SARONIC & ARGOLIC GULF Islands and Coasts, Greece

An Amazing Yachting Destination Close to Athens

Saronic & Argolic Gulf Images

The Argo-Saronic Gulfs & North East Peloponesse Coasts is the ideal destination for those wishing to explore the unparallel beauty of the Greek Islands but with sort cruising time and ideal calm weather conditions.The Athens International Airport provides easy access to all the marinas of Athens which accommodate yachts ranging from low budget Sailing Yachts to Luxury Mega Yachts. The area offers calm waters, amazing picturesque islands, all kinds of amenities, sightseeing and a good choice between idylic secluded bays and quite coves with crystalline waters, fun, night life, history and culture.

The islands located in the Saronic Gulf, southwest of Athens, are among the most beautiful and interesting of all the Greek islands and are very close, at approximately 8-11 nautical miles distance from each other. Beautiful sandy and peebly beaches, fragrant pine forests and rocky capes against a backdrop of brilliant sunshine and crystal emerald-blue water, provide an infinite variety of scenic beauty.
Visitors will be charmed by the little shops selling local products and the cozy restaurants and cafes found along the narrow winding streets or by the sea, in the island towns. All of the Saronic Islands have kept their local traditional character. Their towns are cosmopolitan but they all have quiet unspoilt secluded spots. The local cuisines are delicious, the seafood is fresh and one of the highlights of this itinerary is that you might be accompanied by dolphins playing with your boat!
The Saronic Gulf Islands are:

Aegina: It is a picturesque island located very close to Athens (apx 12 nautical miles from Alimos Marina) and therefore very popular all year round among Athenians, especially for short trips, either by yachts or by ferries and flying dolphins. Many of them have their summer houses there and therefore you will see some impressive villas climbed in its hills. Aegina is one of the most favourite destinations for day cruises from Athens.
It has a quite traditional town (port) with neo-classical architecture, 2-3 picturesque fishing villages and important archaelogical sites. It has a descent touristic infrastructure and a variety of tavernas, clubs, bars, pastry shops, cafes, beach bars etc. Night life is not wild but visitors will find a few greek music and international music dancing clubs, mainly in the town.
Aegina developed an important civilization in antiquity evident in its archaeological sites and in its museum. The most important is the impressive well kept Ancient Greek Temple of Aphaia, in the island’s mainland, offering panoramic sea views. Another point of attraction for Greek Orthodox visitors is the church of Saint Nektarios, known as a great miracle worker along with the Holy Trinity monastery.
Aegina has several nice beaches. A couple of them are conveniently located in the town (port) and the others in various areas.
One of the most popular spots of Aegina is the picturesque fishing village Perdika, with many fish tavernas and nice cafes, all offering magnificent sea views.  

Moni: Moni is an uninhabited exotic islet located very close (apx 500 meters) to Perdika village of Aegina. It is covered with a lush pine forest in which live peacocks, deer and other animals. Moni has a wonderful beach surrounded by amazing transparent turquoise waters, making it one of the most popular spots for swimming close to Athens, either during a day or a multi-day yacht cruise.

Agistri: Agistri is a well kept diamond. It is a small island with a marvelous natural landscape, lush pine woods and definitely the most exotic emerald waters in the Saronic Gulf. It is located at only 20 nautical miles from Piraeus (Athens main port) and 4 nautical miles from Aegina. However it is not well known to most people, not even to Athenians. Agistri is one of the most amazing spots for swimming during a day or a multi-day cruise from Athens. Its south-west coasts, where the Aponissos peninsula and the Dorousa islet are found, offer amazing secluded anchorages and exquisite beaches with transparent emerald waters, nested in the virgin pine forest. Wonderful beaches are also found in other areas of Agistri, such as the Chalikiada and the Town (port).
Until the 80's Agistri was a rather isolated destination without any touristic infrasructure. It was popular mainly among free campers. Tourism has only recently been developped and helped locals to stay in their island. Today Agistri still is a rather "alternative" destination and has more than 1.000 local residents in the winter and more than 5.000 residents in the summer.

