Yacht Charter Itinerary Cycladic Islands, Lavrion to Lavrion

By |2020-12-08T13:45:16-05:00April 6th, 2020|

Yacht Charter Itinerary Cycladic Islands, Lavrion to Lavrion

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Written by Missy Johnston

Kea, Island , Temple of Athena

Kea Temple of Athena Ruins

Day 1: Join your yacht in Lavrion, which is 35 minutes by car from the Athens Airport and 45 minutes by car from Athens, unpack and relax as you begin your cruise to Kea, a 15-mile cruise. The exceptionally picturesque island of Kea lies 15 miles from the southeast coast of Attica. The mountain masses that are encountered in most of the Cyclades are broken up by small valleys sparsely planted with vines and fruit-trees that run right down to the sea, opening out into pretty little bays. Overnight.

Visit one of the island’s peaceful beaches at Pisses, Korissia, and Koundouros. Cruise to the western side of the island into Agios Nikolaos Bay and deep within it to the port of Korissia, which is considered to be one of the safest natural harbors in the Mediterranean.

Tinos Island, Greek Islands

Tinos Island Village

Day 2: Cruise to Tinos, the “Holy Island of the Cyclades.” The island is the site of the Church of Evangelistria, which houses an icon of the Annunciation that draws thousands of Orthodox Christians on the feast day of August 15th.

There are plenty of good beaches, too, notably at Agios Fokas near the town, Kionia, Porto, Panormos Bay, Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis and Pahia Amos.

The lunar-type landscape at the spot known as ‘Volax’, with its peculiar boulders, is extremely unique and well worth a visit.

No one should leave the island without having purchased, or at least tasted, high-grade cheeses like “Kopanisti” and “Mitzithra”, which are made locally. In the late afternoon cruise to Mykonos to overnight.

Mykonos Petros the Pelican

Mykonos Petros the Pelican

Day 3: One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos, has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts many tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.

One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island’s sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, which can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port.

Mykonos nightlife is very busy, with bars and nightclubs staying open until dawn. Explore the shops in the Chora, perhaps enjoy one of the many beaches, and hit the town at night, even if just to enjoy a drink in a café to people watch.

Delos, Greece Lion Statuary www.njcharters.com

DELOS Ruins

Day 4: Leave early for Delos to arrive and tour before the heat of high noon. This is an excellent location to have a private guide, as the site is not well marked. Delos was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Greek mythology recounts how Leto, one of Zeus’s lovers, gave birth to Apollo on Delos, god of physical beauty and the fine arts. By 454 BC the Athenians had overtaken the Ionians, forcing Delos to pay taxes and provide ships to Athens. Delos’ greatest period was in the third to fourth century BC, when the tiny island had a population of 20,000 and was the chief financial center and slave market in the Mediterranean. Foreigners from Rome, Syria and Egypt built homes and coexisted tolerantly, despite the variety of religious beliefs.

Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions, the theater, and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. A flight of steps ascends the island’s summit, Mt. Kynthos, the birthplace of Apollo. As a visitor you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the island’s archaeological museum.

Head to the nearby uninhabited island of Rineia for a beach barbecue for lunch in a deserted anchorage. Enjoy swimming and water sports while your Chef creates a lovely lunch right on the beach. After lunch cruise to Paros to the village of Noussa, which rightly so can claim to be a very traditional Cycladic village, without the changes tourism might have made to neighboring islands. Be sure to explore Naoussa, and have a drink on the harbor side at a taverna in the secret little enclave of the harbor behind the main harbor.

Paros Harbor Cyclades Greece njcharters.com

Paros Harbor

Paros is the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros and has developed into an important center of tourism in recent years. Gently rolling hills surround the center and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards.

The Monastery of Katapyliani is located in a wooded park just up the road from the harbor. Its name means “Church of a Hundred Gates” and is one of the most important Christian monuments in Greece.

Paroikia (or Paros), the island’s capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town – all of them painted white – are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle.

Among the beaches near Naoussa, special attention should be made of Kolibithres where huge rocks eroded into strange shapes reminding the visitor of sculptures embedded in the sand.

Ios or Nios cyclades island greece njcharters.com

Ios

Day 5: Cruise to Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus, the “poet of poet’s”, the ‘godlike’ Homer was buried at Plakotos, in the north of the island and Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s interment on Ios.

The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, a ruinous Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos.

Exploring Chora means, first of all, walking. Set off from your yacht in the cool of morning, wear your most comfortable shoes and get ready to set off. One hour is enough for the ones who just want to have a look at this whitewashed village, perched on the slope of the hill between the port and Mylopotas. The more demanding ones will need the whole morning to discover the hidden beauty of Chora.

This island has superb beaches. Anchor off the long sandy beach of Kalamos, a natural reserve on the eastern coast of the island. It is usually very quiet and very often one has the chance to enjoy it alone. South of Kalamos lays the beach of Papa. Only a short way lays Manganari. These are four of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean. In the afternoon, cruise to Santorini to overnight.

luxury charter, luxury yachts, luxury yacht charter

SANTORINI Sunrise

As you approach Santorini, it’s easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. Your yacht edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent shaped remains of the volcano. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, actually consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi.

Between Skala (the main port), at the base of the cliff, and Thera (the main town), a narrow path has been etched into the cliff-face in a series of zigzags. To the left of the path there are the prosaic lines of a cable car, the first hint of the island’s connection with the twentieth century and tourism. There are three ways to get from Skala to Thera – mule, foot or cable car. The most popular, is by mule.

Day 6: Explore Santorini, visiting Thira and Oia and be sure to visit the archeological site of Akrotiri. Besides the interesting architecture of the houses in Thera, it is worth visiting the two cathedrals (the Orthodox and the Catholic) and the Monastery of the Dominican nuns. The Catholic monastery of Panagia of Rodari, which was built in the area of Skaros where the medieval capital of the island used to lie surrounded by a strong fortress on the edge of a steep hill, and the Venetian building Gizi are worth a visit.

From the gulf of Thera boats can take you to Nea Kammeni. There you can see the volcano’s crater where hot air and sulphuric steam still rises. The land is warm and you should wear athletic shoes and have plenty of water. Hot springs exist at the nearby Palia Kammeni where the sea is bright blue.

Sifnos, Greece

Sifnos

Day 7: Cruise to Sifnos, a mountainous island with fertile valleys, beautiful beaches and several towns. It has a long history and has been inhabited since 3000 BC. Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and is actually a collection of villages of which Apollonia is one.

The first inhabitants of Sifnos were the Kareans and the Phoenicians. The island was famous in ancient times for the wealth, which came from its gold and silver mines and the quarries of Sifnos stone. It enjoyed great prosperity in Classical times, as can be seen from its Treasury, dedicated to Apollo at Delphi. Kastro, (3 Km from Apollonia), Sifnos’ capital from the 14th to the 19th century, retains some of its medieval character. It is built on a rocky outcrop with an almost sheer drop to the sea on three sides. There are Venetian coats of arms and ancient wall fragments in some of the older dwellings. There is also a small Archaeological Museum, which exhibits a collection of Archaic and Hellenistic sculpture of ceramics to the Byzantine era. There are clean and attractive beaches all over the island. Platygialos is a large sheltered beach, Vathi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece with fine sand and Apokofto is a sandy beach with a rocky shelf near Chrysopigi.

Herronissos is another traditional fish village situated on the north part of the island. Herronissos is well known for the handmade ceramics, which are produced there.

serifos, yacht charter, super yachts, luxury yachting

Serifos

As your vessel glides into the port of Livadi you’ll catch your first glimpse of the towering hills of Serifos flecked with the white, sugar-cube houses of Chora!

The curious rock formations resemble human figures, which call to mind the myth of Danae, Perseus and Medusa, as if these prehistoric inhabitants of the island had been turned to stone. Perseus, the mythological hero that killed the medusa, the terrible monster with a woman’s face and hair as serpents was born on this island.

The fortress-like monastery Moni Taxiarchon near the village of Galani, which houses some fine wall paintings and important books and manuscripts, is of special interest. Close to the monastery of Moni Taxiarchon, there is a small village on the north coast named Platis Gialos with Platis Gialos bay, which consists of about three rather small beaches. The village of Panagia commands a panoramic view of the whole island.

The greatest attraction of Serifos is its magnificent beaches. The beach of Psilli Ammos, which lies about 2 km to the east of Livadi, beckons with the softest and whitest sand.

Koutalas is a nice village with a beautiful bay and lovely beach, secluded from the winds. It is also the site of the old mine delivery cranes, rusted remnants of which are found on the left side.

