Note that the video, text, and images are only a suggestion, your broker and captain will advise on the feasibility of this itinerary for your season and yacht. The video and the images were not taken on the charter.
Welcome to Argo-Sardonic, a group of islands a stone’s throw away from Athens that preserves its authenticity. Famous for attractive beaches, traditional architecture and beautiful nature, the Sardonic Gulf is a historic place. The gulf is an excellent sailing destination regardless of the season since its geographical position shelters vessels from strong winds. The Sardonic Islands is an archipelago consisting of many islands, with Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses being visited the most.
Yacht Charter Day 0 – Arrival in Athens, the capital of Greece
Take a day to explore Athens, the capital of Greece and the cradle of democracy, before you set sail. Visit the Acropolis of Athens, occupying the top of a hill overlooking the city and boasting classical temples of the Parthenon, Erechtheion and several others. On your way down, take a look at the Dionysus Theatre and visit the Museum of Acropolis. Spare some time to explore Plaka, the most picturesque neighborhood of Athens and a famous shopping area.
Yacht Charter Day 1 – Athens – Aegina
After boarding a vessel at the Agios Kosmas marina near Glyfada, we set sail towards the island of Aegina, up to an hour away by yacht. On our way, the historic island of Salamina comes into view. There, Greeks defeated the Persian fleet in 480 BC, shortly after the epic battle at Thermopylae where 300 Spartans held their ground against the same enemy. After the Battle at Salamina, Persians retreated from Greece. Today, the island is an industrial area with factories and shipyards.
Aegina Island used to be the capital of Greece from 1826 to 1828, during the Greek War of Independence against the Turks (1821-1832). Agia Marina is a village located on the northeastern coast, offering panoramic views of Athens. Sheltered in a bay and surrounded by hills, the village is a destination for fans of tasty food and attractive landscapes. Acquaint yourself with the Greek music as Agia Marina transforms itself from a peaceful daytime village to a lively nightlife spot in the evening.
Athena Aphaia, an ancient Doric temple, overlooks Agia Marina and its bay from the vantage point some 300 meters above sea level. It is one of the finest remnants of antiquity in Greece, dating from the 5th century BC. Columns over 5 meters tall used to support the frieze and tympanum whose depictions illustrated the scenes from the Trojan Wars. Find exhibits from this locality at the Archaeological Museum in Aegina Town. Agia Marina Beach is a sandy beach featuring clear waters and water sports, such as parasailing and canoeing.
Souvala, located on the northern side of this Sardonic island, is a sandy beach famous for cold and hot springs. Near the beach is a traditional fishing village with taverns and bars. Waters of Souvala Beach are shallow, ideal for children. Aegina Town, full of neoclassical structures from the 19th century, is the main seaport, located in the northwest of the island. Narrow streets abound with vendors selling pistachios, the main product of Aegina. Travelers who like to eat fish should visit the fish market.
Yacht Charter Day 2 – Aegina – Agistri
Several kilometers to the east of the town, along the way to the Athena Aphaia, is a ghost village of Paleohora. Completely abandoned, Paleohora features many churches with frescoes, with Metamorphosis and Episcopi among the finest. South of Aegina Town along the coastline, you will find Marathon, a sandy and secluded beach that boasts marvelous sunsets. Marathon Beach is ideal for solitude seekers. As you steer your yacht south, you arrive in Perdika, a traditional fishing village with a marina. Perdika occupies a hill offering views of the sea and narrow streets. A green island of Moni is next to the village, ideal for a sailing expedition.
The less-visited island of Agistri is the next destination in our Argo-Sardonic route. Located west of Aegina, it abounds with attractive coves, pine forests and traditional Greek villages. Skala and Megalochori are the main villages of this Sardonic island, both located in the north. Each of them has a marina, while Skala is a tourist resort offering various facilities. Both settlements are ideal bases for sailing around Agistri, with buses connecting them to the best beaches.
Skala Beach is an organized sandy beach, with a beautiful church in its background. South of Skala is Halikiada, a naturist beach at the base of a hill, easily accessible from the sea. Dragonera is a pebble beach encircled by green hills, located on the western side of the island, near Megalochori.
Further south, in the southwestern part of Agistri, Aponissos is an organized, pebble beach, featuring verdant greenery. If you don’t mind climbing, sail across the small channel to the adjacent Dorousa Island and climb to the Profitis Ilias Church. Take exceptional photos of Agistri, Aegina and much of the Sardonic Gulf from there.
Yacht Charter Day 3 – Agistri – Methana
On the third day, we continue sailing southward toward the peninsula of Methana – a volcano that had risen from the depths of the Sardonic Gulf and merged with Peloponnese. The main point of interest of the peninsula is the spa town of Methana, located in a bay surrounded by hills. Note that you may sense strong smells as you draw near to the port because of thermal spas. Sailing around the Methana Peninsula reveals magnificent scenery with palm trees, undergrowth, steep volcanic hills and villages occupying viewpoints and the coastline.
Hiking the slopes of nearby Methana Volcano is among top activities on the peninsula. As you advance uphill, increasingly spectacular scenic views of the Aegean Sea and Peloponnese will keep opening before you.
Yacht Charter Day 4 – Methana – Poros
Yachting by the coastline of Peloponnese takes us to Poros Town, the main town of the Sardonic Poros Island. It occupies several slopes of the island separated from Peloponnese by a narrow strait. The charming neoclassical town teems with flowers, vines and narrow streets. For great views of the surroundings, especially during sunset, climb a vantage point marked by a white clock tower. Poros Island boasts lush greenery and amazing beaches with crystal-clear waters. The island boasts lounge nightlife.
