Exploring Greece on a sailing boat


Discovering the Greek islands: perfect mix between history, culture, relaxation, fun and good food
Written by: Sara Chiarelli
FPJ Communication & PR Manager
Translated by: 
Mari Kandalaft 
Laura Dragotta  

Discovering the Greek islands: the perfect mix between history, culture, relaxation, fun, and good food The Greek islands are one of the favorite destinations for tourists from all over the world. Welcoming people, splendid sea, and affordable prices make this magical place an ideal destination for all those who love seaside resorts in their naturalness, a perfect combination of worldly life and landscapes immersed in unspoiled nature. Choosing among the many places that Greece offers is not easy, just as it is difficult to establish which are the most beautiful Greek islands. Some are truly heavenly and unmissable and can only be reached onboard a sailboat. Flying aboard a private jet and then enjoying a complete tour of the Greek islands in total relaxation has now become a trend in recent years, even more so in this post-pandemic period where tourists are looking for wonderful, yet uncrowded places.

The Hellenic country is a perfect concentration of natural and artistic beauties, the best place to restore body and mind. Greece is not only its capital, Athens which remains one of the most visited places for those in search of the scent of history that surrounds the whole territory, but above all, it is many islands with a splendid sea and beautiful beaches. From Chios to Corfu, from Andros to Monemvasia, from Thessaloniki to Meteora: Greece is an extraordinary country that deserves to be visited all year round, season after season, but which reaches its peak in the summer. Beyond the crystal clear waters and white stones that heat up under the summer sun, Greece also hides many magical places in its hinterland guaranteeing an unforgettable experience that digs its roots in history and is reflected in an unspoiled landscape, made even more memorable by the harmony of the architecture, the lapping of the waves and the green of its flora.

Immutable to the test of time, iconic thanks to its traditions, its cuisine, and its melodies, Greece is confirmed as an evergreen destination, one that is worth visiting all year round, even more so in summer. Immersing yourself in its cerulean world, in some ways magical, remains, in fact, a unique peculiarity, with its attractions that shine both in the heat and in the cold, both with the orange leaves and with the lush ones of summer.

Exploring the seas of Greece on a sailboat is a unique experience that allows you to get to know all its wonders. Some islands are still wild, while others with their archaeological sites have the ability to bring the mind back to the past. For those who want to explore the most beautiful and evocative islands, it is possible to rent a boat in Greece and explore the coast from a different perspective. The sailing tour could start with a stop in Sifanto, perfect for those who want to experience the truest experience of the Cyclades, in an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquility. Its medieval Kastro, its churches, and its terracotta pottery refer to an ancient tradition. Among the places to visit absolutely for those who want to explore Greece by sailboat, there are also the Ionian Islands. The main islands that are part of it are Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, known as Zante, and Kythira.

Corfu, the "Great Lady of the Ionian" is characterized by a series of mythical images: Nausica, the daughter of King Alkinoos, who saved Ulysses; Sissi, the sad empress of Austria and the palace of Achilleion that she built; the majestic Mon Repos, the 19th-century summer residence built for the English High Commissioner and the Kaiser Observatory, from where William II watched the iridescent Ionian. The historic center of the island of Corfu declared a UNESCO heritage site, houses majestic buildings with neoclassical influences, but also the Palace of San Michele and San Giorgio, the arcade of Listòn, and the Ionic Parliament; in fact, the historic center of Corfu is a must for those wishing to visit the island. The most fascinating neighborhood is Cambiello, characterized by narrow streets and ancient buildings that give a retro charm to the whole island. The main square of Corfu is the Spianada, which is located in front of the Ancient Fortress, one of the fortified citadels. A few steps from the Ancient Fortress you can find the Royal Palace, which is the largest building in Corfu.

Proceeding on the waters that bathe the Greek coasts, a visit to the island of Zakynthos is a must, famous for being the birthplace of the poet Ugo Foscolo. Its territory is made up of mountains, hills, inlets and splendid beaches. The National Marine Park of Zakynthos where it is possible to admire some specimens of sea turtle of the Caretta Caretta species is certainly a unique place.

Sailing aboard a sailboat, you then come across the wonderful Sporades, a very varied archipelago that with its diversity is able to satisfy the most diverse requests. Skiathos is probably the most fashionable place in the Sporades with its beaches always crowded with people.

Alonissos is the refuge for tourists looking for tranquility and glimpses of a still ancient Greece. Monk seals still live on the island and host a marine park. Skopelos is located between Skiathos and Alonissos and, in addition to the beautiful beaches, it also hides many churches and monasteries. In the center of the island is Mount Delphi where you can go hiking and trekking.

