There are around 220 islands in the Cyclades, including the well-known islands of Santorini with its famous blue domed churches and Mykonos its party lifestyle.
There are two points in which to explore the Cyclades Islands from, Mykonos and Paros. We recommend starting in Paros as it's in the middle of the islands; an ideal starting point for a week or longer.
We would recommend this area of Greece is a destination for a keener sailor; with the meltimi blowing heavily during the summer season it's an exciting sailing ground for an experienced crew.
You can sail from Lavrion on the mainland, Paros or Mykonos in the islands.
Lavrion (35 minutes from Athens airport) – a charming town harbour, can get bumpy when the wind picks up.
Paros (recommend flying into Mykonos then catching an hour long ferry to Paros) – the base is a bubbly little town quay right in the centre of Paros.
Mykonos (30 minutes from Mykonos airport) – a very rustic quay away from the action in Mykonos town with sparse facilities.
Without a doubt this is the windiest area in Greece to sail during the height of summer, July/August and also the beginning of September. This area is very open to the meltimi, which can blow a force 6 and above during the summer. We would only recommend this sailing ground to very experienced sailors, or if you were looking out of season in May or October.
This area of Greece is fairly far south, so enjoys a really warm summer with temperatures reaching up to 33 degrees in July and August. At the beginning and end of the season, May and October, you will find yourself bathing in temperatures in the early 20's.
The beauty of sailing in Greece is that you will often find there are no mooring fees when staying on a town quay. If the local port authorities do come along, and ask you to pay, then you can expect no more than €20 for a 38ft yacht.
To reach Athens for the base in Lavrion you can fly with Aegean Airlines from Manchester and London Heathrow. British Airways also go from London Heathrow. Alternatively Ryanair fly from London Stanstead.
If choosing to sail from Paros or Mykonos, then EasyJet have direct flights to Mykonos from Manchester and London Gatwick. British Airways can also help you out with their flights from London Gatwick and London Heathrow.