YACHT CHARTER GREECE | SAIL FROM MYKONOS TO SANTORINI
Day 1: Mykonos
One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos has an international reputation and justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. The capital Chora, with its colourful harbour in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.
One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island's sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, which can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port. Mykonos is also famous for its beaches. The most famous ones are located in the southern part of the island. Psarou beach with its pure and clean white sand is considered a VIP place. You will often see here beautiful yachts at anchor and people enjoying the gorgeous sea. It is also an ideal place for water sports activities. The water is usually calm as it is protected with the mountains around. Other famous places similar to Psarou are Elia, Kalafatis, Paranga located south.
When in Mykonos, remember to taste delicious pepper flavoured kopanisti, a soft cheese seasoned with pepper. It is the gastronomic trademark of the island. Cooked pork filet with spices known as “louzes” is perfect for meat-eaters, as well as local sausages sprinkled with pepper.
Day 2: Paros
Sailing from Mykonos to Paros (Naousa bay) after breakfast
Paros, the third largest of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros. Gently rolling hills surround the centre and southeast of the island, which is occupied by endless vineyards. Paroikia (or Paros),the island's capital and port, stands on the site of an ancient city. There are a picturesque and ruinous Venetian castle and the courtyards of the houses of the town - all of them painted white - are full of hanging pots of basil, jasmine and honeysuckle. Walk around the village before cruising to Langeri, a secluded sandy beach, or Drios beach, which happens to have a fabulous fish taverna. In general, Paros looks like the vibrant life has not stepped on shore, however, you’ll find here both, tranquil and vibrant atmosphere. The main village of the island is Paroikia, whereas Naoussa is famous for having cosmopolitan vibes. Both have whitewashed houses that look like sugar cubes, ouzeries, restaurants, potted geraniums, clouds of bougainvillaea, and fine restaurants. The picture-perfect scenery is completed with little colourful caiques - traditional fishing boats. Kolymbithres Beach located near Naoussa is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. And it is also one of the most popular ones in the area for its strange rock formations. In summer it gets crowded so you may not want to stay there long. Let your captain choose a nice bay nearby for an overnight stay and dinner on board.
Day 3: Antiparos, Schinoussa, Kaoufonisia
Sailing from Paros to Antiparos after breakfast.
Antiparos is famous for the off-the-beaten-track vibe. This is a nice destination if you want to escape the crowds and just stay away from the developed towns. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why the Hollywood star Tom Hanks owns a house in Antiparos and comes here for a vacation with his family. Other celebrities as Matthew McConaughey, Whoopi Goldberg, Nia Vardalos also come here for a real Greek holiday. The most popular activity in Antiparos island is swimming. Many sandy beaches with crystal water are found in close distance to Chora.There are some interesting reefs and old wrecks to be discovered. You can also visit the Cave of Antiparos, one of the largest in Europe. It takes more than 400 steps to reach the heart of the cave and see its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Locals recommend Sifneiko beach for an amazing sunset experience. Sailing from Antiparos to Schinoussa for lunch.
Schinoussa, or the Island of the Rising Sun, is a little remote land that belongs to the community of Small Cyclades. Forbes picked it as one of the must-visit places in Greece.This island suits best to those who wish to escape crowds, all-inclusive developments on the most popular islands, who appreciate privacy, unspoilt natural settings, calm and isolated destination, the unhurried path of life and absence of the modern world disturbance. Those who’ve been to Schinoussa say it is as if you’ve travelled in the past. The villages of the island reflect the atmosphere of the old Greece in the 1950s. The main reason to visit is to enjoy its secluded beaches (Almyros, Lioliou, Tsigouri), wild landscapes and meet the friendly locals who call themselves as the descenders of the pirates. There are no sightseeing options except the church of Panagia Akathi - the protector of Schinoussa. One of the few places to savour local foods is Harama. It’s a family-owned restaurant with a large terrace overlooking a local village and the sea. Traditional Greek food is served here from the ingredients that grow in the garden of the restaurant. There’s also a little vineyard nearby. Sailing from Schoinousa to Kaoufonisia for the night.
