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Athens sailing region
Saronic and Argolic Gulf
By "Athens" sailing area we mean mostly the sailing area of the Saronic and Argolic Gulfs, which are located south of Athens and the Ithaca peninsula. Of course, from Athens and its marinas where charter bases are located, you can sail to the Cyclades area too, as well as from Lavrion charter bases. But, we must highlight the fact that the Cyclades sailing area is a tricky sailing ground, especially for newcomers in sailing, and especially in summer, when strong Meltemi winds are blowing from the north. Why is that?
Cyclades sailing area is tricky because distances between the islands are much greater than in Saronic and Argolic Gulf, and the Cyclades area is more open and exposed to Meltemi winds and their swelling. So, in the summer Cyclades are not recommended for inexperienced sailors. For example, through our work experience, we know that in the months of late June, July and August it will be very hard to find a skipper who will want to take guests to the Cyclades area, especially if it's only a one-week cruise.
That's why we recommend sailing to Saronic and Argolic Gulf when chartering a yacht in Athens or Lavrion in the summer. Saronic and Argolic gulfs have plenty to offer, navigation is simple and more comfortable, and there are some beautiful destinations and towns to visit and enjoy your cruise. For example islands Poros, Hydra, Aegina, Methana, and some nice destinations located on the mainland on the Peloponnese peninsula like Ermioni, Porto Cheli, and much more.
Choosing Athens as your starting point gives you time to explore the oldest European capital city (a fact that makes it even more fascinating) and learn something more about its rich past, mythology, and culture. Acropolis gives you a breathtaking view of the entire city and there are quite a few ancient jewels to explore there, such as the Theater of Dionysus. The museums that you can find in this city are worthwhile and will not send you on a road of boredom. Acropolis Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art, and Benaki Museum will give you an overview of Greek culture since prehistoric times and National Archaeological Museum are only some of the must-sees on your list. However, if you are not a history lover, and you are here simply to enjoy the moment, the streets of Exarcheia will be a fun way to explore this beautiful city and enjoy the art of Athenian street art. For a romantic break, you could visit the sacred Temple of Poseidon which managed to mesmerize even the great poet Lord Byron who was inspired by the muses or the serene colors of the sunset on the Attika peninsula, dedicated some of his poetry to this very place.
You can continue your journey to Methana (26 NM) from Athens. Methana is a volcano that emerged from the sea and today forms a peninsula. This destination is perfect for adventurers who enjoy climbing to the lip of the volcano as you can find about 32 volcanos on this peculiar peninsula. Volcanic beaches are not something you see every day, so make sure not to miss this out-of-the-ordinary destination.
Aegina (14 NM) is a Saronic Island beloved by influencers all over the world due to the island's natural beauty and picture-perfect beaches. You could spend your all day here swimming and getting tan, but you don't need to because this island has so much more to offer than its beauty, such as the ghost town of Paleochora that stayed uninhabited to this day and the Temple of Athena Aphaia. However, if you do decide to spend all day exploring beaches, you will not get bored because there are four inviting beaches in the area that will make you want to do nothing else: Souvala beach known for its therapeutic springs, Marathon beach offers activities like snorkeling and diving and is perfect for a day spent with family, Aegina Agia Marina Beach which is a perfect choice for anybody interested in canoeing or parasailing as it offers a variety of water sports and Perdika Beach situated upon the shores of the small fishing village.
Poros (30 NM) is a little unresistable island for anybody in proximity to Athens, as it is the very heart of Saronic Gulf. The town of Poros frequently organizes workshops that can bring you closer to the Greek lifestyle and help you understand and enjoy their culture even more. With seven restaurants and two sweetshops, this island offers a gastronomic adventure as well. Enjoy colorful and fresh Greek cuisine and bring new flavors into your kitchen. Poros is rich in beaches, as it holds even ten beaches, of which the most interesting are Love Bay beach, Mikro Neorio beach which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of Poros, Poros Megalo Neorio beach that can be reached by foot from the Mikro Neorio beach, Panagitsa beach and Kanali Beach.
