One week sailing in the Saronic Gulf
This itinerary describes a sailing trip of one week in the Saronic gulf. It is an ‘easy’ itinerary as the local sea is protected from strong winds and big waves, conditions that sailing crews meet more often in the Aegean Sea. The itinerary is comprised of rather short sailing trips, with one or two exceptions. So, if the team on board prefers relaxed holidays away from the ‘great adventures’ of sailing in the Aegean Sea, or if the crew is not familiar with the Greek Waters, then one week in the Saronic Gulf can be an ideal proposition for your sailing holidays.
The Chart of the Route
Click on map to enlarge
Day 1: First destination: Aegina island - 12 nautical miles (nm)
The sailing trip starts from Kalamaki marina on Saturday afternoon. The first destination is the cove of Agia Marina in Aegina island. Distance is 12 nautical miles (nm); the cove is safe with north – east wind, but exposed to south – southwest. Usually, we prefer the north side of the bay to anchor, keeping a safe distance of 50-70 meters from the small dock, as well as the rocky shore, where the hotels are. Anchoring is easy since there is plenty of space to anchor with depth up to 10 meters and the sea bed is mostly sandy, thus safe. However, always be cautious of the wind change, because of problematic protection to SSW winds.
Note: We suggest to stay on free anchorage for the first night, so you can appreciate the natural landscape of the Greek islands from the first night. But if the group on board prefers a port or the south winds prevail, which do not favour the cove of Agia marina, the alternative is the port of Poros; it's the only port big enough to ensure a berthing spot and it is protected from all wind directions. Poros is far from Alimos marina, our starting point, so you may arrive there at dark.
Anchorage in Greek Waters - Saronic Gulf
Days 2, 3: Sail to Hydra island (23 nm)
The next day sail toward the island of Hydra. The famous history of this small island, the wealth once held by the boat owners and traders of previous centuries, as well as its important role in Greek Revolution (19thth century), all these elements are encapsulated in the magnificent town of Hydra. It is also worth noting that no motor vehicles are allowed on the island, as well as it offers one of the most charming sunsets in the Aegean Sea.
The trip from Agia Marina to Hydra is 23 nautical miles long, so better start early from Aegina to reach your destination as early as possible in order to find a spot in the port. Since it is quite possible not to find a berth in the port, you can also berth in the cove of Mandraki (one mile northern of Hydra port) and offers easy access (30 minutes walk, or 10 minutes by sea taxi) to the town of Hydra. Indeed, in the old port it is hard to find a spot, most of the times yachts berth in second and triple row, while the speed ferries may create turbulence inside the port. On the other hand, in the cove of Mandraki yachts may anchor few meters away from shore and use a line to keep steady and a dinghy to move to the land. .
If guests would like to spend two nights in a specific island to relax more, Hydra should be the place. You can swim and have fun in Mandraki bay, just by the yacht, while you can have a romantic evening in the wonderful Old Town dining in a restaurant or having a drink in one of the bars.
Note: If two days in Hydra is too much for you, do not hesitate to alter the route according to your preferences. The port of Ermioni is opposite of Hydra, at the coast of Peloponesse and offers a beautiful destination, as well as the island of Spetses, further west, but 15 miles far from Hydra, and with a problematic port without many spots to berth.
Historic Sailing Destinations in Greek Waters: The port of Hydra
Day 4: Sail to Dokos islet (5 nm)
On the fourth day you leave Hydra to visit the nearby island of Dokos. The trip lasts for almost an hour. Dokos is a uninhabited small islet, fully protected from winds (please always check the nautical map and the weather forecast before sailing and mooring). It is a wonderful sailing destination where the yacht may anchor few meters away from the shore and use a line to stay on a fixed spot. The cove is large so you can have full privacy away from other yachts and enjoy a relaxing day and night on your yacht.
Mooring in the bay of Dokos
Day 5: Sail to Poros island (17 nm)
The next day we sail to Poros island, starting our return to Athens. High caution is required at the entrance of the port of Poros, because of the small rocks over the waterline. Go carefully through the canal in the port, keeping a few meters away from the yachts berthed at the dock of the island. The strip of water with safe depth is very narrow at some spots along the canal.
The port of Poros is the biggest of any islands in the Saronic Gulf. There are plenty of berthing spots during most of the day but later in the evening it might get full in any period during summer, especially on days with strong winds when yachts find there a safe shelter.
At Poros all options are available; You can berth at the picturesque port, with traditional restaurants, fish taverns and many bars. If you prefer free mooring on anchor for swimming and a relaxing night under the stars, the coves within the strait of Poros offer a safe shelter and a beautiful natural landscape.
Suggested cove is at the Russian Dockyard, announced as a historical monument, certainly worth visiting; you can swim from the anchored yacht ashore to a small sandy beach and see the ruins of the old building.
The port of Poros
Picture from the strait of Poros
Day 6: Sail to Agkistri island (14 nm)
After you leave Poros, we suggest as last destination the island of Agkistri. At the southwestern coast of Agkistri lies a small islet called Doroussa. Many yachts moor there, using a line ashore to hold their position. It is one of the nicest destinations in the area, with lush pine trees covering the hills of the island and the lacy-like, rocky coastline offering good shelter from almost any wind direction.
Note: If you prefer to spend the last night in a port, Agkistri offers a very good solution, as well as Aegina island (main port of Aegina or in Perdika).
Air photography of Agkistri island
Day 7: Return to Alimos marina (24 nm)
After your spend your last day in Agkistri, the last day take the return trip to Kalamaki marina. You will sail by Agkistri and Aegina (keep away from shalow waters) and soon will see Athens coast line in front. A wonderful, calm sailing excursion is coming to its end.
If you start early from Agkistri and weather permits, you can also visit the small islet of Moni, close to Aegina. The cove offers a unique landscape, turquoise waters and bright lush trees on the hills. After a swim, sail back to the marina of Alimos.
Disembarkation from the yacht takes place early in the next morning!
The cove of Moni islet