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Yacht & Catamaran Charter in Athens, Greece
Looking to sail from Athens? Search to find and book your ideal boat, or read everything you need to know: prevailing winds, where to sail, how to get there and more!
As well as being monumentally historical, Athens is the best place to charter from if you want to explore the Saronic islands - and there's so much to explore: from the pistachio-growing island of Aegina, the ancient ruins at Poros, and the almost mythical Hydra, which is an amphitheatre of a marina that is genuinely a wonder to behold, and where they still transport everything by donkey!
In the Saronic islands you'll also find near-permanent sunshine and reliable winds (not too strong, but not too light either), as well as good sailing facilities: people have been sailing around here for literally thousands of years. Isn't it time you joined them?
From Athens you’re very well placed to explore the Saronic islands - Aegina is famous for its pistachio nuts, Poros for its vibrant tavernas and the Posedion ruins, and Hydra for the incredible stepped-town which is a joy to behold after a few hours at sea.
Top 3 things to see
Check out our 6-day itinerary below, or if you’re planning your own itinerary, here’s our top 3 places to visit in the area:
Athens (0 nM from Athens)
Literally the home of modern civilization, you can’t pass through Athens without seeing the Acropolis – up close if you’re an enthusiast or from one of the amazing local rooftop bars.
Aegina (22 nM from Athens)
This extinct volcano-island used to be a rival to Athens – now it is most famous for having the best pistachios in Greece, and soft natural sponge. It’s also a homely town with friendly locals and excellent (pistachio) ice-cream!
Hydra (43 nM from Athens)
Nothing beats the atmosphere and beauty of entering the hillside fishing village of Hydra after a day of sailing. Cars are banned here – so grab a donkey to help with the shopping - and it’s one of our hot tips for the whole of the Mediterranean!
Suggested 6-day itinerary
This itinerary is for 115 nM for the week, which means that, assuming you’re travelling at a conservative 4-5 knots, should mean a combined 23-28 hours of sailing time – or 4-5 hours a day, leaving you ample time to explore the start or end point, get some provisions in, have a lie-in, or to stop off at interesting places en-route for lunch, shopping or a swim.This also assumes that you’ll check-in on the boat on the Saturday and either spend the day getting provisions sorted and stowed, or just take the yacht or catamaran out for a quick spin before returning back to the home marina, ready to depart for your voyage bright and early on Sunday morning.
This itinerary also includes getting the boat back to the home marina for 6pm on Friday night, as required by the charter operator (so they can inspect the yacht), and then complete the check-out formalities immediately before you leave the boat (after an exhilarating week) on Saturday morning.
Day 1. Athens to Aegina – 22 nM
Fire up the burners and motor the yacht or catamaran gently out of the marina (taking care to remember whereabouts the yacht was parked, as you’ll likely need to return it to the same general area next week), and you’re ready to set sail! The first day is a straightforward sail in a SW direction - which is also the direction of the prevailing summer winds, so you’ll likely be running or reaching downwind.
Avoiding the ferries and the massive cargo ships, the island of Aegina will be on the nose of the bow for most of the way, and then you tuck around the north-side of the island to find the pretty fishing village of Aegina, which has bars, restaurants and shops located around the marina to tempt you back on to dry land. Aegina is most famous for its pistachio nuts, so be sure to pick up a handful.
Day 2. Aegina to Poros – 18 nM
Bearing pretty much due South of Aegina, and down a funky and narrow channel (don’t worry – it’s plenty big enough for a yacht or a catamaran to navigate down!), you’ll find the island and town of Poros. This is situated on both sides of the channel, with local taxi-boats helping to get you from one side to another, which adds a fun dimension to planning your evening entertainment.
The main part of the town is on the northern side of the channel, which offers neoclassical architecture, a town square, and a beautiful blue church tower, as well as plenty of traditional Greek taverna’s, almost all of which will serve up excellent seafood. There's also the ruins of the ancient temple of Poseidon, but beware they are just ruins now.
Day 3. Poros to Hydra – 16 nM
Just as Poros will seem centuries away from modern day Athens, so Hydra, the next port of call, will seem another step backwards in time - Hydra is the furthest that you’ll get from Athens on this trip, in more than one sense of the word. This is an idyllic fishing village built up the steep sides of a natural bay marina, and, unbelievably, where they still haven’t yet learned about the invention of the motor car! Life moves at a different pace, and Donkeys or scooters are the main form of transport on the dusty narrow roads.
