Athens - Methana - Hydra - Spetses - Poros - Aegina - Athens
Greece has so much to offer that sometimes it’s difficult to plan our itinerary. The one we suggest here is ideal if you want to combine your cruise around the Greek Islands in the Saronic Gulf with the cultural and historical wealth of the country’s capital, Athens. Alimos (or Kalamaki Port), only 15 km from Athens, is a good starting point to charter a boat (catamaran, yacht, sailing boat or gulet) and cruise around the islands of Methana, Aegina, Poros, Spetses and Hydra.
Athens, the capital and largest city in Greece, is a thousand year old chaotic metropolis where tradition and modernity collide. Its main attractions are the remains of Classical Greece: the Temple of Zeus, the Acropolis and its new museum, the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. However, there is also a modern Athens which is worth discovering: the Panathenian Stadium where the first Olympic Games were held in 1896, the Catholic cathedral, the university, the National Library in Omonia Square, etc.
After boarding in Athens on Saturday afternoon, we will cruise aboard our sailing boat charter (or the type of boat we’ve selected) to Methana, a volcanic island which is actually a peninsula emerging from the sea. In addition to visiting the ruins of the ancient fortifications erected by the Athenians, you can also climb to the largest crater on the island (a 30 minute excursion) where you will see rivers of dry red lava and enjoy the beauty of the wild landscape. If you decide to put on some comfortable walking shoes and climb to the top, you won’t regret it.
Known in ancient times as Hydrea which was a reference to the springs on the island, today Hydra is a tourist hub where vehicles are prohibited so public transport is by donkey or water taxis. The main city, Hydra Port, stands out for its picturesque little streets and noble houses designed by Genoan and Venetian architects. Some of these houses are open to the public. Near the cathedral, in the middle of the dock (where we disembarked from our gulet with crew or our sailing boat charter) is where we will find Douskos Tavern whose pleasant patio is a great place to enjoy Greek food. An authentic culinary paradise in the middle of the Saronic Gulf.
Compared to other islands in the area, Spetses is a very green and has many pine trees that seem to welcome the beautiful fine sandy beaches and coves. The cobblestone streets of the towns and the two-storey houses with wooden balconies and colourful walls incite travellers to walk with their eyes wide open so as not to miss a thing. Cars are not allowed to circulate here either so most journeys are done by motorcycle or bike. In the capital, Dapia, the port of Paleo Liman stands out as a headquarters for yacht charters, fishing boats and canoe builders.
After cruising aboard our yacht or sailing boat for thirty-two nautical miles we will arrive in Poros quite relaxed, especially if we’ve chartered a boat with skipper and/or crew. Poros Island practically touches the continent. In fact, the capital, also called Poros, is only 300 metres from the Peloponnesian Peninsula and the city of Galatas which in ancient times could be reached on foot. As a result of its proximity, in May the entire island of Poros is impregnated with the aromas of the famous lemon tree forest near Galatas.
On our way back to Athens, we will moor our yacht charter on Aegina Island (or Aigina) located in the middle of the Saronic Gulf. The port of the capital, Aegina, is quite cosy and its streets are brimming with charming shops where we can easily find that perfect gift for our family or friends. In addition, at every corner we will find taverns where we can savour a good meal of fresh fish.
After the peace and quiet of our boat trip, we will return to the hustle and bustle of Athens with our batteries charged so we can discover the wealth of archaeological remains the city has to offer. Tip: Don’t miss out on the nighttime panoramic view of Athens from atop Lycabettus Hill!
*The itinerary is only a guideline. Errors in the content do not justify grounds for filing a legal complaint. If you want to visit other places, the itinerary can be modified according to your preferences. If chartering a boat with skipper, the skipper may decide to change the planned itinerary due to unexpected and/or unrelated causes to the organisation.
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