Mandraki is a delightful area of pine woods and sand beaches on the north coast of Skiathos. It is relatively quiet, compared to the rest of Skiathos that is, as access is along tracks through pine forests. They can be reached with a four wheel drive by taking a right turn at the Golden Beach Hotel near the south coast beach at Koukounaries.
Mandraki beach can also be reached easily on foot from bus stop 23 by taking the concrete path past the Caravos Hotel and along a dirt track through pine woodland.
The densely wooded peninsula of Mandraki has a trio of fine sand beaches of Elias, Xerxes and Agistri. On emerging from the woods the main beach area id straight ahead with Elias to the east and Agistri over the headland to the west. The mainland mountains of Pelion can be seen in the distance from all the beaches.
The west end of Mandraki beach is soft golden sand banked up steeply in places. It also drops sharply into the sea at the western end but becomes much shallower to the east.
Flotsam tends to litter the beach the further east you go. On reaching Elias beach there is enough driftwood about for visitors to build ramshackle beach huts and ad-hoc sun shelters.
The shoreline can also be littered with rubbish from passing ships, blown in on the northern winds. It is on Elias that visitors are likely to find naturists as the visitors thin out.
The main Mandraki beach is thick golden sand banking up to dunes behind and the pine forest beyond that. A small taverna opens in summer sitting on a small bluff at the back of the beach.
A path heading west over the headland leads to Agistri beach, also called Paradise. Another sandy beach, there are a few pebbles and plenty of shade from overhanging pines with a small beach bar that opens in the high summer.
There is also access to Mandraki along tracks through pine woods to the east of the beach at Agia Eleni on the Skiathos east coast.
Whether you are an experienced diver, a beginner, or just a snorkeler, Greece has a seabed for you. Andy Cornish swims in one of the world's best aquatic park.
Mandraki is off the beaten track in the westernmost part of the island and cloaked in thick pine forest. Fortunately trails have been hacked through the forest to provide woodland walks.
One look will tell you why Koukounaries beach is voted one of the best in Greee with a kilometre long crescent of golden sand sweeping around the bay backed by a tree-lined lagoon.
Excursion boats on Skiathos leave the harbour daily throughout the summer holiday season to take visitors across the bay to the trio of islets at Tsougria,Tsougraki and Arkos.