Poros: Poros has a unique landscape and is one of the most popular yachting destinations during a daily, a weekend or a weekly cruise from Athens, all year round. It is located close to Athens (apx 30 nautical miles from Alimos Marina) and is divided from Peloponissos (Galatas) by an exceptionally picturesque narrow canal. It has a very beautiful quite well-reserved traditional town which is also its port. It is preferred by the Athenians as a short trip family destination and is not developed at all as a mass tourism island. However it offers a good variety of options for accommodation, food and entertainment, as all Greek destinations. Many tavernas, cafes and bars are all over the town and the nearby settlements of Askeli and Neorion, offering delicious food and fantastic sea views. Night life is not wild but there are 1-2 nice dancing clubs in the town. An evening stroll in the quayside along the canal and around the narrow streets of its charming town is definitely a must you should not miss in Poros! If you have time it is worth renting a vehicle and exploring the mainland which is covered by a lush pine forest offering amazing sea views. The island has also an important ancient history and a couple of museums worth visiting.
Poros attracts all yachters because it is the most "yacting friendly" island of the Saronic Gulf due to its very well protected "lake-like" public port with many mooring places available. It is full of greenery and its pine trees come all along its emerald green sea. It offers several idyllic perfectly protected anchorages and beautiful beaches, such as Rossiko and Love Bay, most of them crowded by yachters and bathers in the peak season. Poros is also a well known water-ski and water-sports destination and has two water-sports schools. 

Hydra: Hydra is one of the most famous islands in the Mediterranean, due to its charming and cosmopolitan character. It has an exceptionally picturesque and perfectly reserved traditional historic town, built amphitheatrically on the hills surrounding its small scenic harbour. Hydra's town is the sole main settlement on the island. The three other equally picturesque but much smaller settlements, Vlychos, Kaminia and Mandraki, are located at a walking distance from the main town and can be reached through one of the most amazing coastal paths with stunning sea and sunset views.
In the 50's a movie was shot on the island, starring Sophia Lauren, and ever since then it has become a popular destination among VIP's from all over the world. Some of them have also bought some wonderful houses there.
Hydra reflects a unique romantic atmosphere. Vehicles are not allowed on the island and the only transportation means are donkeys and sea-taxis. The strict rules for reserving the traditional architecture and the natural environment has kept away touristic development and expansion. Therefore the island offers only a few but good options for accomodation, food, entertainment and nightlife, if compared to other popular Greek destinations. However, it offers quite a large varitery of little shops selling all kinds of things, such as stylish clothes, jewlery, accessories, artworks etc. A few small boutique hotels have opened recently but most of the tourists are accomodated in the pensions, housed in the wonderful traditional mansions. 
Visiting Hydra is definitely a must-do during a cruise in the Argo-Saronic area, but also for tourists visiting Athens, since it can easily be reached in less that two hours by a speed boat (apx 38 nautical miles from Alimos Marina). Therefore, it is very popular also as a daily cruise destination all year round. However, its port is very small and finding a place to moor is usually dificult.
Hydra has only few, peebly beaches but has crystal clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming even in the town. However it has one of the most beautiful secluded anchorages in the Saronic Gulf, named Agios Nikolaos, with a lovely beach and crystaline waters, accessed only by the sea or through a trekking path. 

Spetses: Spetses is one of the most cosmopolitan Greek islands, boasting a long naval tradition, and is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 Greek War of Independence. It was here that the revolution flag was raised on 3rd April 1821. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions, still bearing eloquent witness to the island’s glorious past.
The very picturesque old harbour, Dapia, the tourist and commercial centre where the island’s heart beats and the emblematic palatial style Poseidonion Grand Hotel, echoing the French Riviera and dominating the waterfront of the new harbour, are the trademarks of its town.
Spetses is a car-free island, where only moto bikes are allowed and its town is its sole settlement. The rest of the island is covered by a lush virgin pine forest, crossed by a quiet circular roard leading to its beautiful beaches.
Spetses has several beautiful beaches with pine trees and crystalline emerald waters. The small and the large Zogeria are among the most popular ones, offering one of the most scenic anchorages in Greece.

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