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Couples, Greece

See each other in a new light on Skopelos

Even with the best intentions in the world, a couple can lose sight of each other in the distractions of the day to day. Skopelos is a place to remember what you’ve been missing.

It’s been said that ‘to love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides’, but life’s many commitments mean we rarely have the time to luxuriate in the heat. However, holidays are a chance to make your relationship a priority, stealing back some of those missed moments – and appreciating their warmth together.

Unspoilt, unpretentious Skopelos is an invitation to slow down and slip into a pace that’s more sensual, noticing more and feeling more too. Morning coffee becomes an indulgent affair when you choose to take it in Glossa’s ancient village square or in the café by the church in Skopelos Town, watching the boats come in. That’s if lingering fondly over breakfast on your own villa terrace doesn’t appeal more.
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The island’s port is one of the most beautiful in Greece and the gleaming whitewashed houses the inspiration behind a hundred paintings, all trying to capture the light and unforgettable blueness of the sea. And you’ll probably notice the subtle fragrance of jasmine in the air too, a natural aphrodisiac and stress-reliever, just to set the scene – a gentle refrain beneath the heady boldness of sprawling bougainvillea.

Hire a little boat and there’s a world of deserted coves and secluded beaches to explore – secret places where you can listen to the waves and enjoy uninterrupted conversations or the comfortable, sun-filled silences when you don’t need to say anything at all. Head inland, where it’s lush and green, and there are forest walks and mountain trails for gentle adventures. Take a stick with you to brush away the cobwebs that hang between the trees and make you feel like you’re the first to discover those paths.
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One morning before dawn, like children waking for a midnight feast, grab torches and make your way up to the ancient tombs of Sendoukia and the highest point on the island to watch the light gather and islands appear around you, the landscape defined for a new day.

Alternatively, forget the alarm clock and choose sunsets instead. You can hire kayaks from Agendas or Elios and spend a few evening hours on the water, rippling the reflected reds and oranges as you go. Or find a stretch of white-pebbled shoreline and settle down with a picnic to watch the day disappear.

Away from the romantic tangle of narrow village streets and Skopelos Town’s ruined Venetian fortress, the island’s history lies in its monasteries, over 40 of them, some abandoned, some still alive with the ebb and flow of spiritual practice. There are peaceful courtyards to wander through and glittering icons, ancient artwork and handcrafted tapestries to be admired: relics of a world that existed without a multi-million film industry.

Before Mamma Mia!, Skopelos was known simply as the greenest of the Greek islands, but the 2008 romantic comedy turned the spotlight on certain places that have since made the island quietly famous, including the beaches of Kastani and Milia and the spectacular 18th-century Agios Ioannis Chapel, one of the big screen’s most famous wedding venues. Climb the many steps just before dusk to look out across the dramatic rocky coastline for a different perspective.

Because ultimately, that’s what every relationship needs from time to time – the chance to see each other in a new light.

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