Skiathos Kastro The Kastro Mosque Kastro House Path to the Kastro Kastro Wall Kastro Steps

Skiathos Kastro

The Bourtzi was built on the peninsula that now separates the old harbour area from the new harbour, built around 1207 it originally had two towers, and was bordered by large walls. The fortification overlooked the entrance to the old harbour and most of Skiathos Town. The Venetian styled fortress, with cannon and small arms provided Skiathos Town with limited protection against raids upon the island.
During the peak of the pirate raids, the protection provided by the guns of the Bourtzi proved ineffective, and eventually lead to Skiathos Town being completely abandoned by the residents who moved the entire town, ( including many of the buildings ) to the northern side of the island within the walls of the Kastro.
The Kastro ( fortification or castle ) is believed to have been built in the mid 14th century with the sole aim of providing a sanctuary for the inhabitants of Skiathos from the pirate attacks. Situated upon a promontory at the more exposed northern end of the island.
Three of the four Kastro protective walls overlook the sea, with steep exposed cliff faces underpinning them. A single entrance via originally with a wooden drawbridge leads to the nearby cliff top.



Skiathos Kastro

back to the harbour town of today. With the exception of two churches and some smaller buildings much of the Kastro was demolished or fell into ruin what ruins remain are very overgrown. Today after reaching the cliff top, you must climb a set of very steep steps to reach the fortress entrance, so it is not really a suitable destination for anyone with walking difficulties. It is possible to drive and park nearby the Kastro at a viewing/turning area, leaving your vehicle follow the narrow roadway past the cafe to the left, and from there on down to the turning circle near the bay. The route onwards across the cliff top is only possible on foot following the rabbit paths. or by going down to the bay and following the donkey trail back up. Shoes with good grip are really a must, there are no hand rails until you reach the steps, and no secure fences between you and a fall down the cliff side so take care with small children and watch your footing.
If making your own way to the Kastro use a 4X4 not a car, the lane leading to the pebbled access road is in very poor condition. A ferry boat can also take you from Skiathos Town to the bay and it is possible, to get a donkey ride to the halfway point up the cliff from the bay, however final entry to the Kastro can only be made on foot.

Skiathos Kastro

Moving the town inside the Kastro proved fairly successful, and for many years after, it was not only the capital of Skiathos, but the only inhabited town on the island. During it's occupancy in the 14th century the Kastro is believed to have contained upwards of 300 houses, and at least 20 churches. The Turkish occupation of the island from 1538 saw the building