Love Bay beach is perfect for your family's getaway because it is not big in size and yet offers a lot of shade as the bay is surrounded by pine trees, so staying on the beach with kids all day long will not be a problem even with the heat on the maximum. Mikro Neorio beach is great for all visitors hungry for some adventure and water sports as it has a water ski school, water polo facilities, and other similar facilities. Panagia Beach Poros offers sparkling offers, golden sand, and a dream-like atmosphere ideal for a romantic getaway. Kanali Beach offers an amazing view of the open sea and with its golden sand and excellent fish tavern this perfect scenery will surely live up to your expectations.
Cape Sounion (Anchorage) is the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula where lay the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea. This sighting has been a source of inspiration for poets of ages, as the earliest reference to this place is written non-less but the mystical Homer himself in one of his greatest works- Odyssey.
Main marinas in Athens are: Marina Kalamaki (Alimos marina), Marina Zea, Marina Faliro, Olympic marina and Marina Glyfada.
Many skippers consider Marina Kalamaki (Alimos marina) the perfect base for exploring this part of the Mediterranean sea. It is most appreciated for the shelter that it provides, which along with the other services such as first aid provisions, water, hot showers, and electricity supply, ranks it higher when it comes to the price. Built in the marina there is a nightclub, which makes it a fun base to be sailed in.
Marina Zea is known for the historical meaning that it had as a Naval base and the ancient walls of the base are still standing at some points of the marina. It is placed under the city of Piraeus, which makes her one of the favorite marinas of both, tourists and skippers. There is always something that you can do with a large selection of restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, and cinemas. This marina has it all!
Marina Faliro is one of the most peaceful marinas in Athens, and that also doesn't lack content so that you can choose the best from both worlds. Playgrounds and a large selection of food in a great number of restaurants and sweet shops, make it an ideal marina for when you are sailing with your family.
The Olympic marina is just thirty minutes away from the Athens International Airport and is situated in Attika. It has reached the highest ratings when it comes to cleanliness, services, and hospitality, but it lacks the content provided in previously mentioned marinas. One of the biggest perks of Marina Glyfada is its proximity to two sandy beaches, which makes it great for those traveling with kids. However, unlike the others, this marina doesn't offer as many services as those mentioned earlier, as it only offers some minor repairs on the boats.
Reaching Athens and its marinas is easy. Athens is a cosmopolitan city with its Athens international airport which is very well connected to any of the marinas in Athens city, and reasonably close to Lavrion starting marinas too. You can hire a taxi to bring you to your starting marina, but you can also use public transport from the airport. A bus city line will take you from the airport by the coast, passing by all marinas in Athens, all the way to Pireus port. There is also a metro going from the airport to the city.
Cyclades sailing region
Cyclades sailing region
The Cyclades are the most popular archipelago among the Greek Islands and are mystical as they are said to be the place of the Apolo's birth, which may be the reason why everybody seems to fall in love with this sailing region. Charter bases of this sailing region our also a must-visit location for every eager traveler that appreciates good food, a little bit of history, and a lot of beautiful sights.
Besides Athens, one of the most known locations in this region is certainly Santorini, a little piece of paradise in Greece that offers romantic views and little spots all around.
Paros offers the perfect mixture of modern living and tradition, so you can enjoy the nightlife or walk through the ancient monuments. Either way, you will find the perfect combination for your vacation. Its small villages Lefkes and Marpissa will provide you with the perfect break from the noise and a busy crowd.
However, the Cyclades area as a sailing region can be a bit tough for a non-experienced sailor. The islands are located quite far from each other, and from the mainland, Meltemi winds in the summer are strong (30-40 kt) almost every day, and swells are significant with little or no possibility to hide from them. We recommend Cyclades sailing area for 2-week cruises, so you can stop in your favorite ports for more than one night and relax from demanding navigation if necessary.
