SAILING IN CYCLADES
The Cyclades is the most famous island group in the Aegean Sea. It is characterized by its unique barren landscape with isolated chapels, its traditional white and blue architecture, its gorgeous sandy beaches, folk music and fests, and its warm and hospitable people. The name “Cyclades” stems from the fact that the islands are forming a circle (the name in English means “circular islands”) around the sacred island of Delos.
The Cylades island group consists of 39 islands which lie in close proximity to one another, making them the perfect yachting destination. Only the following 24 islands are inhabited all year round: Kea, Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Delos, Syros, Paros, Naxos, Ios, Donousa, Koufounisia, Iraklia, Shinousa, Amorgos, Santorini, Thirasia, Anafi, Sikinos, and Folegandros. The other smaller islands and islets are completely untouched and can only be reached by boat.
Sailing conditions are the most favorable from the beginning of June to the middle of July and in September, as winds around the Cyclades islands can get pretty strong towards the end of July and August. Those winds are called "Meltemi" and blow from the north and northwest with forces reaching up to 7-8 BFT
PAROS & ANTIPAROS
All the Cyclades islands and islets are so unique and beautiful that it is quite impossible to point out and recommend only one specific route. There are countless routes worth exploring. You can choose among four different charter bases from which you can easily explore the Cyclades Islands. Marina Alimos and Marina Lavrion that are situated in the Attica region, and Marina Paros and Marina Mykonos, which can be found right in the center of the Cyclades island group.
Marina Alimos and Marina Lavrion can be easily reached via the Athens International Airport and are perfect starting points if you wish to explore the islands in the north, northeast, and west. Popular destinations that can be explored during a one-week charter in the north Cyclades are Kea, Kythnos, Syros, Andros, Tinos and Mykonos. A trip in the west might include the islands Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos and Milos.
If you are planning to explore the rest of the Cycladic islands, you can start your trip from the marinas in Paros or Mykonos. Reaching Paros or Mykonos is quite easy as there are numerous domestic flights and ferry boats leaving from Athens daily. Moreover, Mykonos is connected to many major cities via international direct flights. Starting from Paros or Mykonos, you have multiple options and you might visit well-known islands like Naxos, Santorini, and Ios or the beautiful lesser known Small Cyclades islands that include Donousa, Koufounisa, Iraklia, Shinousa and several smaller not inhabited islets. Distances between the small cycladic islands are short and the area is quite protected from the strong wind that is blowing in the Aegean sea. Thus, it is a perfect sailing area.
Since distances between most of the Cyclades islands are quite far, we advise you to be open to some small route adjustments shortly before or even during your trip in order to be able to take advantage of the wind. Although sailing against the wind can be quite fun, it can easily double the amount of time you need to reach your destination and it can be quite tiring when done for many hours especially in combination with the high waves in the open Aegean sea. But this is no reason to worry, there are so many islands that you have plenty of destination options every day that suit every wind direction.