Most of Skopelos’ best beaches are on the sheltered southwest and west coasts; a good way to reach them is by hiring a bike from Skopelos Cycling.

The first beach you come to is sand-and-pebble Stafylos Beach, 4km southeast of Skopelos Town. From its eastern end, a path leads over a small headland to the quieter Velanio Beach, the island’s official nudist beach and coincidentally a great snorkelling spot. Lovely Agnontas, 3km west of Stafylos, has a pebble-and-sand beach from where caïques depart to sheltered and sandier Limnonari Beach.

You could easily lose a day to picnicking and hidden-cove swimming at Cape Amarandos. Around 75m before you reach Agnontas, take the left-hand turn, following a steep rocky track at the bend. The track provides umpteen private rocky beach stops, but if you keep going to a sharp left turn you'll see a dramatic cleft in the rocks. Follow the faint path here along the cliff to the water's edge, where a sea cave and pine shade provides a wonderfully spectacular stop.

From Agnontas, the road cuts inland through pine forests before re-emerging at pretty Panormos Beach, which has tavernas and domatia. The next two bays, Milia and Kastani, are excellent for swimming. On the island’s northeast coast, serene Perivoliou Beach is a 25-minute drive from Glossa.