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Cyclades

ATHENS – SOUNION – KEA – SYROS – MYKONOS – NAXOS – PAROS – ANTIPAROS – IOS – SANTORINI – FOLEGANDROS – SIFNOS – HYDRA – POROS – METHANA – EPIDAURUS – AGISTRI – ATHENS

  • sailing ciclades

  • Program

    Fifteen days of sailing the Cyclades islands. We depart from Athens (Alimos marina) and visit all the islands of the central Aegean Sea:
    ATHENS – SOUNION – KEA – SYROS – MYKONOS – NAXOS – PAROS – ANTIPAROS – IOS – SANTORINI – FOLEGANDROS – SIFNOS – HYDRA – POROS – METHANA – EPIDAURUS – AGISTRI – ATHENS

    Sailing in the Greek sea, the most beautiful sea in Europe, feeling the warm breeze on your face, in your hair, a boon of the sun and the sea on your skin, and visiting ten islands in two weeks - is an extraordinary experience. During this unique journey you will become aware that Odysseus, Jason and the Argonauts, the Phoenicians - the greatest sailors of ancient times, warriors Persians and Slavs, and also pirates Saracens once sailed in those seas!

    Day 1 - Saturday - ATHENS - SUNION
    (23 miles - 4 hours of sailing)
    After gathering the crew at "Skipper" bar at Alimos marina, located in the Athens district of Kalamaki, we depart about 4pm. We pass between many boats and yachts, going to the open sea and turn to the southeast, along the coast of Attica. We're slowly losing sight of the Acropolis, and the exclusive Athenian resort Vouliagmeni appears in front of us, followed by Patroklus island, named after Achilles' faithful friend. After that, we sail into the bay under the Sounion hill, where the famous Temple of Poseidon lies. It was built in 440 BC. Looking through the pillars of the temple, you will see the most beautiful sunset - Athenians say. Dinner at the Tavern on the beach with your feet in the sand.
    Day 2 - Sunday - SUNION - KEA
    (15 miles - 2.5 hours of sailing)
    Morning swim in the turquoise waters under the temple. After breakfast we sail and go around a high cape with the morning sun shining on the temple. The first Cycladic islands, Kea and Kythnos, are in front of us. After two hours of sailing, we reach the shore of the first and take a swim on the wild beach. In the afternoon, we sail into the Vurkari marina, surrounded by small taverns. In the evening we take bus to the town Iulis, located on the steep slopes of the hill, with densely built houses looking like boxes on top of one another. Narrow streets, surmounted arcades, dead ends, secret passages - invite visitors to explore. You can enjoy the most beautiful sunset on the cafe "Panorama" terrace, from where you can see far to Marathon and Evia. We suggest to walk back to the port, it's good for health. There's about 5 km downhill. Spices and aromas will lead your way to one of the taverns in the port.
    Day 3 - Monday - KEA - SYROS
    (33 miles - 6 hours of sailing)
    We depart about 9 am and sail around the northern cape of Kea, where we swim on a beautiful, sandy beach, and then we raise the anchor and go straight to the southeast. After a couple of hours of sailing, we arrive at the island of Syros and we sail into the Grammata Bay (meaning letter in Greek), where you can swim, or follow your skipper to the plate rocks. We'll try to find messages that sailors carved there centuries ago, waiting in the sheltered bay for the wind to calm down, and then we continue our journey. After rest, we departure from the "most literate" Greek bay and sail along the east coast of the island. Soon we'll see the first houses of Ermoupoli, the capital of the Cyclades (city of Hermes in Greek). From the port to the top of two hills, each crowned with a grand church, rows of houses are lined. The churches, one Greek Orthodox and the other Roman Catholic, wrestled during centuries for the salvation of the souls of the poor people, who shared the same sea, the same lean soil and breathed the same air. We recommend you climb the stairs, there are about 400 steps, to the Orthodox Church, because it is closer and more beautiful. The view from the plateau in front of it, on the town and harbour, and the surrounding Cyclades, is memorable. The town has a large central square, with the City Council in the neoclassical style, and the "Apollon" theatre, a miniature Milan's "Teatro Alla Scala". Dinner at one of the many nearby taverns. Your skipper prefers "Archontiko" (meaning lordship). If a local fisherman Lucas is there, playing bouzouki, the atmosphere will be great.
    Day 4 - Tuesday - SYROS - MYKONOS
    (19 miles - 3 hours of sailing)
    We depart about 10 am, Mykonos is not far, you can see it across the sea. Tynos and Andros islands are a bit more to the north. Sailing here is always beautiful and exciting, for the Greek legend says, the castle of the Greek god of the winds – Aeolus - is somewhere nearby. We're slowly approaching Mykonos, and on the right we can see small but significant island of Delos. It was the largest Greek pilgrimage in the classical era, and according to the mythology, the divine twins Apollo and Artemis were born there. There are ruins of numerous temples, stadiums, amphitheatres, but also villas, among whch are the surviving walls of Cleopatra. There's an alley of delos lions and all the above is just a small part of what's waiting to be seen on this remarkable island. Mykonos is one of the most precious jewels of Greek tourism. Windmills on the hill and the "Venice", part of the city where the sea waves splash white houses with colorful wooden balconies, are known as motifs on many tourist brochures and postcards. After tying our sailboat in the marina we go to experience the town's nightlife. Narrow streets and small squares, packed with people and voices, hugging couples of different sexuality, music and colors of tillers bougainvillea, oleander, hydrangea and geranium. The only monotony is the unreal whiteness of houses. Pelican Petros struts at the main square, waiting for you to take a picture with him!