When ready, set sail to your next destination - Koufonisia. Koufonisia is not the name of one island. It is a community of three small islands - Pano Koufonisi, Kato Koufonisi, and Keros. This island complex is one of charming Greek summer Edenic spots where you won’t meet crowds of tourists. Inhabited Pano Koufonisi is where all the touristic facilities are located. Kato Koufonisi is a paradise with crystal-clear turquoise seawater. Upon your arrival swim in a picturesque anchorage and then spend the evening wandering in the old town, Chora Koufonisia. Sample some delicious local specialities. Once being back on board, opt for a quieter night in a nearby bay.
Day 4: Pano Koufonisi, Nikouria, Amargos
Sailing from Kaoufonisia to Pano Koufonisi in the morning.
It is a very quiet and charming place where approximately 300 people live permanently. It is indeed the smallest inhabited island in the Cyclades. It is easy to imagine that it’s a real paradise without cars and traffic jam where travellers can relax by swimming, sunbathing, walking, eating, drinking and swimming some more. The most beautiful beaches include Ammos and Pori covered with the sand coloured in the golden tones and washed by the crystal clear shallow sea waters. Next to Pori some large caves are found to impress the visitors. As for dining options, there’s Capetan Nikolas famous for great seafood, Mellisa offering traditional homemade Greek meals, and Mixalios considered to be great for meat lovers. Sailing from Pano Koufonisi to Nikouria for lunch.
Nikouria is an uninhabited Island of roughly 5 km long. This is a nice place for a quick stop for lunch and some fun water activities, as well as visiting beautiful unspoilt sandy beaches. The island is known for the production of coins in the antique times. Sailing from Nikouria to the center of Amargos island for dinner. When ready, set sail to Amorgos famous for its white monastery of Hozoviotissa, the second oldest in Greece. Embedded into a sheer orange cliff face, it looks surreal at a height of more than 350 meters. Save a visit for the next day, perhaps right after breakfast. Tonight walking up to the Langada hill is a beautiful option for those loving active vacation. There you can have dinner with the view. If you don’t favour a long walk, it is also possible to take a taxi. The island is also much loved for its marvellous beaches with azure waters, caves, diving spots, scenic bays and ancient footpaths through steep rocky terrain. An interesting fact is that Amorgos served as the filming site of the 1988 movie "The Big Blue" by Luc Besson.
Day 5: Drima, Ios
Sailing from Amorgos center to Drima for breakfast.
Drima, also known as Kato Antikeri is located in the northwestern Cyclades, and it is a private island. It is also listed for sale and open for the development. Right now the island looks like uninhabited paradise surrounds with the green and turquoise crystal clear sea, perfect for snorkelling, swimming and enjoying dolce far niente time. Sailing from Drima to Ios (Manganari beach) for lunch. After lunch set sails to the Manganari beach on the island of Ios. Usually, this place is kept undisturbed by people as it’s quite remote and located quite far from the main town. So for those who like peaceful and charming beaches with golden sand and clear water, it is the right place to be.
Some of the scenes from the "The Big Blue» movie by Luc Besson were also filmed here. Sailing from Ios (Manganari beach) to Ios center for dinner. Ios, which is locally called Nios, is an island whose history goes back to prehistoric times. According to Herodotus, the “poet of poet’s”, the ‘godlike’ Homer was buried at Plakotos, in the north of the island and Pausanias tells us that there was an inscription at Delphi confirming the poet’s interment on Ios. The sites of Ios include a Hellenistic tower and the remains of an ancient aqueduct at Agia Theodoti, traces of an ancient temple at Psathi, a ruinous Venetian castle at the spot known as Paleokastro, and the Hellenistic tower of Plakotos. Ios is loved for its vibrant nightlife that’s why it’s usually visited by young travellers from all over the world who come here to enjoy buzzing local bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes.
If you’re not a fan of local party scenes, then enjoy a leisurely walk around the village or visit the church of Panagia Gremiotissa and savour the imposing views.
Day 6: Santorini
Sailing from Ios to Santorini (Red beach) for lunch.
As you approach Santorini, it's easy to imagine the cataclysm that gave birth to this astonishing Greek Island that has become such a popular tourist destination. Your yacht edges between bare islands of volcanic rock and the crescent-shaped remains of the volcano. Santorini, with its sheer black cliffs rising 200 meters out of the sea, actually consists of three islands: Thira, Thirasia and Aspronisi.
