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If you are looking for a sailing ground that has warm weather most of the year and thousands of exciting islands to choose from, then Greece needs to be top of your list.
The Greek islands are divided into distinct groups, including the Ionian, Dodecanese, Cyclades, Saronic and Sporades. Each island chain has its own characteristics so you can find a group to suit your needs.
Make sure you spend some time exploring Athens and the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Hephaestus, Plaka, Erechtheion and Mount Lycabettus. If you want to maximise your time, the Saronic and Cyclades are the nearest island groups to Athens.
Discover the Saronic islands
Between the north-eastern Peloponnese and the Attica peninsula lies the Saronic islands, known for their elegant neoclassical architecture and welcoming local people.
Foodies can head to Aegina, which was the capital in the early 1800s. Head to the harbour for local restaurants and bars, sunbathe on Souvala and Marathon beaches or snack on its local crop of pistachios.
If you want an underwater adventure, find the sunken city at Epidavros, an ancient health resort. It’s difficult to find so use Google maps and wear good sea shoes as there are plenty of urchins around. Nearby is a well-preserved amphitheater, Epidaurus Theater, and the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Sail to Poros and relax among the pine forests, take in the colourful buildings and explore the sandy and pebbled coastline. Stand out beaches include Love Bay, Askeli beach and Megalo Neorio. In the evening, you’ll find a lively atmosphere in the local bars and tavernas.
If you love photography, head to traffic-free Hydra with its town built into the rugged cliffs, pretty, natural harbour and steep stone streets. The whitewashed streets and buildings with colourful tiled roofs make quite an impact. Take a walk on Kea and head to the stone carving, the Lion of Kea, which is a mythical lion which nearly destroyed the island. It’s a 15-minute walk from Ioulida, but take plenty of water if it’s a hot day.
Spetses has a wonderful promenade and sophisticated restaurants. It’s known for its mountain herbs and the wonderful fragrance that scents the air. Bekiri Cave is worth a look for its blue-green waters, which is just five minutes from Saint Anargyroi beach.
While in the area, head to the Corinth Canal that bisects the Peloponnese peninsula, which is flanked by steep red rock cliffs.
Getting to know the Cyclades
There are more than 200 islands in the Cyclades islands, which is the most popular island group in Greece. There is so much to see here, you might want to consider a two-week charter instead of one. This is a great region for more experienced sailors, as it has the benefit of the northerly meltemi wind in summer.
Mykonos has become the playground of the rich and famous, with its sandy beaches, cobalt skies, whitewashed windmills and cobbled streets. It’s great for people watching while you sip a cool beer in what is known as Greece’s “south of France”.
Plan your itinerary so includes the ruins on Santorini, Ios’ Aegean architecture, Naxos’ citrus groves, Syros’ beaches and Sifnos’ ceramics. Also, pass by Loutra’s Kithnos’ hot springs, sunbathe on Paros’ golden sands and enjoy the history on Aegina.
Find out more about Greece
We’ve collated a mass of information about the Greek islands and the following blogs are a great place to start:
- Sail the Aeolian Islands
- Five friends sail the Greek Islands
- Exploring Lefkas in Greece with a bareboat charter
Talk to our team