From Poros, you’ll bear out of the channel and in a South-easterly direction along the Peloponnese peninsular, before heading South-west to Hydra. The entry into Hydra is spectacular (and one of the high points of the Mediterranean), with the buildings on the steep sides of the bay turning the marina into something of a medieval auditorium. The marina is only small, so get there early if you want to be guaranteed a spot.
Day 4. Hydra to Methana – 21 nM
The sail from Hydra to Methana can take you back the way you came (via Poros town) or you can skip the other way around the island and take a dip in the beautiful and largely unspoilt Vagonia Bay or another bay along the East coast of Poros island. From there, it’s a short hop in a North-westerly direction to the volcanic island and popular spa town of the Methana.
Formed from intense volcanic activity in around 260 BC, Methana’s 25 volcanoes now lie pretty much dormant, save for a few sulphur springs and thermal baths (both inside and outdoors). The baths are said to have mystical healing ability, but, at the very least, they’re warm. For those that like to scale volcanoes, there are a number of large craters to be found, but it’s an arduous trek from the town. Plus the nearby beautiful beach of Limnionas is well worth a visit, and the view of the surrounding islands is almost just as good from sea-level.
Methana town itself is also a relaxed place to stroll around.
Day 5. Methana to Agistri – 15 nM via Perdika
The Northerly journey from Methana to Agistri is only short if you go in a straight line (which would suit if you wanted to spend an extra few hours on land at either end – for instance, in a thermal bath in Methana). If you wanted a longer sail, and now you’ve honed your mooring skills, you could always head for lunch in the town of Perdika (on the Southern end of the isle of Aegina), or to go snorkelling near the untouched and uninhabited isle of Moni (the small isle opposite Perdika), or to bathe on it’s Paradise beach.
Agistri, or, more specifically, the town of Megalochori (or ‘Milos’) at it’s Northern tip, is an idyllic Greek fishing village with enchanting narrow streets. Life clearly moves at a different pace, and it’s almost impossible not to relax here. As with most of the Saronic gulf, the seafood is exceptional, and you’ll consider money well spent if you visit a local taverna.
Day 6. Agistri to Athens – 26 nM
And to the final day. Sad face. From Agistri, you’ll be beating into the prevailing summer wind as you work your way North-east alongside the top of Aegina (which you should recognise from the first day) and back across to Alimos.
If you haven’t yet been to explore Athens ancient centre, then it really is well worth a visit, and the Acropolis is still a wonder to behold even after 2,000 years. A tram stop just outside the marina makes it easy to connect to the city centre, and then you can join all the other tourists in checking out the home of modern civilisation.
For those with less energy, the best beach bars in Athens are just along the coast, or the marina itself has three bars which should have not only a fun atmosphere, but also plenty of fellow sailors who you can share tales of your adventures with.
And then it’s time to check-out to head for home – and to start planning your next voyage with PlainSailing.com for next year (or maybe you can squeeze a quick jaunt in later on in the season…?)
What temperature will it be?
Athens, as with Greece in general, is blessed with glorious sunshine for much of the year. The winter is very mild in winter, with the temperature rarely falling below 10 degrees.
The sunbathing weather begins in late April or early May, when temperatures are consistently above 20 degrees until October (which coincides neatly with the sailing season). July and August are the warmest months in Athens, when temperatures average 30 degrees but often reach up to 40 degrees, which can feel stifling when you are not in the wind or the shade.
How warm is the sea?
The sea near Athens ranges from 15 degrees in the winter months, which might feel a little nippy, to over 20 degrees from June to November, and 25 degrees in July and August, when the water will feel positively tropical.
What is the wind like?
In terms of wind, the prevailing wind in Athens is a North-Easterly, which means you’ll likely be going down the wind to nearby Aegina and Poros, or reaching if you stick to the coastline south of Athens. The wind is fairly dependable during the sailing season, with wind speeds of over 11 knots most days offering pretty ideal sailing conditions.
