The Saronic Gulf is a fantastic area to make your first sailing trip to Greece. It is directly accessible from the marinas of Athens, and is relatively well protected by the strong meltemia making it ideal for those who take the first sailing steps. It has some great islands to visit nearby. Below are our top 5 choices to visit while sailing in the Saronic Gulf!
Aegina is a classic stop for sailing trips that start or end in Athens and have a thriving sailing community located in the cafes and bars around the main marina. The old town of Aegina is full of beautiful slopes and hidden places of interest, and you should not miss a visit to the Temple of Aphaia with great views. If you are a fan of peanuts, be sure to get some on the trip. Aegina peanuts are considered the best in the world!
Poros is another popular sailing destination and has many sailing courses. The old town of Poros is charming, with magnificent views of the old clock tower, which is visible upon entering the Poros marina. Other sights include the Archaeological Museum, the ruins of the Russian naval base (next to a bay often used for overnight sailing) and Bourtzi Castle on a small island on the west coast of Poros.
Hydra is known for its many art exhibitions and lack of cars! What could be more enjoyable than relaxing after a good day of sailing with only the sounds of nature and cheer as a background? Hydra is a small island that makes it ideal for leisurely walks with many historic buildings and monasteries within walking distance. It owes its name to the abundant waters that sprouted from the rich springs it had in antiquity.
Spetses has a brilliant history because of its important role in the Greek War of Independence. Today Spetses is a place where super-yachts and regular boats blend into the marina and have a nightlife that competes with many of the most famous Greek islands! If you like your interest in the latest Greek history, the Bouboulina Museum dedicated to the history of Laskarina Bouboulina, a popular heroine of the Greek Independence movement, is worth a visit. The island took its present name from the Venetians after calling it “Isola di Spezia” which means Perfume Island because of the many flowers that existed.
Although is not an island, it would be silly not to include a quick trip to the world-famous Ancient Theater of Epidaurus while sailing the area! The modern city of Epidaurus has a nice small marina, where sailboats can tie in at night and your transfer to the theater can be arranged easily. If you are there in the summer, make sure you check out what they play during the Epidaurus Festival, which is a fantastic experience to watch an ancient work set in its original setting, but be sure to close it early as it is a popular place!