Day 8: Leave early for the 25 mile cruise back to Lavrion from Serifos where you will disembark.

Cyclades Islands Greece njcharters.com

Cyclades Islands, Greece

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Yacht Charter Itinerary Sporades – Dodecanese – Cycladic Islands Kusadasi, Turkey to Santorini, Greece

By |2020-12-08T13:54:36-05:00April 6th, 2020|

Yacht Charter Itinerary Sporades – Dodecanese – Cycladic Islands
Kusadasi, Turkey to Santorini, Greece

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Written by Missy Johnston

Samos Northern Cycladic Island Greece njcharters.com

Samos Local Boat Building

Join your yacht in Kusadasi, Turkey, after flying into the Izmir airport. Cruise to Samos, Greece, just off of the Turkish Coast. Once the birthplace and home of Pythagoras, Samos is known today as an up market, cosmopolitan island with several port towns, including the lovely Pythagorion. The Greek Goddess Hera is said to have been born on this island in the village of Heraion, where today lie remnants of the Temple to Hera. Visit the Tunnel built by Eupalinus, a famous Hellenistic Engineer. This tunnel, which was once part of an ancient aqueduct system and in use for conveyance of water for over 1000 years, was considered one of the Eight Wonders of the Ancient World and was constructed with fascinating precision. On the western side of the island is the Cave of Pythagoras, where the famous mathematician once hid from his political detractors.

Ikaria Greece njcharters.com

Balconies on Ikaria

Cruise to the island of Ikaria, where the mythological Ikaros fell and was buried after flying too close to the sun. On the way, stop at the small island of Samiopoula, meaning “small Samos” for lunch and a swim. The island of Ikaria is truly off of the beaten path with breathtaking panoramas, clean mountain air, and therapeutic hot springs. Archeological sites on Ikaria hail from the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, and include remnants from the Temple of Artemis at Nas, Drakano Fortress, a Hellenistic watchtower, Roman baths at ancient Therma, Roman/Byzantine small theatre in Kampos, and the Byzantine Castle of Koskina. Be sure to try the local Ikarian wines which have been produced and praised since antiquity.

Greece Typical Village Island Taverna

Typical Village Taverna

Sail for the tiny island of Fourni. Fourni is truly a hidden gem, rarely visited, and offers a view of the traditional Greek fishing village of yesteryear, barely touch by time. This is where you will want to sample fresh fish in one of the local Tavernas of traditional Greek food, at an outdoor table under the plane trees in the village square. For the athletic, try a hike up along the ridge of the island for great views of Turkey and the surrounding islands. Overnight in a quiet anchorage off of an isolated beach.

Mykonos seaside at sunset www.njcharters.com

Mykonos Town

Cruise to Mykonos, one of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.

One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island’s sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, which can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port. Cocktails and dinner on board.

Delos Greece, Lion Statuary www.njcharters.com

Delos: The Avenue of the Lions
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

It’s a short morning cruise to Delos, which was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Greek mythology recounts how Leto, one of Zeus’s lovers, gave birth to Apollo on Delos, god of physical beauty and the fine arts. By 454 BC the Athenians had overtaken the Ionians, forcing Delos to pay taxes and provide ships to Athens. Delos’ greatest period was in the third to fourth century BC, when the tiny island had a population of 20,000 and was the chief financial center and slave market in the Mediterranean. Foreigners from Rome, Syria and Egypt built homes and coexisted tolerantly, despite the variety of religious beliefs.

Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions, the theater, and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. A flight of steps ascends the island’s summit, Mt. Kynthos, the birthplace of Apollo. As a visitor you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the island’s archaeological museum.

Paros Harbor Cyclades Greece njcharters.com

Paros Harbor

Relax with lunch on board before cruising to Paros, the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros. Gently rolling hills surround the center and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards. Paroikia (or Paros), the island’s capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town – all of them painted white – are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle. Walk around the village before cruising to Langeri, a secluded sandy beach, or Drios beach, which happens to have a fabulous fish taverna where you may want to have dinner. Anchor overnight.

Ios, Greece, yacht charter

Ios

Enjoy breakfast before cruising to Ios, a 33-mile cruise. Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus, the “poet of poet’s”, the ‘godlike’ Homer was buried at Plakotos, in the north of the island and Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s interment on Ios

The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, a ruinous Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos.

Santorini Greece njcharters.com

Santorini

In the morning, enjoy a relaxing breakfast during the 22-mile cruise to Santorini. As you approach Santorini, it’s easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. Your yacht edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent shaped remains of the volcano. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, actually consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi.

Between Skala (the main port), at the base of the cliff, and Thera (the main town), a narrow path has been etched into the cliff-face in a series of zigzags. To the left of the path there are the prosaic lines of a cable car, the first hint of the island’s connection with the twentieth century and tourism. There are three ways to get from Skala to Thera – mule, foot or cable car. The most popular, is by mule.

Besides the interesting architecture of the houses in Thera, it is worth visiting the two cathedrals (the Orthodox and the Catholic) and the Monastery of the Dominican nuns. The Catholic monastery of Panagia of Rodari, which was built in the area of Skaros where the medieval capital of the island used to lie surrounded by a strong fortress on the edge of a steep hill, and the Venetian building Gizi are worth a visit.

From the gulf of Thera boats can take you to Nea Kammeni. There you can see the volcano’s crater where hot air and sulphuric steam still rises. The land is warm and you should wear athletic shoes and have plenty of water. Hot springs exist at the nearby Palia Kammeni where the sea is sulphur-blue.

Santorini Island

Santorini

Disembark in Santorini

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Yacht Charter Itinerary The Cycladic Islands

By |2020-12-08T13:44:22-05:00April 3rd, 2020|

Yacht Charter Itinerary The Cycladic Islands

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Written by Missy Johnston

acropolis-building-ruins-www-njcharters-com

Athens

Join your yacht in Athens, unpack and relax as you begin your cruise to Kea, a 40-mile steam. The exceptionally picturesque island of Kea lies 15 miles from the southeast coast of Attica. The mountain masses that are encountered in most of the Cyclades are broken up by small valleys sparsely planted with vines and fruit-trees and run right down to the sea, opening out into pretty little bays. Visit one of the island’s peaceful beaches at Pisses, Korissia, and Koundouros. Cruise to the western side of the island into Agios Nikolaos Bay and deep within it to the port of Korissia, which is considered to be one of the safest natural harbors in the Mediterranean.

Tinos Island, Greek Islands

Tinos Island

Cruise to Tinos, the “Holy Island of the Cyclades.” The island is the site of the Church of Evangelistria, which houses an icon of the Annunciation that draws thousands of Orthodox Christians on the feast day of August 15th. There are plenty of good beaches, too, notably at Agios Fokas near the town, Kionia, Porto, Panormos Bay, Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis and Pahia Amos. The lunar-type landscape at the spot known as ‘Volax’, with its peculiar boulders, is extremely unique and well worth a visit. No one should leave the island without having purchased, or at least tasted, high-grade cheeses like “Kopanisti” and “Mitzithra”, which are made locally.

Mykonos, greece

Mykonos

One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos, has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns. One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island’s sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, which can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port.

Lion statues, Delos, Cyclades, Greece

Delos

Delos was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Greek mythology recounts how Leto, one of Zeus’s lovers, gave birth to Apollo on Delos, god of physical beauty and the fine arts. By 454 BC the Athenians had overtaken the Ionians, forcing Delos to pay taxes and provide ships to Athens. Delos’ greatest period was in the third to fourth century BC, when the tiny island had a population of 20,000 and was the chief financial center and slave market in the Mediterranean. Foreigners from Rome, Syria and Egypt built homes and coexisted tolerantly, despite the variety of religious beliefs.

Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions, the theater, and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. A flight of steps ascends the island’s summit, Mt. Kynthos, the birthplace of Apollo. As a visitor you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the island’s archaeological museum.

Paros Island, Greece, Naousa

Paros

Paros is the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros and has developed into an important center of tourism in recent years. Gently rolling hills surround the center and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards. The Monastery of Katapyliani is located in a wooded park just up the road from the harbor. Paros is the third largest of the Cyclades up the road from the harbor. Its name means “Church of a Hundred Gates” and is one of the most important Christian monument in Greece. Paroikia (or Paros), the island’s capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town – all of them painted white – are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle. Among the beaches near Naoussa, take special note of Kolibithres where huge rocks are eroded into strange shapes that appear to be sculptures embedded in the sand. Anchor off Langeri, a secluded sandy beach, or Drios beach.

