Skala Atalantis of municipality Lokron
in the Prefecture of Fthiotida in Central Greece
This summer is undoubtedly called: close-to-Athens-destinations. By taking the decision to do not use boats or airplanes to avoid crowding with covid-19, this is the best solution for vacation. That is why we chose another one destination near Athens, called Skala Atalantis. After our previous trips to: Poros, Kymi and Tyros.
Skala (Σκάλα in Greek) is a small seaside settlement and has about 200 permanent residents. It is located 140km north of Athens. The above reason is why the highway’s rest area over there is called 140. In other words, it has easy access through the Greek National Road 1 (Athens – Lamia – Thessaloniki).
Skala is the port of Atalanti /Atalanta /Atalante, from which it is 5 km far away. Atalanti (Greek: Αταλάντη, Αtalantē) is the second largest town in Fthiotis. This area is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium, iron in the soil and many small-harmless earthquakes. The municipal unit has an area of 304.141 km2. But, I will talk to you another time about Atalanti and I will definitely pay a visit to the museum.***
Passing to Skala, we can see at historic sources that it was an important port, since -from over there- was starting the supply of Atalanta, Livadia and Amfissa. That was happening during Frankish rule and Ottoman period.
Opposite the beach of Skala are Atalantonisi (meaning: Atalanti’s island) and the small island of Ai Nikolas. This small one is called -by the locals- Gaidouronisi (meaning: donkey’s island) and has many fish farms around it.
Continuing at the right side of the beach at Skala, there are Paliomagaza. While in the past, in Paliomagaza (meaning: old shops) ** there were salt pans from where mining and salt trade took place. If you need your privacy and peacefulness, at the large shallow beach of Paliomagaza you could also swim.
**Over there you can see few remains and ruins from old shops and houses, inside the bottom of the sea, which they are be left after the catastrophic earthquake of 1894.
Since, we were hosted by relatives I can not tell you about the accommodation of the area. However, during our promenades to the shore of Skala, I saw few hotels or rooms for rent all around the beach.
Near the port is located the beach of Skala. The beach is clean with crystal waters and golden fine sand. It was spectacular. I felt so safe, when I saw a sign from the Swimming Water Identity Register (Μητρώο Ταυτοτήτων Υδάτων Κολύμβησης). The sign informed us about the checking of the sea water. The sea water is systematically checked every summer (since 1992) from June 1st to 30th of October. They are taking samples and they are analyzing the microbiological something factor (ohh I do not remember, har…har…). Overall, their goal is -for us- to swim in clear bathing waters. Aaand…it has always exceptional quality of waters, for as much as it takes the blue flag from 1980.
I loved that inside the sea was also soft and sandy with a slight slope. Moreover, I enjoyed the vegetation of the shore. It has tamarisk and palm trees with thick shadow to rest after your swimming.
At the shore there are umbrellas and sunbeds, but you can also bring your own sunbeds and beach mat. Furthermore, there are facilities for sand sports like football and volleyball. As soon as the annual beach volley tournament ends, the facilities are at people’s disposal. Moreover, there is as well as a playground and two tennis courts. Most importantly, the Atalanti Nautical Club organizes underwater harbor cleaning, for the purpose of unobstructed sailing.
Bonus: A small municipal’s coffee place called portokali (meaning: orange (the fruit)) is inside the sand with many-many refreshment drinks, waffles, ice creams, toast etc..
Video from drone (credits to Peter fly): video
If you find this beach small, since it is only 400meters long, you can grab a taxi* and go to Schoiniás. Or Panagopoulos beach, as the locals are called it. It is only 4minutes away by car.
It is sandy and warm with many beach bars (like dibidabo, where we sat) across the shore. Τhe water level is very low there. In other words, it is more appropriate for families with young kids and toddlers. As a result, one or two of the beach bars they even have playgrounds inside them.
If you need even more deep waters, you can go to Arkitsa port. It is only 8minutes from Skala. Near the port the beach is deep, but rough to enter. It has big stones at the beginning and then is deep. You will definitely be going to need flippers. Do you like mine?
Bonus: Over there you can take the ferry boat to thermal springs Loutra Edipsou.
Along the entire length of the coast, just few meters from the sea, there are many taverns with fresh fish and clams. Nevertheless, most of the days, we enjoyed our relatives’ traditional cooking with lamb, moussaka, bell pepper pie etc..
