As the crow flies, Glossa is roughly 10 kilometers north-west of Skopelos Town, however by car the journey is closer to 25 km as the island's main road winds it's way through the villages and towns of the west and south coast.
Several important events throughout the year are celebrated by the inhabitants of Glossa, including: The Assumption of the Virgin on the 15th of August and celebrations held within the first few weeks of August each year to celebrate the life of Manos Loizos - a composer who spent many summers in the company of the people of Glossa.
Whilst there are several churches to explore in Glossa, one is particularly noteworthy: that is the small church of St John. This tiny place of worship, to the east of Glossa, is perched on the top of a rocky peninsula that juts out into the Aegean Sea. The church is accessed by climbing up over 100 steps that have been carved out of the rock. The views along the coastline from the church make the ascent worth while. This church was used for the wedding scene in the hit musical movie Mamma Mia!
Facilities in Glossa
There is a sparsity of accommodation available in Glossa, however it is possible to find rooms to rent and studio appartments to hire. There are also one or two private villas in the area available to rent. There is a better range of accommodation in nearby Loutraki.
As most visitors to Glossa are Greeks visiting from the mainland it is fair to say that Glossa does not really excel at catering for the international tourist trade. However, most day-to-day items can be purchased within the village, that is so long as you don't want to buy anything during the siesta! There are a few small tavernas catering for those looking for refreshment as well as a restaurant near the school. The village post office also serves refreshments.
Many of the streets in Glossa are cobbled stone and are out of bounds to cars. As such, much of the village is only accessible by foot or by donkey. There is a café/pizzeria by the school and the cafeneion by the top church is where you can join the locals for a coffee, beer and a game of tavli (backgammon).
Kira Leni’s bakers next to the school on the main road also sells dangerously delicious Greek snacks, pastries and preserves to eat in or take away. She also bakes bread - including wholemeal - on the premises.
In Loutraki there are two excellent fish restaurants (they also do other food) the Armirali and Flisvos. They are side by side at the western end of the village (left end as you see it from the sea), in fact you have to walk through Flisvos to get to Armirali – it is well worth the effort.
In the centre of Loutraki there is a group of cafés where the road reaches the harbour and a splendid souvlaki bar opposite the supermarket. A taverna “Beautiful Greece” sits by the children’s playground and further along by the yacht pontoon is Petrino’s café which is famous for pizza and icecream. In common with many places they now have a wireless hotspot.
Don`t be fooled by the well marked street names, nobody ever uses them. Nor by the fact that many houses are numbered - sometimes with different numbers issued under different authorities at various times. Everybody in Glossa-Loutraki has the same address - Glossa, Skopelos, 37004, Greece. Leave the post office to sort it out.
Part of the great charm of Glossa-Loutraki is that it doesn`t try to be charming or traditional. It just is. It is large enough to have a life of its own and to absorb the visitors in the summer. As almost all of these are Greeks from the mainland, there is nowhere offering an English breakfast or even a foreign newspaper - you must go to Skopelos for that. Local people are welcoming and very happy to exchange a polite `kali mera` in the morning or `kali spera` in the evening as you pass in the street.
Everything in Glossa is within walking distance – a walk which will probably involve going up or down at some point. Even if you have a car, you will probably have to park it some short distance from your house, although you may be able to drop things off at the door. Most of the time you can do very well without a car. The bus leaves from the school (of course) for Skopelos in one direction and Loutraki in the other. The trip from one end of the island to the other takes about an hour - a bit more in the busy season. The scenery is stunning (sit on the right hand side of the bus going towards Skopelos for the wonderful coastal views) and the bus stops close to all the beaches on the way.
Loutraki is where your ferry will arrive, but don’t expect to see “Loutraki” on the ticket. As far as the ferry companies are concerned, the port is called Glossa, just like the village above. In Loutraki you can buy ferry tickets, hire a car or try one of several tavernas and cafés. Here is also the nearest beach stretching along behind the harbour wall. You can walk down from Glossa to Loutraki in about twenty-five minutes, but not advisable in the heat of the day until you’re acclimatised. There is a steep path which will leave your legs feeling like jelly until you get used to it.