First time Sailor's first time in Greece
Greece was an area previously quite undiscovered for me. But looking at a map, it’s obvious to see why it’s worthwhile taking to seas to really enjoy a to the Greek islands. Sailing in Greece allows you to discover it’s true beauties, the hidden gems to most tourists, and the freedom and flexibility to sleep wherever takes your fancy for the night.
This was my first trip on a sail boat so unfortunately I was quite useless with all of the knot tying (there was a LOT of knot tying), and without that skill, there didn’t seem to be so many other ways to help out, so I took full advantage of being able to take in the views and enjoy the ride.
In order to enjoy a week on a sailboat in Greece, it’s a good idea to focus on the islands closer to Athens, so we explored the Saronic islands, but luckily these turned out to be truly beautiful.
Our first night was spent dropping the anchor in a cove about 4 hours away from Athens. We weren’t the only boat there, but it was summer and there were just a handful of others so this was good enough for me. Of course it’s essential to stock up on food and drink before you leave, with the beauty of staying in a cove, comes the realisation that there is nothing else around. Going to sleep the first night for a non-sailor feels a bit strange, there are unfamiliar sounds going on around you, and a gentle rock from the waves, but this actually helps to send you off and before you know it you’ll be waking up with the sun beaming through the boat, desperate for air.
Soon I had gotten the routine, the checks that needed to be done, the setting sail procedures and the unspoken rules of the boat. We headed for Poros, an island that would be ideal for a weekend trip from Athens. A lively waterfront greeted us as we approached packed with cosy cafes, shops and restaurants. The town here is shaped like an amphitheatre over two hills, with cobbled streets and friendly locals, we’d picked a good first stop.
From Poros we headed south to the island of Hydra, an island famed as a miniature version of St Tropez, although lacking in sandy beaches so it doesn’t get overcrowded. As we arrive into it’s horseshoe shaped harbour, with the town of cobbled streets curling around it, and motor vehicles being entirely prohibited, there is a cosy and welcoming feeling to our next stop. It’s hard not to fall in love as you wander the meandering streets, this is after all one of the most picturesque towns in all of Greece. The restaurants and bars that line the harbour here have a romantic feel to them for an evening well spent.
The sail back towards Athen was a long one, so we broke it up with another night of dropping anchor in a cove, which it turns out were my favourite nights. It’s great to explore the smaller less discovered islands, but there’s something very special about a night under the stars in a secluded bay.
Arriving back in Athens, I was surprised myself by how much I had learnt about sailing in just a few days. But immediately hooked, luckily for me I’ll be back there soon, but on a motor boat this time!