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Two Week Sample Itinerary of Greece

This is an example of a typical itinerary on our two week Greece trips. However, no two trips are ever exactly the same; one of the greatest things about being on a sailboat is the flexibility to change our minds and our route to suit personal preferences, prevailing wind conditions, etc. The start and finish points are fixed, of course - but all else is changeable according to the whims of the wind gods and those on board

Day One
Your yacht will be awaiting you at 11am in Agmar Marine, the main harbour of Lakki on Leros. We'll have drinks, boat chat, show you're the ropes—and then head off for our first destination of Vathi, on the island of Kalymnos; a relaxing downwind sail to ease those landlubberly legs into shape slowly! About 3 ½ hrs sail time.

Vathi is a dramatic little spot; a well-hidden and very narrow fjord-like entrance, opening up into a tiny fishing village at the head of the bay. It boasts one main street and a collection of houses scattered into the valley; an unexpected patch of lush vegetation on an otherwise very dry and arid-looking island. Vathi is the only place on the entire island that is lucky enough to have it's own spring water supply, and they use it carefully to cultivate citrus fruits, figs, grapes and anything else that can be persuaded to grow!
It's also the home of "Poppy's"—one of our "adopted families" around here, where momma makes the best homemade dolmades (stuffed grapeleaves) you'll ever taste in your life, and the swordfish steaks are out of this world!!

Day Two
Sail to Paleonissos - a little-known secret of Kalymnos! Another dramatic and mountainous bay, tucked well away in the north of the island; anchorages like this are what make landlubbers fall totally in love with the cruising lifestyle ! There is little here apart from herds of goats; at dusk and dawn, the sound of their bells echoes around the hillside - not a bad alarm call ! With no distracting light around, the night sky is a dramatic sight; many an hour has been spent sitting on deck / on the beach simply star-gazing. Our unlikely-seeming dinner spot is a hike-and-scramble 5mins inland,through bushes of sweet-smelling sage - to the backyard of our local buddy Nicolas, an eccentric character who delights in telling stories of the old Kalymnian sponge fishers, and inviting his music-loving companions from nearby villages to serenade us!

Day Three
After breakfast and morning swims, we'll sail to Pandeli Bay on the east coast of Leros; a pretty and lively little village. Traditional blue-and-white houses lie scattered down the hillside, around the little horseshoe-shaped bay. Our favourite beach tavernas are conveniently just a 2 min swim from where we anchor the boats in the middle of the bay - a real picture-postcard scene! For those with plenty of night-owl energy, there is the infamous Savana Bar - a very idiosyncratic little local hangout, where we often end up dancing the night away!

Leros is also a great island to rent little 50cc scooters or a jeep, and go explore the dozens of bays & backroads, other little villages - and most of all, the 11th century fortress which towers over the bay (both sunrise and sunset are totally spectacular from up here).

Day Four
Sail to Agathonissi (approx 3-4hrs). A small, traditional island with just one fishing port, plus two tiny villages perched on top of the hillside; a population of just 150 people. On arrival, we'll no doubt be greeted by our host Giorgos - a.k.a. Unofficial Harbour Master and Ouzo King of Agathonissi ! A colourful evening at George's is usually on the menu; he loves to see our yachts sailing in - it's a great excuse for a party on an otherwise quiet and isolated island

Day Five
Early morning sail to Marathi. If you could paint a picture of the perfect, tiny Greek island retreat - Marathi would be it. A horseshoe-shaped sandy bay, no regular ferry connections with other islands; you need your own boat to get here. Our adopted family here are so wonderful and hospitable too - and the food is incredible!! This tiny spot has hit top of the Favourite Spot list with our groups for several years now - so much so that it's been hard to persuade people that, really, we should leave, there are other islands to visit ! (approx 3hrs sail time)

Day Six
Sail to Samos—a real contrast from the last two tiny, remote little islands! Samos is quite the upmarket, cosmopolitan island; the little harbour of Pythagorion is lined with dozens of tavernas along the waterfront. Pythagorion is the birthplace and home of that famous mathematician who gave his name to the theorum; who also had a most ingenious way of making sure his students did not drink too much wine at his lectures. Check out the "Pythagoras Cup"! It's a pretty little port; can get somewhat crowded and noisy in mid-summer months; definitely is the place to hit the town and party-on-down for those so inclined! Sail time: 3-4hrs.

Day Seven
The major attraction of the island, however, is once one gets out of the port. Samos is beautifully green—mountains covered with pine forests, streams, stunning cliffs and beaches—a real contrast to most of the other Dodecanese islands, which aren't exactly what you'd call lush. We often do a really fun "jeep safari" here. spend the day exploring all over the island.

