Written by Missy Johnston
Cruise through two lovely Greek Island chains, the Saronic Islands and the Cycladic Islands, on this yacht charter itinerary through the Aegean Sea. This is an excellent itinerary for a one week charter on a sailing yacht or sailing catamaran out of Athens, for lovely, easy sailing every day, while enjoying some terrific Greek Islands. This is also a great yacht charter itinerary to enjoy on a crewed motor yacht.
ATHENS TO ATHENS
Cycladic and Saronic Islands
Kea, Kithnos, Serifos, Spetses, Hydra, Poros
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, which 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
Kithnos inherited its name from Kithno, king of its first settlers, the Dryopians. Thermia is its second name, which has to do with the thermal springs of Loutra, and is used mostly of the locals. The small island of Kithnos is mainly mountainous but full of pretty little bays. Chora or Messaria is the island’s capital noted for the beautiful churches with their fine wood-carved, sanctuary screens and icons. At the south of the island lies the island’s former capital Driopida and in the northeastern lies Loutra, a resort with warm sulphurous spa-waters with its curative qualities.
Sightseeing on Kithnos includes the Church of Panagia Flambouriani, which stands in the village of Flambouria, southwest of the town of Kithnos. According to tradition, there are traces from the steps of the Virgin all the way from the beach to the church. In summer, lilies blooming in the area give off their sweet smell. In the souvenir shops, one can find beautiful folk art objects, shells, leather products, ceramics and wood-carved objects, as well as woven fabrics with beautiful designs, in vivid color
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. 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. 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. 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.
SPETSES: Spetses is an old fishing village, situated on the picturesque Bay of Argolis, spread out along a lovely beach. Fighters from Crete, who were being persecuted by the Turks, came as refugees to the land of Argolis and settled it in 1831. In its sparkling sea you’ll be able to enjoy swimming, fishing and every kind of water sport. Unforgettable scenes of natural beauty are created by the combination of crystal clear waters and ageing pine trees. Countless picturesque coves around the island of Spetses, offer visitors moments of peace and tranquility. Either by land or sea, various forms of transportation make every part of the island fully accessible.
One should not miss visiting the Museum of Spetses, situated in the mansion of Hadziyiannis Mexis, the mansion of heroine Laskarina Bouboulina, now a private museum, and the historical monastery of St. Nicholas, where, on April 3, 1821, the locals took the oath “Freedom or Death” and joined the revolution. Visit ‘Patrali’ near the waterfront in Kounoupitsa for fish dishes. ‘Exedra Taverna’ on the old harbor front is great for fresh fish and Greek specialties.
Hydra is perhaps the most beautiful port village in all of Greece. A tiny harbor, ringed with cafes, restaurants and gold shops, it is surrounded by a village of stone houses and villas that rise up the hills like an amphitheatre. But one of the best things about Hydra is that there are no cars. Everything is transferred and moved by donkey, including groceries, building supplies, people and their luggage. Little shops, boutiques and tavernas ring the main harbor. Explore the little winding alleyways and foot paths through the village. The Monastery of the Panagia is right in the port, with its entrance by the clock tower. And one of the most famous Maritime Academies in Greece is right by the harbor.
POROS – Located right next to the mainland, Poros is a lovely little island with one main village clustered next to the quay. Little ferry boats run back and forth from the main village to the mainland just across the straits. In ancient times it was two islands, Spheria and Kalavria, which gradually joined by an isthmus of sand. Kalavria, the larger island, was wooded and had lots of water. Spheria, which is now the town of Poros, was a volcano. The approach by sea is probably one of the most beautiful in Greece. You could start your day by visiting the Archaeological Museum in the port of Poros as well as by taking a walk as far as the clock-tower, the town’s highest point and the island’s “trademark”.
Cruise back to Athens from Poros to disembark.