Athens to Monemvasia - 14 Day Sailing Itinerary
Day 1 - Alimos Marina (Athens)
Athens is a fantastic stepping stone to the Saronic Islands, though we wish that could also be said of Alimos Marina. Government owned, Alimos suffers from under investment in the number of berths and quality of the facilities so we recommend getting out of there as soon as you can.
Day 2 - Ayia Marina (Aegina Island)
Located on the northeast coast of the Island of Aegina, Agia is a great place to stop on your first night if you can get out of Alimos Marina early. It’s a favourite summer destination for Greeks and tourists alike, with big sandy beaches and shallow waters good for families. Why not take this opportunity to visit the temple of Aphaia? Formerly known as the temple of Jupiter Panhellenius, this iconic Greek landmark stands on a 160m peak on the eastern side of the island approximately 13km by road from the Marina.
Days 3 and 4 - Hydra Town (Hydra)
Hydra is truly the gem of the Saronic Gulf and stands alone among Greek islands as the one free of motorised vehicles. No cars. No scooters. Just tiny marble-cobbled lanes, donkeys, rocks and sea. Following the filming of the 1950’s film ‘Boy on a Dolphin’ with Sofia Loren, the island's population of artists exploded, and Hydra became as famous as St. Tropez or Portofino. In addition to the island’s exquisitely preserved stone architecture, criss-crossing rural paths and clear, deep waters, you can find a good cappuccino along the harbour which is great for people-watching.
Day 5 - Spetses Town (Spetses)
Spetses is a small island, only around 7km from one end to the other. The Island offers green landscapes with pine tree forests, hilly mountains and nice beaches. The capital town of the same name is characterised by its terracotta roofed houses and rich history. We recommend a visit to the Monastery of Agios (Saint) Nikolaos, the patron saint of sailors, just outside Spetses town. It's open to visitors although long trousers/ skirts and covered shoulders is a requirement.
Day 6 - Kyparissi (Peloponnese)
Nestled in a wide bay on the south-eastern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula Kyparissi may at first feel like you’ve sailed off the edge of the map. It’s the kind of place that when you find it you want to keep it a secret for fear of ruining your newfound peace and tranquillity. It’s been featured in the book ‘the most beautiful villages of Greece’ and was an ancient sanctuary of Asclepius the God of medicine. This is where it really starts paying off putting in that extra sailing time as you get away from the places easily reached from Athens within a week.
Day 7 - Yerakas (Peloponnese)
Like much of the Peloponnese peninsula the area around Yerakas is very much ‘off the beaten track’ from a tourism point of view. There are only a few tavernas dotted around the bay serving fresh fish and most of these are filled with locals. This is due to its the distance from Athens and makes Yerakas one of our favourite locations to unwind and immerse yourself in authentic Greek culture. If you’re lucky you might be able to get hold of some ‘touloumotiri’ which is a local cheese matured in goat’s or sheep’s skin.
Days 8 and 9 - Monemvasia (Peloponnese)
Located on the eastern coast in the southernmost part of the Peloponnese peninsula, the island of Monemvasia presents a striking beacon to anyone approaching by sea in the form of 100m high rock. The Island, whose name is made up of two Greek words ‘mone’ and ‘emvasia’ meaning single entrance, was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in AD375. The castle here was famous during the middle ages for never having been sacked. It is purported that the grape variety Malvasia/Malmsey takes its name from a corruption of the name Monemvasia which we think is a good enough excuse to enjoy a sunset here with a glass in hand!
Day 10 - Ermioni (Peloponnese)
Ermioni 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 been 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 it’s best to make a decision based on the direction of the wind.
Day 11 - Poros Town (Poros)
Poros is separated from the mountainous Peloponnese by a narrow sea channel, and its protected setting makes the main settlement of Poros Town seem like a cheery lakeside resort. Its pastel-hued houses stack up the hillside to a clock tower and make a vibrant first impression. The island is characterised by lush pine trees, vegetation, crystal clear bays and a lively waterfront adorned with shops, cosy cafés and restaurants.
Day 12 - Epidavros (Peloponnese)
In its day Epidavros, on the Peloponnese Peninsula, 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 well-preserved theatre, which remains a venue during the Hellenic Festival for Classical Greek theatre. Not surprisingly, Epidavros is a protected World Heritage site.
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, easy going character of a typical Greek island but with the added bonus of more than its fair share of prestigious ancient sites. Aegina’s 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 world's most amazing historical sites which should be on every vistor's 'to-do list'. We'd recommend catching the tram, which runs past the entrance of the marina, into the city centre to explore places like the Parthenon.