An unforgettable sailing adventure in the Saronic Gulf

Summary: The Saronic Islands are the most accessible islands sailing from Athens. For one week at sea with your family and friends, you will have the opportunity to discover historical sites, authentic Greek life and visit some of the most amazing beaches and ports.

An unforgettable sailing adventure in the Saronic Gulf

Arriving in Athens

You can arrive in Athens by plane at Athens International Airport, being the closest airport to your point of departure. There are many available ways to travel across Greece, the fastest and most convenient would be to take a taxi or a bus from the airport parking to one of the marinas close to Athens: Agios Kosmas Marina, Marina Alimos, Flisvos Marina or Marina Zeas.

Weather in the Saronic Islands

The best weather to sail this itinerary is from May to October. July and August temperatures may vary between 23 °C and 36 °C, however in this part of the year, major part of Greece is hit by meltemi, which can be characterized as one of the few Mediterranean winds that do not necessarily die out at the end of the day and can easily last more than three to six days. Expect strong winds from N-NE, so remember to reef the sails if necessary and take extra caution when arriving or leaving marinas. Ask for help if you need, on shore you will find a lot of fellow seamen who would be more than glad to help you with the lines.

Check the weather forecast with the marina, keep the VHF radio open for weather updates or you can check one of the many desktop and mobile apps which offer weather forecasts, like or Windy.

Planning the itinerary

Prepare for a 7 days unforgettable adventure around the islands in the Saronic Gulf. For this itinerary, the starting point is Marina Alimos, and you will sail more than 150 nautical miles around a very picturesque landscape, amazing cuisine and very welcoming people. Depending on your boat type, course, pace the below information may vary.

  • Leg 1 - Alimos to Aegina Island – 18 miles – 3 hours
  • Leg 2 - Aegina Island to Poros Island – 15 miles – 2.5 hours
  • Leg 3 - Poros Island to Hydra Island – 14 miles – 2.4 hours
  • Leg 4 - Hydra Island to Serifos Island – 45 miles – 8 hours
  • Leg 5 - Serifos Island to Kythnos Island – 15 miles – 2.5 hours
  • Leg 6 - Kythnos Island to Kea Island – 14 miles – 2.4 hours
  • Leg 7 - Kea Island to Alimos – 35 miles – 6.5 hours

1. Alimos to Aegina Island – Leg 1

Sailing to Aegina Island

After leaving Alimos Marina you should take a W-SW heading to reach the Northern part of Aegina.

Attention: Watch out for the traffic separation scheme (TSS) halfway to Aegina.

Port of Aegina can be found on the west coast of the island at 37°44'41.3"N 23°25'31.8"E. You will be under way for approximately 18 miles and you should reach the Port of Aegina in about 3 hours, but nobody can stop you if you want to anchor in a gulf or bay to enjoy the sea and a cold drink. Once you approach the port, prepare to moor stern-to and keep an eye on the wind; in strong winds they will blow from S-SW.

Sightseeing in Aegina Island

According to Greek mythology Aegina was the most beautiful of the twenty daughters of the God Asopos, so prepare for some ancient history sites to visit. The archaeological site of Kolona, hosts the ruins of a temple dedicated to the God Apollo. In the centre of the site you can find a monolithic column that was an important reference for Venetian sailors who named it the area Colonna. The Archaeological Museum of Aphaia is located next to the archaeological site, and also can be visited.

  • Address: Aegina 180 10
  • Timetable: 9:00 – 19:30 daily (closed on Mondays)
  • A ticket: Full price: 3 Euro

The Saint Nectarios was considered a miracle worker, and he still is, so you should also visit the Monastery of Agios Nektarios. During the evening you can enjoy the port promenade. This is a good spot to find many supermarkets and fish market.

Accomodation when sailing to Aegina Island

Good accommodation can be found on the island like Mistral**** with starting price from 70 € / night or Lalibay Resort & Spa***** from 230 € / night.

There are many taverns around so why not stop for a delicious meal and a cold drink: Oinoh Social-Bar, Skotadis Restaurant or Steakhouse Black Cat.

