Sailing in the Stunning Saronic Gulf

The Saronic Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea between Athens and Piraeus in the east and Corinth in the west, carves its way deep into the Greek mainland. Also known as the ‘Gulf of Aegina’, it is surrounded on three sides by the Peloponnese and Attica. It is almost a small sea in its own right in the centre of Greece, with its very own diverse and fascinating islands.

Discover our favourite destinations to visit on a yacht charter in the Saronic Islands in the following article!

An Island Hopping Paradise

The Saronic Gulf is largely unspoiled by mass tourism and is protected from the Meltemi winds, which can blow quite strongly from the north in the summertime. It offers perfect conditions for a relaxed sailing holiday and island hopping at its very best.

The weather conditions are very consistent and stable from around mid-May, with lows of around 20°C and highs of around 32°C. The area boasts many hours of sunshine and little swell.

An extension of the Cyclades arc, the Saronic Gulf is densely dotted with islands all the way to the Peloponnese. Active volcanoes, picturesque old towns, lively culture, world-famous sites, and beautiful beaches are just a few of the highlights of these islands.

A short journey from Athens airport by taxi or public transport, the harbour of Piraeus or Marina Alimos offers an ideal starting point for your yacht charter holiday.

Hop from island to island on our cabin cruise in the Saronic Gulf!

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Epidauros/ Epidaurus

Located on the north-eastern ‘finger’ of the Peloponnese, Epidaurus (Latin ‘Epidaurus’) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its numerous artefacts, excavations and buildings, dating from the 15th to 11th centuries B.C. The excellently preserved amphitheatre with its incomparable acoustics, never fail to impress and captivate visitors from all over the world.

For diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, the ‘Sunken City’ is an exciting underwater world of ancient buildings that will delight children! The perfect stopover on your sailing holiday in the Saronic Gulf!

The Pretty Coastal Town of Ermioni

Ermioni is a treasure trove of nature, history, and culture, from its charming harbour to its lush plain and magnificent beaches, caressed by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. In its heyday in the 5th century BC, the city-state was famous for its purple production for emperors and kings. Today, the pretty little coastal town of Ermioni is an idyllic yacht charter holiday location with great fish tavernas and fragrant pine groves.

The Methana Peninsula: Experience Active Volcanism Live!

At the north-western point of the Cyclades arc, lies the Methana peninsula on the eastern tip of the Peloponnese, characterised by its wild volcanic landscape. The peninsula offers a wealth of natural history, archeology, and geology to explore. The quiet, idyllic destination boasts numerous beautiful hiking trails and ancient sights dating from the 2nd to 5th centuries BC. The perfect place to relax on your yacht charter holiday!

Stunning Islands for Swimming and Anchoring: the Diaporian Islands

The Diaporian Islands, also known as the Diapories, are small, uninhabited islands. They are home to very diverse and unspoilt flora and fauna. The islets, with their crystal-clear, deep waters and pebbled shores are ideal for anchoring, swimming and relaxing, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But beware: although there are beautiful anchorages on the islands of Agios Thomas, Ypsili and Ledou, there are few shady trees on the islands themselves to provide protection from the scorching summer sun! Make sure to pack the suncream for your yacht charter!

The Relaxing Island of Poros

The tranquil island of Poros is still largely untouched by tourism. Located off the north-western tip of the Peloponnese, the 23 square kilometre island in the Saronic Gulf can only be reached by boat. The picturesque main town of Poros has neoclassical buildings to explore.

The area has many local winegrowers and fishing businesses. Extensive olive and citrus groves and shady Aleppo pine forests make the island a truly beautiful and worthwhile destination for sailors who want to focus on enjoyment with all their senses, relaxation and a Greek zest for life.

The Saronic Island of Salamis

Only a nautical mile or so from the coast of Piraeus lies the largest island in the Saronic Gulf with a total area of 95 square kilometres: Salamis, also known as ‘Koulouri’. Most famous for the naval battle of Salamis in the Persian War of the 5th century BC, it has a ‘military’ tradition dating and is now the base and headquarters of the Greek navy. A favourite excursion destination for Athenians, Salamis is easy to reach by boat and offers a variety of great sightseeing and excursion destinations, accommodation, shopping and entertainment options.

The Idyllic Islands of Hydra and Dokos

Embarking on a yacht charter holiday to Hydra and Dokos offers a blend of serene nature and cultural richness. Dokos, a small, rocky island in the Saronic Gulf, is perfect for nature lovers, hikers, and free campers with its clean shores and mountainous landscape. Hydra boasts a cosmopolitan ambiance and rich naval tradition, attracting artists and celebrities. The island’s picturesque town and harbour, luxury residences built by Italian craftsmen, and grand houses-turned-museums offer a fascinating architectural experience.

Donkeys are the main means of transport and an indispensable part of the harbour, as cars are not allowed on the island. Enjoy strolling through car-free streets, taking in stunning Aegean views, swimming in deep blue waters, and tasting local cuisine in charming tavernas. Enjoy the tranquility, history, and scenic beauty of these islands on your sailing holiday.

Spetses: The Stylish and Sophisticated Greek Island

Called ‘Pityoussa’ in ancient times, Spetses is an island south of the Argolis peninsula, which attracts visitors with its ambience of neoclassical villas, sophisticated restaurants and high-quality boutiques. Largely free of cars, people on Spetses move around by foot, horse-drawn carriage or on bicycles.

The island attracts sailors and holidaymakers who value a stylish atmosphere and liveliness. For a more relaxed ambience, we recommend the quiet pebble and sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees and crystal-clear waters.

The Picturesque Island of Aegina and the Fishing Village of Perdika

Also known as the ‘Goat Island‘, Aegina is located around 15 nautical miles south-west of the Athens harbour of Piraeus. With its mild climate and proximity to Athens, the island has a long population history. It has probably been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC! Its inhabitants live mainly from pistachio cultivation and holiday tourism.

Aegina offers year-round opportunities for sporting activities on land, at sea and on the numerous well-kept beaches. Enjoy leisurely strolls or interesting excursions to the countless sights and museums.

If you would like to visit Aegina by catamaran or sailboat, we recommend the harbour of Perdika. This particularly picturesque fishing village to the south of Aegina Town, is famous for its beach with glistening turquoise-coloured waters. It has a particularly lively and pretty village with small houses, narrow streets and lovingly run cafés, tavernas and restaurants.

The Saronic Gulf: A sailing holiday for all

Whether you want to sail with or without a skipper and/or crew, on a sailboat or a catamaran, you have a lot, little or no sailing experience: The Saronic Gulf is a fantastic holiday destination that offers something for everyone.

The Saronic Islands are in close proximity to one another and protected from strong winds close to the mainland, a great sailing area for anyone who simply wants to ‘get a taste’ for sailing, in ideal conditions.

Tips and information about sailing

Did you like this article and did it pique your interest? You may also be interested in our overview of the Cyclades or recommendations for Greece in general. We look forward to your feedback and questions!