Skiathos Banana Beach

The famous Skiathos Banana Beach is actually made up of three separate small beaches located on the southwest coast of the island, and named for the yellow color of the sand. The island itself is the westernmost of the Sporades Greek islands, and is tucked up against the eastern coast of mainland Greece about 75 miles due north of Athens. The general area known as Banana Beach Greece has been popular with naturists for decades.

There is a long history of nudity in sport in ancient Greece, where it was introduced by the fierce Spartans. Later, it was seen in ancient Olympia, where athletes (notably wrestlers) competed in the nude in the first Olympic Games. However the practice of nude sunbathing was not legal in the country until the late 1970s, and it is still limited to specific places. Today, this beach in Skiathos is one of many naturist beaches in the country, most of which are found on one of the many Greek islands. Banana Beach Greece is the only area on the island where nudity is allowed.

The Skiathos Banana Beach was once fairly difficult to reach—it was quite a trek by land, or could be reached by boat. But, as the hotels near Banana Beach began to be built down near the end of Koukounaries Beach, it became a popular "hidden" place where people could retreat from crowds and sunbathe in the nude. The three lovely strips of sand that make up Skiathos Banana Beach are located a bit southeast of Koukounaries Beach, and about a 30-minute bus ride from Skiathos town (where the Greece ferries dock), and is on the bus line (do remember that you must wear your clothes on the public bus!).

The main Skiathos Banana Beach is called "Big Banana." This is where most visitors hang out and, although nudism is permitted, the majority of people keep their bathing suits on. This is also the liveliest of the three beaches, with numerous cafés serving snacks and cold drinks. There is also dancing and loud music. On the far left of Big Banana (as you face the ocean) is another beach, Little Banana. On the far right and over a rocky promontory is "Nameless Banana." Both these smaller beaches are almost 100 percent nude. Banana Beach Greece is not the only nude beach in the country. You can find many of them, especially on the islands. Crete and Mykonos are particularly known for them.

There are a number of hotels near Banana Beach as well as apartments, villas, and beach bungalows. Many of these are around Koukounaries Beach, since many of the budget properties right at Banana Beach are often reserved in advance by operators who offer package vacations to the area. But you can find some very good accommodation in the area. Some of the hotels near Banana Beach are even in the five-star international class; the lovely Skiathos Princess is one of the closest to this beach area. Not only is it a luxury property, but also one of the country's all inclusive resorts, geared toward couples as well as families with children. Two different children's groups provide supervised activities for those aged four to twelve and for infants from aged six months to four. There are 131 deluxe rooms, suites, and family rooms with balcony or terrace and views of beautiful gardens or the sea.

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