    Day 5 - Wednesday - MYKONOS - NAXOS
    (21 miles - 3.5 hours of sailing)
    We leave the rocky island, which has a famous name, beautiful beaches, but no vegetation. We sail straight south to the island of Naxos, which will soon be in front of us. It is the largest and highest island of the Cyclades. The city is located around the medieval fortress on the hill above the harbour. The Venetian doges lived in the old part of the town and ruled for over 300 years. Shady narrow streets with shrubs of flowers in the windows and balconies, taverns hidden in the greenery of pine and tamarisk trees, alleys which lead to small squares and in the old times classy, but nowadays quite dilapidated Venetian houses and palaces - all this is the Chora, the capital of Naxos. On a small peninsula near the port, there is a trademark of the island, the huge stone doors that has survived for more than 2,500 years, rising up to a height of 20 meters. It is the only remain of the great Temple of Apollo. Dionysos, the god of fertility and wine, was born on Naxos. He was married to the beautiful Ariadne, daughter of King Minos. More important is the "fact" that Dionysos made a divine nectar on this beautiful island. It was wine! Tonight, we'll taste it listening to live Greek music in tavern "Goni" (meaning - a corner).
    Day 6 - Thursday - NAXOS - PAROS
    (15 miles - 2.5 hours of sailing)
    We first go to a hidden beach Kolimbitiria for a swim, where you can enjoy the sun, sand and sea. Then we sail to the nearby town of Naoussa, which was once the main pirate port! Alleys of eucalyptus frame squares and the only stream on the island, which flows into the sea. In the afternoon, we sail along the west coast to the capital of the island - Parikia, famous for the whitest and most translucent marble in Europe. Half of the Athenian Acropolis was built of it, as well as Aphrodite of Milos, statue of Hermes at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (one of the seven wonders of the world!) ... A monument to Napoleon was built in Paris from the last piece of marble, extracted 150 years ago. This small town with its narrow streets, arcades above your head and pavements polished over centuries, resembles Dalmatian cities. The strange tower made out of debris of ruined temples, the famous church from the sixth century, Panagia Ekatontapiliani (also known as the Church of 100 Doors) and tavernas hidden in the lush green gardens, give it a special charm. We're taking you to dinner to a tavern "Dionysios", where we had an amazing evening ten years ago. Maybe it happens again!
    Day 7 - Friday - PAROS - ANTIPAROS - IOS
    (24 miles - 4 hours of sailing)
    We depart early sailing along rocks of Portes (meaning - door), where five years ago , a big Greek ferry ended tragically, due to captain's and crew's negligence. We soon arrive to the bay on the island of Antiparos. From there, we go into a beautifully decorated cave with the largest stalagmite in Europe. The interesting thing is that it's entrance is on the top of it and you go down all the time! After lunch, we sail about two hours towards the northern cape of the island of Ios and Plakoto beach. There's a marble plaque on a hill above it that bears simple words: "Here the earth covers the sacred head of a man and hero, Homer, the divine poet." Legends say the greatest Greek poet and interpreter of life of Greek people was buried there. Coins were forged on Ios long time ago. Homer was on one side, and palm tree on the other. The Phoenicians brought it and planted it on the island more than three millennia ago. We arrive in Ios in the late afternoon. It is the most protected harbour in Cyclades. The town is on a hill above, you get there walking along the alley of eucalyptus. There is no place with so many young people. It is the world's youth center.
    Day 8 - Saturday - IOS - SANTORINI
    (18 miles - 3 hours of sailing)
    We departure early and we sail to the south towards Santorini for about two hours. Then we sail into the largest submerged volcanic crater in the world. Island Tirasia is on the right, and like Santorini, it is a part of a former volcano rim. High on the edge of the steep side of the hill, made of black and red volcanic rocks, there is a town with a peculiar name - Oia! We continue sailing to the central part of the crater, where the depth is about 300 meters. There is a small island of Nea Kameni. It is young (!), formed about 400 years ago by the recent eruptions of underwater volcano. The last eruption was about fifty years ago, when around ten acres of new basaltic rocks shaped on the sea surface. Capital of Santorini - Fira, is situated above the edge of the cliff. Its white houses and blue domes of numerous churches decorate most of Greek calendars and postcards. When you get tired of swimming in the warm sea water, "heated by Poseidon" two kilometers below us – that's how thick the Earth's crust is there – we leave the volcanic crater and go to the marina, on the southern coast of Santorini. Dinner at tavern "Limanaki", at Stavros.
    Day 9 - Sunday SANTORINI
