Top 5 Charter Locations in the Saronic Gulf You Must Know

May 21, 2024     Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Epidaurus, and Aegina – Destinations from the Captain Seminar, EMMYS 2024

5. Aegina – Pistachio Island

Aegina is one of the largest islands of the Saronic and will most likely be your first stop on your yacht charter in the Saronic Gulf. It is famous for its great beaches, pistachio cultivation, and the Greek Temple of Aphaia, one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece. But I heard more than one Captain claim that the true highlight is the pistachio ice cream!!

Interesting fact: Aegina Island was once the capital of Greece for two years during the 1820s when Greece fought to gain independence from the Turkish Empire.

Above view of yachts anchored in bay at Aegina Island, Greece
Anchorage at Aegina Island, Greece

Best Beaches in Aegina

There are lots of great beaches on Aegina suitable for every type of beachgoer. You will find developed beaches with many great tourist facilities as well as more secluded beaches away from the crowds. Some are ideal for children, while others have deep water accessible in a matter of a few steps.

Captains Top 4 Favorite Beaches:

  1. Klima Beach: Located in the southern part of Aegina, Klima is a vibrant, organized beach with a beach bar, sun loungers, and umbrellas. It is ideal for those looking for a lively beach day.
  2. Horeftra Beach: This is a favorite among locals who come for a swim and a meal at the traditional tavernas.
  3. Agia Marina Beach: Agia Marina Beach is the longest organized beach on Aegina’s northeastern coast. It features many great amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, and great dining options.
  4. Tourlos Beach: For those seeking a more secluded setting, this unspoiled beach is accessed via a small footpath.
This image shows the ancient Greek temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina, basking in the warm glow of a sunset. The Doric columns of the temple stand prominently against a pastel sky, overlooking a rugged landscape that stretches into the distance. This image shows the ancient Greek temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina, basking in the warm glow of a sunset. The Doric columns of the temple stand prominently against a pastel sky, overlooking a rugged landscape that stretches into the distance.
The ancient Greek temple of Aphaia dates back to around 500 BCE..The temple is dedicated to Aphaia, a local deity who was later associated with the goddesses Athena and Artemis.
Big woven baskets full of pistachios
The pistachios from Aegina, known as Aeginian pistachios, are considered some of the best in the world due to their unique flavor and high quality. These pistachios are protected by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status within the European Union

Aegina’s Pistachio Festival

Every September, the locals and travelers celebrate the Aegina Fistiki (Pistachio) Festival for four days. The festival includes a trade fair along the harbor, where over 40 kiosks showcase pistachios, local delicacies, honey, olive oil, dairy products, and handmade items like lace and jewelry. The festival also features cultural events, live music, and activities for children, making it a vibrant celebration of local culture and gastronomy​.

4. Epidaurus – The Island of the Sunken City

Epidaurus, located on the Peloponnese Peninsula, is an ancient city that attracts many travelers interested in Greece’s ancient history and plays a key role in Peloponnese tourism. It is best known for its ancient theater, but although this was definitely repeated many times, I actually heard more Captains rave about the Sunken City, maybe because it is a less-talked-about site. The advice from Captain Evan of Alexandra II was to visit the theater early in the day and then finish off with snorkeling on the Sunken City when the heat is at its peak.

The ancient Epidaurus Theatre in Greece, viewed from the top rows showing its expansive seating area and the circular orchestra at the center. Surrounded by lush greenery and hills, this well-preserved theatre is famous for its exceptional acoustics and historic significance in the world of Greek drama.
The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is renowned for its remarkable acoustics. Designed in the 4th century BC by the architect Polykleitos the Younger, the theatre can seat up to 14,000 people. Its acoustics are so precise that audiences can hear unamplified speech from the stage to the very back rows, a feature attributed to the theater's carefully calculated dimensions and the limestone rows that enhance sound clarity.

The Perfect Acoustics of the Ancient Amphitheater 

The Ancient Theater is a spectacle that is sure to make even the most hardened of historians go weak at the knees. It is thought to be the most aesthetically and acoustically perfect theater in the ancient world, and it remains every bit as beautiful today as it was when it was first built.

Someone standing in the middle of the stage can talk and be heard throughout the stands—a feat of architectural brilliance that has inspired many other stadium and theater designers.

The Epidaurus ancient theater also hosts a number of theatrical performances and lectures throughout the year. It is the perfect place to experience a traditional Greek play as the ancients themselves would have experienced it.

Aerial view of The Sunken City at Epidaurus, located 2 meters under the surface of the water
The Sunken City at Epidaurus, and Archaeological site dating back to the 2nd century

Snorkel around The Sunken City

The sunken city is located in the bay of Agios Vlasios near Epidaurus on Kalymnios beach. It is an incredible archaeological site just 2 meters underwater. It was first discovered, actually by accident, in the 1970s due to an aerial photo taken from a hot-air balloon.