We chose to wander around and have something to refresh ourselves. So, we sat at 2πορτο-diporto. Over there we tried their local beer called eza-έζα. All personnel were extremely polite and quick. And we really enjoyed our time there, because of the cool sea breeze at the grass floor.
Tip: Do not forget to try the local beer eza. The gold pilsner or the purple bottled for lager.
At Kalamia beach of Arkitsa there is a grass floored tavern with quiet environment under the trees. It is the ideal scenery to drink a tsipouro hearing the waves. The staff is really polite and so discreet. Moreover, whatever we ate was delicious and fresh.
Tip: Do not forget to try baked feta with chili flakes and fried eggplant.
Arsanas is located at the left side of the port of Arkitsa. It is definitely a hidden gem with all these mulberry trees above you. They all trying to serve you quickly and with politeness. Even the owner mr.Thanassis came to check if everything is fine. And…they were. All dishes were fresh, but we specifically loved the hot sizzling fried squid under the notes of jazz music.
Of course the relatives that invite us made many sweets and ice cream for us. Thank you.
However, we also wanted to try something traditional or local. Hence, we tried the best patisserie of the area. Inside Atalanti there is: The Special of Mourgios-Papoutsis.
We tried handmade ice cream (sorbet mango & black vanilla), also small ice cream cones and ergolavos, meaning contractor/constructor. These sweets are the traditional Greek ‘macaroons’. And over there, they were de-li-ci-ou-sly fresh.
Even though, it had many people waiting, all the staff was kind observing the measures for the coronavirus. They served us with politeness and as quick as they could.
If you are feeling energetic, you could just consult the Nautical Club about the happenings. Volley tournaments, windsurfing and sailing are few of the regular things to do every day. And if you are feeling extremely competitive, then there is swimming and sailing competitions during September for you to participate.
Do you like fishing? Then Skala is the best for you. At the quiet shallow lagoon you can having fishing fun.
Do you like hunting? Then, Atalantonisi which is only 1200meters from Skala has Controlled Hunting Area (Ελεγχόμενη Κυνηγετική Περιοχή-Ε.Κ.Π.) of 1850 acres. From October to December, you can hunt a genuine Cretan chamois, fasiano-pheasant and partridges.
Ohh, I was really upset, when I learned that I missed the festival of sardine. This festival taking place every middle of July at Skala with sardines. The sardines accompany the local wine (like rigma and many more) and local beers (like eza) with live local music and dancing at the beach. The municipality offers all these complimentary to the people. How knows? Maybe next year, our relatives invite us again for summer and participate to this joyful gathering.
To sum up, this close-to-Athens-destination was a nice decision. Only 1h and 45minutes from Athens with everything you want for summer around you. Gold sandy beach with many taverns to try. Any beach in Greece could become my happy calm place, if it has these.
Did you choose a beach in Greece to become your happy place? Do not obstruct any more. I am expecting you in Greece.!.!.!
The must try of the area is a visit at the Holy Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi, where Saint David the Elder and Saint Seraphim (Osíos Davíd tou Gérontos & Osíos Serafeím) were isolated. Pay a visit. The 17th century building of the monastery is only about 15minutes driving from Skala. Furthermore, the monastery offered its protection during ottoman’s period of 1821 and during the lethal flu of 1710.
Up in the mountain of Roda (rose petals) or Chlomos (pale), there is this pilgrimage center with 7 nuns (+30 22330 31520). Over there the serenity and peacefulness prevail. The only sentiments you can feel are fullness, calmness and devoutness. The monastery ‘echoes’ from prayerfulness and religiousness from the discreet presence of these polite nuns.
Bonus: The cool breeze of the mountain, the Atalanti’s plain view as well as the sea view with the two islands.
Travel tip: useful telephones for Skala
- a) Archaeological museum’s tel: +30 22330 23355 / 22330 89210 (firstname.lastname@example.org) ***
- b) Municipal Health center’s tel: +30 22333 50000 / 22330 23202
- c) Police’s tel: +30 22330 22202 (email@example.com)
- d) Port police’s tel: +30 22330 31108 / 50620 / 50621 (Hellenic coast guard: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- e) Taxi’s tel: +30 22330 22000*
For those ones who can understand Greek, following you will find a video for Atalanti and its most significant stone monuments: Atalanti