Spend your days island-hopping in the Cyclades, swimming in the clear waters of the Aegean and sleeping aboard a yacht. The blue and white villages of Santorini may cling to the rim of an ancient volcano, but the only fire you’ll see is in the island’s magnificent sunsets. In the sleepy fishing villages of the Small Cyclades islands, you’re more likely to break bread with a local than a tourist. A taste of rural life on the large island of Navos is a mix of historic neighbourhoods and Kitron liqueur
Dreaming of crystal-clear sapphire waters, whitewashed villages, history laden ruins, lively Greek culture and delectable cuisine straight off the land or from the sea? Then sailing from Greece’s Santorini to Mykonos may just be what the doctor ordered. Spend eight blissed-out days under sun drenched skies enjoying the best the Greek Islands of Santorini, Ios, Amorgos, Small Cyclades, Naxos and Mykonos have to offer.
Breakfast Included: Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Santorini – Ios
Welcome to Greece. Meet your skipper and shipmates at 11am at Oia Pier and take a private boat transfer over to the island of Thirasia where you will board the yacht that will be your home for the next 7 nights. The skipper will collect the kitty and discuss shopping to buy supplies for your trip as a group. If you have any special dietary requirements, please make sure you notify us at the time of booking so we can accommodate your requests.
Consider arriving a couple of days early in order to enjoy lovely Santorini and its awe-inspiring caldera. Check out the range of restaurants, shops and bars in the island's capital, Fira. An absolute must is to take a walk along the caldera's rim to Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. This is a particularly memorable experience at sunset, but make sure you leave plenty of time so you aren't walking in darkness. Santorini's volcanic beaches are another must-see. Check out Red Beach or the black beaches of Perissa, Vlhada, Perivolos and Agios Georgios. The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, Catholic Cathedral and Dominican Convent are worth a visit, as is Megaron Gyzi Museum.
After the welcome meeting you'll set sail (approximately 4 hours) through Santorini’s caldera, cruising across the Aegean Sea to drop anchor at the island of Ios (the boat will stop at Manganari Beach along the way). Check out Hora's shops, restaurants and bars (a short walk from the harbour in Ios) which all come alive in the evenings. A visit to Panagia Gremiotissa (Church of the Virgin) offers beautiful sunset views from a hilltop.
Notes: The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Sailing the Greek Islands
Today we cast off for a short amble (approximately 3 hours) to the Small Cyclades. While all the islands harboured communities in ancient times, the middle ages saw this reduced to just pirates and goats. Today, only Koufonisia, Iraklia, Schinousa and Donousa have permanent residents, with the largest population said to be somewhere around 300. Here you'll discover clear waters, great beaches, friendly locals and sleepy tavernas all built around quaint fishing villages. Explore the town, perhaps sampling some fresh seafood in a waterfront taverna, a great way to take in the magic of the Mediterranean.
Continue to the rugged mountainous island of Amorgos – known as the stunning location of Luc Bresson's film, 'The Big Blue'. Amorgos has a history of colonisation and occupation with evidence of a functioning society back as far as 4,000 BC. At Katapola, the island's main port, you'll see classic Cycladic architecture with windmills and an old Venetian castle. Stroll the waterfront and perhaps take some time to explore the ancient Minoan Settlement nearby. Also worth a visit is the village of Hora (Amorgos town) which sits high up on the rocky mountainside. Explore the labyrinth of narrow stone laneways and Byzantine churches surrounding the town square. The Amorgos Archaeological Collection is housed nearby in Gavros Tower, one of the few remaining towers on the island. There is an option to take a drive up to the spectacular 11th-century monastery, Moni Hozoviotissis (either late morning or early evening). It was built gripping the cliff-face, so the panoramic views across the Aegean Sea are breathtaking. On our way north to Naxos we will cross the Small Cyclades area once more. These magical little islands demand more of our time, so we will spend one more night here.
Continue to Naxos to discover the beautiful beaches, charming villages and fragrant olive groves of Hora (the capital of Naxos). This place has a colourful mythological history. The old town areas of Hora are perfect for a stroll, and the nightlife is vibrant. The best beach choices are to the south, where water sports are also on offer. Follow a pathway up to the impressive Venetian Kastro where mansions, monuments and churches all retain their medieval spirit in a mass of winding laneways. While here, stop by the old Roman Catholic Cathedral in the square, and the nearby Archaeological Museum which is housed in the former Jesuit School of Commerce. The massive Portara stands as the gateway to the unfinished Temple of Apollo on the islet of Palatia, just to the north of the marina. There's also an optional jaunt out into the countryside to glimpse local rural life, visit one of the oldest temples in Greece and chill out up in the hills with lunch at a family tavern. Get a taste of the heady local brew, Kitron (best described as a lemon liquor), and top it off with a walk along the beach.
Lifting anchor, set off on a short sail to Mykonos (approximately 3 hours) arriving late afternoon and where you'll spend your final evening. This classic Mediterranean island is packed with excitement, beauty and glamour. White-washed architecture clings to the labyrinth of narrow streets and laneways in the town's old area. The hum of the nightlife, chic cafes, restaurants, galleries and boutiques give way to the island's wonderful sandy beaches. Soak in the atmosphere by joining fellow sun-seekers and party-goers on the beach, or take a day trip to the sacred island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Little Venice has colourful wooden balconies that hang precariously over the sea – the perfect spot to sit back with a cocktail and enjoy a magical Aegean sunset. The Church of Panagia Paraportiani is also well worth a visit – its unique array of lines and angles are simply fascinating. We depart the boat on the final day at 10 am. There are no activities planned for this day. We recommend booking an extra night's accommodation after this trip so you have plenty of time to explore Mykonos.