The Sunken City features the remnants of a Roman villa from the 2nd century AD. This site, often accessible for snorkeling, includes visible foundations, large amphorae, and ancient walls. It’s believed to have been a prosperous rural settlement where wealthy Romans and their servants lived. Visitors can explore these underwater ruins by swimming or snorkeling over them, offering a unique opportunity to literally swim through history.

























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3. Poros – The Island of Views

Poros, not to be confused with Paros in the Cyclades, is a small island in the heart of the Saronic Gulf. Its location about halfway between Athens and Spetses makes it a great halfway point either way. The great experience of Poros starts with sailing into the very picturesque and well-protected port.

Perched on a hill, the beautiful old town offers stunning views of the nearby mountainous shores of the Peloponnese. You are truly surrounded by beautiful landscapes dotted with traditional Greek towns.

The port offers both anchoring and docking directly along the promenade. Tie stern to and step directly into a waterfront taverna. Enjoy true traditional Greek cuisine with a view of your own private yacht against the backdrop of the stunning Peloponnese.

View over the town on Poros, over the bay with sailing yachts, and a backdrop of the mountainous shores of the Peloponnese Peninsula in the background.
Poros Island, Greece

We were there at the recent Yacht Show

Poros is where they host the yearly East Mediterranean Multihull Yacht Show (EMMYS), and our whole team visited as recently as April 2024. This yacht show showcases many of the Mediterranean’s finest catamarans, as well as monohulls and luxury motor yachts.

Spending a whole week along this waterfront, we had a good chance to test many of the restaurants and Taverns. Among our top recommendations are Oasis Taverna, Poseidon Restaurant, Apagio Taverna, and the super cozy Garden Taverna, which is hidden in the street labyrinth a little walk up the hill- it does not get much more authentic than this.

Lots of people gathered on the dock in front of 2 classic sailing yachts for the Official Opening Ceremony at the 2024 East Mediterranean Multihull Yacht Show (EMMYS) in Poros, Greece
Official Opening Ceremony at the 2024 East Mediterranean Multihull Yacht Show (EMMYS) in Poros, Greece
A vibrant scene at the yacht show in Poros, Greece, featuring a collection of sleek, modern yachts moored in the harbor. The backdrop showcases the charming coastal town with its traditional architecture, nestled against lush green hills under a clear blue sky. Crowds of visitors can be seen exploring the waterfront, adding a lively atmosphere to this picturesque maritime event.
East Mediterranean Multihull Yacht Show (EMMYS) 2024 in Poros, Greece

Best Beaches in Poros

  • The number one beach in Poros is Love Bay, a small sandy beach surrounded by pine trees. It is located on the southwest coast of mainland Poros, which is a short taxi ride from the port. But the best way to get there is by tender; zoom around the corner and approach from the sea. Note that due to its popularity, Love Bay can be quite crowded during peak season.
  • If you prefer a more secluded beach, beaches located on the northern shore, such as Vagionia Beach, are a better choice. If the weather is strong, you won’t be able to go by speedboat but will have to take the 15-minute scenic route by car, cutting straight through the island. The drive in itself is worth it!
  • A third option is Monastiri Beach, located a few kilometers east of the port. The beach is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas and has water sports facilities, making it an attractive yet less crowded alternative to Love Bay​.
Aerial View of the Promenade at Poros, Greece with many yachts moored along the waterfront and more on anchor in front of the town
View of the Promenade at Poros, Greece
Old classic sailing yacht anchored at Love Bay on Poros Island in Greece, with green shore full of pine trees and a small old stone church
Old Church at Love Bay on Poros, Greece


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Discover the Latest in Yachting with Us

At DMA Yachting, we’re committed to staying on top of the latest trends in yacht charters, from the launching of exciting new yachts to the best destinations and activities. Our blog serves as a resource to keep you informed and inspire new ideas for your adventures at sea.

2. Hydra – The Saronic’s Most Romantic Island

Hydra is located off the tip of the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula between the Myrtoan Sea to the south and the Argolic Gulf to the northeast.

Hydra might be best known for its beautiful landscape and historical significance, but something that really caught my attention was a description of the island I heard from a Captain at the Poros Yachts: “the most romantic island I have ever been to.” This fits well with all other descriptions I got from other captains who also recommended Hydra as one of the top must-visit islands in the Saronic Gulf.

