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Sporades: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos, Skyros: 10 (McGilchrist's Greek Islands)
Skiathos is famous above all for its dense pine woods and its magnificent sandy beaches. While the island's south coast has intense tourist development, the sparsely inhabited and densely wooded north has been affected hardly at all. There are abundant walks to be made in the peace and shade of the hills in the interior. The deserted Byzantine settlement of Kastro, on a pinnacle of rock overlooking the sea at the northernmost point of the island, is a magnificent and dramatic sight. Alonnisos has a stronger scent of pine and wild oregano in its air than almost any other island. Its waters are limpid, its forests are intact and its coastline is indented with enchanting coves and beaches. The island is the centre for the Northern Sporades Marine Park, the largest marine conservation area in Europe, set up to protect the habitat of the monk seal and other marine life in the scattering of beautiful islands to the north and west.

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