According to various prehistoric finds, Skiathos has been inhabited since ancient times, probably initially by the Pelasgians, people coming from Thrace. Later, the Cretans, the Mycenaeans and the Chalcidians from neighboring Evia settled.
Several historical writers and geographers have dealt with the etymology of the name "Skiathos". What is certain is that the name Skiathos has been preserved from antiquity until today. There are two versions of the origin of the name. The first approaches the issue etymologically. It is a compound word consisting of the words shadow and Athos, due to the proximity to Mount Athos.
The second and most prevalent version, which is also accepted by Alexandros Papadiamantis, connects the name of the island with the shadow created by its dense and extensive forests, i.e. "a place of shadow, shady, shadowy".
The island has a tradition of shipbuilding and combined with the fertile soil, it was a great resting place for travelers. It is believed that Jason with the Argonauts, as well as a Greek fleet, on their way to Troy, stopped here before continuing. In the 7th century BC, the Chalcidians settled here and the island had a strategic position in the Persian wars of the 5th century BC. The biggest disaster happened in 2 BC. century, when Philip III plundered the island to prevent the Romans from invading and conquering it. The island enjoyed relative freedom in the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Venetians in the 13th century. During the Middle Ages it was constantly attacked by pirates.
Its inhabitants are taken to the Castle and do everything they can to protect themselves. The final blow came in 1538, when the Turks invaded. After a week's defense, the Turks invade the Castle, killing men, women and children.
In 1770, the island participated in the victorious naval battle of Cesme, on the side of the Russian admiral Alexios Orlov, and shortly after offered men and ships to Lambros Katsonis, who was acting at that time against the Turks with raids on the Turkish coast and attacks on Turkish ships. The island was finally liberated in 1829. Since then, it has been a quiet place, with the exception of World War II, when the Germans set fire to the island.