Ios, Greece, yacht charter

Ios

Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus, the “poet of poet’s”, the ‘godlike’ Homer was buried at Plakotos, on the northern end of the island. Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s internment on Ios. The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower, the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, the ruins of a Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos. Exploring Chora means, first of all, walking. Set off from your yacht in the cool of morning, wear your most comfortable shoes and get ready to set off. One hour is enough for the ones who just want to have a look at this whitewashed village, perched on the slope of the hill between the port and Mylopotas. The more demanding ones will need the whole morning to discover the hidden beauty of Chora.

This island has superb beaches. Anchor off the long sandy beach of Kalamos, a natural reserve on the eastern coast of the island. It is usually very quiet and very often one has the chance to enjoy it alone. is Papa Beach, and only a short distance away is Manganari Beach. These are four of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean.

Santorini, Greece, luxury yacht charter

Santorini

As you approach Santorini, it’s easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination as your yacht edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent shaped remains of the volcano. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, actually consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi. Between Skala (the main port), at the base of the cliff, and Thera (the main town), a narrow path has been etched into the cliff-face in a series of zigzags. To the left of the path there are the prosaic lines of a cable car, the first hint of the island’s connection with the twentieth century and tourism. There are three ways to get from Skala to Thera – mule, foot or cable car. The most popular, is by mule. Besides the interesting architecture of the houses in Thera, it is worth visiting the two cathedrals (the Orthodox and the Catholic) and the Monastery of the Dominican nuns. The Catholic monastery of Panagia of Rodari, which was built in the area of Skaros where the medieval capital of the island used to lie surrounded by a strong fortress on the edge of a steep hill, and the Venetian building Gizi are worth a visit. From the gulf of Thera boats can take you to Nea Kammeni. There you can see the volcano’s crater where hot air and sulphuric steam still rise. Very little ashore is shaded, and you will want sturdy walking shoes, sun screen, and plenty of water. Hot springs exist at the nearby Palia Kammeni where the sea is bright blue.

Sifnos, Greece

Sifnos

Sifnos is a mountainous island with fertile valleys, beautiful beaches and several towns. It has a long history and has been inhabited since 3000 BC. Apollonia is the capital of Sifnos and is actually a collection of villages of which Apollonia is one. The inhabitants of this island were considered wealthy in ancient times, due to the gold and silver mines, and Sifnos stone quarries, with great prosperity enjoyed in Classical Times, as can be seen from the Treasury, dedicated to Apollo, built at Delphi. Kasto, (3 km from Apollonia), the capital of Sifnos from the 14th to the 19th centuries, retains a medieval character. Built on a rocky outcrop with an almost sheer drop to the sea on three sides, there are Venetian coats of arms and ancient wall fragments in some of the older dwellings. There is also a small archaeological museum, with exhibits of a collection of ceramics from the Archaic and Hellenistic time periods to the Byzantine era. The beaches around the island are clean and attractive including Platygialos, a large sheltered beach, Vathi, one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece with fine sand, and Apolkofto, a sandy beach with a rocky shelf near Chrysopigi. Heronissos, a traditional fishing village situation on the north side of the island, is well known for the production of handmade ceramics.

Serifos, Greece, Windmills

Serifos

Cruise to Serifos, where the white, sugar-cube houses of the main town ringing the port reflect the typical architecture of the Cycladic Islands. Consider visiting the fortress-like monastery Moni Taxiarchon, which is near the village of Galani, housing wall paintings and important manuscripts. Legend states that Perseus, the mythological hero that killed the Medusa, with a woman’s face and live serpents for hair, was born on this island. Serifos is mainly known for having terrific beaches such as the beach of Psilli Ammos, which has the softest whitest sand. Other small villages around the island also have fine beaches to visit, such as the villages of Platis Gialos and Koutalas.

In the afternoon cruise to Kithnos, named after the king of the first known settlers of this island, the Dryopians. On the northeastern side of the island is Loutra, an area of thermal springs said to have curative properties. Messaria is the main village on the island and is noted for the beautiful churches with fine wood carved sanctuary screens and icons. In little island shops you can find textiles woven with vivid colors into beautiful designs, shells, leather goods, and hand carved wooden souvenirs.

In the morning, it is a 50 nm steam back to Athens to disembark.

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Yacht Charter Itinerary Samos Island, Cycladic Islands, Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes Island

By |2020-12-08T13:53:36-05:00April 3rd, 2020|

Yacht Charter Itinerary Samos Island, Cycladic Islands, Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes Island

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Written by Missy Johnston

Samos Northern Cycladic Island Greece njcharters.com

Samos

Join your yacht in Samos, Greece, considered a Northern Cycladic Island. Once the birthplace and home of Pythagoras, Samos is known today as an up market, cosmopolitan island with several port towns, including the lovely Pythagorion. The Greek Goddess Hera is said to have been born on this island in the village of Heraion, where today lie remnants of the Temple to Hera. Visit the Tunnel built by Eupalinus, a famous Hellenistic Engineer. This tunnel, which was once part of an ancient aqueduct system and in use for conveyance of water for over 1000 years, was considered one of the Eight Wonders of the Ancient World and was constructed with fascinating precision. On the western side of the island is the Cave of Pythagoras, where the famous mathematician once hid from his political detractors. Cruise to the nearby island of Arki, where if the fishermen went out that morning, very fresh fish is served in the island Taverna. Overnight.

Patmos Bells of the Monastery of St. John www.njcharters.com

Bell Towers of the Monastery of St. John

Cruise to the island of Patmos, a significant island in Christian Religious History. The island of Patmos is claimed to have been the home of John the Apostle while writing the “Book of Revelations”. The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse have now been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 1983 the island was proclaimed a Holy Island by the Greek Government. Patmos has remained an island of pilgrimage for those of various religious beliefs.

Skala is the main harbor and main town on the island, and the best location if arriving by sea to visit this island. It is hard to pass up a visit to the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, no matter what your religious beliefs might be, as an important part of world history. Perched on the very top of the island, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian can be seen from any vantage point on the island. Originally built with fortress walls to protect the monks from marauding pirates, the monastery looks much like a castle complete with battlements with an opening from whence to pour boiling oil down on invaders. The Cave of the Apocalypse, where John the Apostle is said to have written the Book of Revelations, is now surrounded by the Monastery of the Revelations, with the sacred grotto on a lower level. A Monk is stationed inside the monastery to guide visitors to see this sacred grotto. Overnight.

Mykonos Petros the Pelican

Petros the Pelican Mykonos

One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts many tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.

One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island’s sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, which can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port. Cocktails and dinner on board. After dinner perhaps enjoy some of the very active nightlife in Mykonos. Overnight.

yacht charter, super yacht, luxury yacht

Delos Mosaic Villa Floor
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

In the morning cruise to Delos, which was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Greek mythology recounts how Leto, one of Zeus’s lovers, gave birth to Apollo on Delos, god of physical beauty and the fine arts. By 454 BC the Athenians had overtaken the Ionians, forcing Delos to pay taxes and provide ships to Athens. Delos’ greatest period was in the third to fourth century BC, when the tiny island had a population of 20,000 and was the chief financial center and slave market in the Mediterranean. Foreigners from Rome, Syria and Egypt built homes and coexisted tolerantly, despite the variety of religious beliefs.

Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions, the theater, and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. A flight of steps ascends the island’s summit, Mt. Kynthos, the birthplace of Apollo. As a visitor, you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the island’s archaeological museum.

paros, yacht charter, luxury yachts, vip yacht charter

Paros Harbor

Relax with lunch on board and perhaps a refreshing swim before cruising to Paros, the third largest of the Cycladic Islands after Naxos and Andros. Gently rolling hills surround the center and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards. Paroikia (or Paros), the island’s capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town – all of them painted white – are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle. Walk around the village before cruising to Langeri, a secluded sandy beach, or Drios beach, which happens to have a fabulous fish taverna where you may want to have dinner. Anchor overnight.

Santorini, Greece, luxury yacht charter

Santorini

Leave early with breakfast underway, for the 55 mile cruise to Santorini. As you approach Santorini, it’s easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. Your yacht edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent shaped remains of the volcano. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi.

Worth visiting on Santorini are the villages of Oia, Thera and the archeological site of Akrotiri, believed to have been a Minoan City buried by the volcanic eruption that so changed the shape of this island. The excavation of Akrotiri is poorly marked however across from the ticket booth is a Guide Kiosk where Guides that speak English can be hired, which is well worth the expense, to understand this unique site. In Thera is a museum that houses important archeological finds from the excavation.

