Summer is over, and many of us are starting to think about extending the sailing season and where to go sailing in the fall. Today, we have prepared a tip for you to sail to places with a long and exciting history, maritime traditions, and ideal conditions for sailing. We want to invite you to the area of the Greek Cyclades.
The Cyclades are a vast archipelago located in the Aegean Sea southeast of Athens. They are considered a region of experienced yachters, but the conditions are usually more favourable for the less experienced sailors in the autumn. Nevertheless, the sea is still beautifully warm, and the islands offer various opportunities for sports and cultural experiences. And we must not forget the culinary ones!
We start in the capital
The ideal starting point is Athens, where a wide range of charter boats is available in several large marinas. Yachts are well maintained and equipped for local conditions. The capital of Greece also offers a wide range of supplies and all services for yachters.
There is also the idea of extending your stay by a few days on the mainland and visiting the beautiful Acropolis and other ancient monuments, including the famous Archaeological Museum. In the autumn, you can also avoid the heat and crowds of tourists, which usually make the experience of visiting a bit more unpleasant in the summer.
After leaving Athens in a southeasterly direction along the coast of Attica, we come across Cape Sounion after about 15 NM. On a high cliff is a well-visible ancient temple of the sea god Poseidon, in which ancient Greek sailors prayed for the success of their expeditions and a happy return.
In ancient times, fleets gathered before sailing for battle or trade expeditions in the bay below the cape and waited for a favourable wind. The temple on the hill is a famous archaeological monument, and its visit is definitely worth it.
View as from the postcard
Another popular destination for sailing trips is the island of Santorini (Greek Thira). It is actually the remnant of a giant volcano eruption in the 16th century BC, which scattered much of its original crater and opened the caldera to the sea. That is why we see high cliffs twisting around the central island, which is a remnant of the actual volcano.
The island is very popular with tourists from all over the world (it also has an international airport). Large cruise ships with several thousand passengers are moored in the caldera. It has its specific atmosphere and poetics of world-famous photographs of white houses with protruding blue domes of churches.
However, we will recommend you sail around Santorini, observe it only from the sea and anchor on the nearby island of Anafi. It is almost forgotten by tourists, so we find peace and an uninterrupted stay in the original Greek environment.
And where to sail next?
Other islands worth visiting are Naxos with the ancient temple of Apollo within walking distance of the city port and the favourite Mykonos with a beautiful old port surrounded by a tangle of narrow pedestrian streets full of various shops with ordinary and luxury goods.
A secret tip for a stopover is the bay with Paralia Kolona beach on the southwest side of Kithnos Island. The bay between the two cliffs is dammed by a beach on a sand spit only a few tens of meters wide.
Above the berth is a small church of St. Luke, from which there is a nice view of Cape Sounion.
However, the biggest attraction is a small natural pool into which local hydrothermal springs flow. It´s located just a few meters from the shore on the north side of the bay. The water has a pleasant whirlpool temperature, and two to three people can bathe comfortably in it. It is hard to imagine a more pleasant place to relax in the autumn evening after a long sailing voyage…