As you might expect, there are many highlights when it comes to sailing in Greece, not the least of which is the excellent yacht charters and the fine Mediterranean weather. However, aside from these yachts and beautiful weather, it must be said that the sailing routes in Greece are some of the best in the world.
With this in mind, here are three of the most impressive sailing routes around the Greek islands including the Sporades, Saronic and Dodecanese route:
Sailing Routes around the Greek Islands
source: Sunscape Yachting
Dominated by tree covered islands with beautiful stone houses, the Northern Sporades is a treat to explore on a yacht. Departing Volos, you should arrive in Skiathos town which is home to a charming port and a famous monastery called Moni Evangelistria. After Skiathos, you will find Skopelos which offers a tiny settlement and an impressive Venetian styled fortress.
As for Skyros, this is another small island with another idyllic monastery, and the route from here to Kira Panagia is protected by neighbouring islands which usually ensures enjoyable sailing. Finally, Alonissos makes for the perfect last stop for either relaxation or exploration, and it is also positioned nicely for a return trip back to Volos.
Saronic Gulf Route
source: Sailing in the Mediterranean
Alimos Marina is one of the largest in Greece and the perfect place to begin a sailing trip around the Saronic Gulf. In many ways, this is possibly the best option for a shorter itinerary or sailors with a little less experience.
Many islands are just a short sailing trip from Alimos including Aigina, Hydra, and Poros and this cluster provide a nice outline for a one-week itinerary. Here is what to expect in each of the islands:
- Aigina – Famous for pistachio nuts and the Temple of Apheana, Aigina is dominated by luscious farms and vegetation.
- Spetses – Spetses was a focal point during the Greeks fight for independence and this island was the home of a heroin called Laskarina Bouboulinas. For this reason, you will find an intriguing museum and a fascinating history throughout.
- Poros – Consisting of excellent places to eat and drink, Poros is very cosmopolitan compared to the other islands although you can still expect ancient temples and museums along with stunning ocean views.
- Hydra – Arguably the wealthiest island in the region, Hydra is overflowing with colourful houses and fascinating art galleries. Interestingly, there are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the island.
- Epidavros – The Ancient Theatre of Epidavros is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and simply put, this is the most enchanting attraction on the islands. From here, sailors are also perfectly positioned to start the return leg of their sailing trip back to Athens.
source: Getty Images
Incredibly, you will find more than 150 islands in the Dodecanese Islands which is covered in stunning beaches and enchanting coves. Furthermore, this is also a great place for sailing charters to stopover for the harbours a well-equipped and welcoming toward visitors.
Among the most famous or popular destinations are Kos, Arki, Leros, and Rhodes but the truth is, each one is just as interesting as the next. That being said, Leros makes a great first stop where sailors can then move onward to Lipsi, Astypalea, and Nisyros. Although these islands are small, they offer a beautiful insight into the local culture and way of life. After this point, stunning bays come into view as you sail to Patmos and the port of Chora is a historical harbour where visitors can check out another ancient monastery.
However, Tilos is arguably the most memorable place to include on this itinerary, for this is the first island in Greece to run on solar or wind power. Furthermore, the landmass is also a dedicated nature reserve and an ideal last stop before returning to Kos.
As you can see, there are many routes for sailing in Greece and many sides to each island. As for when to go, anytime is a good time but sailing season runs. Between April and October, every year when the Meltemi blows from North and the weather is most favourable for sailing.