The Paros - Koufonissia Route
Explore the Minor Cyclades from Paros.
The proposed itinerary will take you and your company to explore the Minor Cyclades and swim in fascinating destinations. At the same time this journey will realize your sailing ambitions, in ideal sailing weather conditions, throughout the week. Whether you choose to go bareboat or to hire one of our experienced skippers, we guarantee the most unforgettable sailing vacation.
Cyclades Islands is the most challenging sailing area in the Greek seas. The island of Paros is situated in the middle of the complex of the Cyclades and offers fast connections to any of the surrounding islands. Main factor that defines wind force in summer months is the 'meltemi', the northern wind that blows, from early July to mid August, usually around 5 Beauforts, with gusts that can reach up to 8Bft. The wind blows stronger during mid day, so we advize you to travel early in the morning, in order to avoid the strong wind. Wind direction is purely north, or North West.
Big waves can be also caused by the meltemi. The waves start forming from the North Aegean coast and build up as they travel the long distance to the Cyclades, up to 3-4 meters.
Having said that, those who prefer a smoother and more relaxing sail should avoid July and August. On the other hand, those who enjoy sailing in strong winds, will appreciate the challenge to experience true sailing.
Paros- Despotikon - Iraklia - Antikeria -
Koufonissi - Schoinousa - Naxos - Naoussa -Paros
Day 1: Paros to Antiparos (Despotikon)
Departing from Paros and heading south-west you will arrive to Antiparos and further on to Despotikon. This small uninhabited island has one of the earliest settlements of the Cycladitic civilization, which dates back to 3000 BC. The tranquille bay between Despotikon and Antiparos is ideal for anchoring and enjoying the crystal waters. You will find fish tavernas on the Antiparos side that serve local delicacies. On the southern side of Despotikon you will find the beach Livadi.
Day 2: Antiparos to Iraklia
You will leave Antiparos early in the morning and sail east to the island of Iraklia. Time stops in this beautiful island where there are no cars nor the noise of tourism. You will find tavernas. mini markets and ofcourse whitewashed churches and houses in the cycladitic style. For those who enjoy hiking, Iraklia hosts the seventh largest cave of Greece, the cave of St. George.
Day 3: Iraklia to Koufonissia (Antikeria)
On your third day it is time to head for Koufonissia islands. These Minor Cyclades islands are a place of heaven where the blue crystal waters prevail anywhere you go. The main Koufonissi island has a marina for you to spend the night and from there to sail to the surrounding smaller islands. For your first day in Koufonissia we propose a sail towards the Antikeria islets which lay just south of the island of Keros. A thin strip of sand surrounded by the clearest turquoise waters is sure to win your heart. You can spend the whole day in Antikeria or you can explore more of the Minor Cyclades before you head to Koufonissi island to spend the night.
Day 4: Koufonissi Island
The Koufonissi island has some of the most beautiful swimming spots in the Aegean pelagos. Time, water and wind has sculptured these islands forming the rocks into caves and hidden beaches. Waste no time and sail around the Koufonissia for unforgettable swims. Here you will surrender to the sun and you will sleep under countless stars. Walking around the island only lasts a couple of hours, wandering around in the whitewashed alleys of the small town or enjoying a dinner on one of the tavernas.
Day 5: Koufonissi to Schoinousa
Next destination, Schoinousa. Another untouched island of the Minor Cyclades yet again a beautiful scenery for amazing vacation. You will find 17 quiet beaches on Schoinousa for relaxing swims in blue waters. The few locals of the island are fishermen and farmers and will welcome you with an open heart. You can also find traditional delicacies and local produce like wine, honey and marmalade.
Day 6: Schoinousa to Naxos
Leaving the Minor Cyclades you will sail to the largest of the main Cyclades islands, Naxos. The town port of Naxos is situated on the west side of the island and is a famous tourist destination. According to mythology Zeus spend his childhood on Naxos and therefore there are temples where he was worshipped. For those who want to explore the inland, the villages of Apiranthos and Filoti on the mountain offer amazing views from above. Spend the day swimming in a spot around the island and head to the port to enjoy Naxos unique cuisine and vibrant nightlife.
Day 7: Naxos to Naoussa (Paros)
Last but not least, your return trip takes you to the picturesque village of Naousa in Paros. Before heading back to Parikia make a stop and swim in Kolimbithres or Monastiri beach. Naousa was once raided by pirates who made the village a hideout for many years. Today its a vibrant tourist destination with plenty of tavernas, bars, shops and walking around the alleys of Naousa is an experience by itself. Sail back to Parikia filled with memories that will last forever.
What can I say... This was hands down one of the best trips I have ever taken. My husband and I were able to chart our route closely with Kostas. We explored remote uninhabited island cove beaches, swam with a cornucopia of sea life, and had great laughs under the clear Greek skies. In fact we are already working on next year's sailing trip and we can't wait!Judy, Cyclades, October 2016