The Acropolis - Athens, Greece
A location everyone wants to sail on a crewed yacht charter of the Greek Islands, the Cycladic Islands are home to the infamous, and beautiful, islands of Mykonos and Santorini. The cubist white architecture with blue trim is a signature of the Cycladic Islands, and rarely found on Greek Islands outside of the Cyclades. The Cycladic Islands are also home to Delos, the ancient spiritual island, open now only from sunrise to sunset. Visit these islands and see so much more on a yacht charter cruise through the Cycladic Islands of Greece.
THE CYCLADES - ATHENS to ATHENS
Join your yacht in Athens, unpack and relax as you begin your cruise to Kea, a 40-mile steam. The exceptionally picturesque island of Kea lies 15 miles from the southeast coast of Attica. The mountain masses, which are encountered in most of the Cyclades, are broken up by small valleys sparsely planted with vines and fruit-trees and run right down to the sea, opening out into pretty little bays. Visit one of the island’s peaceful beaches at Pisses, Korissia, and Koundouros. Cruise to the western side of the island into Agios Nikolaos Bay and deep within it to the port of Korissia, which is considered to be one of the safest natural harbors in the Mediterranean.
Church of Panagia, Tinos
Cruise to Tinos, the “Holy Island of the Cyclades.” The island is the site of the Church of Evangelistria, which houses an icon of the Annunciation that draws thousands of Orthodox Christians on the feast day of August 15th. There are plenty of good beaches, too, notably at Agios Fokas near the town, Kionia, Porto, Panormos Bay, Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis and Pahia Amos. No one should leave the island without having purchased, or at least tasted, high-grade cheeses like “Kopanisti” and “Mitzithra”, which are made locally.
Balconies in Little Venice
One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos, has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its quaint harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns. Explore the little winding walking streets of Mykonos, filled with chic shops and boutiques. Watch out for Petros the Pelican, a symbol of Mykonos. At night, Mykonos comes alive with a nightclub scene that lasts until dawn.
Terrace of the Lions
Delos, just a short distance from Mykonos, was the religious capital of the Ionians in 1,000 BC. Visit the excavated ruins, such as the Avenue of the Lions, the theater, and many one and two-story houses with mosaic floors, like the House of the Trident. As a visitor you can admire most of these finds wandering around Delos sanctum and visiting the islands archaeological museum.
Paros harbor at sunset
Paros is the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros and has developed into an important center of tourism in recent years. Gently rolling hills surround the center and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards. Paroikia (or Paros), the island’s capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There is a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town – all of them painted white – are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle.
The windmills of Ios
Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus, the “poet of poet’s”, the ‘godlike’ Homer was buried at Plakotos, in the north of the island and Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s interment on Ios. The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, the ruins of a Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos.
This island has superb beaches. Anchor off the long sandy beach of Kalamos, a natural reserve on the eastern coast of the island.
Blue Domes of Santorini
As you approach Santorini, it’s easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, actually consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi. The caldera of Santorini is magnificent, from the bottom and the top with ever changing views. Visit the towns of Thira and Oia, with the Santorini signature “cave” buildings dug into the Caldera side. When in Santorini, visit Akrotiri, an excavation of an ancient Minoan city, or if not open to visitors, visit the museum in Thira. Old Thira, Greek and Roman ruins, can be visited perched on the top of a mountain. Boutari winery, a well-known Greek winery, is open to visitors, showcasing wines made from grapes grown in the local volcanic soil. And wander the walking streets of Thira and Oia, filled with chic shops and artist galleries. There is also a great night life in either village.
Sifnos is a mountainous island with fertile valleys, beautiful beaches and several towns. It has a long history and has been inhabited since 3000 BC. The island was famous in ancient times for the wealth, which came from its gold and silver mines and the quarries of Sifnos stone. It enjoyed great prosperity in Classical times, as can be seen from its Treasury, dedicated to Apollo at Delphi. Kastro, (3 Km from Apollonia), Sifnos’ capital from the 14th to the 19th century, retains some of its medieval character. There are Venetian coats of arms and ancient wall fragments in some of the older dwellings. There are clean and attractive beaches all over the island. Platygialos is a large sheltered beach, Vathi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece with fine sand and Apokofto is a sandy beach with a rocky shelf near Chrysopigi.
As your vessel glides into the port of Livadi you’ll catch your first glimpse of the towering hills of Serifos flecked with the white, sugar-cube houses of Chora. Perseus, the mythological hero that killed the medusa, the terrible monster with a woman’s face and hair as serpents was born on this island. The fortress-like monastery Moni Taxiarchon near the village of Galani, which houses some fine wall paintings and important books and manuscripts, is of special interest. The greatest attraction of Serifos is its magnificent beaches. The beach of Psilli Ammos, which lies about 2 km to the east of Livadi, beckons with the softest and whitest sand.
Kithnos inherited its name from Kithno, king of its first settlers, the Dryopians. Thermia is its second name, which has to do with the thermal springs of Loutra, and is used mostly by the locals. The small island of Kithnos is mainly mountainous but full of pretty little bays. Chora or Messaria is the island’s capital noted for the beautiful churches with their fine wood-carved, sanctuary screens and icons. At the south side of the island is the island’s former capital Driopida and in the northeastern side is Loutra, a resort with warm sulphurous spa-waters with its curative qualities.
50-mile steams back to Athens from Kithnos where you’ll disembark.