7 Days Sailing the Saronic Gulf
The Saronic Gulf is an impeccable cruising area that is full of contrasts. Pristine and immaculate, the region is also home to the bustling ancient city of Athens offering convenient worldwide flights. An undeniable advantage of luxury charters in Greece is that the country breathes the air of ancient civilizations, including Greeks, Romans, Persians and Turks, and creates a luxurious ambiance of a place where old meets new. A land of ancient philosophy, it is paved with amphitheaters, agoras and temples once attended by men clothed in togas who perceived astronomy, law, mathematics and philosophy. Visit whitewashed villages lining picturesque islands rising from majestic blue waters. A sailing vacation in the Saronic Gulf is a true definition of a perfect luxury getaway.
Day 1: Athens
Your yacht will be waiting for you in Piraeus, a port located nearby Athens, but if you have some spare time, go up to the capital to visit Syntagma Square, the oldest and most important square of modern Athens, or explore monuments and temples downtown. Stay in town for dinner or opt for a quiet evening ashore accompanied by a freshly prepared cocktail.
Day 2: Poros
On your way to Poros, stop in Perdika on the island of Aegina to stroll lazily through this charming ancient village lined with traditional white houses while the harbor itself is a refuge for boats of local fishermen. Continue your cruise south to Poros and have lunch on the aft deck or flybridge before having dessert at a quaint waterfront café. Enjoy a Greek frappe, the most popular summer drink in Greece known worldwide. Main sites in Poros include neoclassical hillside buildings, an archeological museum, ruins of the Sanctuary of Poseidon and the Bourtzi castle. Visit Love Bay in the evening for a serene picnic or dance the night away in one of the island’s clubs.
Day 3: Hydra
Sail over to the island of Hydra, one of the most enchanting and pristine in the region. Hydra has not changed over the centuries and in order to maintain this spotlessness, no cars or in fact any motor vehicles are allowed and all transport is done on foot or by donkey. Visit Hydra Town dubbed the most romantic place in Greece. Traditional and harbored, the village is lined with beautiful mansions dating back to the 19th century that were owned by wealthy merchants and ship owners. The scenic architecture is protected by the law which prohibits any modern construction that could possibly spoil the immaculateness of the town.
Day 4: Spetses
Spetses is a large and utterly enchanting island. The main town spreads along rocky slopes and its narrow paved streets are lined with elegant mansions. Having been conquered by different powers throughout the ages, Spetses has epic stories to tell. In the 18th century many Albanian Christians took refuge on the island to escape Turkish persecution and the island’s role was also considerable during the Greek War of Independence, the key figure being Bouboulina, a heroic woman admiral. Shipyards continue building fishing boats the traditional way.
Day 5: Epidaurus
Sail back around the boot to reach Epidavros, a quaint mainland village being the gateway to a well preserved amphitheater. This perfectly designed ancient construction required no modern audio technologies- any whisper spoken on this historical stage can be heard even from the furthest part of this 14,000-seat auditorium. Summertime is perfect for visiting the site as the theater hosts performances of ancient Greek drama.
Day 6: Agia Marina
Cruise back to the island of Aegina and moor safely in Agia Marina. Step ashore for the day as the island is fabulous not only for lounging around on the beach and taking advantage of water toys, but also for magnificent sightseeing. Visitors are attracted to the Doric sanctuary of Aphaia Athina which dominates the region in all dignity. Also worthwhile is the ruined town of Paleohora, once a capital of the island, a site boasting of close to 30 churches testifying of ingenious Greek architecture. Although pristine and peaceful during the day, Agia Marina is brought back to life during the evenings so you can be sure of taking part in a night-long fiesta.
Day 7: Athens
Enjoy breakfast onboard and stop by a secluded islet on your way back to Piraeus for a refreshing late-morning swim or snorkeling session. As you cruise back to your original port of Piraeus, lounge around in the sun on the foredeck of your yacht to catch some last-minute sunrays. If you have some spare time before departing home, make sure to shop for some authentic souvenirs from your cruise.