Sailing the Saronic Gulf of Greece

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Advisor - Jessica Vidaurre
Curated By

Jessica Vidaurre

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Greece

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

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Curator’s statement

The Saronic Gulf is a perfect option for sailing and exploring Greece with its proximity to Athens, and quaint picturesque towns. Less busy than the typical Cycladic islands on everyone's mind, you can enjoy the magical charm offered by each unique island at your leisure. I first visited Greece in 2016 on a similar trip, sailing through the Saronic Gulf and partying my way through each stop. I couldn't shut up about how amazing it was. Fast-forward to seven years later, a group of 20+ friends decided to charter our own yachts and sail to each island. I couldn't believe how much I missed the first time around! So much to discover, and of course some spots which begged to be visited again. Please note that weather conditions and other factors may influence the itinerary, so it's important to stay flexible and make adjustments as needed.

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Day 1: Alimos Marina to Hydra

A beach view at daytime.

Crystal-clear waters, traditional architecture, and cobblestone streets surround Hydra's main harbor. The island has been a popular destination for tourists seeking an authentic Greek island experience as its transportation relies on donkeys, water taxis or walking.

Fun Fact: Daisy Jones & The Six was filmed here!

Morning

Depart from Alimos Marina and sail towards Hydra, enjoying the beautiful coastal views along the way.

Afternoon

Arrive at Mandraki Bay, Hydra and anchor. Enjoy a leisurely lunch onboard followed by a nice swim and cocktail at the beach bar.

Late Afternoon

Go shopping in Hydra town, explore local boutiques and artisan shops or lounge at Spilia Beach Bar.

Evening

Visit Sunset Restaurant for drinks and enjoy the stunning sunset views followed by dinner at Téchnē Restaurant, known for its Greek cuisine and charming ambiance. Their cacio e pepe is a must-order!

Day 2: Hydra to Spetses

A cityscape picture taken at daytime.

Spetses is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history and charming atmosphere. Its unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary leisure characterizes the island. Visitors can explore the island's scenic landscapes, which include lush pine forests, turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. The island also hosts cultural festivals, regattas and various water sports, making it a well-rounded destination for travelers seeking relaxation, history and adventure.

Morning

Sail to Spetses and anchor in a picturesque bay.

Afternoon

Rent ATVs to explore the island. As you make your way around the island, stumble upon one of the various beach bars where you can grab a drink and spend the day swimming, sunbathing or trying out water sports. Treat yourself to an afternoon gelato after returning to your ATV in town and yes, go for the extra scoop!

Evening

Enjoy dinner at Bikini, a popular waterfront restaurant known for its Mediterranean cuisine.

Night

Visit Socrates Bar for drinks and a lively atmosphere, complete with beer pong – yes, you read that right.

Day 3: Spetses to Porto Heli

View from pool

Porto Heli is a stunning coastal town situated on a bay surrounded by lush green hills. It has gained popularity as a luxurious and upscale destination, providing a true taste of Mediterranean lifestyle. The area offers a range of high-end accommodations, including boutique hotels and luxury villas, which provides an alternate option while staying overnight in Porto Heli.

Morning

Sail to Porto Heli and anchor near Nikki Beach. Go snorkeling at the sunken ship in the bay.

Afternoon

Enjoy the beach club atmosphere at world-famous Nikki Beach. Relax in style at one of their poolside cabanas, complete with refreshing drinks and a delicious sushi boat. Take a dip inside the white infinity pool as you soak up the last remaining sun rays of the day.

Evening

Dine onboard with a delicious meal prepared by your crew or head to a local restaurant in town.

Day 4: Porto Heli to Dokos

A picture of a boat sailing.

Dokos is an uninhabited island, making it a peaceful destination for those seeking a quiet retreat. Visitors to Dokos can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear cove, as well as exploring the island's natural beauty.

Morning

Set sail for Dokos Island, be awake to spot the dolphins.

Afternoon

Enjoy a light lunch onboard followed by swimming and snorkeling.

Late Afternoon

Go for a hike, exploring trails and enjoying the panoramic views. Your skipper will gladly take you uphill!

Evening

Have dinner while taking in the serene surroundings and magical sunset. Sailing with multiple boats? Dokos is the perfect spot to arrange a fun group dinner across each other’s boats. Make it a theme night if you are so inclined – but make sure everyone packs their costumes.

Day 5: Dokos to Poros

A bricks house

Poros has the perfect mix of culture and relaxation. Poros Town features narrow streets, white-washed buildings adorned with colorful flowers, and inviting waterfront cafes and tavernas. The Clock Tower is a prominent landmark that provides panoramic views of the island and its surroundings. Poros offers a serene and idyllic setting for those looking to experience Greek island life, history and natural beauty.

Morning

Set sail to Poros.

Afternoon

Attend the Odyssey Poros cooking class near Askeli Beach and learn to prepare traditional Greek dishes. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with some crisp rosé. The locally harvested olive oil from their family’s farm makes a great gift for loved ones back home. Make sure to tell Dora I say hi!

Late Afternoon

Rent ATVs to explore the island. Along the way, be sure to stop at Love Bay beach bar, a cozy beach nestled between the pine trees where you can swim, lay out on a sun-bed or rent a canoe and paddle out for more stunning views of Poros.

Evening

Have dinner at Apagio or Poseidon, two waterfront restaurants with vibrant atmospheres, before heading to the legendary Malibu Bar where you can dance the night away.

Day 6: Poros to Alimos Marina via Moni Island

A boat sailing in the sea

Morning

Sail to Moni Island, an uninhabited island known for its natural beauty and idyllic swimming spots.

Afternoon

Stop for a swim in the glistening waters and explore the caves and unique rock formations on the island.

Late Afternoon

Continue sailing back to Alimos Marina, enjoying your final day on the water. You may even spot dolphins along your way.

Evening

Enjoy a farewell dinner onboard, reminiscing about your unforgettable journey!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Elizabeth Kaczka’s guide, Unforgettable Luxury Escapes: Top Hotels in Crete, Greece

Advisor - Jessica Vidaurre

Travel Advisor

Jessica Vidaurre

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Greece.