8 days sailing paradise Icarian Sea
Day 1: Kos – Kalymnos
Day 2: Kalymnos – Leros
Day 3: Leros – Patmo
Day 4: Patmos – Icaria
Day 5: Icaria – Arkoi
Day 6: Arkoi – Leipsoi
Day 7: Leipsoi – Kos
Day 8: Kos
If your dream is to sail the Icarian Sea and discover the Dodecanese islands from the sea, you don`t need to keep dreaming. You just have to rent a boat with skipper and/or crew (a sailboat, a catamaran or a yacht) and let yourself explore one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Mediterranean. And if you already know how to sail, what are you waiting for? A sailboat without skipper is waiting for your arrival to release moorings in Kos.
DAY 1: KOS – KALYMNOS
Start your itinerary from Kos, an island located just 4 km away from Bodrum, on the coast of Turkey, and which can be reached by plane, since it has an airport that is connected with Athens with several flights a day and which, in summer, also receives direct flights from other major cities. That makes it an ideal starting point to rent a catamaran or any other type of boat. Kos has beautiful sandy beaches and rich in vegetation, such as Paradise, Agios Stefanos (in the south-eastern part) or Tigaki (north). If you`re interested in Hellenic culture and archaeological treasures you can visit the sanctuary of Aphrodite, the ancient Agora and the portico that are in the center of the capital, Kos, also full of churches, both Paleo-Christian and Byzantine. And you can`t leave the island without visiting the tree that, according to local tradition, was planted by Hippocrates himself and under which he taught his classes.
DAY 2: KALYMNOS – LEROS
The first stop on your sailing trip, Kalymnos, is famous for its sea sponges. Although it is quite mountainous, the island has two lush valleys where the main towns of the island are located. The capital, Kalymnos, is also the main port of the island, although the oldest town is Chorio (or Horio), where there is a Venetian castle of the Knights of the Order of St. John. The Cavern of the Nymphs and the cave of Kefalas are also must-sees. So much sightseeing will undoubtedly open your appetite. It will be time to find a good restaurant where you can enjoy some of the rich dishes of Greek cuisine, such as an amazing meze made with pen shells, sea urchins, and skate preserved in seawater, calamari (fried calamari), xiphias (grilled swordfish) or saganaki cheese (fried battered cheese).
DAY 3: LEROS – PATMOS
Leros is another small island, part of the Dodecanese archipelago, and an ideal stop for rental sailboats seeking absolute tranquility. It is likely that you can enjoy some of its beautiful beaches for yourselves! Leros was a haven for pirates until the knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the Byzantines disputed their rule in 1319, the first being the victors. Today most of the inhabitants of the island live from sponge fishing. The island is connected to the rest of Greece by a ferry service as well as an airport.
DAY 4: PATMOS – ICARIA
The next stage of the cruise will take you to discover Patmos. The smallest inhabited island of the Dodecanese archipelago. The main population of Patmos is concentrated in Skala, which is also its only port. Mount of Profitis Ilias, where the monastery of St. John is located, is an important Christian pilgrimage destination. In the most frequented beaches of the island, there are great fishing taverns where you can eat or have a drink in a calm environment.
DAY 5: ICARIA – ARKOI
Icaria, or Ikaria, is located a few kilometers from the island of Samos. According to tradition, the name of the island derives from the myth of Icarus, the son of the inventor Daedalus, who fell into the sea that still bears his name. The myth of Daedalus and Icarus, linked to the legend of the Minotaur and the labyrinth, is an integral part of the culture of this region and certainly, during your holiday, you will have the chance to discover it and learn more about it.
The sun that melted the wax wings of Icarus awaits tourists to cuddle them on the golden beaches of the coast. The unique panorama and the uncontaminated natural landscape, the coves and small gulfs of Icaria hide corners of authentic beauty that make Icaria one of the most beautiful islands in the Icarian sea.
DAY 6: ARKOI – LEIPSOI
If you have ever dreamed of seeing a wonderful sunset over the Aegean with an Acropolis as a backdrop, this is your island. You will only have to climb on the hill that is at the top of the main port, which is also the center where the majority of the residents are concentrated. The rest live dispersed in the mountains around the island, in a landscape of dry and rocky land dotted with olive trees, goats and donkeys. Although sailing through the Dodecanese islands on a boat you have already discovered a myriad of beautiful beaches, you can`t miss Tiganikia, the most beautiful of all the beaches of Arkoi. Small and rocky, it provides crystal clear waters with an idyllic view of the nearby islets of the bay. In summer, it`s frequently visited by the inhabitants of Lipsi.
DAY 7: LEIPSOI – KOS
On your way back to Kos, you will find Leipsoi (also Lipsi), a small group of islets located in the northern part of the Dodecanese archipelago that can be discovered by catamaran. The main town of Lipsi is picturesque, although of little architectural interest. But the island has really beautiful beaches like Lientou, the most popular for its proximity to the city, or Papandria, located to the south, in front of the island of Leros, offers a typical view of cane fields and a beautiful natural environment. Also noteworthy are Chochlakoura, famous for its pebbles and picturesque caves, and Xirokampos, Monodendri and Kamares, beaches of wild beauty and less visited because of the fact that they are further away from the towns.
DAY 8: KOS
The seventh day will be the longest day of the itinerary and you will have a lot of time to relax and enjoy the comforts of your chartered yacht. If you have rented a boat with a crew, you can forget everything and concentrate on sunbathing and enjoying a good meal on board before disembarking. Surely by the time you set foot on land again, you will forget what the word stress means. Guaranteed.