The Saronic Gulf is a fantastic area to take your first sailing trip in Greece. It is immediately accessible from the marinas in Athens, it is relatively sheltered from the strong Meltemi winds making it a great place for those taking their first sailing steps and it has some great islands to visit all within easy sailing distance. So without further ado, our top 5 islands to visit while sailing in the Saronic Gulf!
Aegina is a common stopover for sailing trips starting or ending in Athens and has a thriving sailing community found in the cafes and bars around the main marina. The old town of Aegina is full of lovely side streets and hidden points of interest while a trip to the Temple of Aphaia with its splendid views is not to be missed. If you are a pistachio lover, be sure to stock up on some for the trip, Aegina’s pistachio nuts are considered the best in the world!
Poros is another popular sailing destination and has a number of sailing schools based there. Poros’ old town is charming, with great views from the old clock tower which is easily visible when entering Poros’ marina. Other places of interest include the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the Russian Naval Base (next to a bay that is often used to overnight by sailing crews) and Bourtzi Castle on a small island of the western Coast of Poros (it is only accessible by boat and a great off the beaten track highlight!).
Hydra is well known for its many art exhibitions and its lack of cars! What could be more pleasing than relaxing after a good day’s sailing with only the sounds of nature and merriment as a background? Hydra is a small island making it perfect for leisurely walks with a number of historic buildings and monasteries within easy distance.
Spetses has an illustrious history due to its important role in the Greek War for Independence. Nowadays Spetses is a place where super yachts and normal yachts happily mingle in the marina and has a nightlife to rival that of many of the more well known Greek islands! If an interest in more recent Greek history is to your liking, the Bouboulina Museum dedicated to the story of Laskarina Bouboulina, a popular Heroine of the Greek Independence movement is well worth a visit.
While not an island, it would be foolish to not include a quick trip to the world famous Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus while we are sailing the area! The modern town of Epidaurus has a fine little marina where sailboats may put up for the night and transportation to the theatre may be easily arranged. If you are there in the summer be sure to check what plays are on during the Epidaurus Festival, it is a fantastic experience to be watching an ancient play put on in its original surrounding, but be sure to book early, it is a popular place!
Sail Greece Yachts is a family run yacht charter firm operating out of Alimos Marina in Athens.