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The Sporades Islands are an archipelago located along the east coast of Greece, just northeast of the Euboea Island in the Aegean Sea. They are made up of 24 islands, and only four of them are permanently occupied: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros. These group of islands are also known as the Thessalian Sporades.
Short introduction of the Sporades Islands
Skiathos is the most popular closest of the mainland. It has good beaches, nightlife and its own airport. Skopelos is not very developed, but many tourists visit it for its wooden and rugged terrains. The little island of Alonissos is quieter and offers a very Greek kind of life. It is a National Marine Park that offers walking and enjoying the sceneries, as well as sailboat charters.
The islands of Sporades might not be as popular among tourists as the other Greek islands, but none of the Sporades Islands are not exactly and completely untouched by tourism. Therefore, visitors should not go about and expect that they can get away from it all in these islands. Each of them have their own plus points, so visitors should find the island that they like.
Alonissos. Located at the eastern end of the Sporades, northwest of the largest island in the group, which is Skyros. It does not have an airport, so it has no direct flights. It also has limited ferry connections so it has fewer visitors compared to its more popular neighbors Skopelos and Skiathos. During the summer, however, Alonissos attracts many Greek holidaymakers and those who opt for less-spoiled places. This island is surrounded by the Alonissos Marine Park Northern Sporades, set up to protect the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.
Skiathos. This island is the busiest of the Sporades Islands. One of the reasons is that Skiathos has an airport. Also, it has the best beaches, with more of them 60 of them, along with some of the best in the country. During the summer, however, it becomes packed with visitors, and most of the beaches become very busy. Skiathos also has a good nightlife reputation, especially in the town of Skiathos, which is teeming with white houses, restaurants and bars.
Skopelos. Skopelos gets a fair share of visitors to the Sporades. It is bigger than neighboring island Skiathos, so there seems to be more room to breathe. The island offers orchards, olive groves and pine forests, and its beaches are a mixture of shingle and sand. These beaches are not as good as the ones found in Skiathos, but anyone who loves the beach, sand and sailing Greece should have no complaints.
Skyros. The largest of the Sporades Islands, Skyros is set apart from the three other islands geographically and atmospherically. It has a traditional feel to it, although it attracts several visitors. Its large size helped that the island is not over-run by tourism. It is, in fact, four times bigger than Skiathos, but it has less than half the population. Some locals claim that Skyros was once two islands, although there are no geological evidence found that backs this up.