With optimism, smiles and many good messages that this year will be a landmark for tourism in the three islands of the Sporades, the tourist season has begun and the “engines” are revving up, since planes and ships have started to bring the colorful crowd of tourists to Skiathos , Skopelos and Alonissos.

Optimism is rife in all three islands of the Sporades for this summer and as the numbers show, it will surpass all previous ones, provided professionalism works and there are no contingencies that will upset the data.

The first charters have landed at “Alexandros Papadiamantis” in Skiathos and the first to arrive were French tourists on a “Transavia” flight from Paris, followed by British tourists with “Jet2” from London.

After all, they say in the Sporades that when their flagship, as they call Skiathos, is doing well, then everything is going well for Skopelos and Alonissos and the prospects are more than positive.

THE president of the Skiathos Hotel Association Alekos Efstathiou told APE-MPE that “the messages are excellent for Skiathos and we expect that at the peak of the season, i.e. July and August, there will not even be a free bed on the island and this presupposes that we must be prepared from all sides, both in terms of infrastructure, as well as in terms of dealing with difficulties because moving to your high limits means that we must operate with absolute professionalism in every area. We seek to improve every year the quality of the tourist who comes to Skiathos and to aim for continuous improvement of the services offered”.

Already, in Skiathos, the urban transport of the island has improved spectacularly, since everything has changed, brand new buses have been launched on all bus lines and the upgrade can be seen from the expression of satisfaction of the tourists who basically travel to the beaches by buses.

At the same time, and extremely important, is the sector of coastal shipping, where conventional and high-speed ships arrive at the islands from Volos, Mantoudi and Thessaloniki. The main port with destination to Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos remains Volos, from where two very large conventional – but extremely fast – ships depart daily as well as a speedboat. In high season the ferries will operate four routes a day and the speedboats will double, meaning that routes will be run from morning to evening.

Of major importance is the continuation of the direct ferry connection between the Sporades and Thessaloniki, with a large high-speed ferry, with services starting from June 2 and ending at the end of September. The ship will run routes to the Sporades three times a week and in the months of July and August the routes will become four.

The routes to Sporades from the port of Thessaloniki will be operated by the high-speed ferry Superrunner 2, of the SeaJets company, which can carry 900 passengers and 160 passenger cars. The routes will be operated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at the peak of the season a route will also be operated on Saturdays.

The same optimism also prevails in Skopelos for this year, since the messages through the reservations give the impression that the records of previous years will be broken and characteristics, the tourist agent Gianna Efstathiou of “Dolphin Skopelos”, told APE-MPE that “our beautiful island is ready for the his best tourist year. We have prepared as professionals and we want every visitor to be completely satisfied. The green Skopelos with its wonderful beaches aims at a quality tourist who will love the island and in the last decade there are thousands and multiplying those who fall in love with it through the images of the legendary musical Mamma Mia, making thousands of people dream of living like that moments. With the improvement of the coastal ferry connections, Skopelos has become closer not only to Volos, but also to Thessaloniki and the other islands.”

There are plenty of smiles for the president of the Skopelos Hoteliers’ Union, Mary Diamantis, who, representing hundreds of her colleagues on the island, spoke to APE-MPE and emphasized that “on the island there is an increase in bookings close to 25% compared to the same period last year which was also good , but this year we are going for a record. In addition to the organized visitors of Skopelos who come from abroad via the airport of Skiathos, there is great mobility and demand in the bookings of independent and individual customers. All of them take care and make their reservations on time and in fact much earlier from international internet platforms. A very important role is played for Skopelos by the interconnection of all the ports of our island, namely Chora, Glossa and Agnontas with other islands and many land destinations, especially again this year with Thessaloniki. However, we expect mass but calm tourism after May 15 with the arrivals of British, Scandinavians and French, but also Italians mainly in August”.

The prospects are similar for her Alonnisoswhere the green island of the Sporades is waiting to be filled with tourists from the end of May onwards, since it is the most remote from the rest of the Sporades.

The mayor Petros Vafinis, himself a hotelier, told APE-MPE that “we always promote the uniqueness of our island with its green landscape and clear blue waters, combined with the famous underwater museum that has dominated in recent years, as well as the excellent marine park in our sea where monachus-monachus turtles live and are protected. Alonissos offers unique features that no other place has. Let’s not forget the gastronomy as our island is famous for its lobster pasta and the local Alonissian tuna. We want to improve the medical care on our island and we wish to live our best summer without problems”.