There are six charter marinas in the Cyclades, from North to South are Athens (Alimos Marina), Lavrion, Syros, Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini.
Athens is popular due to the obvious reason of being an international tourist attraction, thanks to its rich history, preserved monuments, and being only 9 km away from the capital city of Greece, Athens. It is one of the safest marinas as it even has port police on the site and a helicopter landing area.
Another popular marina due to its proximity to the airport Eleftherios Venizelos is Lavrion. If you decide to anchor here, the Cyclades islands are only a couple of nautical miles away. Due to its rich nightlife, and a great number of restaurants, cafes, and shops, it is a very loud port, full of life. If you choose Lavrion as your charter base, you will not lack things to do and see.
Syros is a charming and quiet island that entices visitors with its Venetian architecture, which is atypical for Greece. Close to the marina, there is a national airport that serves domestic flights to Athens and vice versa. This island offers rural city breaks with wineries, while authentic holiday festivals can be viewed in the town. The film festival, Guitar festival, Ermoupoleia festival, and August moons are also held here, which can be a real attraction to see. Ermoupoleia festival is perhaps the most interesting one because it intertwines various cultural aspects with different types of art (performance art, musical performances, and art exhibitions).
Mykonos marina is fairly new and is only partly finished. However, it does offer a secure shelter from the prevailing winds and, considering that it is not near the main town, is quite peaceful so you can take it easy and relax.
Paros has 4 marinas and 55 anchorages. The old Port of Naoussa is loved by Greeks and tourists alike because it has that old-town charm, nice architecture that you can admire on your walks, and enough and yet not too many shops for the tourists. In other words, you will not be bored if you stay there, but it is not commercialized either, which gives this town a special atmosphere that is easy to enjoy. Besides Naoussa marina, larger marinas include Paroika marina, Alyki, and Petros.
Santorini holds 6 marinas and 57 anchorages. Those 6 marinas include Karavostasi marina, Oia, Anafi Port, Vlikhada, Old port Kamares, and Pori Port. Karavostasti marina is the most popular one and has the highest ratings. However, it is still poorly equipped considering that it doesn't hold restrooms or showers. The tourists like it because it is filled with shops, bars, and restaurants.
Reaching the Cyclades islands is easy thanks to their proximity to the mainland, so you can start your journey from Athens or Lavrion. Then you can fly to one of three larger airports on the Cyclades islands: Mykonos, Santorini, or Paros. If you prefer traveling by sea, you can always choose from numerous ferry lines departing from Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrion.
Dodecanese sailing region
The Dodecanese sailing area is located close to the coast of Turkey, all the way to the east of Greek sailing waters. Its main charter bases are Rhodes and Kos islands, and the area includes some more interesting islands like Symi, Kalymnos, Tylos, Nisyros, and Leros...
Rhodes is the largest and most popular of the twelve Dodecanese islands. Its capital city is divided into The Old (medieval) City and The New City and will leave you enchanted by its unique mixture of Turkish and Venetian architecture. A special attraction is The Governor's Palace for it is built in Byzantine, medieval, and Spanish architectural styles. It is a Paris of Greece, meaning that a lot of luxurious brands have their shops here, and it is famous for this fact. For those visitors who prefer a sense of romanticized adventure, The Castle of Kritinia should be a spot you don't want to miss out on. If you are lucky, you might visit it during a summer festival Medieval Rose Festival which is organized every June. When it comes to nature, don't miss the chance to explore Seven Springs, widely known as the Epta Piges. If you follow the path down the 1 km-long tunnel, you will find a shimmering lake worthwhile.
Kalymnos island is located very close to the Turkish area, between Kos and Leros, and serves as a base for exploring surrounding islands. The most interesting sight to visit here is the former capital city of Chora. When considering viewing a little bit of history, the Temple of Apollo. On a ten-minute drive from Pothia, you can find a private folklore museum featuring objects of popular culture and household items, so this is a great way to explore the island's tradition and lifestyle through the decades.
