The islands of the Saronic Gulf are the most easily accessible islands by sailing yacht from Athens. The Saronic Gulf and the nearby Argolis prefecture of the Peloponnese mainland are an ideal destination for shorter trips from Athens and are also recommended for less experienced sailors due to the short distances involved and the relatively mild winds in comparison to other sailing areas in Greece. You can start your sailing trip from Alimos marina and visit the islands of Aigina, Spetses, Hydra and Poros with two more stops in Ermioni and Epidavros located on the adjacent Peloponnese coast. This itinerary is ideal for a week long sailing charter. For those with only a few days any of the above destinations may be included or omitted as time permits. For those looking for a longer two week charter in the same area the historic cities of Monemvasia and Nafpleio on the second leg of the Peloponnese are easily included. More details on this extended charter itinerary are available here: Saronic & Eastern Peloponnese Itinerary A brief description of the islands and their highlights are included below along with a relevant map with sailing distances and some suggested links for further information. Happy sailing!
|Alimos marina||Aegina||18 NM|
|Epidaurus||Alimos marina||30 NM|
|Distance is measured in nautical miles (NM)|
The islands in detail
Some 18 nautical miles from Athens, Aegina is a popular first and/or last port of call for sailing charters starting and ending in Athens. A site not to miss is the impressive Temple of Aphaea built in the 5th century BC. Aegina is also famous for its fantastic pistachio nuts, the island’s soil being considered perfect for their cultivation, so be sure to pick up a bag or two to take with you!
Poros is a cosmopolitan island and very popular with the sailing crowd with many choices for good eating and drinking in the main town’s promenade and side roads. A short climb up to the main clock tower is well worth it for the lovely views of the port and the opposite mainland. For those who love ancient sites the Temple of Poseidon in the north of the island is in a lovely spot with some nice views, although there are no standing structures anymore. The Archaeological Museum of Poros has a display of relevant finds from the site.
Along with Hydra and Poros, Spetses played a defining role in the Greek war of independence in the early 1800’s. Spetses was the home of famous Greek heroine Laskarina Bouboulinas and her house has now been converted into a museum documenting her life and contibution to the independance struggle.
Hydra is a historically wealthy island and this is continued into modern times with it being known as a weekend getaway for Athenians and something of an artist’s haven with many local art galleries showing exhibitions of well known and upcoming artists. Hydra is also known for its architecture and the main town is filled with beautiful houses. Hydra is also well known as an island with no cars or motorbikes, so enjoy the peace and quiet while you are there!
Opposite Hydra is the tourist town of Ermioni. The town is popular for its pleasant beaches and a number of historical buildings including the Church of Taxiarchon. To the east is the ruins of the ancient port of Ermioni in a nice setting right on top of the sea.
The port of Epidavros gives visitors access to the famous Ancient Theatre of Epidavros which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (and rightly so!). Ancient Epidavros should not be missed, there are many plays put on during the summer months, if you are lucky enough to get some tickets it is highly recommended!