Or, there's also a chance to take a daytrip to Turkey and visit Kusadasi and Ephesus - great bargain-hunting in Kusadasi's maze of bazaars, and immensely impressive ruins of the ancient city at Ephesus (the Acropolis has nothing on this !).

For those staying for just one week of this 2wk itinerary, Samos is the departure point; 9am on Saturday morning. For those joining for wk2, the rendezvous is Sun morning (day 8), at 9am.

Day Eight
This past year, a return visit to Marathi was voted in so many times, that we're just going to put it on the regular route for this year! Samos is a lot of fun, lots to see and do - but after a couple of days of packing in the action, an afternoon of Marathi's tranquility usually seems like a really good idea again !!

Day Nine
Sail to Patmos—a short hop of only a couple of hours. This is the famous monastry island—in fact is supposedly the second most important religious centre for Greek Orthodoxy in the world! This is where St John (as of Apostle fame) was inspired by visions to write the Book of Revelations; where the 10th century monastry (built by Crusader Knights) reigns over the island, still an active training centre for novice monks. The village that lies at the foot of the monastry is everyone's romantic image of what a Greek village should be like; incredibly narrow, winding alleyways, cats sunning themselves on whitewashed streets, old ladies in black collecting fresh bread from the bakery in the morning. Despite all the visitors they now get, these villagers have remained wonderfullly friendly; particularly if you go up there in the early morning hours; the old ladies will look at you in faint amazement that a foreigner should find their way up there at such an hour; if you can remember enough of our Greek lessons to say "kalimera!" (good morning), they'll give you a huge smile and a "kalimera-sas" back (good morning to you too)!

Day Ten
In Patmos. Patmos is definitely another "two day island"—there's so much to do and see here, we could spend a week and still not be bored! It's another great place to hire those little scooters and explore...or mountain bikes for the more energetic; or join us for a hike to a really cool, sandy "clothing-optional" beach which even has surf at times! For those who love the energetic Greek nightlife, the more modern port of Skala offers plenty of choices; tavernas, bars and chance to dance the night away for those so inclined !

Day Eleven
Sail to Arki (approx 2hrs). If the weather is sufficiently calm, we may be able to visit Tiganakia also en route; also known as "Caribbean Cove" for it's translucent turquoise waters!

Another tiny, traditional island, Arki boasts a permanent population of just 27 people ! (The population expands considerably if you count the goats, however). There is just one little port, a few houses scattered down the hillside - and most of all, Manoli's place ! Mr Cool Dude Manoli runs a wonderful little oasis of a taverna; cushions scattered around the shady patio, speakers hidden away in the trees, from which a constant, beautiful stream of music emanates. Manoli has the most incredible music collection you could ever imagine on such an isolated little island, and is quite the musical expert too. Get him in the right mood, and he's also a hot dancer - as are all his nieces and nephews !

Day Twelve
Sail to Lipsos—the island of the 42 blue-domed churches. It's a quiet, very untouristy island; the harbour is a typical, whitewashed little Greek town; a photographers' dream in the village! To cool off, there is a lovely little sandy beach, just over the hill from where we moor the boats, and a great hike out to the point for those needing to burn off some of those calamari !

If we're lucky and conditions are calm, we may be able to visit Aspro Nisi ("White Island") en route; this a real stunning little island - or should we say "large rock"! - out in the middle of nowhere.

Day Thirteen
Sail back to Leros, to our home base of Lakki on the western side. En route, we'll stop for lunch-and-swim at the little uninhabited island of Archangelos - make sure you don't use up all your film in Lipsos, you'll be needing it for the amazingly bright turquoise waters of this little anchorage !

Once back in Lakki, there is one last chance to soak up the sun on the little beach just around the corner from the yachts, or maybe last just chill out with a beer / icecream frappe in the marina's taverna! Farewell dinner at Vromolithos - a beautiful beachfront taverna with the most amazing views over the bay - and, for a final night's grand finale - live Greek music !

Day Fourteen
Disembark 9am in Lakki.

Ongoing connection info: Flights to Athens depart approx 10.30am. There is sometimes an afternoon flight also in midseason; check with Olympic Airways. Hydrofoil connections to Samos and Kos depart between 9-10am. Ferry to Athens departs approx 9pm; takes 10hrs. Cabins are comfortable and booking one is highly recommended! The ferry dock is 5mins walk from our marina base; the airport is 10mins taxi ride.

Fantasy Travel of Greece
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