The Saronic region is popular for sailors planning a yacht charter in Greece and looking for a relaxed sail. You can enjoy shorter passages between islands and calmer winds, which suit families and those with less experience. While the meltemi wind can impact the sailing area in the summer months, it’s not as strong as seen in the Aegean.

Sail from Athens via Alimos or Lavrion and explore the Peloponnese coast, featuring fine ancient ruins and castles, such as Mycenae. The islands in the Saronic Gulf are blessed with sandy beaches, unspoiled anchorages and charming fishing ports. When it comes to the best time to sail the Saronic region, keep in mind it has a long season, from early May to late October, although you can find pleasant weather either side of the main season.

Athens/Saronic Highlights

  • Hydra – Enjoy taking photos of whitewashed cobbled streets rising up into the cliffs
  • Kea – Hike to the stone carving of lion from Ioulida
  • Spetses – Find sophisticated promenades and restaurants, or swim in Bekiri Cave, near Saint Anargyroi beach
  • Poros – Relax at Love Bay and Megalo Neorio, hike the pine forests or enjoy exploring the colourful buildings
  • Epidaurus – Snorkel the sunken city on this island, which was one known for its healing properties. Or stroll the ancient ruins at Epidaurus Theatre
  • Aegina – Souvala and Marathon beaches are popular spots or taste the local food at the restaurants lining the harbour
  • Corinth Canal – stop by to admire its impressively steep rocky cliffs

If you’re planning your yacht charter from Athens/Saronic Gulf, take a look at our itinerary section, which has a one-week itinerary suggestion for the Saronic. Mooring costs are low in Greece and many berths are free.

The sailing conditions in the Saronic Gulf are calm with a south-easterly wind blowing Force 3-5 and reducing at night.

The meltemi wind is not as strong in the area and starts in mid-July, building to full strength in August and early September with winds from the north-east. It is strongest at midday and dies down at night and you’ll find it’s calmer around the Methana Peninsula and Poros. In spring and summer, the winds are southerly and average Force 2-3.

Between April to October, sailors enjoy a Mediterranean climate with warm temperatures, around 27ºC/80ºF in the summer and blue skies. Mid-summer, you can expect long evenings, spectacular sunsets and calm seas.

To hire a yacht in Greece, there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced crew member, both over 18 years old. Skipper is REQUIRED to have one (1) of the following:

  • ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International – Prerequisites: RYA “Day Skipper Course” or similar/equivalent certification from any recognised sailing association or complete the ICC Assessment form to prove competence from previous experience
  • ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course”
  • RYA “Day Skipper Course

There are direct flights to Athens from all the major European airports. Talk to our team for advice.

The Athens base (Kalamaki) is easily reached from the airport either by taxi (approx. 45 mins to 1 hr and €40-50) or by bus. The X96 bus runs from the airport to the main ferry port of Piraeus with a stop outside the entrance to the marina. The bus is a frequent and very inexpensive service.

Starting from Lavrion, there are three ways to get to the base. You can take a train and get off at the first stop called “Koropi”. From there you get the intercity bus (KTEL), which runs every 30 minutes to Lavrion and takes about 40 minutes to get to the port. Your second option is to take a regional bus, departing from the arrivals level for approximately €4. The easiest way to reach Lavrion is by taxi and it takes 15-20 minutes and costs about €25.

7 Day Saronic islands

DAY 1: Embark at Kalamaki Marina, the marina for charter yachts for Athens. Take a taxi or tram into Athens for dinner with a view of the Acropolis.

DAY 2: Sail to Aegina Town (17nm) with its traditional harbour, shops, bars and restaurants.

DAY 3: Head to Epidavros (15nm), a former health resort of the ancient Athenians. Take a taxi from the main square for the 30 minute trip to see one of the best preserved ancient amphitheatres. Discover the underwater city too.

DAY 4: Make for Poros Town (22nm) with its lively harbour and long quayside full of bars and taverns.

DAY 5: Set off for Hydra (15nm), one of the prettiest harbours in Greece. Discover the traditional restaurants away from the harbourfront and visit the Sunset Bar for impressive views across to Spetses.

DAY 6: Sail onwards to Perdika, Aegina (25nm), anchor in the bay and go ashore for an excellent seafood dinner.

DAY 7: Return to Kalamaki Marina (20nm)

7 Day Saronic islands (alternative)

Day 1: Made for Kea Island (14nm), a mountainous isle with forested slopes and scrubby brush from the abundant springs and streams, a rarity in this region. Visit the popular grinning Lion of Kea and consider renting a motorbike to explore the island.

Day 2: Sail to Kithnos Island (15nm) where the whitewashed stone houses of Serifos sit on a hill above Livadi Bay. See the town’s beautiful churches and the ruins of a medieval castle.

Day 3: Visit Hydra (40nm), a cosmopolitan island rooted in a rich maritime history and dedicated to preserving their traditional way of life. You’ll find an island that is traffic-free where no cars or even bicycles are permitted. Here, donkeys and walking are every day modes of transportation.

Day 4: Head for Poros (13nm) where you’ll sail through a narrow, pretty channel that separates the island of Poros from the Peloponnese peninsula. Pine, olive and lemon trees blanket the hillsides and reach the sandy beaches.

Day 5: Sail to Cape Sounion Bay (27nm), where the impressive Temple of Poseidon sits on the cliffs, its white marble columns gleaming in the sun. The temple ruins date back to 440 BC, but 15 of the original 30 columns still stand.

Day 6: Onwards to Epidavros to visit the amphitheatre whose acoustics are legendary. Built in the 4th century BC, it seated an audience of around 15,000 and it is still used today for performances during the summer months.

Day 7: Back to Lavrion (8nm)

14 Day Saronic islands

DAY 1: Embark at Kalamaki Marina, Athens. Take a taxi or tram into Athens for dinner with a view of the Acropolis.

DAY 2: Sail to Aegina Town (17nm) with its traditional harbour, shops, bars and restaurants.

DAY 3: Onwards to Epidavros (15nm)to visit the amphitheatre whose acoustics are legendary. Built in the 4th century BC, it seated an audience of around 15,000 and it is still used today for performances during the summer months.

DAY 4: Head for Poros (22nm) where you’ll sail through a narrow, pretty channel that separates the island of Poros from the Peloponnese peninsula. Pine, olive and lemon trees blanket the hillsides and reach the sandy beaches.

DAY 5:  Sail to Porto Heli (30nm), a large bay with excellent shelter. Moor at the long quayside or anchor in the bay.

DAY 6: Head to Navplion (21nm), and elegant Venetian town with a 13th century castle, which is well worth the walk up for the view.

DAY 7: Sail to Leonidhion (23nm), a friendly little harbour with shop and taverns.

DAY 8: Set sail for Monemvasia (29nm), a humpbacked island with an old walled Byzantine town, being sympathetically restored. Climb to the top for a spectacular view. Down below, the lower town and fishing harbour have also been restored into a charming mix of Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish architecture.

DAY 9: Set off for Kiparissa (15nm), a spectacular setting in the mountains.

DAY 10: Sail to Spetses (22nm) and choose from several anchorages on the north west coast. This island was the home of John Fowles when he wrote his famous novel “The Magus”.

DAY 11: Make for Hydra (15nm) and discover the traditional restaurants away from the harbourfront. Visit the Sunset Bar for stunning views across to Spetses. Raft up if necessary but put a tripping line on your anchor – the harbour is renowned for fouled anchors!

DAY 12: Head to Perdika, Aegina (25nm) and anchor in the bay and go ashore for an excellent seafood dinner.

DAY 13: Return to Kalamaki Marina (20nm)

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