When we sail in this area, we always wish we had another week, as there are so many places to explore! We are often amazed to find some harbours uncrowded, even in August. There is seldom a rush to get in and the welcome in each place gives you a taste of true Greek hospitality.
The taverna atmosphere remains familiar with the addition of a few new dishes. The local wine is delightful and the ambience is addictive. Dining out is more than a meal - it is a cultural experience that will envelop you.
You will find yourself exploring traditional fishing villages like Vathi as well as bigger tourist destinations like Hydra. There is so much variety amongst the islands and mainland. You can swim with turtles, indulge in delicious Greek food and go hiking up the mountain trails before heading back to your boat for a cold beer and preparing for your next day’s sail.
The winds in the Saronic Islands are generally from the south east. It offers great sailing without any significant swell. During July and August the meltimi makes its presence known with wind strength sometimes picking up to a force 5 or 6. As the area is fairly south you can enjoy a really warm summer with temperatures reaching up to 33 degrees in peak times and staying in the low 20's in May & October.
You will find whilst sailing in Greece that often you will not need to pay mooring fees when staying on a town quay. If the local port authorities do come however then you can expect to pay no more than €10 for a 38ft yacht, this is very rare though.
After arriving and checking in with the local charter company you are free to relax on your yacht. Head into the marina or local town and experience the lovely local Greek cuisine.
Heading south from Athens or west from Lavrion will take you to the heart of the Saronic Gulf where there are many places for you to explore on your first couple of days. The islands of Aigina, Poros and Vathi are all lovely little islands that still remain traditionally Greek even though they are popular for tourism in the summer. If you want to head further inland you will come towards Nea Epidhavros and Palaia Epidhavros. These are both port towns on the coast that hold a lot of history and some great opportunities to explore local ancient ruins.
After short hop sailing through the Saronic gulf islands its time to whack those sails up and get some exciting sailing in. Travelling west through the Peloponnese coast, weaving through the smaller islands like Dhokos you will come to some beautiful coastal towns. We recommend visitng Ermioni, Koiladhia and Vivari.
Ermioni is a small seaside town on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese constructed on the hill slopes. The town has many traditional Greek houses and the surrounding nature makes this a beautiful place to stop and attracts many families looking for a peaceful holiday. You will find a few pebbled beaches just a short walk from the port where you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters.
Vivari is a port in Assini in Argolida in the Peloponnese region of Greece. The port has a great beach, a natural harbour, lagoon and lovely traditional village. The area can get very busy in the summer period with lots going on in the village.
As this is our adventure route for the Saronics we thought we would include as much sailing as possible. Heading south down the coast Navplion takes you past many seaside towns and traditional villages. We highly recommend stopping over in a couple of these as they give you some great sailing time and really nice sightseeing spots. Navplion will appeal to the history buffs among you. Its history goes back fifteen thousand years or so and many Greek myths and stories emanate from this town and the surrounding area.
Tiros is a tourist town with a small port and a great spot for lunch or an overnight stay. It has not yet become a tourist town but you will be sure to find a couple of tavernas and shops to pick up your provisions.
Plaka is a beautiful small harbour in the Argolic Gulf. It is a very peaceful spot, with a long pebble beach and a harbour with crystal clear waters. The area is also famous for the Aubergine! It is a stop that's hard not to love.
If the weather is on your side, a longer sail down to stunning island of Monemvasia is a must whilst sailing in this area. Swim with turtles in the harbour by day and venture into the ancient Byzantine city for a spot of local wine tasting and some delicious food in the evening.
On your way back up the coast you can stop over in Spetses and Hydra, two Islands that offer some great Greek traditionality. With local tavernas offering fresh and local produce, lush sandy and pebbled beaches and ancient ruins you will find lots to see and do.
From here it is about 20 miles plus back to Lavrion or Athens so give yourself lots of time on the last day to get back to base. You can then enjoy your last evening at one of the nice marina restaurants or explore the local town.
Below is an indication of the yachts that will sail on this flotilla. Please call us on 020 8459 8787 to check live availability.
Our Shore to Sail holidays are a combination of a one or two week flotilla sailing holiday with another relaxing week or two ashore.
These holidays will appeal to those who enjoy sailing but have family or friends who are not quite so enthusiastic about sailing - a compromise can now be made!
Most people opt for a week of sailing followed by a week of winding down on shore. However it is entirely up to you to do what you want to do (and when!)
Choose from studios or apartments beside the sea at the Iris Hotel, Stena, near Nidri, or opt for one of our carefully selected boutique hotels. The San Nicolas Resort Hotel is now available in nearby Roudha Bay, or really pamper yourself at the Salvator Villas and Spa Hotel in Parga, which also has a selection of two-bedroom villas with private pools.
We have no doubt at all that our flotilla sailing gang will really score a few points with the non sailors of the family by bringing them here! The combination of one of our yachts and a room here is about as good as it gets!
For 20 years, our flotillas have been enjoying the wonderful food from the 'Castello Restaurant' in Parga. Spiros and his six sons have now expanded their programme in Parga with a fabulous boutique complex of rooms, apartments and villas called the Salva…
The Iris Hotel is one of our accommodation options in the South Ionian, ideally suited for a shore based week before or after one of our Lefkas or Ithaka flotillas, or one of our two week flotillas which finishes in the South Ionian.
A 'beside the sea' base for your shore based week on Lefkas …