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Sailing the Saronic Gulf in Greece
Three top tips for sailors in a popular Greek destination.
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 by Giannis Makridakis

Due to its proximity to the main charter bases in Athens, the Saronic Gulf is one of Greece’s most well sailed areas.

Common one week routes include the islands of Aigina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses. Spots to visit along the mainland are the ports of Methana, Ermioni and Porto Heli and the archeological site of ancient Epidavros. Click photo for larger viewsTwo week routes give more time to explore the above or the chance to head to the Argolic Gulf and enjoy the green landscape of the eastern Peloponnesian coast with its famous towns of Monevassia and Nafplio.

In addition to its proximity to Athens, the Saronic Gulf is also popular with charter firms and sailors alike for its mild weather and pleasant sailing conditions. Most destinations are quite close to each other with easy three to four hour trips the norm and distances rarely exceeding 25 NM. 

Click photo for larger viewsThe summer winds (meltemia) which usually start in mid July and last through September are mainly north easterly gusting to force 4-6 and dying down once nighttime arrives. The island of Poros and nearby Methana often offer a relaxing shelter to these winds, but the sea of the Saronic Gulf is generally relatively calm and ideal for relaxed sailing wherever and whenever you are visiting.

All in all, the Saronic Gulf is the perfect destination for a laid back sailing holiday with little to worry inexperienced sailors and enough interesting destinations to keep more experienced crews happy. The marinas along Athens west coast offer immediate access to Aigina and the gulf and are within half an hour by road from the new Athens International Airport. What more could you ask for?

Our top three tips for sailing the Saronic Gulf: 

Click photo for larger viewsTop Tip #1: If possible charter from Friday to Friday. The early start will keep you a day ahead of the weekend flotilla and skippered charters that flock the area and will make your sailing more peaceful and the mooring less hectic.

Top Tip #2: Seriously consider sailing slightly off season, so any time before July or after early September. Yacht charters and tourist numbers in general are lower and your holiday is usually much more rewarding.

Top Tip #3: If a strong meltemi is driving you mad try leaving very early in the morning to get your travelling done before the winds start picking up for the day towards noon.

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