Those wishing to visit Greece by sailing boat cannot fail to stop in Crete, characterized by white sandy beaches, historic cities, and picturesque mountain villages. The Fifth island in the Mediterranean by extension, 370 kilometers long, it is a concentration of history, myths, and green, white and blue beaches. The largest island in Greece among the more than 5,000 that make up the Greek paradise, it welcomes its visitors with the legend of the Minotaur and the cave where Zeus was born. Cradle of the Minoan civilization, it has its unattainable pearls in the Balos lagoon and in the legendary pink beach of Elafonissi. The karst caves are also very beautiful, including those of Psychro and Melidoni, authentic delights for enthusiasts. One of the most evocative places in Crete is the Palace of Knossos, one of the most important archaeological areas in the world. The palace of Phaistos is also worth a visit: here is the Phaestus Disc, a particular terracotta object depicting ships, flowers, people, and animals with characters similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs. This island is a real rare gem for anyone who is passionate about history and culture. Gorgeous multicultural Cretan polo that reveals secrets step by step is Chania. From the Venetian lighthouse to the Great Arsenal, from Kum Kapi to the aristocratic suburb of Halepa, from the citadel of Kastelli to the old monasteries of Akrotiri. Its alleys are full of surprises and each walk is a unique experience: attractions such as the Küçük Hasan mosque and the ruins of Splanzia retain, in fact, a unique, unchanging charm. Here you can stay in luxurious accommodation in elegant villas, entertain yourself in lively bars and restaurants, as well as in important cultural sites. The beaches are also worth a visit. Among the most famous are: Agia Marina, Stalos, and Platanias.


Another place that offers a splendid sea, paradisiacal beaches and places rich in history and culture is Rhodes. Ancient Venetian fortress, the main island of the Italian Dodecanese, has the main attractions in the white city of Lindos and the beaches of Faliraki. The historic center, one of the best-preserved medieval settlements in the world, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the many reasons to choose  Rhodes as a stop to visit if you are in Greece to spend your holidays. In the Old Town, each stone tells a story of 2.400 years: ancient statues, marble coats of arms, fountains, the Knights Street, the Palace of the Great Masters, mosques and hammam, the Clock Tower with its breathtaking view of the Aegean, a rich heritage left behind by past civilizations and complemented by luxury resorts, traditional villas called marassiotika and villages where women still cook bread in open-air wood-burning ovens. A mosaic of cultures, a magical place where the Aegean meets the Middle East and which still preserves intact the myth of the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; It has landscapes for all tastes, being the largest of the Dodecanese islands. Do not miss the castle of Monolithos, the Valley of the Butterflies, and the natural park of Epta Piges. Absolutely among the most beautiful Greek islands to visit! Anthony Quinns Bay, so-called because it was the set of the film “ The Cannons of Navarone” played by the famous Hollywood actor, is the most famous beach in Rhodes. Other beaches to see in Rhodes are Prassonisi, a narrow and long strip of sand washed by the Aegean to the north and the Mediterranean to the south, Agathi, a sandy beach surrounded by mountains, and Fourni.


One more island less known in Greece, characterized by mountains and trails for nature lovers and rich fauna and flora is Tinos; here you can suddenly meet animals that bring thought to other continents, such as some specimens of exotic birds and pygmy elephants. This island is also full of dream beaches: Stavros, with its characteristic little church on the peak of a rock, Aghios Markos, with its pebbles and Aghios Sostis, beach with panoramic views of the nearby island of Mykonos. 


Crossing the turquoise waters that bather the islands of Greece you can make the route to the Capital, Athens. Proud of its past and history, the Capital of Greece has a fit grip on the present and a glimmer in its eyes for the future. Without ever resting on its laurels and with ever new opportunities for fun and culture, Athens, the city that gave birth to democracy, art, and science, is constantly reinventing itself, generating a new vital force for itself and its visitors. Among its most precious treasures, in addition to the heart of ancient civilization and the timeless charm of the Parthenon, the Acropolis, and the Ancient Agora, Athens has recently added to its palmarès some gems not to be missed: such as the Acropolis Museum, which offers the rare opportunity to see a real excavation site discovering its beauty, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, that allows tourists to immerse themselves in a luxury experience ranging from olive picking to yoga lessons and sailing, the Technopolis, an architectural wonder that, including concerts, exhibitions, seminars, and workshops, is able to attract around itself an unimaginable interest and finally, the House of Letters Onassis, which opens its arms to cultural innovators of all kinds, a push without prejudice to the artistic heart of Greece. Caressed by the Aegean sun and the blue sky of Attica, Athens is a city of contrasts that carries the weight of history and that, at the same time, thanks to luxury hotels, spas, and attractions such as the artistic and industrial environment of Psyrri, shopping in the district of Kolonaki and the colorful spice stalls in Monastrraki, is surprisingly modern and dynamic; Athens, in fact, remains one of the main European metropolis, full of places to see and admire.


