Sailing Greece - Santorini to Athens
Day 1 Santorini
Please try to arrive at the meeting point before 5pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) skipper and the other group members. Still shaky Santorini needs no introduction, being a 1 million year old volcano that remains in active/dormant state until today. Its breathtaking beauty both historically and geologically are awe inspiring making it one of life’s true highlights. The island was home to a Minoan settlement that was obliterated by an eruption around 1650BC which sent tsunamis through the eastern Mediterranean. The colossal eruption displaced 30 cubic kilometres of earth jetting a cloud of ash 36 km into the sky creating the foundation of what we see today. Centrally located in the 300 metre deep 5 -mile wide crescent moon shaped caldera harbour are two new cones, Neas Palaias & Kammenis. The shape of the crater ring has constantly changed over the last 3000 years with several parts of the crater wall collapsing into the sea. Remarkably, the island has always been resettled due to the rich volcanic soil's fertile properties. The wines, tomatoes and cucumbers from this island are super tasty due to the soil composition and low rainfall. Visitors can make their way from sea level to the crater rim either by bus, gondola or even a donkey ride. Fira, the main town, sits perched on the edge of the caldera with breathtaking views of multi-coloured cliffs, sugar-cube architecture and great local markets for shopping.
Day 2-6 Southern Cyclades
Possible island stops include: Folegandros, Sifnos, Ios, Antiparos, Paros, Naxos CYCLADES ISLANDS Located in the central and southern part of the Aegean Sea, there are 39 islands in the Cyclades of which 24 are inhabited. On these small islands where the past meets the present, one can find both peace and tranquility and colourful nightlife. The white heat of July and August is often relieved by the meltemi, a strong northerly wind that sweeps across the eastern coast of mainland Greece and the Cyclades. Narrow paths full of flowers, whitewashed houses, blue windows and white churches under the dazzling sun and complimented by golden beaches: this is one of those magical places where the reality outstrips the postcards. FOLEGANDROS One of the must see islands in the Cyclades, famous for one of the most breathtaking cities around, Hora. The capital town, located up in the hills, boasts a traffic-free main street with plenty of green spaces to explore. A great island for hiking and snorkelling opportunities. Photographers will love the classic whitewashed houses decorated with colourful bougainvillea. SIFNOS An ideal island for walking, head for the trails and admire the views of olive groves and wild juniper. The island hosts a number of small, locally-owned and operated ceramic workshops, some of which are open to the public. It's well worth it to take something unique and authentic home with you. IOS Port Ios is situated at the far end of the excellently sheltered Ormos Iou on Ios’ western side. Its very pretty, and the town port is in fine condition with considerable space. Take the enjoyable 25 minute walk to the old town of Charos at the top of the hill. Other options include visiting Homer's tomb or relaxing on the famous south-side beach, Magganari. ANTIPAROS Antiparos Town lies at the westernmost end of the narrow straight between Antiparos and Paros. Hop on one of the hourly buses to the large cave deep inside the island, which is an excellent optional activity and easily reached by bus. The cave is fully fitted with staircases to the bottom, which is a 100m vertical drop. The stalagmites and stalactites are really visually striking. PAROS Livadhi is a small town on the east coast of Paros, easily accessible from the channel between Paros and Naxos. It's quaint, and provides a respite from other busier ports in the region. Sample the local cuisine at one of the various tavernas commanding superb views over the strait between these two large islands. Naousa lies centrally at the base of its very large bay on the north east end of Paros. It’s another idyllic island town, with a historical port, featuring Venetian ruins. NAXOS Naxos town is a pretty, typical Greek Island town offering the usual charm. Visit the monument to Apollonius (Bacchus) situated on the headland as you approach the port from the NE. The monument was started in 530BC, but strangely never completed. The town also has a Venetian castle on the hill, and was once ruler of its surrounding islands leaving legacies of aristocracy. The ‘labyrinth’ street patterns exist here as a testament to the cunning of local inhabitants in their efforts to confuse and ward off piracy in past times. But that´s not all folks! Around the island you will find a lot of interesting places and we are offering to you a special roundtrip in Naxos just follow your skipper and you will see hidden areas and feel the atmosphere of Naxos!! The highlight of Naxos is going on an optional day trip guided by your CEO skipper. Rent cars (remember to bring your license) and explore the inns and outs of the the island. Stops include the Temple of Dimitra, visiting a local microbrewery, the Church of Drosiani - which has wall paintings dating back to the 6th century, stopping to take in the views of Mt. Zeus at Zas Cave, enjoying a meal at a local tavern owned by the town butcher, and finally ending the day at Apollonas beach. Please note: While it is our intention to adhere to the route described above, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On Day 1 of your tour you will be advised of any amendments.
