Zizoo’s Guide to Sailing in Athens: Discover the beauty and history of Greece’s ancient capital
Explore the best of Greece by sea when you charter a yacht in Athens. Swim in crystal clear bays, leisurely explore beautiful harbour side towns, and enjoy scrumptious meals at delightful tavernas scattered throughout the region. Visit the nearby island regions such as the Saronic Gulf or the Sporades and discover the history and beauty of Greece’s charming towns, extraordinary ancient ruins and stunning beaches on your next sailing holiday.
- Incredible historic sites
- Island hopping around the Saronic Gulf Islands
- Beautiful beaches and charming towns nearby
Good to know:
- Currency: Euro
- Language spoken: Greek
- Tips: Acropolis, Vouliagmeni beach, trips to Saronic Gulf Islands of Poros and Hydra
Best time to sail in Athens and how to get there
- Best time to sail: in the summer and early autumn (June-October)
- Airport: from Athens International Airport you can hire a taxi or take public transportation to arrive to Allimos marina (22 km) or Piraeus port (30km). The X96 public bus will take you directly to the Allimos marina (bus stop is called EDEM) and to Piraeus, which is the last stop.
- Highlights: Athens is an excellent starting point to explore the nearby islands in the Saronic Gulf and the Sporades, which offer gorgeous beaches and a wealth of history.
Things to do and see when sailing in Athens
After exploring the extraordinary ruins of the Acropolis, wandering through the historic neighborhood of Plaka and admiring the historic and cultural treasures in the museums of the Greek capital, it’s time to discover Athens and it’s surrounding coastal cities and islands by sea. Tranquil beaches, great nightlife, delicious food, and ancient wonders are ready to be experienced and explored.
If your time is limited in Athens, but you want to discover quieter coves and small towns, set sail along the Athens Riviera (also known as the Apollo Coast). Sail to the chic coastal zone of Glyfáda, which is well-known for its trendy boutiques, restaurants, clubs and palm-lined beaches. Further south is the including the popular Vouliagmeni beach, which offers good facilities. If you are looking for a more active sailing holiday, head to Várkiza to spend a day windsurfing on the beautiful sea.
Explore and activities:
- the beaches that surround the peninsula also offer fantastic opportunities for scuba diving
- the most popular diving spots near Athens include the Kalypso Reef and the Symos Wrec in Saronida
- there are several diving centers located on the western and eastern coast of the peninsula that provide classes for beginners and trips for expert divers
- for families, Hamolia is an ideal beach. The waters here are rather shallow and very clear, making for an excellent spot to view the underwater life. Make sure to request snorkeling gear when you book your sailing holiday in Athens.
Rent a boat in Athens
Suggested sailing routes in Athens
- Aegina, the biggest of the three islands of the Saronic Gulf, is just 16.5 nautical miles from the Piraeus port
- the highlight of a visit to Aegina is the Temple of Aphaia. The governor’s Kapodistrias residence, the Christos Kapralos Museum, and the Historical and Folklore Museum are other places of interest on this island
- you can use your chartered boat to visit the many smaller islands surrounding Aegina
- sail further south on your Athens boat holiday to Poros
- stroll through the quaint town built on the hill and enjoy lunch at one of the local tavernas
- the sandy beach of Askeli holds many attractions for visitors, while Love Bay is an idyllic picnic spot surrounded by pine forests.
If your time is limited in Athens, but you want to discover quieter coves and small towns, set sail along the Athens Riviera (also known as the Apollo Coast).
- around the Peloponnese peninsula is the island of Hydra – enjoy the panoramic view from the deck of your yacht
- Hydra is known for its amphitheatre-shaped port, which is said to have sheltered Saronic pirates
- take a ride on the saddled donkeys along the narrow stone-paved streets amid the traditional stone mansions of Hydra for a captivating experience
- admire the special architecture of the island as you stroll through the town lanes and don’t forget to buy souvenirs from the local craft shops around the island
- from Hydra, you can set sail towards the Cyclades and visit the islands of Kea or Kythnos before making your way up to Athens
Sailing conditions in Athens
- Meltemi winds that blow in the Aegean Sea throughout the summer months. These powerful and dry north winds are strongest in the afternoon. On the Beaufort scale, the Meltemi average a speed of 4 to 5, though they can sometimes get as strong as 8
- the Meltemi winds can produce some strong gusts that may surprise novice sailors so it is advisable to anchor in a sheltered port during harsh sailing conditions
- the surface temperatures of the Aegean Sea water vary from 16°C to 25°C, depending on the location and time of year, but you can expect to still be swimming through mid to late October