There is a katabatic wind which rolls off the mainland once the ground is heated by the sun, which means that the wind speeds start off slowly in the mornings, pick up in the afternoons, and are virtually non-existent when the sun sets.
During July and August, there are also Melthimi winds, which descend from Hungary and can reach speeds of over 25 knots, and which are probably best enjoyed from land unless you’re an experienced sailor.
What is the Current Weather in Athens?
If you're off sailing in a couple of days, you might be interested to know what the 7 day forecast is - our handy widget below should give you a good idea, though once you're out there we recommend using windguru.cz.
Our Charter Partners operate out of two marinas in Athens, and both are easily accessible by public transport.
Most charters at the moment are from Alimos Marina, but there are a growing number of charters starting from Marina Delta Kalithea, which is the brand new multi-billion euro development closer to the heart of Athens, in an area ear-marked for regeneration. The marins is sill in development at the moment, so is a little rough around the edges, but will be a fantastic asset to both sailing and Athens once completed.
Alimos Marina is the largest marina in Athens, with over 1080 berths for yachts, and superb facilities - including three in-marina bars/restaurants which can provide a great starting point to your holiday, or a welcome space for rest and relaxation away from your boat.
In the nearby town (also called ‘Alimos’), you’ll find a mixture of shops - including a small supermarket - but more pleasingly, a gelateria and a number of restaurants of a range of cuisines, and bars, which make exploring the local town worth the short stroll. Just down the coast, there’s a public beach to while away the hours, and, heading in the same direction you’ll find some of Athens best beach-clubs and most exclusive nightclubs which spill out onto the beach and where cocktails and loud music flow well into the night.
Alimos is well connected to Athens city centre – there is a tram stop just outside the marina, and the tram will whisk you briskly into the beautiful and historic city centre, which is just 15km away.
|Long / Lat:||N 37° 54' E 23° 42'|
|Telephone:||0030 21098 80000|
|Facilities:||Bottled gas, Chandler, Disabled facilities, Electrical supply, Electrical repairs, Engine repairs, First aid, Fresh water, Fuel: Diesel, Fuel: Petrol, Hardstanding / Boatyard, Internet café, Laundry facilities, Lift-out facilities, Parking, Pub / Restaurant, Pump out, Rigging service, Sail repairs, Shipwright, Shop / Supermarket, Showers, Slipway, Toilets, Telephone, Trolleys, Visitors berths, WiFi|
Marina Delta Kallithea
Marina Delta Kallithea, the second biggest marina in Athens, is a few kilometres north of Alimos, which means it is also more centrally located for the city centre. It's such a brand new marina that parts of it are still under construction, so the facilities are a little basic (though there is a small cafe and toilet facilities), but it should one day be a top class facility, and the whole area surrounding it is due to become 'the Greek riviera'. There's a sailing club based at the marina, as well as a branch of the International Sea Scouts.
In the local area, you'll find a few different parks, a few museums, and the Olympic Handball and Taekwondo stadium (also named the 'Peace and Friendship stadium'), which overlooks the marina. The coastal walk around the Trocadero area (where they occasionally have live outdoor music events) is very pleasant, and attracts runners, cyclists and roller-skaters. There's also a cinema complex within walking distance.
The nearest airport is Athens international airport, which is 33km away from the Athens city centre.
To get to Alimos marina, you have the choice of taking a private transfer (which we can help you arrange, and someone will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall), by hailing a normal taxi when you arrive, by bus (The X95 bus will take you past the marina), or by metro (going into the city centre and switching from the blue to the red line at Syntagma square, before disembarking at 'Alimos'), which also gives you the chance to explore the old town if you have time.
Similarly, for Marina Delta Kallithea, the easiest way to get to the marina is via private transfer (which we can help to arrange), but it's also possible to get to the marina using public transport - take the X96 bus from the airport in the direction of Pireus and get off at 'Floisvos' to switch on to a T3 tram - you'll need to get off at Delta Falirou.
If you're already in the city, the best way to get to the either marina is by metro and tram, - 'Alimos' is just eight stops away from the centre of the old town, and Marina Delta Kallithea is located right near the 'Peace and Friendship stadium' on the T4 line, so follow directions for that. Be sure to buy (and stamp) a ticket before getting on the metro.
This page last updated: March 2019
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