Lipsi is a small, hidden gem island that offers a variety of activities for adventurous tourists such as hiking or discovering the island through a horseback riding tour. Even though this is a small island, there are three breathtaking churches to visit if you are interested in sacral architecture, but the highlight of the offer that this island has is the Ecclesiastical and Folklore Museum. For a small island, this hidden gem has a lot of beaches that count up to eight.
The volcano in Nisyros is the youngest one in Greece and it is still active. This island has an interesting origin story as well. According to Greek mythology, the island was formed when Poseidon cut off a part of Kos and threw it onto a giant to prevent his escape. The Island is also mentioned by Homer in the Illiad. It is worth visiting if you like quiet islands full of wildlife.
Rhodos Base is a charter base located in Mandraki marina which lies below the medieval castle and opposite the Market Square of Rhodes. It is easily reached by air or by sea. It offers a great number of services including a mini market and groceries, hot water, many banks, and ATM cash points. There is also the main commercial street of Rhodos with restaurants, cafes, taverns, etc.
Kos Base is a private and modern yacht base with great content including berth facilities, an info center (internet, telephone, fax, weather forecast), a shopping center, washrooms, postal service, baggage storage, souvenir shops, supermarkets as well as sightseeing activities and nightlife related to the modern town of Kos.
Samos Base is a Pythagorian port that's only 5 minutes away from the airport. It is by far the richest base in content as it offers a diving center, yacht/nautical club, hotel, cafe bar, telephone, taxi stand, medical support, shopping center, and charter-related facilities.
You can reach this region by taking a plane as there are three airports in the Dodecanese connected with international charter flights during the summer: Rhodes, Kos, and Karpathos. If you decide to take a ferry from the port of Piraeus, you might find this trip tiresome. However, you can choose to fly to the Dodecanese and then take one of the regular ferries that operate daily between all islands in the archipelago.
Ionian sailing region
Ionian sailing region
The Ionian sailing region is the most popular one for a yacht charter in Greece. The name refers to a group of seven breathtaking islands. Ionian islands can be divided into two sections: the North Ionian with Corfu as its main base, and the South Ionian when your starting point is either Lefkas or Preveza.
Corfu is one of the most popular holiday destinations, its charm lies in different historical influences over time: Venetian, French and British rule so it is decorated by 2 Venetian fortresses. It is known for its cosmopolitan Old Town. It has a lot of secret coves, beaches, and historic monuments, which all makes it a perfect destination for different kind of tourists. If you are looking for a breathtaking view, the castle Angelokastro will give you exactly that. You can also take small day trips from Corfu and a perfect example of this is Pontikonisi (Mouse Island), which you can go to for just € 2.5. There is a legend about Pontokonisi being Ulysses' ship turned to stone by Poseidon.
Paxos and Antipaxos are small islands located south of the Corfu, and the legends say that these islands were created by Neptune, after splitting the land to make a hideaway for his consort and himself. There are a few places worth your visit: Gaios, Lakka, and Loggos. Gaios is the main port on Paxos, sheltered by several uninhabited forested islands.
Zakynthos is considered to be the most beautiful island in Greece, with its crystal clear waters in the shades of the sky. It is most famous for Shipwreck Beach named after a wrecked ship that had run against the shore. Many beaches offer organized water sports and games, but you can also follow the old footpaths that will lead you to mountainous villages, monasteries, and other medieval constructions. On Zakynthos, you can do beach yoga, karting, horseback riding, scuba diving or simply enjoy the water park. With 29 beautiful beaches, you are sure to find the perfect fit for you or your family.
Lefkada, also known as the Caribbean of Greece, will leave you in awe of its ravishing landscape and 22 beaches. Lefkada's countryside is ideal for mountain biking, cycling tours, and hiking. There are several organized adventures and activities that you can enjoy paragliding, scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and canoeing.
