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Sailing in the western Cyclades Islands - Marenauta Blog

– 15 November 2021 – Sailing itineraries

Sailing itineraries

Sailing in the western Cyclades Islands

The western Cyclades, in the center of the Aegean Sea, represent an ideal destination for those who want to take advantage of a regenerating sailing holiday. This 7-day itinerary includes some of the most beautiful islands of this archipelago such as Kea, Kythnos and Serifos and departs from the main marina Alimos in Athens. As for the sailing conditions, the difficulty level of the route is medium, because the distances between the islands are relatively short. Keep in mind that the Cyclades islands are surrounded by a particularly rough sea, due to the winds from the North (more frequent) or from the South which are strong. The suggested route also includes many nights at anchor to enjoy the pristine bays away from the noise of the ports. This freedom is usually highly regarded by crews, but if you prefer to spend the night in a marina, there are good alternatives for any night.

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Day 1, Alimos Marina (Kalamaki)

Our sailing cruise in the Western Cyclades archipelago starts from the main marina of Athens, the tourist port of Alimos Marina (Kalamaki). It is the largest tourist port in Greece, with about 1,000 berths on the quay and it’s one of the best positioned ports because it is located in the southern part of the city, a few minutes from the majestic Port of Piraeus. For many crews renting boats, this port is the ideal starting point for cruises to this part of the Greek Mediterranean because it is located 15 km from the city center, 8 km from Piraeus and 30 km from the international airport of Athens. For the first day just relax under the spectacular Temple of Poseidon. The archaeological site is a 5-minute drive away, and a taxi transfer can also be organized. There are also a few restaurants in the vicinity of the port, including Greek and Italian tavernas, some of which deliver on board.

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Day 2, Alimos Marina (Kalamaki) – Kythnos island, 43 miles

The next day the moorings are released early in the morning and the bow is turned towards the south to exit the main part of the famous Aegean Sea and then to continue into the Cyclades islands. Our destination is the island of Kythnos, in the Bay of Kolona, ​​on the north-western coast of the island to which we sail for 2-3 hours taking advantage of the winds from the north that create ideal sailing conditions. Kolona Bay is ideal for swimming and relaxing as it offers excellent shelter from all wind directions. Just pay attention to consistent gusts from the North and make sure you anchor on the sand and avoid the posidonia plants. The landscape is very impressive as a sandy beach cuts the bay into two sides and yachts can remain at anchor on both sides of the beach.

Alternatively, you can spend the night in the port of Merihas, the main structure of Kythnos where you can find all the nautical services (market, water, electricity). Merichas is a small village around the peculiar and traditional harbor, with small tavernas and good seafood.

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Day 3, Kythnos island – Serifos island, 23 miles

On the third day of our cruise in the western Cyclades we sail further south towards the seaside village of Serifos, in Livadi. The village harbor is located in a large bay on the east coast of the island. After the stop, we will then sail through the Kythnos – Serifos Canal and then continue south to Livadi. Here, docking at the pier can be problematic due to the somewhat limited berth capacity, especially in high season. With northerly winds it is best to opt for the south side of the pier as the north side is exposed to strong gusts of wind that come through the high hills. However, even on the south side, you have to be careful of shallow water when you drop the anchor. As an alternative, you can anchor away from the shore, as many yachts do, and use your dinghy to go ashore. In this case, avoid anchoring on the algae, as it will be difficult for the anchor to hold under strong winds. Once the boat is safe in the harbor, you can visit the Chora. This small town is built on the hill and offers an impressive sight: the houses and alleys maintain the tradition of the Cycladic style, while the village offers a splendid view of the bay of Livadi and the Aegean sea. Small restaurants offer delicious food and you can also find wonderful bars to enjoy music and drinks under the stars. To go to Chora, take a local bus or taxi from the port of Livadi – the ride takes just 10 to 15 minutes.

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Day 4, Serifos island – Bay of Agios Stefanos, 18 miles

On the fourth day of our journey to discover the western Cyclades, the route continues towards the first island we visited which is the island of Kythnos, but this time with a stop on the east coast. Since the route goes to the north, possible northerly winds could be a good opportunity to test the crew in maneuvers and fully enjoy the pleasure and technique of navigation. In Kythnos, you can then visit the small traditional port of Agios Stefanos after having a nice swim and then maybe taste some fresh seafood in the taverns along this magnificent coast.

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Day 5, Bay of Agios Stefanos – Kea island, 20 miles

The next day we continue our route towards the north to reach the island of Kea. The distance is short, about 20 miles and the goal is to reach the Bay of Koundouros, located on the south-eastern coast of the island. Koundouros is a quiet bay, with many sailing boats and small motor boats visiting it regularly. It is a nice place to swim and offers good shelter from the winds from the North, making it a good choice for spending the night. If you want to spend the night in a marina, you can visit the port of Vourkari, on the north side of Kea.

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Day 6, Kea island – Capo Sounion, 13 miles

It is time to reach Cape Sounion, a special place for Athenians. In fact, this promontory located not far from Athens on the southern tip of Attica, was the last strip of land that sailors and soldiers watched as they headed off towards battle. According to legend, the Aegean king of Athens have thrown himself from here and that gave name to the sea, the Aegean Sea. It is also the place that Homer mentions in the Odyssey as the burial place of Phrontes, the helmsman of Menelaus returning from the city of Troy. Its position overlooking the sea strikes those who visit it wth the sense of freedom and peace. Here, in addition to stories from the time of Poseidon, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast, such as Varkiza or Lake Vouliagmeni.

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Day 7, Capo Sounion – Alimos Marina (Kalamaki), 23 miles

For the last day of our cruise take a time to enjoy a relaxing breakfast and more swimming in this beautiful sea. Then set sail for the tourist port of Alimos Marina (Kalamaki) with the possibility of further stops and refreshing baths during the navigation. The expected arrival in the tourist port in the early afternoon allows you to spend a night out in the center of Athens to enjoy the last moments of a wonderful sailing cruise in Greece.

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