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B