Koukounaries is a small community on Skiathos Island that is near one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the Aegean Sea. Koukounaries Beach Skiathos is the most famous of those on the island, and can get quite crowded during the warm summer weather. It is known for its fine white sand and its border of fragrant Japanese umbrella pine trees. This forested area is a protected biotope, and this area of the island received its name from the trees—Koukounaries is from the Greek word meaning "pine cone." Not long ago, Skiathos Town was the only settlement on the island. A road was built connecting the two areas in the 1960s, and today a settlement surrounds the beach and Koukounaries holidays are very popular.

As one of the Greek islands in the Sporades group, Skiathos is in the western Aegean, along the eastern coast of the Greek mainland. There is an airport near the main town with flights from Athens, Mykonos, Kos, Santorini, and Rhodes. During the peak summer season, there are flights from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and England. Ferries arrive at the port from several other islands as well as from Thessaloniki. Once you've arrived by air or ferry, you can reach Koukounaries Beach Skiathos by public bus or taxi. There are also water taxis that are popular during Koukounaries holidays as a scenic way to enjoy the coastline en route to the final destination.

There are numerous hotels near Koukounaries to choose from. The deluxe Mandraki Village is one of the nicest. Set in beautiful gardens and dotted with pine trees, it offers lovely rooms and suites that sleep up to five guests. It has two swimming pools, children's play areas, and several dining spots and bars. Koukounaries Beach Skiathos is only about 600 feet away. Check carefully with all lodging options if you plan on coming during the off peak season, since many properties close between October and April. The best weather here is during the summer.

Thing to do during your Koukounaries holidays include walking in the protected natural areas, taking scenic cruises or sailing trips around the island, and visiting the medieval town of Kastro. It is full of history, and built high on a cliff over the sea with fabulous views. You can explore the ruins of an ancient monastery and several old churches; some are partially preserved and contain wonderful Byzantine mosaics. Monasteries have been an integral part of Greek life for centuries, and there are active ones all over the country. The Skiathos Monastery of Evangelistria is the only active one remaining on the island, and it boasts beautiful frescoes. As with virtually all Greek monasteries, it is built high on a hilltop with magnificent views. Modestly dressed visitors are welcome, but always ask permission before snapping photographs.

And, of course, there is beautiful Koukounaries Beach itself, where the major activity is sunbathing. However, numerous water sports are available, and there are restaurants, cafés, tavernas, and beach bars. You can also visit nearby Banana Beach if you're ready for some sunbathing in the nude. The beach is on the public bus route, if you are not staying in the area.

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