Astipalea Church Cycladic Island Greece njcharters.com

Astipalea Church

Cruise to the island of Astipalea, so called due to the butterfly shape of the island. With the picturesque white Cycladic Island architecture, overlooked by a Venetian Fortress, with traditional windmills, Astipalea is a charming island, where visitors are rare. The water is beautiful here so enjoy swimming and water toys. Later in the day, explore the little walking streets of the Chora, where all streets eventually lead to the Venetian Fortress, also called the Castro, which provided shelter for the islanders in the days of pirate raids in the 15th century. Stop at a Taverna for the typical ouzo and octopus at 5:00pm, or enjoy having a drink in a café at an outside table. Overnight.

Nisyros Active Volcano Crater

Cruise to Nisyros Island with its strange volcanic moonscape look. Perhaps visit the little town of Emporios originally built hidden up in the sides of the volcano as protection from pirates, this village is truly beautiful, and a nice spot for lunch. From Emporios, it is an easy walk to the volcano craters, some of which are still hissing and bubbling. Located in Emporios is the famous Monastery of Panagia Kyra which is built at a height of 450 meters above the sea. The view from the monastery is terrific as you can see the entire island and especially the remains of the Venetian fortress. Have a refreshing swim.

Symi Harbor Greek Island njcharters.com

Symi Harbor
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

In the afternoon cruise to Symi, with its beautiful harbor surrounded by Italianate buildings. Symi is a tiny island with wild herbs growing in the countryside, making hiking on this island a fragrant event. Many feel that Symi is one of the nicest of the Greek Islands. Dock stern to in the main harbor, and explore the town around you. At night, this quay comes alive with shops and little cafes, as the harbor is the center of life on this island. Overnight.

Old Town Gates in Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes Walled Old Town Knights Hospitalier
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Cruise to Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes right next to the medieval walled Old Town built by the Knight Hospitalier, and Templar, to disembark.

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Where Those “In the Know” Go on a Mediterranean Luxury Private Yacht Charter

By |2020-03-16T12:11:40-04:00February 26th, 2020|Yacht Charter Tips|

Cannes Harbor France njcharters.com

Cannes Harbor, France

A luxury private yacht charter is the best way to see the cultures and histories of the Mediterranean—and to travel virtually incognito as you explore the hottest, most chic spots of this region. We’ve got your VIP table reserved for pure fantasy!

There are so many exclusive destinations across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean; we want you to see all of them on your own private getaway. Many of these spots can be visited by the ship’s tender without fanfare! After all, you deserve to vacation just as you imagined it; privately, with access to all of the more luxurious places on the planet. We want to stress that, as always, client confidentiality is key and privacy is strictly protected. 

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Highlights of the 5 sparkling Greek Island chains best visited by yacht charter

By |2020-11-09T10:35:59-05:00December 26th, 2019||

By Missy Johnston on Dec 24, 2019 — With over 6,000 Greek islands sprinkled over the azure Aegean and Adriatic Seas, one is spoiled to choose exactly which islands to visit and in which island chain; either the Cycladic, Saronic, Ionian, Sporadic or Dodecanese Islands. Without a yacht, one is restricted to only the islands with airports, and then only one island, unless one hires a private jet; as the domestic airlines in Greece all fly from Athens to an island and back to Athens, without commercial domestic flight service between islands. There are ferries and hydrofoils between some of the islands; however, this is not a luxury mode of travel, and in some instances may not even qualify as a moderate mode of travel. Best to discover and enjoy the five different island chains in Greece by private yacht charter, an unsurpassed manner to see, explore and enjoy the Greek Islands the way you want to and on your own schedule.

Skopelos Island view www.njcharters.com

Cycladic Islands
Santorini and Mykonos, islands that resonate with almost everyone, anchor the Cycladic Island chain. However, there are so many other special islands in the Cyclades that do not have airports, but do have lovely harbors that any yacht can slip into. It is the location of the islands, sitting in the center of the Aegean Sea, and being semi-arid that influenced the development of the distinctive Cycladic architecture of white cubist buildings outlined in cobalt blue, and lovely whitewashed churches with cobalt blue domes. Using whitewash on the outside of buildings was a necessity to reflect the bright summer sun to help keep building interiors cool. Clumping the buildings altogether, sometimes one on top of the other with little walking streets, protected the islanders from the winter winds, and the summer Meltemi Winds. Here are several of our favorite lesser known Cycladic Islands.

Folegandros Island- Greek Greece www.njcharters.com

Folegandros Island only has around 700 inhabitants and at 8 miles long is one of the smallest of the Cycladic Islands and steeped in the traditions of yesteryear. Cruise into sleepy Karavostasi, the main harbor, where whitewashed houses with blue doors covered in rambling bougainvillea line the harbor front, and colorfully painted fishing boats bob on the blue green harbor water. Up in the cliffsides, built into a medieval castle is the main town of Chora, built to be hidden away from marauding pirates in the 1500’s. The three little main squares surrounded by tavernas, bars and shops form the center of Chora where every day traditional Greek island life is alive and well.

Iraklia Island, tucked between the much busier islands of Naxos and Ios, is a haven for peace and quiet, relaxing and just enjoying Greece. Hiking and swimming are the main activities and daily life centers around the very local tavernas. With few cars, traveling around the island can be by donkey or mule, however, is best on your own two feet. Panagia, the main village is tucked up high in the mountains, again due to pirate attacks in the 16th century. Near Panagia, reached by an hour hike on a marked hiking trail is the Cave of St. John, the largest cave in the Cycladic Islands which is filled with stalactites, stalagmites and columns. St. John’s icon is said to have been found in the cave by a shepherd, hence the name. Visiting this cave is spelunking in the rough, as the entrance to the cave is very small requiring one to wiggle through, and flashlights are a must as there is no interior lighting.

Saronic Islands
This is the closest island group to Athens with islands running along the Peloponnesian Peninsula where there are also lovely ports. With architecture of a more Venetian and Baroque feel, these Greek Islands reflect shades of Tuscany in the colored stucco exterior of the buildings. Here are several of our favorite Saronic islands.

Dokos Island, sitting between Hydra and Spetses, is a great yachting destination given the bays with perfect protection from any winds, and beautiful clear very clean water. Only around 18 people live on this island year around, most of whom are sheepherders, so peace and quiet prevail aside from the occasional bleating sheep. Dokos and the waters surrounding the island have been designated as an archeological park as sitting on the bottom of the water along the edge of the island is said to be the oldest discovered shipwreck in the world.

Greece Agistri Island Charter Greece

Angistri Island is just off of the coast of Aegina, and very close to Athens. Agistri is tiny, and it takes just ten minutes to drive from the northern village of Megalochori to Limenaria in the far south. In between is unpopulated terrain where wild oregano, figs and lemons grow amongst the pine forests. Agistri’s coast is rocky and filled with cliffs and a dense woodland that marches right down to the coast. There are lovely anchorages that are secluded which is terrific as this island is so close to metropolitan Athens.

Ionian Islands
It’s on the smaller Greek Ionian Islands where Greek traditional life still flourishes. Where older women are dressed all in black, Greek Orthodox Priests scurry along with robes flapping to minister to their flock as everyone on the island is Greek Orthodox religion, and children play in the town piazzas under the watchful eyes of grandparents sitting knitting, mending, playing backgammon or bocce, or enjoying octopus and ouzo in front of the Taverna. Behind walls, citrus and pomegranate trees flourish, while bougainvillea grows wildly with bright hued flowers. In the small harbors, colorfully painted little fishing boats bob, while the fishermen mend their nets on the quay. As an added bonus, the Ionian Islands are said to have the best beaches in Greece. Following are two favorite Ionian Islands.

Meganisi Island was once a center of Mycenaean life, with excavations happening today on archeological sites across the island. Maganisi is a unique destination for those who want to relax and blend into traditional local Greek Island life, and mingle with the locals who love and keep their traditions alive. Here the women are still making handcrafted embroideries using the traditional Lefkada hand-stitching technique.

Anti Paxos Islet next to Paxos Island Greece www.njcharters.com

Antipaxos Island is a tiny island just off of Paxos Island, with just a few houses and tavernas, however the island has lovely beaches and beautiful chalk-white cliff stretches of coastline in to which are carved caves and grottos that are fabulous to explore by the yacht’s tender. Within the caves and grottos, the water reflects in beautiful shades of blue depending on the amount of sunlight within. Ashore there are no roads, and the island is very green covered with pine trees, olive groves and a large vineyard.

