Rent a sailboat in the Cyclades, an island group situated in the Aegean which is a short distance to the southeast of Athens. The Cyclades present travelers with paradisaical beaches, hidden coves, and festive activities that are perfect for families, groups of friends, and even couples, making them ideal for a great sailing vacation in Greece. There are many islands with picturesque marinas where you can pick the ideal sailboat of your choice. You can directly contact the owners for the ideal vessel, or allow a BednBlue travel expert to guide you with some suggestions.
You have plenty of available options:
If you are an experienced sailor and have a license, you can choose to rent a sailboat without a skipper in the Cycladic islands. Otherwise, you have the opportunity to hire a sailboat with a captain on board for a completely stress-free vacation. You can rent a sailboat in the Cyclades to tour your preferred destinations, you also have the option to combine your trips with the Saronic islands since they are both close to Athens.
The name Cyclades comes from the Greek word “Kuklos” which means circle, the islands encircle the sacred island of Delos where Apollos was born. The famous and bigger islands of the archipelago include Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, Ios, Naxos, and Paros. Some of the lesser-known yet smaller islands include Serifos, Sifnos, Folegandros, Kythnos, Tinos, and Amorgos. Since the sea is close to the mainland, some of the earliest maritime routes and artistic expressions started in the Cyclades, meaning trade was a fundamental aspect in the Aegean Sea. Nowadays, the whitewashed houses and rocks that are enclosed by the sea are a typical representation of Cyclades. The buildings are in perfect harmony with the natural environment and this has constantly brought visitors yearly who want to enjoy a great sailing vacation and admire the dramatic landscapes.
A sailboat charter in the Cyclades can begin from Athens, but ideally, you would want to start from Mykonos or Santorini. This way, you can immediately begin exploring the Cyclades islands. Mykonos sets a vibrant social scene where many rich and famous arrive at mega yachts. You can enjoy a wonderful night by the clubs or plan a short cruise to Delos. You can also head to Tinos or Symi where you can enjoy the traditional side of Greek culture and lifestyle. If you are visiting during peak months of August, then we recommend you to head to Symi in Finikas which offers good protection from the Meltemi winds, Tinos and Andros are the windiest islands in the Cyclades during this period. Alternatively, if you choose to depart from Santorini, you can head to Folegandros. This is known to be a secret gem with stunning beaches. The main town of Chora will also offer guests magnificent views of the vast Aegean Sea.
You also have the option to go from Santorini to Milos on a day trip, both islands exhibit gorgeous landscapes due to the volcanic activity that occurred in the ancient years. Taking pictures on board of the multicolored volcanic beaches, including the white and black beaches of Santorini or the famous Sarakiniko beach of Milos, will leave you breathless. For an extended sailboat itinerary in the Cyclades, you can go a little further to islands such as Kythnos which has numerous anchorages and beautiful serene bays that are also fairly untouched from tourism. Some great destinations in between include Sifnos which is famed for its pottery and known for its top cuisine in the entire complex. A little further you can reach Serifos which has been forever bound with the mythical Perseus, the bustling cobblestone streets by the harbor are a walking paradise. Finally, if you are sailing in the Cyclades, you can visit many more islands such as Naxos, Paros, and Koufonisia.
A sailing trip in the Cyclades starting from Paros is also an excellent choice. Paros is very well-connected to a lot of neighboring islands. The port of Naoussa sits in a picturesque bay and offers the largest fleet of fishing boats in the Cyclades, all types of yachts can depart from here. A lot of charterers head from the Port of Parikia to Naoussa So they can admire the golden sand beaches, hidden coves, and beautiful caves. Do not miss the chance to visit the blue lagoon and Kolymbithres beach on a one-day cruise. From those renowned ports, you can easily head to Ios, the island of Homer’s mother, which has beautiful beaches and offers a vivid nightlife with exhilarating parties. You also have the option to go for sensational excursions to low populated or completely uninhabited islands such as Antiparos, Donousa, Heraklion, Kimolos, Koufonisia, and Schinoussa. These islands offer an exotic escape, crystal clear waters and are ideal for a relaxing getaway. They are also easily accessible from Naxos, the largest island in the complex. A great way to finish off your trip is by visiting Amorgos, one of the furthest islands, offering visitors the ultimate getaway.
Below you will find some useful information for your sailboat charter in the Cyclades.
Old Port in Chora, Mykonos: located on the western coast of Mykonos, several rocks are near the quays so when anchoring care should be taken, the Northeast has the best mooring spot, but the new port in Mykonos offers better berthing sections.
Mykonos International Airport is 4 km away from the main town Chora and is roughly 15 minutes away from the port by car/taxi.
