“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea.” – Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
The siren call of the sea is everywhere in Greece, beckoning us to the water – and with more than 6,000 islands and islets scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas, there is really no better way to immerse yourself in the fullness of what this rich country has to offer.
Join us as we set sail to shores both near and far (although never too far), swimming in crystal-clear waters, relaxing in silence on remote beaches and visiting with the residents of tucked-away islands.
The Cyclades (“islands that form a circle”) are the most famous of the Aegean’s island complexes and it’s here you’ll find some of the most beautiful islands in the world, including the sacred isle of Delos. Of course, there’s a mythological tale to go along with them – it is said that Poseidon created the islands out of Cyclades nymphs when they incurred his mighty wrath. He certainly made them beautiful and you’ll sail among them to drink in the picturesque white-washed houses, charming white and blue-hued architecture, mesmerizing coastline and sun-kissed beaches. The most famous of the Cyclades are Mykonos and Santorini, while Paros, Naxos, Sifnos, Folegandros, Ios, Milos, Syros and Tinos are also renowned for their natural beautiful, great food and vivid nightlife.
Not to be missed in your travels are the Dodecanese, located on the southeastern side of the country between the Cyclades and the Turkish coastline. Meaning “twelve islands,” there are a dozen main land formations and numerous smaller ones – all with clear, glassy water, sandy or pebble beaches, important archaeological treasures, imposing Byzantine and medieval monuments and unique traditional settlements. The most oft-visited are Rhones and Kos; while Kalymnos is our favorite for rock climbing; Leros is known for diving; and Patmos, “the island of the apocalypse,” is the spiritual center. Ask us about combination sailing trips through the Dodecanese and along the coast of Turkey.
If time is of the essence and yet you want that quintessential Greek sailing experience, the Argosaronic Gulf Islands are just a short distance from Athens and the Peloponnese mainland. These small gems boast stunning seascapes, beautiful beaches, historic monuments, stately architecture and a friendly, welcoming hospitality. In Spetses – the local’s favorite island - you’ll stroll along the waterfront past handsome mansions on your way to coffee in the Old Port. Cosmopolitan Hydra takes you back in time – no cars are allowed here (nor on Spetses), so explorations are on foot or by donkey. And Aegina, Poros and Agistri are rightly famed for their trekking and biking opportunities and peaceful charm.
And finally, the Ionion Islands, traditionally called “Eptanisa,” or the “seven islands,” although there are many more than that when counting the tiniest of isles. In contrast to the other island chains, these lie on the western side of mainland Greece and boast fertile land, clear, blue water and the perfect amount of wind for a truly ideal sailing vacation. Many of the beaches you’ll visit are ranked among the world’s best. Wander Corfu’s Old Town, hike among Paxoi’s olive trees, swim at superb Porto Katsiki Beach in Leukada. And don’t miss Ithaca, that famous home of Odysseus.
The options are many, from adventurous RIB boats that can slip in and out of tucked-away harbors, to spacious motor yachts with sundecks and water sports equipment, from picturesque sailing yachts to budget-conscious catamarans, ideal for shorter distances. We can easily arrange for a private chef to join the staff of many of these vessels. So, come, join us, as we set sail and discover why these dramatic islands have inspired countless legends.