Day 7 Mykonos
Legendary both in ancient and modern times, Mykonos is one of the best-known Greek islands, and provides ample entertainment for history and party buffs alike. Just a short boat ride away from the main port lies Delos, legendary birthplace of Apollo and home of the Gods. As the most sacred island in the Aegean for ancient Greeks, Delos gave name to the Cyclades – that is, the islands encircling (kyklos) Delos. Mykonos town, as typical a whitewashed Greek island town can be, has long been famous for its nightlife, with bars and clubs filled with the beautiful of Europe rocking till dawn every night. And during the days, a short bus and boat ride takes you to some of the best—and craziest—beaches in all of Europe.
Day 8-13 Northern Cyclades
Possible Island stops include: Syros, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos, Hydra, Aegina. SYROS In Syros you experience authentic Greek culture, great eating, and a handful of small but pleasant beaches. Ermoupoli is capital of Cyclades and Syros. The main square of the town is called Plateia Miaouli. Surrounded by Town hall, cafeterias, bars and palm trees. Commonly described:”probably the most elegant square in Greece.” Town hall is designed by German architect Ernest Tchiller. You will find Archaeological museum inside Town Hall. Syros has the first ever opera house of Greece, the Apollon theatre located close to main square. Apollon theatre is made from marble and limestone. Enjoy options of going on short hikes, visiting local markets and going SCUBA diving. HYDRA A stylish island where the rocky hillsides are lined with elegant white and pastel stone mansions that overlook a beautiful natural harbour. Starting in the 1950s, artists, writers, and filmmakers poured in, drawn by island’s beauty. Hydra also offers a reprieve from the whizzing motorcycles that characterize most of the other Greek Islands, with no motorized transport except for a few municipal vehicles. Opt to travel by local taxi (donkey ride) through the winding streets. There are several great tavernas to eat at, some offering an experience where you dine in a local's home. AEGINA Once a principal maritime power and a major trade partner with Egypt and Phoenicia, Aegina is a humble island most known now for its pistachio production. On the west coast, the harbour of Aegina Town is lined with colourful little boats, bobbing placidly on turquoise water. Around the island, a few crumbling neoclassical buildings can still be seen. KEA The most northern island of the Cyclades, Kea has escaped the major ferry routes keeping it's charms away from most tourists. The lovely island is scattered with olive groves and orchards. Opt to visit the Stone Lion and stop by a family silversmith, your CEO can arrange a visit. End the day at a local taverna, where the food won't disappoint. KYTHNOS Kythnos welcomes you to a picturesque bay. There are old iron mining ruins that are of interest to travellers, but the highlight has to be the local hot springs. Graced by kings and emperors throughout the years, sunset or sunrise are great times to experience the tranquility of the area, taking you back in time.
Day 14 Athens
Athens is the capital of Greece, the founding city of the Olympic games, and a city of culture, science and commerce. From the colourful markets, to the ancient monuments, to the hustle and bustle of Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution Square), Athens is rich with history and an important influence on the development of Western civilization. Named after the goddess of wisdom Athena, Athens encircles eight hills within its borders. The most prominent of these, the Acropolis, stands as the ultimate architectural and artistic expression of the ancient Athenian spirit. Athens is a growing city, engulfing its neighbouring suburbs all the way to Piraeus, the city's port and your gateway to the Greek Isles.
Day 15 Athens
Departure day, tour ends in the morning If you would like extra time in Athens after your sailing journey is finished, we recommend booking extra time to see the sights.