Dodecanese Islands
Situated along the west coast of Turkey, these islands have shared a history with their close neighbors on the Turkish mainland, albeit not always a calm history. Dodecanese, literally meaning “twelve islands”, was a name derived from historical events, as the Dodecanese Islands are actually a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islets of which 26 are inhabited. When cruising the length of the Dodecanese Islands, the following two islands not to be missed.

Patmos Bells of the Monastery of St. John

Patmos Island is claimed to have been the home of John the Apostle while writing the “Book of Revelations”. The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse have now been named as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 1983 the island was proclaimed a Holy Island by the Greek Government and today Patmos is an island of pilgrimage for those of various religious beliefs. Once considered a Northern Cycladic Island, Patmos is one of the few non-Cycladic Islands with the Cycladic whitewashed buildings with blue cobalt trim. Sprinkled around the island are said to be at least 364 churches or chapels; one for every day of the year.

Symi Island, for many, is a favorite Greek Island, with Venetian style architecture in the villages, while the countryside is redolent with the smells of various wild herbs. Hiking trails crisscross this island from the harbor to the Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, a Greek Orthodox monastery built on the southwest coast in the early 18th century; still inhabited by monks. It is past the opening of this bay that it is claimed that all of the waters of the world pass. Within the monastery is a very small museum of bottles within which are messages found floating in these worldwide waters passing the mouth of the bay sent to the monastery from various global locations.

Sporadic Islands
The farthest north of the Greek island chains, this is a group of 24 islands, with only 4 inhabited; with many of the islands part of the National Marine Park of Alonnisos, home to the rare Monk Seal, and many playful dolphins. It is in these islands where much of the movie “Mama Mia” was filmed; with the amazing chapel perched at the end of the climbing trail where the wedding scenes took place, “Saint Ioannis Chapel” located on Skopelos Island. These islands are very green, covered with pine forests surrounded by beautiful blue green water. Following are two terrific islands in this island chain.

Skopelos Island was always known through history as an island that produced excellent wines and olive oil. The main port, known as Skopelos or Chora, is a village of white washed buildings and walking streets which ring the harbor. The village has been decreed a “Traditional Settlement”, which requires that the town maintain the traditional architectural style which will retain the old feel of the main harbor area of this island. The harbor area is full of shops tucked into the tiny alleyways, and refreshingly on this island, there is a strong showing in the shops of local crafts including wood carving and pottery.

Alonnisos Marine Park Tranquil Water www.njcharters.com

Alonnisos Island is the only inhabited island within a group of islands that form the National Marine Park of Alonnisos. Besides the island of Alonnisos, the marine park includes the islands of Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Psathoura, Piperi, Skantzoura, along with 22 additional uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops with many beautiful anchorages. Several days could be spent in the marine park which is filled with marine life. Be on the lookout of monk seals, whales, and many different species of dolphins.

There is nothing quite like a private yacht charter to visit those Greek Islands that you want to see including those off the beaten track, without an airport and some without a ferry service, where getting there is only possible on board a private boat.

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5 perfect beach barbecue destinations to enjoy on a luxury yacht charter

By |2020-11-09T10:36:07-05:00November 15th, 2019||

By Missy Johnston on November 11, 2019 — You are on board your luxury charter yacht with your own private chef and your perfect charter crew attending to your every need, in a lovely yacht charter cruising destination with beautiful deserted beaches all around, and blue green water. What could be missing? A “pop-up” beach barbecue where once there was nothing but sand. Suddenly as created by your yacht charter crew, your charter yacht rounds a corner, and in a remote beautiful bay, where there is no one but you, and your yacht, there is a beach barbecue set up complete with tables, chairs, perhaps a gazebo style tent, a bonfire waiting to be lit, candles, torches, fairy lights, grills, music and everything else needed to make this a special beach barbeque for a lunch or dinner created by your crew that will exceed all expectations. Here are some of the top yacht charter locations where fun beach barbecues can happen.

Yacht charter beach barbecue setup njcharters.com

The Exumas, The Bahamas

The Exumas are a beautiful string of islands stretching south of Nassau to Georgetown. To have fire on the beach, the beach barbecue must take place on a cay outside of the Exumas Land and Sea Park, and Sandy Cay next to Great Major Cay where the Swimming Piggies live is a great location, as a deserted Cay where your bonfire and you will be the only inhabitants of the cay for the time period of either a lunch or dinner barbeque. The sand beach is white powdery sand stretching into beautiful warm crystal clear shallow water in shades of blue and green.
Bahamas pink beach njcharters.com

Spend time first stopping by Great Major Cay to feed the swimming pigs and then head to Sandy Cay where the crew will have a terrific beach barbecue setup depending on what your charter yacht has on board, however all yachts that charter in the Bahamas expect to have a beach barbecue and are stocked full of beach barbecue goodies for a great beach barbecue setup. Let your crew know whether you want your beach barbecue to be more upscale with table cloths and candles or a real beach barbecue dining and sitting in beach chairs in the sand. It is all up to you. The water toys will be set up on the beach to be used at any time and your chef will be on the beach with the grills going grilling your lunch or dinner with the crew keeping your drinks topped up and ice cold. Maybe the yacht has beach volleyball or other fun beach sand games. And of course, the crew will have the music set up and playing your choice of tunes. With the huge selection of remote beaches in the Bahamas, a beach barbecue is always on the itinerary when outside the Exumas Land and Sea Park on a yacht charter in the Exumas in the Bahamas.

The Cycladic Islands, Greece

After seeing the sacred island of Delos next to Mykonos, which should be done early in the day, so as not to be seeing ancient marble ruins during the hottest part of the day that would be reflecting the sun’s rays; after, a great location for a beach barbecue lunch is nearby on the mostly deserted island of Rineia right across from Delos.
Greece motor yachts at anchor for beach barbecue njcharters.com

The “beach” is mainly a pebble beach, however the water is beautiful, cool and clear and with beach chairs, tables, and sun shade, this is the perfect location for your Chef to barbecue a lunch perhaps of vegetables and Greek kebabs absorbing a smoky flavor grilled over beach driftwood accompanied by cool white Greek wines, while watching your charter yacht on anchor in front of you and enjoying the water toys. There are hiking trails on Rineia for those that want more activity otherwise, those that want to relax can swim or float in the water or just laze the afternoon away under the sun shade with glasses topped off by the always attentive yacht charter crew under the sunny Greek skies.

Nevis Island, Caribbean

Once a Colonial Plantation Island, and now home to thousands of green vervet monkeys, Nevis is the perfect Caribbean Island to have a beach barbecue with a bonfire. Nevis is one of the “breadbasket” islands of the Caribbean, where the locals make jams, fruit breads, fruit syrups and elderberry wine, all of which are a lovely addition to any beach barbecue.
Nevis island caribbean beach barbecue njcharters.com

On a clear day, perhaps the peak of the volcano will be visible from the beach. A beach barbecue on Nevis could be an afternoon event with the crew creating a lovely base on the beach to expect to enjoy a dinner barbecue and bonfire. Enjoy swimming, water toys, snorkeling, walking the sand, shelling, and all that nature has to offer. Nevis is a great location for hiking, especially towards dusk as the monkeys come out to feed at dusk and then are very visible. Nevis also has several horseback riding stables, for anyone that wants to go horseback riding for the afternoon; perhaps riding up to the peak of the volcano and then rejoining the group for dinner on the beach and a great bonfire. There is so much that is possible to do on the island in very close proximity to a great beach bonfire location. Those that are very active can be off doing their favorite activity in the afternoon, while those that want to just be lazy, can be on the beach, in sand chairs, under the shade bimini being waited on by the crew, perhaps dipping into the water from time to time, until everyone rejoins the group in time for dinner and a fun bonfire with dancing in the sand.

Down East, Maine

Your captain will have his favorite location, most of which are kept a secret, for a true “Down East lobster boil” on the beach complete with rockweed seaweed.
Butter island lobster boil njcharters.com

Just caught lobsters, pulled that day from the sea are bought right from the lobster fisherman, steamers or little neck clams are acquired, along with just picked corn on the cob, new potatoes, and some sort of sausage or hot dogs, all of which are the makings of an old fashioned Lobster Boil that must be cooked in clean rockweed seaweed and clean ocean water both of which are available in abundance in Down East Maine. The best Lobster Boil is done outside on the beach, in a huge pot over a cooking ring connected to a propane tank. Rockweed seaweed is key as this seaweed has little small hollow bulbs in each seaweed string in which there is ocean water. As the seaweed is heated, these bulbs burst adding a unique flavor to the ocean water in which the meal is cooking. The ocean water is important as well, as the salt in the water adds a sweetness to the lobster meat that cannot be found by cooking the lobster by any other method.

