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  Two weeks



Marina in Athens - Kea (Tzia) - Syros -  Mykonos -  Sifnos -  Kythnos -  Ios - Santorini - Folegandros - Milos - Marina in Athens


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Our boats leaves the Athenian marina of Alimos for two weeks of exploration in some of the most celebrated of Greek islands. Two weeks to enjoy the sea, the rugged beauty of Greek nature, the country’s vastly rich history and truly unique tastes and flavors.

Kea (Tzia)

First stop: Kea or Tzia as the island is called by the locals. So close in proximity yet so far in atmosphere from Athens and the region of Attica, we leave behind us imperious Cape Sounion, pass by Makronissos and its heavy junta-period history and spy ahead of us one of the Cyclades’s most beautiful islands, just waiting to be explored. We drop anchor in the typical Cycladic harbor of Korrisia with its coastal road separating the sea on one side from the restaurants, cafes and shops on the other. At the end of this road, one of the island’s best bakeries: famed for its sweet bougatsa pastry and fragrantly savory cheese pies. And from there the road opens up ahead of us and leads to dozens of beaches and the quaint main town of Chora just waiting to be explored. We begin our climb uphill towards the island’s capital of Ioulida, built on a perch so as to be protected from history’s pirates and marauders, and famed for its picture-perfect alleyways and stunning panoramic vistas of the surrounding islands: a reward for making the uphill effort. The island’s town hall, an architectural jewel by the famed 19th century architect Ernst Ziller, stands proudly in Ioulida, as does the archeological museum that contains finds dating back from the 7th century BC. We head back down towards Vourkari, the charming harbor with its tiny fishing boats bobbing up and down in the calm waters side-by-side with luxurious yachts. This is the most cosmopolitan corner of the island, with a host of cafes and bars, lovely restaurants serving fresh fish and mouthwatering spaghetti with lobster, and stylish boutiques selling clothing, accessories and housewares. Just across the harbor, the Aegean’s first lighthouse dedicated to the patron saint of sailors Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos), and the settlement of Agia Irini with its remains from the final Neolithic period. Our boat will then take us to Ancient Karthea, an idyllic archeological site accessible only by boat or along a rugged footpath, with remnants of the impressive ancient city walls and foundations of the temples of Athena and Pythian Apollo. Lovers of the deep and the mysteries it conceals can put on their masks and explore the sunken remains of the ancient city. We enjoy the sunset in beautiful Koundouro and its calm waters and then set sail for the island of Syros.


Seductive, imposing, with one of the most stunning towns in the Cycladic island group, a “lady” among them that reaches for the stars and is the capital of the island of Syros itself as well as of the entire Cyclades: Ermoupolis. We climb towards Ano Syra with its whitewashed cobblestoned alleyways and homes, passing by architecturally unique, stately family villas and elegant bed and breakfast establishments. From up here, we can gaze at the magnificent panoramic view of the harbor below and plan our next outings. A stop at the Apollo Municipal Theater is a must: this stunning example of Italian architecture has hosted the greatest figures in Greek theater and organizes the acclaimed International Festival of the Aegean as well as the International Classical Music Festival during the summer months. We head towards the beaches of the north coast, some reachable only by boat, others calm and accessible like inviting Delfini beach. Before sailing on to Mykonos, we stock up on delicious loukoumia sugary delights, the best in the Cyclades, and taste the island’s San Michalis cheese, a spicy variety reminiscent of Italian Parmesan.


Ahead of us, Mykonos. Unforgettable from the very first moment. Spread out and gazing to the west, its “Little Venice” neighborhood is the island’s most photographed spot, with its countless cafes and colorful hanging balconies. Next to it, the windmills of Kato Mili: seven whitewashed structures that once ground local grain and are today an idyllic spot for serenely gazing out across the sea. At the edge of the fishing harbor, a church that is an emblem of the island and a tribute to the humility of the orthodox faith: five tiny churches in one, melded together like a cast sculpture of rare simplicity and beauty. In the maze of streets that make upthe main town of Chora, Matogiannia stretches out proud: the Cyclades’ most commercial shopping district as well as one of the world’s most popular nightlife hotspots. We sail around the island and drop anchor at whichever beach piques our interest: cosmopolitan Psarou, wild and crazy Paradise, Elia, calm at one end and lively at the other, Kalafatis for surfing and water sports, Agrari and Paranga for calm waters … The beaches on Mykonos are veritable expanses of paradise that stretch out before our eyes, and like modern-day Sirens beckon us into their embrace and make leaving the island all the more difficult.


Sifnos. An incomparable atmosphere against a backdrop of traditional villages, low, whitewashed houses and truly unique cuisine. We head up to picturesque Apollonia and its main square and gaze out at the myriad of choices available to us in both history and natural beauty. A stroll through the 6th century BC village of Kastro and a visit to 16th and 17th century chapels with their ornate flooring whets our appetite for the archeological sites and points of religious interest that characterize this small island. We tour the island’s villages, from Artemonas and its neoclassical buildings, to Exambela and its mouthwatering cuisine and the 20-square kilometer protected Natura area with its cedar trees and aromatic plants. We sail around the island so we can dip into the waters at secluded Apokoftou or Saoures, or head to well-known Chrysopigi to dive from its rocks. Before leaving, we taste mastelo –goat or lamb meat slow-cooked with red wine in a clay pot, the delicious chickpea soup revithada and chickpea croquettes, the spicy manoura cheese and the island’s mouthwatering soft almond paste cookies. With those flavors forever ingrained on our taste buds, we sail towards Kythnos.


