Top 5 Reasons To Sail The Saronic Gulf

Boat at anchor

Want to know what sets the Saronic Gulf apart from the other sailing areas in the Greek Islands? Here are our ‘Top 5 Reasons To Sail The Saronic Gulf.’

5. Close To Athens

When you land at Athens International Airport, the Saronic Gulf is the closest sailing destination. So, if you have only one week to enjoy Greece, you’re right there, close to the airport. You don’t have to spend a day traveling to get back to the city. If you have more than a week, it’s easy to carry on with your travels. You can take a ferry or plane to other islands, or you can rent a car and explore mainland Greece.

There are many charter companies based in Athens. While that may seem nice on the surface, unfortunately, their clients’ first and last sailing days take them across a congested area with heavy industrial and ferry traffic.

NISI Sailing, on the other hand, is based in Aegina, the first island in the Saronic Gulf. When you sail with us, you’ll take a ferry through the not-so-fun area to start and end your sailing journey in more beautiful, yacht-friendly waters. You’ll also have more time to go deeper into the Saronic Gulf.

Sailing area outside Aegina harbor
Sailing area outside Aegina harbor

4. Four-hour Sails

Saronic Gulf destinations are situated about four hours away from each other. Four hours is plenty of time to exercise your skills, practice maneuvers, and get tuckered out. It also allows time to anchor in a cove for lunch, have a swim, and get to the next port, where you and your crew can enjoy the flavor of each little village. Of course, if you would like to spend more time sailing, we can do that, too.

NISI Sailing Saronic Gulf Sailing Area
NISI Sailing’s possible Saronic Gulf destinations

3. Sheltered From the Meltemi

The ‘Meltemi’ is the strong wind (Beaufort Force 7-8) which blows intermittently between mid-May and mid-September, with the most common occurrences in July and August. It comes from the North and is strongest in the unprotected Cyclades Islands between the east coast of mainland Greece and the west coast of Turkey. Sailing in these high winds can be uncomfortable, depending on the experience-level of the crew. These conditions can make mooring and other maneuvers quite tricky, and therefore require some level of sailing experience for safety’s sake.

Mainland Greece shelters the Saronic Gulf from the high winds and makes for calmer sea conditions. That’s why the Saronic Gulf is perfect for activities like snorkeling, swimming, and paddle boarding. It’s also great for learning to sail. Watch our video with Irene and Frode, who sailed in the Saronic Gulf with NISI Sailing last July.

2. Archeological Sites

The Saronic Gulf’s many ancient ruins remind us that Greece is the cradle of civilization. On our Saronic Gulf tour, you start and end your adventures on Aegina Island, which is home to several sites that are well worth visiting. As you enter the ferry port, you’re greeted by a single column reaching to the sky. That is what’s left of the Temple of Apollo. Rent a car for a short drive to the well-preserved Temple of Aphaia and the beautiful Saint Nectarios Monestary. Just outside of the village of Epidavros is a famous amphitheater, which is still in use today. If you’re lucky, you might catch a performance and a glimpse into Greece’s authentic, living ancient history. Epidavros has another, smaller amphitheater that you can discover on a quiet walk through an orange grove.

Aphaia's Temple, Aegina Island
Aphaia’s Temple, Aegina Island

1. So Much To Do!

One of the best things about four-hour sails is that you and your crew have plenty of time to play in the Saronic Gulf. In Epidavros, there is an ancient “Sunken City,” submerged in only 3 meters (9 feet) of water. The foundation of this ancient home has been claimed by the rising sea. You can snorkel through what remains of it. Before entering Poros, you can anchor in the Russian Bay to swim, paddle board, and watch goats munching on vegetation. Once in Poros, nestled a few streets inside the village, there is an old stone wine cellar where you can taste a flight of Greek wines. Just outside the tiny village of Vathi, you can hike to the opening of a dormant volcano and take in the spectacular sea view.

Foundation, Ancient Sunken City, Epidavros, Greece
Foundation, Ancient Sunken City, Epidavros, Greece

All of these reasons and more make the Saronic Gulf a wonderful place to safely practice your sailing skills with Captain Alex Fajardo, our RYA-certified Yachtmaster Instructor. He can provide you and your crew with private sailing coaching, at any level from beginner to advanced. On this tour, you’ll also discover Greece on an active holiday that you’ll never forget. We invite you to enjoy the Saronic Gulf aboard sailing yacht NISI.

Click HERE for 2019 ‘Availability & Pricing’ or contact us to book your 2020 dates. Let us know what dates you’re interested in sailing and a little bit about yourself. We look forward to having you aboard!

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