Aegina Island - Greece

Aegina Island - Greece

2. Aegina Island to Poros Island – Leg 2

Sailing to Poros Island

Leaving the Port of Aegina, you should head South for around 15 miles. This leg will be a good occasion to charge the boat's batteries but also yours due to the magnificent landscape around you. You will reach Poros Harbour in about 2.5 hours and Poros Harbour can be found on the south part of the island at 37°30'00.2"N 23°27'05.0"E. Morring is also stern-to, so prepare in advance for docking.

Sightseeing in Poros Island

While sailing to Poros, on your port side you will see the Russian bay. The Russian base was built here in 1820, during the Greek Revolution. This is a popular area to chill out, enjoy sun and water, have a drink at the bar. Close to Russian bay there is a small island with a chapel on it, where on request you can get married. High above the city there is a clock tower built in 1927, which should be visited at it‘s golden hour to admire the sunset. If you arrive early in Poros you can also sunbath, because there are several beaches around the island.

Accomodation when sailing to Poros Island

Good accommodation can be found at Apostolata Island Resort and Spa***** with starting price from 190 € / night and Mounda Beach Hotel*** from 100 € / night. While here you should definitely try the gelato at Karayiannis Bakery and have dinner at Oasis Taverna.

Poros Island - Greece

Poros Island - Greece

3. Poros Island to Hydra Island – Leg 3

Sailing to Hydra Island

If you leave the Port of Poros heading south, you should keep an eye on the ferries and hydrofoils as they are many so, we recommend to leave the port heading north surrounding the island and then heading to Hydra Island. Takes longer, but remember to enjoy the scenery and have some extra fun. Hydra Harbour is located on the Northern part of the island, at 37°21'03.8"N 23°27'58.0"E. The mooring is stern-to, and the tiny harbour can be full of boats, so watch out how you lay the anchor, as it might get tangled.

Sightseeing in Hydra Island

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this stunning little paradise is that there are no cars on the island, aside from garbage trucks and ambulances. The main method of transportation on the narrow streets are the delightful mules and donkeys. The island gave inspiration to Leonard Cohen who bought a house on the island. One of the best things to do while docking in Hydra is to wander the streets and admire the local architecture like the Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary built in 1643. The Bastions were built in the 18th century to protect the island from the Turkish invasion. We advise you to climb the bastions and admire the breath-taking view of the Aegean Sea.

Accomodation when sailing to Hydra Island

Good accommodation can be found at Hydra Hotel**** with starting price from 205 € / night and Hydroussa Hotel Hydra*** from 116 € / night.

Enjoy dinner and the sunset from the restaurants Omilos and Sunset.

Hydra Island - Greece

Hydra Island - Greece

4. Hydra Island to Serifos Island – Leg 4

Sailing to Serifos Island

This will be the longest leg, about 45 nautical miles and you should arrive in Serifos in 8 hours or so. Once you leave the Hydra Harbour, take a W-SW course to Livadi Harbour in Serifos Island at 37°08'30.2"N 24°31'07.7"E. There are also several anchorages around the island with good wind protection and wild beaches.

Sightseeing in Serifos Island

Here you can test your snorkelling equipment. For more experienced divers we recommend Kalogeros beach, where the shipwreck of a Spanish cargo ship lies on the seabed. If you are new to diving, you can try a local diving school. If you thought about taking a diving course, here are some available courses to attend:

  • Open Water Free Diver, 350 €
  • Resort Diving, 350 €
  • Open Water Diver, 480 €
  • Diver First Aid, 300 €
  • Oxygen Administrator, 300 €
  • Advanced Open Water Diver, 450 €
  • Rescue Diver, 480 €
  • Divemaster, 800 €
  • Nitrox Diver, 350 €
  • Ad. Nitrox Diver, 450 €

It’s a must to discover the city of Chora. During Venetian times, the city had fortified stone walls to protect the resident from pirates. Here you can find a lot of local shops, traditional bakeries and orthodox churches. After a long stay on the boat, you should try the Serifos mining trail, which will guide you to a crumbling neoclassical building that overlooks the bay and surrounding areas. You can explore the rusty mining tracks, once utilized to reach deep inside the Serifian caves filled with precious metals and an imposing but broken “bridge to nowhere” that hangs over the sea, which was once necessary to fill ships with cargo.

Accomodation when sailing to Serifos Island

Good accommodation can be found at Asteri Hotel*** with starting price from 112 € / night and Serifos Beach Hotel** from 80 € / night.