First stop is at the“Martian” beach, where the “sand” is red. It’s not the sand, but a mineral crumb of terracotta hue, which appeared here after one of the rocks cracked. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area due to its colour.
Sailing from Santorini (Red beach) to Santorini (Thira) for dinner.
For dinner you cam travel to Pyrgos, a village where locals go for dining experience away from the crowds in Fira or Oia. Tavernas here are famous for serving super delicious food. Mythos taverna has a great variety of dishes and wines, and it does feature a beautiful panoramic view, as it’s located on the hill. One more option is Metaxy Mas, where they serve “fillet with Vinsanto sauce or boneless pork chops with orange sauce and jacket potato” or risotto-like seafood dish called 'Giouvetsi' featuring mussels, prawns, saffron, olive oil. Food lovers must visit the world-famous “Selene” restaurant also located in Pygros, as not only it has creative Greek and Santorini cuisine, but because it has an incredible story behind.
The restaurant was opened more than 30 years ago by Mr Giorgos Hatzigiannakis, when Greek food wasn’t very popular. Who knew that was the case, right? Local dining places in Greece were offering more of foreign dishes, specifically focusing on French cuisine. It was because locals thought they had nothing to impress tourists with, thinking that their own recipes “represented the poverty of the old days”.
The family of Hatzigiannakis thought the other way. So they started to do the magic by renovating the old recipes, promoting local ingredients, experimenting with food, and thus developing Santorini’s cuisine and inspiring others. This all was more than appreciated first by travellers, and then by locals as well. So it is fair to say that “Selene” was the pioneer of the famous modern Greek cuisine and it contributed to the fact that Santorini is not only a romantic destinaiton but also a popular gastronomic stop.
Day 7: Santorini
Thira what most travellers know as Santorini has a reputation of one of the most romantic spots on Earth. Couples who want to celebrate their love, have a wedding ceremony or a lovely photoshoot against the beautiful backdrop of the island, adore this destination.The most visited towns on the island are Fira and Oia. More than half a century ago they were destroyed by a massive earthquake, and locals managed to fully rebuild them and turn into travel Mecca.
Steep balconies and terraces, narrow cute streets, blue domes, whitewashed Greek houses, craved in the cliffs, neoclassical building, cave-like hotels, authentic souvenir shops – those are just a few things why you’d love a walk around Fira and Oia. The Balcony of Santorini is the name of a cliff survived after numerous earthquakes. It is located at one of the highest points of the island where a picturesque village of Imerovigli stands. Couples usually choose this place for their wedding ceremony.
While driving around the island on a quad bike or with a car you’ll think that soil here is not capable of producing any fruits and vegetables, as it looks very dry. However, if to pay attention you’ll notice wine and olive groves here and there, and vegetables and fruits growing. For wine lovers, there’s even a museum of wine located near Kamari. It’s founded at the end of the 19th century by two brothers. You can taste various sorts of wine here, visit a cave with wine stock. Winemaking is one of the most favourite things to do among locals. They’re very proud of their wines produced from the special grape – asiritico. And they should be as it tastes amazing.
Between Skala (the main port), at the base of the cliff, and Thera (the main town), a narrow path has been etched into the cliff-face in a series of zigzags. To the left of the path, there are the prosaic lines of a cable car, the first hint of the island's connection with the twentieth century and tourism. There are three ways to get from Skala to Thera - mule, foot or cable car. The most popular is by mule. Besides the interesting architecture of the houses in Thera, it is worth visiting the two cathedrals (the Orthodox and the Catholic) and the Monastery of the Dominican nuns. The Catholic monastery of Panagia of Rodari, which was built in the area of Skaros where the medieval capital of the island used to lie surrounded by a strong fortress on the edge of a steep hill, and the Venetian building Gizi are worth a visit. The best places to watch the sunset in Santorini are from the deck of a yacht if you are seeking for privacy, Imerovigli village on top of Thira, and Oia if you don’t mind hundreds of people standing next to you, and from Santo Winery where you can also enjoy some local wines while watching one of the most beautiful natural phenomena.
Day 8: Santorini
Farewell to the crew and departure after breakfast.
WHAT'S ON MENU IN SANTORINI
The most beautiful sunsets is not the only reason to visit the world-famous island. Culinary experience is a must when in Santorini.
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