    Sailors have a free day today. Stroll around the whole island that looks like a pretzel. It's small in size, exactly 18 x 3-5 km. Swim in the wild beaches with white, red and black volcanic sand. Visit Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement destroyed in eruption 3,500 years ago, and buried in volcanic ash, discovered by archaeologist Marinatos. Visit the antique shop "Baba Vida" in Oia! In the capital Fira, take a walk down serpentines to the old port, then climb the funicular. View at the small hotels and apartments with swimming pools, hanging over the abyss is unforgettable. Explore the island, it's the best way to experience its beauty and charm!
    Day 10 - Monday - SANTORINI - FOLEGANDROS
    (27 miles - 5 hours of sailing)
    We depart after a day of rest and we sail to the west. Great island of Crete is down to the south. The fantastic and memorable island remains behind us. After a few hours of sailing we sail into the harbor of a small, rocky island of Folegandros. There are no tourist crowds here and the beach in the bay belongs to us this afternoon. You can visit the only village in the evening. It is called Hora and is situated on the edge of the cliff, about 200 meters high. The whole life of the island is in the deep shade of the green trees, at three small squares. We recommend tavern at Nikos, it's the most interesting. Especially for a special alcohol-meter for those who exaggerate with the good local wine. Try it, is harmless and causes a storm of enthusiasm among guests and passers-by.
    Day 11 - Tuesday - FOLEGANDROS - SIFNOS
    (23 miles - 4 hours of sailing)
    We depart after a morning swim in the clear water of the bay and we pass along the north coast of the island, slowly sailing away from it. Sifnos can be seen on the north. It was an island of gold mines and wealth in ancient times. Remind your skipper to tell you about it. The first swim is in south of the island, in the bay of Vathi. Then we sail for another hour to the deep bay of Kamares, where the main port is. There are several kilometres to the capital Apollonia, it can be reached on foot. The town is located high up on the ridge from where you can enjoy wonderful view. You can also visit Kastro, the old Venetian village-fortress.
    Day 12 - Wednesday - SIFNOS - HYDRA
    (52 miles - 9 hours of sailing)
    This will probably be a night sailing, because the full moon is above us. Some of you will sleep, others will stare into the darkness with skipper, looking for the position of lights on ships around us. Some might try to see the first glimmer of light from the Zorba lighthouse, on the northern cape of the Hydra. When we see it we have three more hours of sailing to this fashionable island, often called "Greek Saint-Tropez." We sail into always crowded harbour of Hydra, amphitheatrically built town. You should discover it, walk its narrow streets, covered with clumps of flowers and green creepers. On the left side of the entrance to the port, there is a fort with cannons from ancient times, aiming the nearby green Peloponnese. Next to the cannons stands a statue of Andreas Miaoulis, who formed a war fleet in several days. He attacked dominant Turkish fleet, and defeated it badly, which was a sign to the Greeks to rise up in revolt in 1821. That's how from a trader he became admiral overnight! You will hear more about the history of this island at dinner on a small square in tavern "Dry Olive", with the sound of guitar and my friend's voice, bohemian from Athens, Pavlos. 
    Day 13 - Thursday - HYDRA - POROS - METHANE
    (16 miles - 2.5 hours of sailing)
    As of today, we return to the north and we sail along the green hills of the Peloponnese, swimming on the nearby beaches. We arrive in Poros around noon. It's a small city- island, separated from the nearby mainland by a narrow channel. After sightseeing and refreshments, we continue to Methane Peninsula, which is blackish due to volcanic rocks and thick pine forests. We sail into the harbour late in the afternoon. Enviable people call it "smelly port". If you suffer from rheumatism, we suggest you go swiming in warm water of this health resort. The smell from the sulphurous gases is occasionally felt in the air, justifying the name of the port! 
    Day 14 - Friday - METHANE - EPIDAURUS - ANGISTRI
    (15 miles - 2.5 hours of sailing)
    We depart early and head to the west along the coast of well-known Peninsula Methane looking to arrive in Epidaurus about noon. It is a town in the Peloponnese. The famous amphitheatre, the biggest in Greece, is near. It is said to have 14,000 seats and the best acoustics. You can try the following: go to the highest point of the stands and drop a coin so that it hits on the ground, and down on the stage, the skipper will tell you straight away whether it's euro or a half. You should visit the temple of Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of health and well-being. You never know! We then head to the nearby island of Angistri, and stay in it's green lagoon over night. There is a nice restaurant on the beach. You can go night swimming round midnight.
    Day 15 - Saturday - ANGISTRI - ATHENS
    (18 miles - 3 hours of sailing)
    We raise our anchor early and sail towards Athens, seeing its contours and whiteness after we pass the island of Aegina. We arive in the largest marina in Greece - the Alimos Marina - in the morning, and unfortunately, it's the end of our sailing! We pack things, have a farewell drink ("For a safe trip and future sailings") and...