In Livadi Harbour you can find several restaurants and taverns with exquisite Greek cuisine: Taverna Marina, Mpakakaki or Anemos.

Serifos Island - Greece

Serifos Island - Greece

5. Serifos Island to Kythnos Island – Leg 5

Sailing to Kythnos Island

Heading north for 15 miles, you will reach Kythnos Island. Departing from Serifos Island, within 3 hours you should see Port of Kythnos on the western part of the island at 37°23'26.5"N 24°23'45.5"E. There is also another port on the eastern part of the island in the town Loutra – Marina Loutra Kythnos at 37°26'32.6"N 24°25'34.2"E.

Sightseeing in Kythnos Island

If you are searching for a remote place to spend some time, this is the one, Kythnos is not tourist developed and is mostly visited for a short stay before hoping to another island. Most of the beaches are not organized, so you will find a lot of privacy.

Accomodation when sailing to Kythnos Island

Good accommodation can be found at Canal Suites*** with starting price from 170 € / night and Kythnos Bay Hotel*** from 115 € / night.

Even if it is a small island the food is great, so we recommend in Loutra, Cava d‘Oro or Sofrano and in Merichas, Byzantio or Ostria.

Kythnos Island - Greece

Kythnos Island - Greece

6. Kythnos Island to Kea Island – Leg 6

Sailing to Kea Island

Kea (Tzia) Island is located north to Kythnos, and Port of Kea can be found at 37°39'41.4"N 24°18'47.7"E. Because you are around a Greek island, there are also a lot of remote bays where you can anchor and enjoy the privacy of the island.

Sightseeing in Kea Island

After dropping the anchor, we recommend to take some quality time on one of the beaches: Sykamia, Psili, Xyla or Koundouros. If you are an experienced diver, near Kea you can find the Patris shipwreck (37°34'44.6"N 24°15'46.5"E), which sank off the shores of the island in 1868. If you prefer to explore the island, a good memory would make the stone-carved lion, beside the hiking trail that leaves the town to the east or you can rent an ATV and explore the hole island.

Accomodation when sailing to Kea Island

Good accommodation can be found at Anamar Kea**** with starting price from 150 € / night and Porto Kea Suites*** from 165 € / night.

For dinner we recommend Lagoudera Restaurant with some of the most delicious traditional Greek dishes.

Kea Island - Greece

Kea Island - Greece

7. Kea Island to Alimos – Leg 7

Sailing to Alimos

Time to get back to Athens. After leaving the Port of Kea, head west and after you pass by Patroklos Island head N-NW. There are around 37 nautical miles and you should reach Alimos Marina after 6 hours from departure.

Athens is great and maybe you should consider to remain for a couple of days more, you will have enough time to explore the ancient ruins of Acropolis and the Pantheon.

  • Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens
  • Timetable (summer time):
    9:00 – 17:00 (Monday – Thursday)
    9:00 – 22:00 (Friday)
    9:00 – 20:00 (Saturday – Sunday)
  • A ticket: Starting price  7 €

Nevertheless, you should also explore the town by foot, the streets are amazing, and try to find restaurants for locals, the food is more delicious.

Accomodation when sailing to Athens

If your flight back home is not scheduled on the same day, we recommend spending the night at Attalos Hotel*** with starting price from 185 € / night.

Athens – Acropolis

Athens – Acropolis

Capetanos sailing and general recommendations

For an unforgettable sailing adventure in the amazing islands around the Saronic Gulf, we recommend to plan in advance, consult the charts, weather conditions and choose the most suitable time according to your sailing skills. Once you land in Greece you can also buy the Pilot Books for this area, or most probably you will find one abord your rented boat.

We hope that information in this article will contribute to your decision for your next holiday in Greece. The islands will convince you once again about the beauty of nature, the simplicity of life and the freedom you feel on the sea. Remember also to read about the tips for a perfect vacation.

Sailing bugdet calculator / Rent boat calculator Saronic Gulf

These calculations are performed for one-week charter on a 36 feet sailing boat in mid-august and crew of 6.

1-week total 3.875 €
3 cabins sailing boat 2.000 €
Skipper (optional) 1.050 €
Food 180 €
Water 30 €
Diesel 180 €
Moorings 115 €
Food out 320 €