When time to cook, the food that is part of the boil must go in the cooking pot in strict order from first to last. Following is the order, along with the cooking time for each. Line the bottom of the pot with seaweed and fill the pot 1/3rd of the way full of clean ocean water. Wait until the ocean water is boiling to begin filling the pot with food. Fill from first to last and cook:

· Potatoes 30 minutes
· Lobsters 25 minutes
· Clams 20 minutes should be steaming on top of the lobsters, not in water
· Sausage 15 minutes should be steaming on top of the clams, not in water
· Corn on the cob 3-5 minutes should be steaming on top of all, not in water

The lobster boil should be done in 30 minutes. More clean rockweed seaweed should be made into a sort of “nest” on the beach to pour out all of the Lobster Boil food onto the seaweed to cool and for everyone to then help themselves. Also served should be melted butter and fresh lemon slices for the lobster meat and steamed clams. And everyone will need lobster crackers with tiny picks and forks to crack the lobster shells and pull the meat from the shell. The yacht crew can provide anyone not knowledgeable with instructions on the very best way to crack and clean a lobster of all the meat. With the Lobster Boil, traditionally biscuits might be served with blueberry or other fruit jams, and for dessert, usually there is strawberry shortcake or fruit pies. This is a real American Maine treat.

Eastern Flores Archipelago, Indonesia

There are so many islands in this area, and an enormous number of remote beaches from which to pick for a beach barbecue in which to have a bonfire and then after for bio-degradable wishing balloons to be lit to watch your wishes lift off and disappear into the sky, which is especially magical if done against a night sky.
Firing up Silolona Wishing Balloons njcharters.com

At one point, wishing balloons were not nature’s friend and at that time wishing balloons were never used on charter yachts; however, completely bio-degradable wishing balloons can be purchased, so that nothing is left behind. Wishing balloons are only possible if the wind is blowing out over the water, in a location where there is a large expanse of water, as even though wishing balloons do climb high into the sky and will burn out as soon as they start to fall to the earth, all precautions are taken so that a fire is never started on land.

Most beaches in this area are very remote; untouched and beautiful coral gardens are close to the islands, so that an afternoon of snorkeling or scuba diving for any certified scuba divers in the group is easy to enjoy. Perhaps fishing, swimming, using water toys, or just swimming, and lazing on the beach are of interest. Charter yacht crew are always ready to make a beach barbecue afternoon into whatever guests might want to do. With all that can be done, having a setup on a beach with afternoon activities as a precursor into an evening bonfire dinner barbecue, ending with wishing balloons, a remote beach in this area is an excellent location for an afternoon of fun leading into a dinner barbecue with dancing after dinner in the sand. In this yacht charter area, if the charter is on board one of the local charter yachts with many Indonesian crew, it may be that the crew can provide live music for dancing…and the beat goes on.

A private yacht charter with a crew is basically a live product where the crew can create the on board fun if wanted, and usually do. Beach barbecues, in the right yacht charter locations are great fun, and most charter yachts that charter in these yacht charter locations have lots of terrific gear for beach barbecues on board. The crew are ready to organize out of thin air a magical “Pop Up” Beach Barbecue in a lovely deserted bay for a fabulous lunch or an afternoon and evening of sparkling fun and frivolity, to enjoy the sand, beach, water, and dining “al fresco” by the light of torches, fire and fairly lights, where until you and your charter yacht arrived, there was simply sand and water and nothing else.

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5 secret Cycladic islands to visit by private yacht charter

By |2020-11-09T10:36:35-05:00August 27th, 2019||

By Missy Johnston on Aug 26, 2019 — The names Mykonos and Santorini resonate with everyone when hearing the words “Greek Cycladic Islands”; however, these are only two of many islands in the lovely Cyclades Islands. On private yacht charter, you decide where to cruise, and each and every island to visit, so ask your crew to steer towards these 5 secret Cycladic Islands, that few ever visit when next you cruise through the Cycladic islands on a Greek yacht charter. Here traditional is the norm, where the local men play backgammon in the shade of the plane trees and relax with ouzo and octopus in the evening. Where in the Chora, children play in the main plaza, and everyone knows all of the local cats, each of which belongs somewhere, although it appears as though they belong to no one. Where blooming bougainvillea grows wild over whitewashed buildings trimmed in various shades of blue, and octopi are strung up outside the local tavernas on lines to dry.

This is the everyday Cycladic Greek island lifestyle of yesteryear still flourishing on these lesser known islands, most of which do not have an airport that are truly most easily visited by private yacht charter, at least if visiting on your own schedule when you want to visit. Cruise into each local harbor and relax into the island lifestyle, each island with a different feel, on a Greek yacht charter, on your own time, at your own pace.

Sikinos
This is the Island of Festivals. Tucked away down in the southeast corner of the Cycladic Islands, Sikinos is a tiny island that still adheres to celebrating traditional festivals, especially religious festivals. The residents enjoy every celebration to its fullest with music, folklore dances, food, and wine and love to include all visitors in every celebration.

Plaza in Chora on Sikinos Island Greece Cycladic Islands www.njcharters.com

If planning to visit by yacht charter, the most important religious events include Zoodohou Pigi, the feast day of the Chrysopigi monastery on May 2, Aghios Panteleimonas on July 27, the Holy Transfiguration on August 6, the Festival for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on August 15, and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. Each religious festival has different traditions; however, each religious festival starts with a church service, a great feast, and after food and drink, starts music and dance which can go on until the wee hours of the morning. During the festivities, the island echoes with the sounds of the violin, lute, and bagpipes. The islanders are very particular about each and every festival with careful preparations made in advance. Traditional dishes are prepared for each great feast, and houses are freshly whitewashed and decorated.

There is also a non-religious Sikinos Summer Festival which is the most popular festival on Sikinos. This is a grand festival taking place in August which lasts for about two weeks. All islanders and visitors are welcome to join in. There are many events daily, including concerts, art exhibitions, and dancing. On a private yacht charter, where the itinerary is yours to make, the route can easily be organized to hit at least one of these festivals. Include Sikinos in a crewed yacht charter for the once in a lifetime experience to eat, drink and dance celebrating a traditional Cycladic festival with the islanders. And remember, this is not just dancing, this is Greek dancing at its traditional best.

Amorgos
Close by Sikinos is Amorgos Island, also a tiny little island, and the furthest east of the Cycladic Islands. Probably the most iconic and easily identified part of this island is the fantastic Monastery of Chozoviotissa painted white, built into and clinging to the side of a cliff on the other side of the island from the main port. This is what identifies and sets this island apart from the rest of the Cycladic Islands, and lets any visitor know at once on approach by sea, that yes, one has reached Amorgos Island.

Monastery Amorgos Island Cycladic Island Greece

Inhabited since the Early Cycladic Era, which has been evidenced by archaeological finds on the island, Amorgos has a long cultural history and tradition. This is an island where one steps off the beaten track to visit an island by yacht charter that has preserved its traditional feel; where the locals welcome you with a smile on their face and perhaps a shot of the local raki based liquor steeped in aromatic herbs. Once on shore, walk across this island on the many trails and walking paths through a countryside redolent with wild herbs. One trail or another will end up at one of the many beaches around the coastline of this lovely island.

The monastery has eight floors connected by narrow stone staircases carved into the rock with an interior that is like a labyrinth. Be sure to make it to the top balcony of the monastery for a stunning view. The cells of the monks are also all carved into the rock. Two icons of the Virgin Mary and other religious relics from the period of Alexios Komninos are all housed at the monastery. The ground floor has a worthwhile ecclesiastical museum.

The main town of Amorgos, the Chora, is, to be safe from pirates, located in the center of the island, is a genuinely Cycladic village and one of Greece’s most striking and picturesque island capitals. It is full of charming alleys, water fountains, traditional Cycladic houses with bougainvillea trees in court yards and many churches. This is a little village full of walking streets, a 13th century castle, and monasteries. And another island without an airport that just by asking your Captain to set a particular course you can visit and explore, where it could very well be just you and the locals.

Milos
Wealthy in ancient times, due to the huge amount of volcanic razor sharp obsidian found on the island that was coveted for knifes for everyday use and weaponry, Milos had a very healthy trade in implements made with obsidian. Today visit the island for the archeological sites and the history, however also because of the beautiful beaches, the caves washed into the soft rock cliffs, and the quietly trendy nightlife.

