One week sailing in the Cyclades islands

This route takes place in western Cyclades islands, starting from Athens main marina in Alimos. Destinations are the closest islands, Kea, Kythnos and Serifos, at the west of the Cycladic area. Spend the first night under the spectacular Temple of Poseidon, a unique monument of the ancient Greek culture.

Regarding the sailing conditions, the difficulty level of the route is medium, because relatively short distances between the islands. Keep in mind that the Cycladic islands are surrounded by particularly rough sea, when the north or south winds are strong.

The suggested route includes many nights on free anchor. This is what many sailors like, but if you prefer to spend the night in ports, there are good alternatives for every night. The route is recommended for relaxing holidays, as the ports are not busy, with the exception of the port of Serifos. 


The Chart of the Route

 

Day 1: Sail to Cape Sounion - 23 nautical miles (nm)

The sailing trip starts from Athens main marina in Alimos to Cape Sounion, the ideal destination for the first night on a sailboat! The bay under the Cape Sounion can hold many yachts within a modest distance from the shore. It offers good shelter to north winds only, prevalent in July and August. Enjoy your swim and relax under the spectacular Temple of Poseidon. The archaeological site is five minutes drive from the shore, where you can arrange for a taxi. According to the myth, the ancient king of Athens, Aegeus ended his life in cape Sounion when he saw the boat of his son Theseus returning from Crete with black sails, false sign that his son was dead.

Sailing from Alimos marina to Sounion approximately 20 nautical miles (nm) long (average yacht speed is 6-7 miles / hour.

Our flag waiving under the Temple of Poseidon

 

Day 2: Sail to Kythnos island, cove of Kolona - 22 nm

The sailing trip starts early in the morning; we enter the main part of the famous Aegean Sea and the Cyclades islands. Our destination is Kythnos island, in the cove of Kolona, at the northwestern coast of the island. The north winds create favorable sailing conditions with a broad reach pushing the sailing yacht to our destination.

The Kolona bay is ideal for swimming and relaxing as it offers very good shelter from all wind directions. Mind the northern gusts and make sure you anchor on sand and avoid the weed. The landscape is rare, as a sandy beach cuts the bay at two sides. Yachts stay on anchor at either side of the beach!

Spend the night either in this beautiful bay or in the port of Merihas, the main port of Kythnos. You can find there yacht supplies (market, water, electricity). Merichas is a small village around the port; picturesque and traditional, with small tavernas and good seafood.

Cove of Kolona, Kythnos island

 

Day 3: Sail to Serifos island - 23 nm 

We sail further south to the picturesque port of Serifos, Livadi. It is situated inside a large bay, at the east coast of the island. Sail through the 'canal' Kythnos - Serifos and then head south for Livadi.

Berth at the pier is a bit problematic because of limited capacity. With north winds prefer the south side of the pier as the northern side is exposed to strong gusts of wind, coming through the tall hills.

However, even in the south side be cautious of the sallow waters when dropping the anchor. You need to be experienced skipper to get a safe birth there. Alternatively, you may anchor far from shore, as many yachts do, and use your dinghy to get ashore. In this case, avoid to anchor on weed, because it will be hard for the anchor to hold, under the usual strong wind.

Once the yacht is safe in the port, visit the Chora is a must! The small town is built on the hill, offering an impressive spectacle. The little houses and alleys keep the tradition of Cycladic style, while the village offers a wonderful view to Livadi bay as well as the open Aegean Sea. Small restaurants offer delicious food, and you can also find wonderful bars to enjoy music and drinks under the stars. Get a local bus or taxi from Livadi port to go to chora, it’s only 10-15 minutes drive.

The bay of Livadi, Serifos island

 

Day 4: Sail back to Kythnos. Bay of Agios Stefanos - 18 nm

It's time to take the return route; first destination is the island of Kythnos, this time at its eastern coast. As the route is up north, possible northern winds might increase the challenge, but offer the pleasure of sailing. On Kythnos, we visit the small, traditional port of Agios Stefanos. Time first for some swim and then fresh sea food in the tavernas by the coast.

The fishing port of Ayios Stefanos, east coast of Kythnos


Day 5: Sail to Kea island - 20 nm

The route continues further north, this day to Kea island. Our destination is the cove of Koundouros, located at the southeastern coast of the island. It is a 20 nm route, with good parts heading against the (expected) north wind. Koundouros is a quite cove, with many of sailing yachts and small motor boats visiting on a regular basis. It's a nice place for swimming and offers good shelter to northern winds, which makes it a good choice to spend the night.

Alternatively, if you wish to spend the night in a busy port, you may visit the port of Vourkari, at the north side of Kea. But it is further north (so, farther from Kythnos) and it is a small port, so it's quite probable not to find a spot to berth and stay on anchor in the big bay.

The cove of Koundouros, Kea island

 

Day 6: Sail to Cape Sounion - 13 nm

Enjoy a relaxing day in Koundouros or another cove of Kea (suggestions depend on weather conditions of the day). Later in the afternoon sail back to Cape Sounion. Enjoy a swim there too and a relaxing night under the stars.

Sunset view from the Temple of Poseidon


Day 7: Return to Alimos marina - 23 nm

The last day of the trip, enjoy a relaxing breakfast and swim in the beautiful sea. Start the last trip to Alimos marina; possibly have a break in between for another swim. Arriving early in the afternoon in the marina allows for a night out in Athens city center (accessible by tram from the marina).

The next morning, 9 am, disembarkation takes place and people return home with the greatest memories of a wonderful sailing cruise! 


Note: Above data (distances, berthing information, etc.) are included merely for informational purposes and are not accurate. Please assess a nautical chart before your trip, to ensure a safe and pleasant trip.

About Sail in Greek Waters

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