Aerial view of Hydra with many luxury yachts docked in the Mariana, which is situated in a snug little bay surrounded by red-roofed houses.
Hydra, Greece

Exploring the Island on Donkey Back

Hydra is famous for its beautiful, well-preserved mansions and captain houses, which reflect the island’s rich maritime history. In contrast to this architectural extravagance, the island is car-free, and the main form of transportation is a donkey ride.

Riding through the old cobblestone streets of Hydra town on a donkey is said to be a truly fantastic way to explore this scenic town.

The only transportation on the island of Hydra
The only transportation on the island of Hydra
Hydra Greece Charter Yacht Holidays
Hydra, Greece

The Love Story of a Famous Artist

A story that really fits with the captain’s narrative is the story of one of the most iconic songwriters of love songs ever and the inspiration he found on this very island. Hydra is a popular retreat for artists, including famous personalities like Leonard Cohen and Maria Callas. Leonard Cohen first came to Hydra in the 1960s when he bought a traditional whitewashed house for only $1,500. This house became Cohen’s sanctuary and the very place where he wrote much of his most significant work, including his first novel, “The Favourite Game,” and many influential songs like “So Long, Marianne” and “Bird on the Wire”. It was also here that Cohen found love with the very Marianne Ihlen of the song.

Waterfront in the evening on Hydra Island in Greece.
Hydra, Greece
The historical white mansions with red roofs on hillside in Hydra, Greece
The historical mansions on hillside in Hydra, Greece

Beaches and Hiking on Hydra

For those interested in nature and hiking, Hydra offers paths leading to serene spots with panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands. The island’s beaches, like Vlichos and Mandraki, are accessible by foot or by your own tender and are known for their clear waters and pebbly shores.

We like to Meet the Crew of the Yachts we Charter

At DMA Yachting, we are proud to have a team of individuals who not only work in the yachting industry but also live it. Many of our brokers have extensive experience with yachts, either working onboard charter yachts or even living onboard, sailing purely for fun, in everything from bay races to circumnavigations.

Our team’s firsthand experience is crucial—it means we’ve been in the shoes of both the crew and the clients. We understand the nuances of life at sea, which drastically differs from life on land.

Catamarans at the EMMYS 2024, Poros, Greece
Catamarans at the EMMYS 2024, Poros, Greece
Onboard Alexandra II, at the East Med Yacht Show in Poros 2024, Captain Evan gives us a rundown of his ideal itinerary
Onboard Catamaran Alexandra II, at the East Med Yacht Show in Poros 2024, Captain Evan gives us a thorough rundown of his ideal itinerary around the Cyclades Islands. It is these type of interactions that make the yacht shows so special.

Understanding how yachts operate also allows our brokers to ask the right questions and spot the finest details during yacht inspections. This inside knowledge ensures that we know precisely what to look for, whether it’s gauging the quality of the onboard amenities or evaluating the professionalism of the crew. Our brokers aren’t just checking boxes; they’re assessing how each element contributes to the sublime experience our clients expect.

Participation in yacht shows is fundamental to our approach. By engaging directly with crews and industry professionals at events like the EMMYS and MEDYS, where our presence was notably strong this year, we exchange ideas, gather insights, and forge great connections. These interactions are invaluable as they allow us to refine our understanding of market trends and client expectations continuously.

This year’s yacht shows have been particularly inspiring, showcasing more and larger yachts, each maintaining exceptionally high standards of service. Our team returned with notebooks brimming with new knowledge, ready to apply these fresh insights to benefit our future clients.

Our Broker Sarah Klische talking to the Crew onboard Catamaran Namaste at the East Med Yacht Show 2024
Our Broker Sarah Klische talking to the Crew onboard Catamaran Namaste at the East Med Yacht Show 2024

1. Spetses – The New Greek Riviera

Spetses, like Hydra, is not technically located in the Saronic Gulf but is part of the Saronic Islands. It is an exclusive and luxurious destination that has avoided becoming a tourist hotspot and instead attracts private superyachts and luxury yacht charters.

Spetses, Saronic Islands
Spetses, Saronic Islands

Celebrity Visits at the Iconic Poseidon Grand Hotel

At the port is the 100-year-old Poseidon Grand Hotel—an impressive sight that has hosted many famous stars over the years, such as Marilyn Monroe, Swedish Actress Ingrid Bergman, and Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

But there is no grander place to stay than on your own private luxury yacht. Spetsai Mariba can accommodate larger yachts, with berthing facilities for vessels up to 200 feet in length.