Milos Island Greece Turquoise Bay www.njcharters.com

Besides the ancient history of obsidian trade, Milos was also an early Christian island, and Christian Catacombs have been found and excavated. While only a small portion of the catacombs has been unearthed today, one can visit and gain a feel for the Christian world in Ancient Times.

Like other Greek Islands, Milos has many beautiful beaches, over 70 in fact to enjoy for sunning. The most famous beach is Sarakiniko, with a moonscape landscape filled with white rocks. Other amazing Milos beaches are Tsigrado, Paleochori, Agia Kyriaki and Firiplaka. It is the huge number of caves however that sets Milos apart from other of the Cycladic Islands. The most important of these caves are Papafrangas, Sykia, and Kleftiko. These caves are great to explore for swimming and snorkeling as the colors of the waters inside the caves are unique and beautiful.

Antiparos and Despotiko
Just off of the much larger Cycladic Island of Paros, Antiparos and Despotiko were once believed to be connected as one larger island and in Ancient Times were a maritime crossroads where visitors and goods came from mainland Greece, other Aegean islands, the Ionian Islands and Rhodes, Cyprus and Egypt. Today, they are two separate islands sitting side by side. Despotiko is uninhabited with just extensive ruins of what is believed to have been a Sanctuary to Apollo, originally built by the Parians from Paros out of famous Parian marble, which may have been a larger and more important Sanctuary than the Sanctuary to Apollo on Delos Island. Antiparos has a small little settlement with tiny little walking streets and a large cave with amazing stalactites and stalagmites in all its rooms. There are beautiful beaches and lovely water in all of the anchorages on each island.

Greece Island Taverna Octopus Drying in the Sun www.njcharters.com

The ruins on Despotiko are open air and easy to wander around. There may be archeologists at work as this is an ongoing relaxed archaeological dig, relying on volunteers and donations and may be an archeology site where you can engage the archeologists and volunteers, depending on who might be there for more information on what might be happening.

To date, many artifacts have been found including small personal items such as jewelry, ointment and perfume containers, ceramic objects, agricultural tools, vases, basins, and other household implements such as lamps and amphorae and statues and sculptures. Because of the freedom of being on your own charter yacht, pop over to Antiparos to enjoy the beautiful little anchorages, and explore Despotiko to see an extensive archeological site “in action”. If excavations are ongoing, those digging may even welcome a little help.

Folegandros
With its main Chora high up over 200 meters from the Aegean Sea built in the 1300’s, Folegandros cannot help but charm. The little walking streets and alleyways snake through the Chora with one walking street zig zagging up the hillside outside of Chora to a lone church perched high up on the hillside overlooking the capital village. It is in these less traveled traditional Cycladic Islands where the prettiest towns and villages are found.

Folegandros Island Greek-Tavern Greece www.njcharters.com

In the Chora on Folegandros, 200 meters above the sea, the sunsets are spectacular, and the local tavernas are serving very local traditional foods of fresh octopus, Greek Salad with wonderful local goat’s cheese, stuffed tomatoes and vine leaves, handmade pasta with rabbit sauce, cheese and spinach pies and fresh fish. There are few cars, so here donkeys are still used to carry loads. Peek over walls to see lemon trees in courtyards with their fruit protected from the Meltemi Winds. On the quays, local fishermen can be found untangling their nets and cleaning fish, while the local taverna owners hang octopi out on lines to dry. This is an island where a bucket of fresh sea urchins might show up on a taverna menu, or where the fish of the day might have just been caught. The island is only 8 miles long, with hillsides redolent with wild thyme and oregano. There are few beaches, however on such a small island it takes no time to reach one of the beaches, and there are beautiful anchorages. This is an island where it is impossible to get lost, but easy to get drawn into the daily traditional life on a lovely little island where goods are still delivered by donkey.

With private yacht charter when it is your choice where you cruise, head to Sikinos Island for a festival and late night Greek dancing to violins, lutes and bagpipes in the village plaza, visit the Monastery of Chozoviotissa built into the side of a cliff on Amorgos Island, snorkel the beautiful blue green waters in the caves of Milos Island, maybe lend a hand on the archeological dig on Despotiko Island, and settle in with the locals for ouzo and octopus on Folegandros Island. These are 5 great Cycladic Islands that while less traveled are very rewarding for those that find their way to each harbor.

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5 of the best ancient archeological sites to visit on a private yacht charter in the Greek Cycladic Islands

By |2020-11-09T10:34:43-05:00June 14th, 2019||

By Missy Johnston on June 14, 2019 — Amidst the white cubic houses with cobalt blue trim, the blue domed white churches, the white trimmed stepped walking streets, the arid beautiful terraced landscapes, the olive, lemon and orange trees, and the grazing goats, are remnants of the ancient civilizations that also once roamed these beautiful islands millenniums ago. And for the historian, and archeology buff, the best way to visit the various and fascinating excavations taking place on these islands, some only having unearthed 5% of what is still to be revealed, is by private yacht charter, as there is no regular ferry system that connects exactly the islands that have these archeological sites, nor is there airline service. The only way to travel between the Cycladic Islands of your choice is to charter a yacht and let the Captain know where you want to go. As after all, this is what private yacht charter is all about….cruising where you want to go, when you want to go.

Akrotiri, Santorini Island
Explore the many secrets of the magical mystical Cycladic Island of Santorini as tucked away on the Island of Santorini, excavations continue revealing the remains of an ancient wealthy trading city. This is a city lost in time; covered by ash and debris in the massive volcanic eruption in the 1600’s BC when the island blew its top, literally. It was in 1967 that excavations began in earnest, and still continue at a site in Akrotiri on the island of Santorini where only 5% of this ancient city is said to be revealed to date. The ruins are fascinating to see, and excavated artifacts are on display at the Archeological Museum in Fira.

Santorini-Island-Greece-Akrotiri-Excavations-www.njcharters.com

The lost city was discovered in the 1800’s in fields in an area of the island known today as Akrotiri. As the origin of the civilization that built this extraordinary city with three story apartment buildings, running water and a city sewer system was unknown, the excavations are now known as Akrotiri by their location on the island. That which has been excavated, based on excavations in other parts of the world, is now felt to have been a wealthy Minoan trading city, that clearly evacuated the city before the final and most devastating volcanic eruption on Santorini Island completed covered the abandoned city which was then lost in time.

Today, the excavations continue under a covered area where boardwalks and raised walkways allow the visitor to walk amongst that which has been revealed to see what was left behind so many years ago, including city streets, apartment buildings, storage rooms, even what may have been bathrooms with running water. Important wall murals have been removed and carefully restored to be seen in the Archeology Museum in Fira along with artifacts from the excavation. Guides are available to be hired on site, and are recommended.

Delos Island
Delos Island, the center of the Cyclades, has been inhabited since at least the 3rd millennium B.C. As did the Hellenic Nation, this island rose in importance and around 480 BC, became the center of the Delian League. The Delian League located their treasury here solidifying the importance of this island in the ancient world. Today Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important archeological sites in the world. This island, located just next to Mykonos is open to visitors 12 hours during the day, every day of the week.

Delos-Island-Greece-Sacred-Island-Archeological-Site-www.njcharters.com

Claimed as the mythological birth place of Apollo, Delos was immensely wealthy and was so impressive that the Romans retained this island as a free port when they came into power. Delos finally collapsed in 88 BC when conquered by Mithridates. Today, the remains of what was once a very powerful island are only partially excavated.

Visit the museum first which is where the famous marble lions that once guarded the sacred lake are now stored. The ‘sacred lake’ is the supposed birthplace of Apollo which is close by, but now over grown and dry.

All over the island are the remains of temples, homes, and monuments. There is also an impressive array of different cultures that left their mark on the island. Shrines for Samothracian, Egyptian, and Syrian Gods are interspersed amongst the Greek shrines. The Temple of Isis stands high above most of the town. Entire sections of the residential areas are more or less intact. The streets are still clearly outlined, many of them with sewers running underneath. The northern section of town featured more modest living quarters with smaller apartments, each with only several rooms.

Wildflowers have gained foothold in the ruins, peaking out in various places, to add color. A hill rises on the south side of town in an area known as the theater district. It is here that some of the truly opulent houses can be found with beautiful mosaic floors often showing dolphins, which symbolized Apollo or panthers, which symbolized Dionysus. In the House of the Masks, which is virtually fully intact, a mosaic can be seen of Dionysus riding a panther, along with another mosaic of theatre masks. Several rooms in this building contain large sections of the original wall decoration as well as the floor mosaics.