New Port/Marina Tourlos, Mykonos: located 20 km from the old port and has a 700 m length quay, the best berthing section is on the inner north side of the quay. It has good restaurants at walking distance and the marina can accommodate up to 220 yachts at a length of 25 m. Provides water and electricity supplies as well.
Vlychada Marina, Santorini: distance is about 20 minutes from Fira Village. It is a great marina and offers the safest anchorage in Santorini. However, a few berths are available at a shallow depth of 2-3 m. This is not an issue since a lot of sailing vessels can just dock overnight only.
Santorini Thira International Airport is roughly a 10min drive from the Vlychada marina.
Karavostasi Marina, Ios: Has a maximum length of 60 m for yachts but gives immediate access to the Aegean Sea and offers water and electricity supplies. Excellent shelter from the Meltemi.
Marina Naxos: offers 70 berths in total, with a max length of 20 m and a depth of 3.5 m. Visitors will have access to water and electricity and amenities such as shops, bars, and restaurants in close proximity.
Naxos Airport is 4 km southwest of the island’s capital, Chora, and is 10 min away by car.
Naoussa Marina/ Harbour, Paros: provides excellent shelter and has numerous shops and tavernas in the town. Although it can get crowded in July-August from both visiting boats and ferries, there is an excellent anchorage in Ag. Ioannis Cove on the N side of the bay is very well sheltered. The marina has a berthing capacity of 70 yachts, fuel is available and there is a good bus service to Parika, the capital of the island. The southeast quayside is affected by the swell from the strong winds at times, so make sure you moor alongside in calm weather.
Paros National Airport is roughly 30 min away from Naoussa Marina, if you want a more convenient port than head to Port of Parikia just 10 minutes away, also offering berths for all kinds of vessels.
Adamas/Adamantas Marina, Milos: great shelter from the W-E winds, excellent service with specialized staff at the dockside, and facilities such as free Wi-Fi and showers are available. Offers 50 berths at a depth of 5 m.
Milos Airport is roughly 10 minutes from the marina by bus or by car (4.7 km away). The flight from Athens to Milos is 40 min.
Marina Ermoupoli, Syros: Ermoupoli is the cosmopolitan main town and the capital of the Cycladic islands. The marina is active 24 hours a day and provides berthing for about 100 boats at a length of 40ft. Protected from all the weather conditions except the S-E winds.
Syros Aiport is 4 min away from the center and 2 km from the marina. The flight from Athens is 30 min long.
Platis Gialos Marina, Sifnos: one of the most protected marinas in the Cyclades islands. It is very easy to berth here and has all the services and facilities you need.
The fastest ferry route between Athens and Cyclades is Lavrio to Kea which takes about 1 hour long
Anchorage spots for sailboats in the Cyclades:
Megali Ammos, Mykonos: A large bay that is close to the town. An occasional swell may come in but usually in the north quadrant. It has a popular beach where many can relax and swim in the bay.
Rhenia islet: Has a great and quiet bay for a trip to Delos, good holding but make sure you keep to the middle to avoid the fishing buoy on the entrance.
Aliki Harbour, Paros: A small fishing harbor on the SW corner of Paros offering a quiet anchorage and good shelter year-round. The holding is good if you anchor in the sand. You can even land a dinghy in the tiny inner harbor. Aliki is close to the airport and so boat hire in Paros is also recommended here.
Marmara Bay, Paros: A well-sheltered bay, open to the east coast of Paros. The holding is good and has depths of 5 m. The village of Marmara is a 20-min walk away.
Ormos Mylopolamos, Ios: A great alternative to the main Chora harbor in Ios and much quieter. The holding in the bay is good at a depth of 8 m. There is even a dinghy quay in the SE corner by the taverna close to the resort. Supplies can be obtained from the shops or resorts.
Oia, Santorini: the anchorage here has reasonable shelter from the Meltemi with about 8 buoys, and you can view the Caldera from the cliffs in the town and admire the sunset.
Provatas Bay, Milos: in the south coast of the island which offers much room for yachts of all sizes, has good protection from the northern Meltemi winds.
Megas Bay, Syros: has 3 small bays, where the east has the best holding with calm conditions and shelter from the south-westerlies.
Vari Bay, Syros: A large bay with clear water and good shelter. There is also a fishing harbor ashore where a few smaller vessels tend to anchor.
Faros, Sifnos: You can anchor in the fishing harbor which has good holding and a great tavern above the small bay.
Myrsini cove, Schinoussa: a large, narrow bay on the west coast of the island. Watch out for the ferries and moor alongside past the jetty. The anchorage is sheltered from all directions except southerlies. Some beaches, taverns, and shops are ashore.
Pori Bay, Koufonisia: a semicircular bay sheltered very well from the winds. A fine beach and a couple of taverns are also ashore. In the bay to the north, you can go snorkeling in caves.
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