By strict definition, the Saronic Islands include just four islands: Salamis, Aegina, Poros and Angistri. However, for the purpose of our sailing holidays, we include the islands of Hydra, Dokos and Spetses in the mix – collectively the ‘Argosaronic Islands’. Whatever you do though, don’t forget the lovely mainland harbours as well, including Epidavros, Ermioni, Vathi and a host of lovely villages stretching down the long Peloponnese peninsula ‘finger’ from Nafplion, the former capital. There’s a lot of places to take in, we know, but it illustrates the sheer number of lovely villages, islands and towns to visit.

Many start with a false impression that due to the close proximity to Athens that this area will be ‘packed to the gunwales’. Fortunately, as there is just the one main marina in Athens serving both the large Saronic and Cyclades Islands, the reality is much better. Sure, it gets as busy as other destinations in peak season, but it may surprise you to know that for a two week sailing holiday, this is arguably the ‘least busy’ destination in the Mediterranean.

The further you sail from Athens the quieter it gets. As most people only do a one-week holiday, beyond this radius is appreciably quieter and more serene.

Day 1 - Alimos Marina (Athens)

Athens is a fantastic stepping stone to the Saronic Islands, though we wish that could be said of Alimos Marina. Government owned, Alimos does suffer from under investment in the number of berths and quality of the facilities so we do recommend getting out of there as soon as you can.

Day 2 - Angistri Island

Translated in English, Angistri means ‘fishing hook’, which goes some way to explaining the history of this small island and it’s primary harbour on the northern coast.  Angistri is the perfect place for beginning or ending a sailing holiday to the Sronic Islands. It’s small, idyllic, and just a short hop to Athens.

Day 3 - Epidavros (Mainland)

In its day Epidavros, on the Peloponnese mainland, was famed and revered as far away as Rome as a place of miraculous healing. Visitors came great distances to this sanctuary of Asclepius (god of medicine) to seek a cure for their ailments. Today visitors are more likely to flock to the site for its amazingly wellpreserved theatre, which remains a venue during the Hellenic Festival for Classical Greek theatre. Not surprisingly, Epidavros is a protected World Heritage site.

Day 4 - Poros Town (Poros Island)

Day 5 - Ermioni (Mainland)

Ermioni in Greece is a small seaside town on the eastern coasts of Peloponnese, in the region of Argolis. Constructed on the hill slopes around a beautiful port, this town has revived over the last few decades as many Athenians have holiday homes there. Mooring is available both to the North and South of the headland so make a decision based on the direction of the wind.

Day 6 - Spetses (Spetses Island)

Spetses is a small island, only 12km from one end to another. Island offers green landscapes with pine-tree forests and hilly mountains and nice beaches. The capital town is Spetses, same name with the island, the same as in most of Greece.

Spetses town is characterized with its whitewashed & blue-roofed houses, romantic alleys.

Day 7 - Vivari (Mainland)

Vivari is a small fishing village and was the location of one of the first commercial fish farms. A new one has replaced it but thankfully it is now out of site of the village. As you would expect you’ll find a wide choice of tavernas serving some fantastic fish dishes. The bay is well sheltered from the prevailing winds and you’ll also find a nice beach a short walk down the coastline.

Day 8 - Nafplion (Mainland)

Nafplion is one of the of the most beautiful towns in the Peloponeese and is rumoured to be the most romatic city in Greece. It was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors all left their mark on the town and have strongly influenced its culture, architecture and tradtions. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues are just some of the things you should expect to see when visiting this beautiful town.

Day 9 - Paralio Astros (Mainland)

Paralio Astros is a beach resolrt for the village of Astros. Given it’s location it’s a relatively untouched area and is popular with Greeks. There are two beaches one of which is sandier than the other. The village has a charming shopping street where you’ll find that shops are open in the mornings and evenings as siestas are popular here! You’ll find authentic Greek food and an ancient castle to explore, if you’re feeling energetic.

Day 10 - Plaka (Mainland)

Plaka is a small village just south of the river ‘Rema Dafnon’. There is a small quay which will provide mooring for around ten yachts. There is a small selections of tavernas near the waterfront. Alternatively the small town of Leonidhion is a six minute journey by taxi where you’ll find a range of shops and restaurants to wonder around.

Day 11 - Hydra (Hydra Island)

Hydra is truly the gem of the Saronic Gulf and stands alone among Greek islands as the one free of wheeled vehicles. No cars. No scooters. Just tiny marble-cobbled lanes, donkeys, rocks and sea. Artists (Brice Marden, Nikos Chatzikyriakos-Ghikas, Panayiotis Tetsis), musicians (Leonard Cohen), actors and celebrities (Melina Mercouri, Sophia Loren) and sailors (you) have all been drawn to Hydra over the years.

