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
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 ropesand 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
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
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!!
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!
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
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
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)
Sail to Samosa 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.
The major attraction of the island, however, is once one gets
out of the port. Samos is beautifully greenmountains covered
with pine forests, streams, stunning cliffs and beachesa
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
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.
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 !!
Sail to Patmosa short
hop of only a couple of hours. This is the famous monastry islandin
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)!
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 !
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 !
Sail to Lipsosthe 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
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 !
Disembark 9am in Lakki.
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.