The one-way sailing route from Athens to Dodecanese islands offers some unique advantages to sailors who wish to cover such a big distance and cross the Aegean Sea. Visit beautiful destinations, such as Mykonos, Patmos, Kalimnos islands is only possible by a one-way route, or a cruise of several weeks.However, one must take into account the long distances per day, depending on the exact route to follow, as well as the strong winds that prevail in the Aegean Sea, especially during mid-July and August, mainly coming from the North (this is the seasonal Meltemi wind of the Aegean Sea).
Day 1: Kalamaki - Sounion (18 nautical miles - nm)The first destination is the cape of Sounion, ideal for those who start the cruise from Kalamaki marina. Probably arrive in the bay at night, but this is not a problem, as the bay offers good shelter for anchorage against the north winds (not suitable in case of south or west winds). If you anchor there, you will enjoy the spectacle of the Poseidon temple, lit impressively during the night.
Day 2: Sounion - Syros island, port of Foinikas (45nm)
On the second day continue the route to the southwest coast of Syros island, the port of Foinikas. It is a small fishport with little spots but again, very good shelter to north winds. Should there be north winds, the trip should be pleasant with hoisted sails (full or not, it depends on wind force), as there would be a beam reach, ideal for sailing. If you arrive to Foinikas port early in the afternoon, it’s worth visiting the town of Siros, with historic buildings in the central neighborhood.Days 3, 4: Syros - Mykonos (25nm)
The next day sail to the nearby island of Mykonos. Again, the winds are expected strong in the area and expect also bigger waves than usual. Find a spot in the port of Tourlos but make sure you have a safe anchor, as it has been difficult to berth safely, considering the strong winds. Another issue is the weak infrastructure in the port, without electricity and fixed water supply. However, the sight seeing and especially the cosmopolitan life style in the island of Mykonos would satisfy the most demanding visitor! Enjoy the charming night life, where nightclubs stay full with young people till early morning hours. Moreover, one can visit the nearby Delos, the sacred island in ancient times, full with ruins of temples and theaters nowadays. Kindly note that use of anchor is not allowed near the islet, so you can only visit it by the specially operating boats (find them in the town of Mykonos).
It is suggested to spend two days in the island of Mykonos, in order to enjoy the life on the island. Needless to say that this is subject to personal preference; one could devote this additional day to the small islets among Patmos and Kos, however, it would be nice to have a relaxing day before the long trip to Patmos.
Day 5: Mykonos - Patmos (68nm)
The next morning get ready for the longer leg of the cruise, from Mykonos to Patmos, with distance 68 nautical miles. Sailing conditions would be challenging, as the Ikarion Pelagos (the waters southern to Ikaria island) is famous for the strong winds and the big waves. A good advise would be to start the trip with small sails and hoist them further only if the situation allows to do so. Keep in mind that in case of strong winds, a very small jenoa would suffice for a pleasant and fast sail.
Patmos is a beautiful island with an awesome coastline, creating a good number of bays that offer safe anchorage and crystal waters for amusing swim. It is also the island where Apostle John wrote the Apocalypse, with a dedicated monastery on top of the traditional town. Although the available time is rather short, it is worth to spend some time walking in the alleys of the town, up till the monastery.
Day 6: Patmos - Kalymnos (29nm)
Having entered the area of Dodecanese, where Patmos island belongs, there are plenty of choices to sail on the way to Kos island. Leros, Kalimnos and Pserimos are off-the-beaten track islands, with wonderful bays and small, traditional fish ports, to spend a wonderful and relaxing day. Kalimnos is on the middle of these islands with beautiful bays both on the east and the western coast. The north / north west wind in the area will provide a smooth downwind sail from Patmos island.
Day 7: Kalymnos - Kos (18nm)
The last day of the cruise enjoy a relaxing morning in Kalimnos and head south to Kos. It is a good idea to have a short stop in Pserimos islet, among the two islands, and enjoy a swim in the secluded bays of Pserimos. Berth in Kos marina before the night falls and enjoy the night in the vivid alleys of Kos town. The next morning, be ready to disembark early from the boat; a sailing experience has come to its end.