A few kilometers northwest of Poros Town is Love Bay, a small beach surrounded by pines. Since many people visit this organized beach, anchoring there early or late during the day may be the best option. Another excellent beach of Poros Island is Askeli, east of the town. The long sandy beach features sunbeds and parasols, a beach-volley court, taverns and stores. Watersports such as water skiing and banana boating are available, too.
Anchor your yacht at Monastery Beach further east to visit the nearby Zoodochos Pigi Monastery, located in a pine forest. The monastery is the resting place of many Greeks who fought for independence from the Turkish Empire in the 19th century. Monastery Beach is a gem of Poros nature, encircled by hills and abundant with pine trees. It is a sandy beach with sunbeds and a great diving spot. Water sports are also available on this beach.
Yacht Charter Day 5 – Poros – Hydra
For many travelers and sailors, Poros is the best island of Sardonic for a yacht excursion. Its hospitality facilities, coves and nature are a few good reasons for such an opinion. Beaches of Megalo Nerio, Mikro Nerio, Russian Bay and Kanali on the southern side of the island and Vagionia on the northern are just some you should discover.
For fans of archeology, a visit to the Temple of Poseidon, on the road from Poros Town to Vagionia, may be a good excursion. You can access the site in less than half an hour by car from Poros Town. Note, however, that only remains of the temple exist today.
Where Poros features greenery, Hydra is a barren rock. However, this elongated island shelters coves easily accessible by a boat, some of which teem with vegetation. The main town is Hydra Town, built on the hillside and featuring paved streets and stone structures. Riding a donkey is what you should try here since the residents don’t use motor vehicles.
The town has a marina overlooked by a bastion and its 18th-century cannons. You can find some top diving locations in the Sardonic Islands around Hydra, one of them including a shipwreck from the 23rd century BC. Besides daytime, you can practice nighttime diving here. Fans of history should check out the Historical Archives Museum. It exhibits a wide range of printed items and artifacts from the 19th-century Greek Independence War and the 20th-century world wars.
Villages of Kaminia and Vlychos, featuring organized and family-friendly beaches, are a short donkey ride from Hydra Town. Kaminia is a long, sandy beach offering views of Peloponnese. Vlychos is a bit farther, with sunbeds and parasols on offer. Upon return to the town, you may wish to enjoy the nightlife in the area adjacent to the marina.
Yacht Charter Day 6 – Hydra – Spetses
For visiting Bisti and Agios Nikolaos beaches, which are in the southwestern part of Hydra Island, better use your chartered yacht. Both are pebble beaches edged by hills. Bisti Beach occupies a cove flanked by tall trees on the northern side of Hydra. To reach Agios Nikolaos, which is at the base of high hills and accessible only by boat, you need to sail to the southern part of the island. Both beaches feature sunbeds and parasols.
Spetses is the westernmost island of the Argo-Sardonic archipelago. Many travelers consider its secluded beaches the most beautiful in the Sardonic Islands. Spetses Town, located in the east, features elegant mansions built during the Middle Ages. Spetses Island was among the first to contribute its ships for the Independence War, and the Armata Festival, taking place in September, commemorates the event. Biking around Spetses for accessing its beaches is a popular leisure activity. The town is a traffic-free zone, with only motorbikes allowed to enter.
As you enter Dapia Port in the town, you will see a few old cannons and a beautiful stone mosaic depicting an octopus. Near the port is the Bouboulina Museum, housed in the house of Laskarisa Bouboulina, the heroine of the Independence War (1821-1832). The top attraction of Spetses stages guided tours in English, exhibits period furnishings and memorabilia, and traces the life of Laskarisa. Agios Nikolaos Church is another top attraction of Spetses Town, recognizable by its tall bell tower made of marble. It features elaborate interior, arches supported by Doric columns and a courtyard featuring exquisite mosaics similar to the one at Dapia Port.
Yacht Charter Day 7 – Spetses – Aegina/Agistri
Agioi Anargiri Beach, located on the opposite side of the island from Spetses Town, is among a few best beaches on Spetses Island. It is long, developed pebble beach with deep waters for enjoying water sports. Located in a cove surrounded by hills and lush greenery, it features cafes and taverns. Next to Agioi Anargiri is the Bekiri Cave, which you can explore by swimming and diving. A bit north of Agioi Anargiri is Agia Paraskevi Beach, a big pebble beach. Pine trees provide shade while low hills with undergrowth flank the beach.
To reach the two beaches, you can sail the yacht westward, with Vrelos Beach along the way, or passing by Agia Marina Beach to the south. Agia Marina is near Spetses Town and the most popular beach on the island. There are sunbeds, parasols and beach facilities, such as taverns and water sports, available here. Vrelos Beach stands in the shadow of nearby trees, surrounded by hills, and is a party hotspot of Spetses Island.
As the sixth day of your Sardonic experience draws to its end, it is time to turn the charter yacht toward Aegina or Agistri. Note that the return journey to any of these islands should take around an hour, unless you wish to visit some places again. Plan with care to make the most of the day.
Yacht Charter Day 8 – Aegina/Agistri – Athens
During morning hours, we sail toward Glyfada, the first and the last stop of our 7-day Sardonic experience.