Meganisi is a remote island ideal for a short trip to its traditional villages and crystalline waters, whose biggest attraction is Papanikolis Sea Cave, which is the second largest cave in Greece. At the end of the cave, there is a small-sized beach you can approach only by boat.
Kefalonia is full of beaches with mysterious coves and astonishing landscapes filled with Caribbean blue waters. At Kefalonia, you can enjoy taking part in some traditional religious festivals or cultural events such as Robola Wine Festival and International Music Festival.
Thanks to Homer, Ithaca is a legendary island. Literature aside, Vathy, Kioni, and Frikes are charming villages you will be happy not to miss. Vathy Village has been the main harbor and capital of Ithaca since the 16th century.
There are many starting ports in the Ionian sailing area. The main starting points are island Corfu, island Lefkas (Lefkada), and the city of Preveza on the mainland, but we can also offer a few charters from Zakynthos.
Corfu marinas are: Benitses Port Yacht Marina, Marina Gouvia
Lefkas marinas are: Lefkas Main Port, D-Marin Lefkas which is the biggest one near the center of the town Lefkas, and the small marina Perigiali, marina Nikiana, Nydri on Lefkas, Vliho Yacht Club
Mainland Greece starting points and charter bases in the Ionian: Preveza town with its airport has two marinas - Preveza Marina, Cleopatra Marina Preveza, and some smaller ports Port of Sivota and Peleros.
Zakynthos offers charters from Zakynthos marina.
You can take a ferry to Corfu as it operates daily during all seasons, except in the winter. There are ferries you can take from the Greek mainland or Italy. If you prefer traveling by plane there are two main airports to choose from Airport on Corfu and Preveza airport and International airport Kapodistrias on Corfu.
Sporades sailing region
Skyros is the most beautiful island of the Sporades, yet it is rarely visited which helped in preserving its natural beauty, fresh air, and the beauty of the waters. It has a national airport connected to Athens, so it is easily accessible. Byzantine Castle stands on a hill above the town, once protected from enemies giving a magnificent view of the Greece landscape and the sea. If you choose to visit during a festival, we recommend that you do so during the Carnival, which is a special manifestation because it follows many old pagan traditions.
If you decide to take your time and visit some of the cultural monuments, you can visit the church of Agios Ioannis Kastri where Mamma Mia was filmed. The island also offers a Photographic Centre and holds a Museum of Cultural Heritage. A unique collection is held by the Folklore Museum which is housed in an 18th-century mansion. It offers many activities, even painting pleun air.
Out of all islands in the Sporades group, Skiathos is the most popular one. It is small in size, but has a lot to offer, loud nightlife included. Beaches on Skiathos are covered in sand and surrounded by pine trees, making it an ideal vacation for a day spent swimming. There are more than 26 beaches. Especially breathtaking are Lalaria beach, Glyfoneri beach, Kalamaki beach, and Skiathos Megas Gialos beach.
Alonnisos is the wildest and most distant island of the Sporades, so its nature is mostly intact. Patitiri is the first harbor that you will encounter upon your entrance to this amazing island. There you can find a medieval castle, traditional houses made of stone, and the town of Milia, which nourishes the tradition of folk medicine that uses local herbs. If you are interested in marine life, you can observe the rare monk seal population in Alonnisos Marine Park.
Skiathos marina is located in the north part of the island and since it is a city center, it has a lot to offer. From here, you can be at the international airport of Skiathos in just a few minutes of drive.
Volos marina is also located in the city in the northern part. It offers basic services such as water and electricity, bars and cafes with free wifi, restaurants, laundry service, etc.
You can get to Sporades by using plain, boat, or car. When traveling by plane, you can take a flight leaving from Athens to the main charter base of Skiathos. If you are traveling to Volos, you can pick up a flight from Nea Anchialos International Airport. There is also a ferry that operates on regular bases from Athens and Volos.