Unassuming, serene, sun-drenched, celebrated for its therapeutic hot springs and rich underwater depths which are a dream for diving enthusiasts. We drop anchor in Loutra, where the island’s hot springs sit side-by-side with the Aegean’s best-organized diving centers: the perfect spot to satisfy our senses by diving into hot then cold water and going from calm to energized upon discovery of the vastly colorful underwater world, a delight for experienced divers and novices alike. Astonished by the beauty we have encountered on Kythnos, we head towards yet another Aegean paradise: ruggedly beautiful Ios.


Well-known among the world’s youth for its inimitable nightlife that lasts from dusk till dawn, Ios nonetheless surprises visitors with its little-known calm and cosmopolitan parts, ideal for families and adult vacationers. At the center of the island stands Chora and its typical Cycladic homes and uphill whitewashed alleyways, packed with bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. We sail north to Plakoto, where the tomb of Homer is said to lie and then west towards Paleokastro, a Byzantine fortress with an impressive panoramic view of the surrounding islands. To the northeast, the island’s windmills, many of which have been restored for visitors’ sake. We sail around the island in awe of its natural beauty and interchanging coastline to stop at a few of its 30-plus beaches. We pass by crowded Mylopota, famous Manganari which for many is one of the Aegean’s most stunning beaches, impressive Valma with its striking cliffs, Clima- accessible only to those with a boat and Kalamos … We buy cheeses, all produced at the local creamery using traditional, time-honored methods, and set sail once again, but this time for one the planet’s most celebrated islands: wild, mysterious, exotic Santorini.


Lucky are those who have the chance to glimpse it. The otherworldly beauty of the Caldera, the island-volcano’s creation, captures forever the hearts of most visitors. Luxurious villas and simple, traditional cave houses, all hanging off the cliffs like a white cubic mass broken up solely by the interspersed turquoise shapes that are swimming pools, they too precariously clinging to the cliff sides. Visits to the tiny island of Nea Kameni and dips in its hot springs, to the archaeological site of Akrotiri with its prehistoric settlement and 2- and 3-story homes, to the Museum of Prehistoric Thira that unravels the island’s rich long history, to Skaro with its old Venetian fortress and to the Katholika district of the capital of Fira with its well-maintained mansions, unveil an island that was formed by nature, gave birth to a civilization on a very human scale and gained the respect of locals and conquerors alike. We stop at quaint Ammoudi, the small old harbor that sits under the aristocratic village of Ia–famed the world over for its sunsets –at Thirasia, the small island opposite Ia, at the beach of Vlychada with its white cliffs, at the Red and White beaches and at little-visited northern beaches for unforgettable dips in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island. We taste the delicious local cherry tomatoes that are named after the island itself, the capers, fava bean dip and white eggplant and become wine connoisseurs for a while, seduced by the excellent quality red and white, dry, sweet and semi-sweet wines that this blessed volcanic island produces.


Intoxicated from the wealth of flavors we have tasted on Santorini, we pull into Karavostasi, the small harbor of the island of Folegandros. An island that has recently gained recognition with both Greeks and foreigners, but fortunately not to the point of threatening its refined image, meticulously maintained in every detail. Chora, the island’s main town which is rich in picturesque alleys, is perhaps one of the more atmospheric of Greek towns, built on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. Lucky to have our own boat, we approach Katergo with its fine pebbly beach and turquoise waters, and then to Livadaki with its large smooth rock pebble beach and then to Agios Georgios and Ambeli. We visit Ano Mera and choose one of its traditional tavernas to taste the island’s matsata, rooster cooked in tomato sauce with homemade pasta. Satiated and satisfied with our relaxing visit to the “little lady” of the Aegean, we set sail for the final island on our itinerary, Milos.


The island that became famous for its haunting, volcanic history and that is inextricably linked with one of the ancient world’s most beautiful statues, the Venus de Milo, Milos has over 70 beaches, all stunning, without exception. Milos embraces each visitor in its own unique way and reveals surprising hidden beauties to even the most seasoned of travelers. The island’s rich history is entrenched in its churches, archaeological sites and museums as well as in its sulfur mines, the largest sulfur export enterprise in the entire country. We sail into beaches that are only accessible by sea or on difficult footpaths in order to relish in the unparalleled magnificence of this land in peaceful bliss. Gerontas, Gerakas, the popular Kleftiko and Tsigrado. No matter where we stop in Milos, one thing is certain: we will be rewarded by its stunning beauty. We swim and dive with all our soul. We lose ourselves in the welcoming embrace of the Aegean. We taste the salt of the sea in its fresh fish and local vegetables. And with the taste of Greece in our hearts and minds, we return to the Athenian marina of Alimos. A calm return full of images and memories.

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