Saronic Gulf from Athens, Greece
7-Day Sailing Itinerary
Sail the beautiful Saronic Islands and Peloponese region of Greece on your dream sailing yacht. This idyllic area is known for its calm winds and protected beaches, so it is the perfect destination for you to charter a sailing yacht and bask in the wonderful Mediterranean sunshine while the water drifts gently by! There is plenty for you to explore on these islands; you can discover their stunning, old-world charm and Greece as it used to be!
Day 1 – Athens to Aegina
The first major island you reach as you head SE from your departure point in Athens, the island of Aegina is quaint but beautiful. Enjoy breath-taking, blissful swimming at anchor on the tiny island of Moni Aegina before heading into the small fishing village of Perdika. Here, you can enjoy one of the many charming and memorable Greek Tavernas before enjoying wine and cocktails until late whilst overlooking the harbour.
Aegina makes for a fitting first and last stop if you want to mix things up and opportunities of protection from stronger winds. If you have time, don’t miss the chance to visit the mighty temple of Aphaea, built in the 5th century BC. Surprisingly, Aegina is also renowned for their pistachio nuts, cultivated with the perfect soils found on the island. It’s worth a purchase if you see them!
Day 2 –Aegina to Epidavros via Agistri
A perfect morning and lunchtime swim stop is Agistri, offering stunning anchorages and beaches, such as Aponisos and Skala, all around the island with plenty of room to anchor and lines to the shore. A couple hundred metres the the W of Agistri is Angistri, home to a ship wreck visible from the surface at around 10m depth.
End the day at the port of Epidavros, a sensational town that gives visitors access to the famous Ancient Theatre of Epidavros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (and rightly so!). Ancient Epidavros is a spectacle and shouldn’t be missed, maintained, renovated and preserved over thousands of years it is a venue still used today for plays and performances in the summer months. If you are lucky enough to get some tickets it is highly recommended!
Day 3 – Epidavros to Poros
Poros is a busy cosmopolitan island and a popular option for the sailing crowd with lucrative mooring options… meaning you can afford to arrive later in the day. There are a broad range of dining options and some excellent choices within the town’s promenade and along the side roads. A brief walk up to the towns clock tower is worth the effort for the gorgeous panoramic views of the port, wide open approaches and the mainland close by. For anybody in love with ancient Greek history and sites, what remains of the Temple of Poseidon over on the north side is another with nice, sombre views. There are, however, no standing structures there anymore. The Archaeological Museum of Poros, though, does have a display of relevant finds from the site.
Day 4 – Poros to Spetses via Dokos
One of the longer journeys on you sailing week, break up the distance with a stop at Dokos, a small, barely inhabited island adjacent to Hydra and separated from the Peloponnese region by the narrow strait of the Hydra Gulf. Here you can enjoy a handful of spacious bays, protected from the winds with calm, peaceful swimming! An ideal lunch stop.
Spetses is the destination for the day and is one of the largest islands and most affluent towns in the region. The engaging, tasteful town has boutique shopping, transport by horse and cart, exquisite dining, a wonderful selection of unique cocktail bars and wineries, and an exciting nightlife for those who want to carry on. No doubt you will be sharing the harbour with a number impressive superyachts!
Day 5 – Spetses to Nafplio
Day 6 – Nafplio to Hydra
The legendary town of Hydra remains hidden by the surrounding cliffs until the last moment when you are met by the towering and narrow montage of beautiful buildings and architecture. Hydra is also a historically wealthy island and this is continued into modern times with it being known as a weekend getaway for Athenians and something of an artist’s haven with many local art galleries and exhibitions. Here you’ll find exquisite restaurants and cute cocktail bars in the narrow streets and sunset-view cabanas and restaurants overlooking the ocean to the mainland (not to be missed!). Notably, the island has no cars or motorbikes, so enjoy the peace and quiet while you are there and look on at the many working donkeys instead.
The port of Hydra can be very busy, requiring an extraordinarily prompt arrival to guarantee a space in the high season and somewhat of a squabble and wait to get in. The alternative is to moor in the next bay to the north, Mandraki Bay. Get as close in as you can to the beach – the bay is 50m and deeper towards the centre, down to 2 or 3m at the shore. Speeding water taxis draped in orange run all day until late, simply flag one down when you see them!
Day 7 – Hydra to Athens via Agia (Aegina)
The last stretch from Hydra to Athens is your longest distance of the week. Break this is up with a short detour back to the east side of Aegina, a seaside resort town called Agia. Here, you can enjoy a well-protected anchorage with plenty of room, offering a superb and enjoyable last swim in the calm, turquoise waters of the bay before embarking on your final 2 hours of sailing back to Athens!
Saturday – Alimos Marina > Aegina (18NM) (2.5 hours)
Sunday – Aegina > Ermioni (34NM) (4.5 > 5 hours)
Monday – Ermioni > Spetses (10NM) (1 hr 15 mins)
Tuesday – Spetses > Hydra (16NM) (2 hours)
Wednesday – Hydra > Poros (12NM) (2 hours)
Thursday – Poros > Epidaurus (21NM) (3 hours)
Friday – Epidaurus > Alimos Marina (30NM) 4 > 4.5 hours)
The above distances are accurate to a direct course, with the maximum travel times at roughly 6 knots), a slightly under-average cruising speed. You would want to include lunch and swim stops into these journeys, particularly the longer runs to break the day up and maximise enjoyment!