It almost sounds counterintuitive to combine these words together: yacht charter in Athens. When you consider yachting in Greece, you automatically think of the Greek islands with their beautiful scenery and the bluest of seas. But if you think a little bit more, you immediately realise that starting your holidays in Athens presents a wonderful opportunity. Because in doing so you get the best of two worlds: you have a taste of one of the oldest cities in the world and then go on to enjoy holidays in one of the top destinations for yachting fans.
Athens is the capital of Greece and its history starts thousands of years ago. First of all, just walking around the centre of the city feels like wandering into an endless museum. Ancient ruins are scattered around the city with Parthenon on the Acropolis holding the most prominent position. At the same time, Athens is a modern metropolis with a buzzing art and cafe culture that will pleasantly impress you. Therefore, it is no surprise that Athens was named Europe’s Leading City Break Destination for 2018, while the Acropolis, meanwhile, was named Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction. These accolades merely showcase that visiting Athens is considered a must, even for a few days. So, wouldn’t it be a pity to miss this opportunity?
Moreover, turning from city tour mode to yachting mode only takes a short ride to the Athens Riviera where some of the country’s best marinas are. Actually, most major charter companies, like Vernicos Yachts, have their headquarters in Athens. As a result, top service is guaranteed! Not to mention that you will be flying in the largest airport of the country; many flights, many alternatives, greater flexibility.
5 things to do in Athens
It would take many days to properly explore Athens, but if you visit for only two to three days, you should definitely do…
The Acropolis and the Museum of Acropolis: First of all, go up to the Acropolis to see the magnificent Parthenon that has been standing there since the 5th century BC. Furthermore, apart from the few more sites on this rocky hill, you will also enjoy excellent views of Athens and the wider region. Then follow up with a visit to one of the best museums in the world.
Plaka: The old neighbourhood around the Acropolis will charm you with its alleys and neoclassical style. Surely, it can feel a bit touristy but a stroll is really worthwhile. Lots of tavernas and cafes where you can stop to have a break and taste the Greek cuisine or have a Greek coffee. Then, do like the Athenians; start your stroll outside the entrance to the Acropolis Museum and walk the pedestrian alley towards the Thissio. Car-free, with ancient ruins around you and really pleasant.
Pick another museum: If you are into history, then Athens is a paradise on earth for you. Above all, the National Archaeological Museum is a true gem you should definitely see. If you are daunted by another big museum, go for the smaller gems. Another option? The Benaki Museum and the Cycladic Museum will charm you, while the Byzantine Museum is equally interesting. Furthermore, they all have great cafes where you can enjoy a light lunch.
Eat at a Greek restaurant: You will have the opportunity to taste the real Greek cuisine during your yachting holidays. So, when you are in Athens, go for a more modern approach to Greek cuisine. There are quite a few restaurateurs that take the rich ingredients of the unique terrain of Greece and prepare creative dishes. The inspiration is the culinary tradition of the country but the result has a twist to it that any gourmand would appreciate.
Nightlife: Visit one of the livelier parts of the city to get a taste of the Athens lifestyle. Gazi, Psyrri and lately Metaxourgio are areas with lots of bars, restaurants, clubs where Athenians spend their late evenings. If you live downtown, you may want to try the area that starts from the central Syntagma square and reaches Thissio. Relax in one of the cafe bars around Agia Eirini and you will never want to leave Athens. If you find a seat in a place with a view of the lit up Acropolis even better…
Maybe for some people, dedicating two to three days to Athens may seem irrelevant when all you think about is lazing under the sun on the deck of a charter yacht. Similarly, one may argue that it is better to catch your charter as close to your destination as possible. Seems like that may be a valid argument if you are cruising the Ionian islands or the Dodecanese. In contrast, if you go to the Cyclades, a yacht charter in Athens may actually make a lot of sense!