During the medieval age, the Castle or Kastro used to be the capital of Skiathos. The reason was its ideal position. At the northern part of the island, at the top of a steep cliff was as remote as it should be, in order to be protected from pirates and other troops. Although, it seemed impossible to build a whole community on the rocks many meters above the tough sea, the Skiathians managed to accomplish this project. They also surrounded their city with tall and strong walls, which had many loopholes and field guns.
From the mid of 14th century until 1829, Kastro was the capital of Skiathos. It had about 300 residences and 22 churches. In 1830, with the establishment of the independent Hellenic State, it was abandoned and gradually declined. Nowadays, there are mainly remnants of the old buildings and the walls. The area is protected and restoration has been accomplished in some parts of it. In particular, guests arriving at Kastro can see the churches of St. Marina and St. Basil, two cisterns, the Ottoman mosque, the gate complex, and parts of the walls. The view from the Kastro is unbelievable. At this steep rocky edge, one’s eye can endlessly gaze the horizon and the infinity blue. The mainland and the north part of Skopelos can also easily be seen, when the day is not cloudy.
Underneath Kastro, there is a fantastic beach with crystal clear waters. You may easily reach it by boats leaving the old harbor not far from the luxury Skiathos hotels. The option to then hike up to the town is a challenging experience. The route and the views are fantastic, but there is certainly a level of difficulty, taken into account that the path is steep.
The usual way of visiting Kastro town is by a vehicle. The road stops about an hour’s walking distance from Kastro, which can be done, if you wear the appropriate shoes and have some water with you.