Sailing in Greece is mostly associated with the islands. The Cyclades, the Ionian Islands and the Dodecanese are yacht destinations famous all over the world. But a common secret is that Greece has much more to offer to sailing fans than the islands. So, if you have been in the islands, next time take your sailboat charter in Greece a tour around the Peloponnese.
Peloponnese is a peninsula in southern Greece connected to the continental part by the Isthmus of Corinth. Since 1893, the Corinth canal is running through the isthmus practically turning Peloponnese into an island. The shoreline of this beautiful land is extremely intricate with countless bays and coves. As a result, the vistas they offer towards the land are quite dramatic with the high mountains plunging into the sea.
You may board your sailboat charter in Greece in Athens and take the route towards the southern shore of Peloponnese. A very popular itinerary for Athenians who frequently visit the islands of the Argosaronic Gulf, so close to Athens that are perfect for a weekend escape. The route is protected making navigation very pleasant. Certainly, it will not take long to reach Nafplio and Porto Heli, both with sheltered harbours. Nafplio is worth a visit; a beautiful medieval town with an impressive Venetian castle and interesting history. Not far away from there is the ancient theatre of Epidavros. Check out the summer festival schedule for an ancient Greek tragedy performance in this unique setting. You will continue towards the south, stopping over in picturesque fishing villages. Then, you reach Monemvasia, a uniquely preserved medieval town encircled by a fortress still inhabited today. Monemvasia stands on a majestic grey rock in the sea connected to the land only by a causeway. Hence, its nickname the “Gibraltar of the East”.
After passing by the Cape Maleas that can challenge anyone’s navigation skills with its treacherous waters, get ready to swim in one of the best beaches of the Mediterranean. Simos in Elafonisos with its white sand and turquoise waters will remain an indelible memory. The south part of Peloponnese is dominated by two big gulfs, Laconia and Messinia. While the first one is more dramatic, the second one is home to Kalamata and its famous olive groves. Therefore, the landscape is peaceful and the beaches are exquisite. You may spend days exploring the beautiful coves and the welcoming villages along the coast like Kardamyli. Moreover, a visit to the ancient city of Messini is well worthwhile.
As you start sailing towards the north, anchor in Pylos in order to explore this rich in history area. Before you leave, you just need to take a dip in the famous crescent beach of Voidokoilia. No doubt, the experience and the views are amazing. Furthermore, continue to the north and enjoy the endless sandy beaches along the way. Additionally, if you want to visit the Ancient Olympia, anchor in Katakolo and take a bus tour to the birthplace of the Olympic Games. You will end the exploration of the western side in Patras, one of the most important harbours in Greece.
The northern part of your cruise will take you under the relatively new Rio-Antirio bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, that since 2004 connects Peloponnese with western Greece. As you make your way towards the Corinth Canal, you will encounter many beautiful beaches and small villages. Above all, do yourself a favour and spend a night in Galaxidi, not only because it is so picturesque but also to honour its long maritime tradition.
So, next summer opt for a different itinerary aboard your sailboat charter in Greece… For sure you will never regret it!