In 2003, some friends who been going to Skiathos for about 15 years suggested the island. There used to be a website which has since closed called Sunny Banana, well they were the owners of that site. So in 2004 we booked a 2 week holiday staying at the Astoria Hotel in Troulos at the end of May. I remember the first week of that visit well, because we couldn’t believe how cold it was in the evenings, sat around Harry’s Bar under the heaters shivering as we hadn’t brought anything thicker than a t-shirt!
That year, we also hired a vehicle, not a Jimny but a car, which turned out to be a brand new vehicle. The roads off the main coast road on our first visit at least seemed to be a lot worse than they are today and we spent many a trip inland wondering whether we would be returning it in its brand new state. The island then seemed very quiet, just what we wanted. I guess it seems busier now just because we no longer go at the end of May.
We didn’t become a Boomeranger until 2006, when we stayed for a week in the Mandraki Hotel in Koukounaries. This was the year before the hotel had a make-over and so was in a little need of some TLC. On both this and our first visit we frequented what was the Paradosi Taverna at the Y-junction in Troulos. Run by Christos and Soula Makaratzi, who have since become good friends. They advertised on there table covers and napkins the Skiathos Diamond Apartments in Kolios which they owned. When we returned home we looked at them on the internet and within a few weeks we had booked our 2007 holiday staying at the Diamond Apartments.
So in September 2007, our third visit was staying at the newly opened apartments, situated up the quiet Kolios valley, overlooking olive groves. That was the year that Boomerang meetings really started and we joined in with a large group at Taverna Alexandros. This was also the year of the great fire on the island, which had taken place about 6 weeks before our arrival. It started up near the old rubbish tip and reached the coast near Ag Paraskevi Beach. Luckily not too many properties were affected.
Our fourth visit was only 10 months later in July 2008, when we made a late decision to come and had a week at the Plaza Hotel in Kanapitsa.
July 2009 was another year where we nearly didn’t make it. Due to family medical problems it was until 8 hours before we left for the airport that it was sure we would be going. We stayed at the Diamond Apartments and again in September 2010 and June 2011.
We booked for our 8th visit in 2012, to stay at the Diamond Apartments again. However, about 6 weeks before we went, I fell off my bicycle and broke my wrist. On doctors orders, he advised that we should not travel on our holiday as I would be in plaster and may need an operation on my wrist. This did not go down well as we really needed a holiday. So our 8th visit is going to be in 2013, again at the Diamond Apartments. In total we will have spent 14 weeks on the island and now each time we come it is like arriving home, knowing where everything is, feeling comfortable from Day 1. Over the previous 7 visits, the island has only changed slightly. Roads are now much better, even the rough tracks seem smoother, perhaps we are getting used to them and sunbeds and parasols on the beaches are now semi-permanent features. The best thing about the island is that it is still a friendly, homely place to visit and one of the most relaxing places to have a holiday.