Scenic view of a secluded beach in Spetses, Greece. This tranquil bay features a narrow strip of sandy beach flanked by lush greenery and Mediterranean pines, leading into clear turquoise waters. The bay is surrounded by rocky outcrops and gentle hills, creating a private and serene atmosphere ideal for relaxation and swimming.
Beach in Spetses, Greece
Bright and lively waterfront promenade in Spetses, Greece, featuring historic architecture with elegant facades and pointy rooftops. The wide pedestrian walkway along the sea is dotted with benches, leading to a dock lined with moored yachts. The scene captures a vibrant blue sea under a clear sky, emphasizing the charming, inviting atmosphere of this picturesque island destination.
Lively waterfront promenade in Spetses, Greece

Must-See Attractions in Spetses

  • Spetses has many amazing beaches, but captains highlighted Agia Paraskevi, Ayioi Anargyroi, and favorite anchorages such as Zogeria and Vrellos Beach.
  • Some of the top cultural attractions include the House of Bouboulina, a museum dedicated to the naval heroine Laskarina Bouboulina, and the House of Hatzigiannis Mexis, where you can learn about the island’s significant history during the Greek War of Independence.
  • About every Captain who recommended Spetses also emphasized one of their guest’s favorite activities: a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage along the town’s promenade, so be sure to put that on your list!
Waterfront at Spetses
Waterfront at Spetses

Captains Discuss Itineraries
Seminar, EMMYS 2024, Poros

Saturday, April 27, 2024

We recently attended the EMMYS (East Mediterranean Multihull and Yacht Charter Show) in Poros and MEDYS (Mediterranean Yacht Show) 2024 in Poros and Nafplion, Greece. During these events, we explored over a hundred yachts and met their captains and crews. One question we repeatedly asked was, ‘Where is your favorite place to take a charter?’

This query was inspired by a discussion at the Captains’ Seminar on Saturday, April 27th, where a panel of five seasoned captains discussed Greek charter itineraries and answered questions from brokers. Their message was clear: it’s time to broaden the horizons beyond the famed islands of Mykonos and Santorini.

The concerns raised during the seminar were compelling. Captain of Catamaran Alexandra II, Evan Hadjicostas. gave his insights on the drawbacks of the popular destinations, labeling Mykonos and Santorini as “crowded, expensive, and far from ideal for yachting.” The whole panel agreed on this. Challenges such as the persistent Meltemi winds, which can reach force 8-9 during summer, and the deep waters around Santorini make the island less accommodating for yachts. The captains also highlighted the unpredictability of moorings, which work on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis in Greece, and the impact of adverse weather, which can disrupt even well-planned activities like upscale dining reservations.

Captains Seminar at the EMMYS (East Mediterranean Multihull & Yacht Charter Show) in Poros 2024

The captains emphasized the importance of guest awareness and flexibility. Captain Christos Loukatos of Catamaran White Caps noted that while visits to high-demand locations are possible under favorable conditions, guests should be ready for last-minute changes due to weather conditions, which can often only be predicted about a week in advance.

But the purpose of the seminar was not just to highlight the challenges that come with chartering in Greece’s windiest region but to share ideas and insights into the fantastic places Greece has to offer, especially those that are not found in your typical travel brochure.

Throughout the discussions, the captains shared their personal favorite destinations, drawing from their many years of experience sailing around Greece and exploring also the less-talked-about Greek islands. Their firsthand knowledge presents a treasure trove of enchanting alternatives, free from the congestion of the more tourist-heavy islands.

The captains’ advocacy for pushing other locales is about more than avoiding logistical hassles; it’s about enriching the charter experience with diverse and lesser-hyped spots. As the yachting community looks to the future, the emphasis is on discovering these hidden gems, ensuring guests have the most memorable and comfortable experiences on the Greek seas.

Popular Itineraries

Looking for the perfect yacht charter destination but not quite sure where to set sail? Check out our curated itinerary suggestions to spark your imagination.

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Where to Begin?

Here are just a few of our favorite itineraries to get you started, but for the complete list, make sure to check out our ULTIMATE ITINERARY GUIDE. Greece is a treasure trove of experiences, and truly, you could spend a lifetime of charters exploring all it has to offer. Each region is unique, not only in its attractions but also in its weather conditions, which can affect which yacht is suitable for your journey. If you’re wondering where to begin or which yacht fits your specific needs, our expert brokers are ready to assist. Contact us to tailor your ideal yachting itinerary.


Beth Hecimovich

Jan 05, 2024

Daniel and Martina were outstanding and helped us execute the trip of a lifetime ! Very responsive and available to assist with anything and everything. They made sure that every detail was addressed and that our family was treated well. We have worked with other Charter Brokers in the past and DMA Yachting service and knowledge was far superior. Highly recommend.



Jan 08, 2024

Chris was incredibly helpful in our first charter experience every step of the way. He helped us select the right boat, walked us through all the options available to us and helped ensure that we had an incredibly memorable experience. Thank you to the entire team for making our New Years celebration once in a lifetime! We are already looking forward to planning our next charter through DMA.

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