The Best Way To See The Greek Islands
Greece – once the world’s largest maritime empire – still comprises thousands of kilometres of coastline and islands scattered in beautiful azure waters. A well-established system of marinas with excellent services, a unique geographical position, and a mild climate make it possible to engage in yachting in Greece almost all year round. Most of the beaches and marinas of Greece have been honoured with the Blue Flag as resting places that meet high standards of cleanliness and safety. Today, Greece has 19 harbours for 6.661 berths equipped with luxury infrastructure.
The luxury of viewing Greece by boat is that you can travel around the continent and its islands, and find deserted pristine white beaches to enjoy.
The waters of Greece encompass two seas: the Ionian and Aegean. The Ionian Sea is calmer as there are fewer islands, but they are much greener than in the Aegean Sea. The Aegean Sea is, on the contrary, wayward; there are practically no calms here. Most of the routes on a yacht in Greece lie between the islands of the Ionian and Aegean seas, with plenty of them starting and ending in the yacht marina Alimos in Athens. The reason for their popularity is apparent – there are more yachts offered for rent and the ideal transport accessibility to the marina Alimos.
To sail the Aegean Sea, one of the best places to choose is Attica. There are many well-equipped harbours and marinas, making an excellent base for exploring coastal areas. Such marinas can be found in Zea, in Flisvos, in Alimos, mostly intended for charter yachts. On the eastern side, there are ports of Lavrion and Olympic Marine, with moorings for sailing ships.
Moving further, the Cyclades are a particularly attractive destination for yachting, mainly due to their picturesqueness and a short distance from Athens. The contrast of white on a blue background is now the international symbol of Greece.
Despite the short distances between the islands, the proposed direction, even for a short rest, is very diverse. The crossing between the islands takes no more than one day so that you can change the place of stay every day.
Those who start sailing in one of the marinas of Attica, especially on its western shores, in the south-east direction, will meet the following islands: Jia (Kea), Kythnos, Serifos, and a little east of the island of Syros, the heart of Cyclades. The famous city of Ermoupolis, with its sizeable safe port, is one of the places also worth a trip when travelling on a yacht.
When moving to Tinos and Mykonos, be a little more careful because of the strong winds that prevail there and the stronger wave coming from the Dardanelles Strait along with the north-east wind “Gregus”. The port of Tinos is quite safe, and on the contrary, on the island of Mykonos, requires caution. The hospitable island of Andros is famous not only for its beautiful beaches. The central part of the city of Andros, Chora, is known for its traditional “Cycladic” beauty. The port is located on the other side of the bay and is well protected from any weather.
Sifnos, Paros and Naxos are located to the South and are classic tourist destinations, with vast desert coves protected from the northern winds that usually prevail in this region. All three islands are equipped with modern equipment for refuelling yachts with water and fuel, and there are also shops for all types of shopping. Paros Island is also world famous for its windsurfing competitions, which are held here every year due to the steady wind without waves.
Further southwards lays the island of Milos, known for its fantastic “moon” landscapes and amazing beaches. Adamant Bay is a safe, natural harbour with a developed infrastructure for servicing yachts. On the island, do not skip the famous Kleftiko bay in the southern part of the island.
Even further South, you will find Sikinos and Folegandros. These are the most picturesque islands of the Cyclades with a small number of tourists and landscapes of rare beauty.
The wave in the Aegean Sea due to the presence of many islands is low, but sometimes very strong. Especially the passage of the island of Amorgos from the north or the South, as well as sailing in the nearby Ikaria Sea, with strong Meltemi (northerly winds) requires the necessary experience.
However, the view of the monastery of the Virgin Hazoviotissy, literally embedded in the rocks hanging over the sea, will be considered the best compensation.
The volcanic island of Santorini is one of the rarest and most unique attractions in the world, especially from a yacht. However, the island does not have specially equipped berths for moorings.
A good place for those who choose to rest without being deprived of the original Cycladic scents is the island of Koufonisi. Koufonisi has a new marina and can serve as a base for exploring the adjacent areas of the sea teeming with small and large islands.
In the North, The Sporades Islands are characterized by their dense vegetation, reaching to the very edge of the sea. Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos compete with each other in the beauty of nature and plants. The island of Skyros with the rock on which Chora is located, towering over the island so that it can be seen from afar. The distances between the islands are small, but all of them have ports where you can moor yachts for refuelling.
Last but not least, the islands of the Dodecanese archipelago are not far from one another so that you can visit more than one island per day. At the Dodecanese, which is an ideal sailing destination on the Aegean Sea, you will find islands with breathtaking spots that are worth seeing while you are in the area. From the island of Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese, as well as Leros and Kos islands, with their magnificent marinas, to the remote islands of Lipsus, Arkius and Agathonisi, the islands of the archipelago are offered to visit and discover on land.