Day 12 - Poros (Poros Island)

You will already know what Poros town is like after spending a night there. However there are some beautiful bays to the west of the town which provide some fantastic bays for a relaxing night at anchor.

Day 13 - Perdika (Aegina Island)

Just 13 miles from Athens, in the middle of the Saronic Gulf, lies the island of Aegina. Beyond its bustling port, Aegina has the seductive, easygoing character of a typical Greek island but with the added bonus of more than its fair share of prestigious ancient sites. Aegina treats include a special, and delicious, pistachio nut, the splendid 5th-century Temple of Aphaia and the magical Byzantine ruins called Paleohora.

Day 14 - Alimos Marina (Athens)

The ancient city of Athens offers some of the worlds most amazing historical sites which should be on every vistors ‘to-do lists’. We’d recommend catching the tram, which runs past the entrance of the marina, into the city centre to explore places like the Parthenon.

Saronic Gulf sailing conditions

From a sailor’s point of view, the Saronic Gulf and the eastern coast of Peloponnese compose an area with mild weather conditions. In mid summer, July and August, the northern, strong winds, also known as the ‘meltemi’, might prevail. This is the only case when the weather becomes predictable: stable wind direction through out day and night, small waves, since in the Saronic there is always a shore at the North and bright sky. In other words, the Saronic offers ideal sailing conditions, unless the meltemi gets too strong, 7 beauforts or more and sailing becomes very hard. This is not often. What is more common, in July and August, is to experience wonderful sailing with 4-5 beauforts, with minor impact from waves, even when sailing upwind. And it is so refreshing!The Saronic Gulf is ideal for yacht chartering and sailing for its mild weather conditions, especially for those who are interest to enjoy happy sailing!

Note that geography defines the weather conditions: The shore of Attica covers the Saronic Gulf from the North. Similarly, the peninsula of Argos covers the Eastern coast of Peloponnese. So, when the meltemi blows, the area does not allow big waves to be created, while the northern winds remain strong. It is a major advantage compared to the Cyclades islands, to avoid big waves when sailing…

As noted, however, not all days are gifted with stable, northern winds. As a matter of fact, in other summer months as well as the whole year, wind conditions can never be predicted. South winds are common, up to 5 beauforts. The same stands for western or eastern winds alike, but these are rather rare and less strong. With strong south winds, the waves are more annoying, as they have travelled bigger distances. Western winds come from the land so there is no hard effect while eastern winds are very rare.

Sailing the Argosaronic Gulf – Moni islet

Most islands provide good shelter to all wind directions. Aegina, Poros, Spetses have bays that are well protected from the northern wind, where sailors enjoy relaxing days and nights despite the wind force. The same stands for nearly all wind directions! There is always a safe bay or port nearby to anchor when things get rough. The strait of Poros also offers protection from all wind directions. The same stands for the islet of Dhokos, further south and near the island of Hydra. The port of Porto Heli at the coast of the mainland offers full shelter and heading south, so does the port of Gerakas although sailing into this fantastic bay needs high caution. Farther south, Monemvasia which is a unique destination, has a safe marina, but it is so small that it’s possible not to have free spots in the high season (July, August).

Finally, temperature is so comfortable that people sail through out the year (maybe except for January / February). The season extends from May to full October. There is a small possibility for rain in May and June while autumn has been dry and quite warm in the last years.

Athens charter base

Golden Compass Yachts – Alimos marina (Kalamaki)

Base Manager: Ioannis Tsimtsilis
Mobile Telephone: 0030 6936 102077
Address Marina: Alimos (Kalamaki)
Alimos Marina help desk: +30 210 9880000
Athens Hospital(Asklipieion): +30 210 8923000

Marina entrance coordinates: East: 23o 42′ 03’’, North: 37o 54′ 68”
Marina VHF channel: 71

Meeting Point: Our staff will wait for you at the end of Pier 6 where our boats are located. Once you land, please contact our representative.

Distance from airport – approximately 45 minutes.
Regular taxi (maximum 4 persons) – approximately Euro 40 – 45.
Mini van (maximum 9 persons) – approximately Euro 80 – 90.
X 96 Express Bus (24 hr. service) from Airport to Piraeus with 2 stops outside marina. Tickets Euro 5,- per person are bought from the kiosk outside airport arrivals.

There is a super market near the marina but you can also order with a provisioning list in advance (no extra charge) or use the private provisioning service in the marina. Finally, if there is an organized transfer we can arrange a shopping stop on extra charge. Contact us for more information.

It is important we are informed of your arrival details. Our staff will wait for you until sunset. If your arrival is later than this you will board alone, finding the keys on the chart table of the yacht. Check-in procedures will take place the following morning.

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