It is well worth spending a full morning exploring this island and visiting the museum by having your yacht anchor in Delos Harbor and coming ashore by ship’s tender. Private guides are available and are recommended.

Milos Island
A volcanic Island, Milos was prized in Ancient Times due to the cache of volcanic created obsidian rock found on the island and mined for making weaponry, and knives needed for everyday living and hunting. Mining obsidian and the creation of weapons, knives and other utensils and implements on the island was the main industry on Milos in Ancient Times making Milos a very wealthy island which perhaps provided the money to commission the beautiful and famous sculpture of Venus de Milo found on the island and now on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The archeological and historic sites on the island are several.

Milos-Island-Greece-Christian-Catacombs-www.njcharters.com

Phylakopi excavation site on the island was one of the greatest pre-historic settlements in the Aegean. The settlement was heavily inhabited starting from the Early Bronze Age to the Late Bronze Age and into the Mycenaean Period until around 1100BC when the settlement was abandoned. Artifacts found show that the inhabitants were traders with the rest of the Cycladic Islands, and as far away as mainland Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. Trade items from this Milos settlement were items made mainly of local obsidian. Numerous clay and stone vessels, stone, clay and bronze figurines, and bronze items have been found, however, the most impressive find is a gold face mask.

Right above Klima and below the settlement of Trypiti overlooking the sea where the ancient town of Milos once was is an ancient Roman Theatre, along with a stadium, an ancient market, and an early-Christian baptistery. The Roman Theatre however is the most impressive structure left, with 7 tiers built to hold 700 spectators that accessed the theatre via 6 stairways. Parts of the stage are preserved along with carved marble reliefs.

Also, on Milos are early Christian Catacombs, the only preserved catacombs in Greece dating back to the 2nd century AD and used until the late 5th century AD as the cemetery of the first Christian community on the island. To date 291 tombs have been found, however it is estimated that there are at least 1500 to 2000 tombs in the area with over 8000 bodies buried within the tombs, as each tomb housed more than one body. The tombs were all arched and dug into the soft rock. The catacombs were discovered accidentally by looters in 1840.

On the island is an Archeology Museum and a Mining Museum. For any archaeology buff and historian, Milos offers quite a bit of history and important archeological sites, and several museums, in which time can be spent learning the fascinating history of an island that grew wealthy from that which its volcanic origins provided, caches of obsidian.

Antiparos-Despotiko – Tsimintiri
Once believed to have been one island in Ancient Times, these three islands, just off of the coast of Paros Island, and only reachable by private yacht, are the site of what is increasingly being understood to have been an important ancient settlement. Tsimitiri mainly has graves located on the island, and it has not yet been determined exactly how the land on Antiparos was involved, however, excavations are ongoing on Despotiko where there appears to have been a very important Sanctuary to Apollo.

Despotiko-Island-Archeological-Site-Apollo-Sanctum-www.njcharters.com

Despotiko was a maritime crossroads where visitors and goods came from mainland Greece, other Aegean islands, the Ionian Islands and Rhodes, Cyprus and Egypt. The sanctuary, originally built by the Parians from Paros out of famous Parian marble, may have been larger than the Sanctuary to Apollo on Delos Island.

Many artifacts have been found including small oil and ointment containers, clay figurines, ceramic objects and statuettes, signet rings with semi-precious stones, bronze and ivory clasps, stone, glass and gold beads, bronze, silver, lead and iron objects, swords, domestic implements and many agricultural tools, ceramic vases, basins, bottles, lamps, pots and amphorae, as well as fragments of marble Kouros statues and other sculptures; gold and bronze jewelry; faience scarabs; and a striking clay statuette depicting a goddess (ca. 650 BC).

The ruins are open air and easy to wander around. There may be archeologists at work as this is an ongoing relaxed archaeological dig, relying on volunteers and donations and may be an archeology site where you can engage the archeologists and volunteers, depending on who might be there for more information on what might be happening and being found in a more “hands on” manner.

Ios Island
On Ios is the very important archeological site of Skarkos, thought to be over 4500 years old and the best ancient Cycladic prehistoric site in Greece. Located in western Ios, the archaeological site is overlooking one of the finest natural harbors in the Cyclades, and is easily reachable by having your yacht on anchor in the harbor with the archaeological site of Skarkos up on the hill overlooking all. Skarkos was inhabited from around 2800BC to 2300BC during what is the Early Cycladic II period.

Ios-Island-Skarka-Prehistoric-Cycladic-Settlement-www.njcharters.com

Excavations reveal well built houses set closely together along narrow streets and squares. Today still able to be seen are the ground floors, doorways and stairways. Most of the buildings were at least two stories built with stone walls. The settlement was abandoned after an earthquake and never re-settled which kept the remains well preserved until found again in recent history.

Many artifacts have been found including pottery, stone tools, figurines, and obsidian tools. Skarkos prospered as it lay at the junction of several key trading routes that linked the Cycladic Islands with Crete, Asia Miner, and mainland Greece. Visit the Archeological Museum in Ios as well to see artifacts from Skarkos as well as the archeological site. In 2008 the site received a European Union Prize for excellence in Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Private yacht charter is your own hotel and restaurant that you can take with you, with your own private crew for full service, while you visit archeological and historical sites in the beautiful Cycladic Islands of Greece. And as an added bonus, also enjoy the crystal clear blue green waters and cool off with a swim, relax on a beach, join the villagers around a table at a local taverna for ouzo and octopus, and overall enjoy all there is to enjoy in addition to the history and archeological remains of the Cycladic Islands of Greece. And after learning all there is to know about the history and archeological sites during the day on an island, perhaps at night, kick up your heels in a lively Greek dance or two in a village square under the stars, in the cool evening air

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The Magical Greek Cycladic Islands – February 2019

By |2019-03-15T11:57:27-04:00February 28th, 2019||

The Magical Greek Cycladic Islands

February 2018 E-News

Santorini at Sunset njcharters.com

Want to be off the beaten cruise ship path? Want to see the real Cycladic Islands, culture and every day life; beyond the chic lifestyle on Santorini and Mykonos? The only way to experience the beautiful and traditional Cycladic Islands of Greece is by private yacht charter.

Explore the once very wealthy volcanic island of Milos, where the sharp glass-like quality of obsidian is found and was used in Ancient Times to make much prized weapons. Visit Naoussa on the island of Paros to experience a true Cycladic traditional village from yesteryear. Enjoy sitting on the piazza on the harbor with fishing boats bobbing in the sun, for taverna wood grilled fresh fish or maybe octopus. Cruise into the main harbor of Syros, island of two religions where the large Greek Orthodox Church sits atop one hill overlooking the harbor, with the large Catholic church on the other twin hilltop. Each Cycladic Island is very different, with a different history that can be understood more readily when on a private yacht charter visit of each island without hoards of ship mates milling around. And enjoy the beautiful remote anchorages and beaches of each island as can only be done by private yacht.

It is only on a yacht charter where the tapestry that is made up of each individual Cycladic Island unfolds to be explored and enjoyed. Rather than memories of lines, cruise ship tenders, and being herded around in a group by a guide, yours, on a private yacht charter, will be memories of that quaint little taverna, where fresh caught fish was enjoyed barbecued over a wood fire, in a lovely anchorage where yours might be the only visiting yacht, and you might be the only outside visitors.

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Cruise from Athens to the remote corners of the Cycladic Islands-enjoy this magical yacht charter itinerary.

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A lovely Cycladic Island. Soak up the unique history of Milos, once a fabulously wealthy Greek Island in Ancient Times

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Alert for Game of Thrones Fans: The Final Season 9 of GOT will air starting on April 14. Be sure to look for scenes filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, nearby Lokrum Island, and just outside of Dubrovnik at the Trstenik Arboretum in Trstenik Bay. For more complete information on where various scenes were filmed in each location in Croatia see our blog with this 8 day GOT itinerary, and read all about filming in Old Town Dubrovnik for GOT “King’s Landing”.

Spring Season Charter Events on the French Riviera & Monte Carlo: This year the Cannes Film Festival will be May 15 to 25, and the Monaco Grand Prix will be May 23 to 26. Luxury charter yachts are available to charter for both events. Be anchored right off the Red Carpet of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. Watch the exciting Grand Prix from the top deck of your charter yacht docked in the main harbor of Monte Carlo right on the race car route.

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