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Sail charter in Cyclades

We are at the beginning stages of picking the right sail charter service for a one week charter to the islands around the Cyclades. We are four adults, two which are sailors, and a skipper.

Any suggestions which are a "must see" would be helpful if we like to snorkel, dive, explore small villages, purchase deli and bakery items for the boat and special places to stop and eat.

One must is Santorini any other suggestions would be helpful for these kinds of activities, how is Naxos, Los Island for Sea Caves?and Mykonos? We have 7 nights on the boat and can travel each day.

Posted by
2864 posts

What is advisable and do-able depends on many things

• STARTING POINT - many Cyclades charters start in Naxos or Paros... good choices because these have the most options reachable in 7 nights. Realize that Santorini -- since it is the farthest South, and has the most isolated & hard-to-reach Anchorage (the southern beach), will limit your choice of island.

• EXAMPLES - t may be useful to look at the itineraries offered by small-boat Sailing cruises like this: http://www.odysseysailing.gr/cruises/economy-cabin-cruise-schedule-2016.pdf

• TIMING: For best advice PLEASE give key info = WHEN? ... Aegean is VERY affected by Winds, which can play havoc w. itinerary -- you must skip places u counted on. May-June is calmest, Aug-early Sept windiest. Also, when windiest, beware of long stretches of open sea (such as between Central Cyclades and Western islands).

• ISLAND FEATURES - I haven't done small-boat thing, but have visited all the islands in Central & Western Cyclades ... and in the course of 12 GReece trips have sat in portside cafes in most, watching small-boat sailors come ashore at noon or near sunset. Some (admittedly personal) observations • NAXOS - VERY worthwhile stop: fascinating port town, wonderful beaches either adjacent to port or easy to reach via bus, many good authentic tavernas. PAROS - Ditto. ANTIPAROS - The plus of good snorkeling, total walkability. IOS - Fine beaches, not so much "Village" thing, in High Season can be like a Frat Party MYKONOS - VERY expensive; in my experience, the beaches were super-windy even late May. FOLEGANDROS - a good 1-night stop... the "high town" Chora is GORGEOUS, the main higlight of island. AMORGOS - 2 towns, I found Aegali charming & good beach, Katapola not. Famous Church at foot of Cliff and the high CHORA town are 2 chief highlights. SERIFOS - small, overlooked... port beach is mediocre, but Just around the bend is FAB beach (Livadakia); High town CHORA is main highlight. MILOS - Fascinating Volcanic Isle, Great Anchorage at Port town (but the beach there is N.G. -- there are 22 lovely beaches, but not the Port); hillside ruins & catacombs, and Stunning high town PLAKA.
SIFNOS - West-facing Port, good anchorage -but very busy-busy; best beaches elsewhere. Some of its loveliest vistas are up in hill towns but probably not feasible w. a quickie 1-night stop.

FINALLY -- The Aegean is most beautiful WATER in world, but don't expect spectacular diving/snorkeling - no coral, not the large schools of colorful fish you've ssen in Pacific & Caribbean .. in some place just rocks & grasses.

Posted by
3 posts

Janet, thanks so much for your time and knowledge, we are going in June and will look at all your suggestions when speaking with the charter company. We are also from Miami but live now in South Africa.
I am sure this is not the last of my requests for information. :-)

Linda

Posted by
2864 posts

Glad to hear it will be in June, Linda ... ideal for sailing. And since you have time before your visit, you will enjoy Greece a Great deal more if you do some reading, NOT just what you can click on your smart-phone. Go to the Library ... you're in an English-speaking country so you should be able to check out some good guidebooks. For a good pictorial quick overview: EYEWITNESS: the Greek Islands. For indepth background, ROUGH GUIDE to Greece. For insightful descriptions, the Cadogan Guide to Greek Isles.

For computer, these 2 guides are better than usual:
http://www.greek-islands.us/ - easy to Navigate - once-over-lightly
http://www.greektravel.com/islands.htm - This "Matt Barrett" website has many categories, lots of info, just be aware that by now he is hooked up with a lot of hotels, travel agencies, car-hire etc, so his recommendations are colored by his $$ interests!