If you are in continental Green very suggestive is the locality of Meteora, whose name means “suspended in space”, a treasure chest that, thanks to its vertical rocks and the miracles of geology, can only surmise anyone who visits. Striking are especially the “suspended monasteries” on its peaks, made by monks who, from the eleventh century, built them with the help of ropes, nets, or bare-handed transporting to the summit the material necessary for the construction of the structures. Today, six restored monasteries and convents are active, including Agios Nikolaos Anapafsa and Agios Stephanos, which welcome visitors with great hospitality within their elegant facilities. Climbers from around the world travel to Meteora to challenge its giant rocks. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it has also been awarded by the Greek State the title of “sacred place, inviolate and unchangeable”. Not to be missed are Kastraki, the most beautiful village in the area, nestled at the base of one of the giant rocks of Meteora, Kalambaka, which is not only the gateway to Meteora, but also the main shopping and tourist center of the region, and the Cave of Theopetra, whose formation dates back to the Cretaceous;


Another traditional destination city of travel in Greece is Thessaloniki, which in the past centuries was called Thessalonica: a real concentrate of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman history, but also a city that is rapidly evolving towards modernity. The sprawling urban center of Macedonia, in the north of Greece, Thessaloniki is a cultural melting pot where dreams, ideas, visions, and trends emerge against the backdrop of an alternative and Avant-card scene. Its history is inscribed in its rare beauties: the Thermaic Gulf, the White Tower, Nikis Avenue, Aristotle Square, Mitropoleos Avenue, Tsimiski Avenue, Ladadika, Modiano Market, Bit Bazaar, and the Old Town. Impressive attractions, cafes, bars, traditional taverns, gourmet restaurants, and lively nightlife make the city the beautiful “bride of the Thermaic Gulf” that has always been. A place to see absolutely? Ladadika, the charming Jewish quarter with its Jewish Museum, elegant historical building of 1904 that recreates the life of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki before the War and extermination by the Nazis. Other places to visit for cultural and archaeological holidays are the mythical Olympia, birthplace, and election of the Olympics, and the nearby towns of Epidaurus. The ruins of the ancient city of Sparta, in the Peloponnese, Mycenae, with its splendid remains, and Delphi, where in ancient times an oracle issued its fatal responses.

An additional beautiful medieval town carved into an imposing rock, like a sculpture, is Monemvasia. The “Gibraltar of the East” or the “stone ship”, as the Greek poet Yannis Ristos called it; this town invites its visitors to embark on a journey through time through its characteristic alleys, churches, and aristocratic mansions. In Monemvasia, time seems to have stopped. Not to be missed is, of course, the visit to the castle: the sunset light colors the stones of purple, from which comes his nickname of “purple city”, and the streets are filled with mysterious shapes, sounds, and shadows, making the tourist turn into a true member of the court, just as the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and the Venetians were the past. The first choice restaurants, traditional taverns, and refined cafes make your stay in Monemvasia even more unique. To try are the goes, the typical fresh pasta of the place, and the sati, a savory cake of cheese and vegetables. The magical place is an ideal destination especially for honeymoon couples, who can enjoy the beauty of the site in luxurious hotels from the suites with mosaic floors and flower gardens. One of the most original and characteristic places is Kastellorizo, famous for the Mediterranean film by Gabriele Salvatores, which has recently been named one of the first islands in Greece to become Covid Free and therefore ready to welcome for holidays to the tampon, want to discover the sweet-sour charm. An area of nine square kilometers and a mini archipelago, closer to Turkey than to Greece, northeast of the Aegean Sea: here more than 95% of the population has been vaccinated. Kastellorizo opens its port, a jewel of cosmopolitan architecture in the tones of pink powder, white-blue Cycladic, and brick Anatolia, to all those who wish to visit it. With its incredibly crystalline waters, the island still retains the harshness and small monasteries perched among the hills from which to enjoy contemplative views. Don’t miss the chance to explore the 24 islands, islet, and rocks surrounding Kastellorizo, which are also great points for underwater exploration. These include the islet of Aghios Georgios with platforms on the sea equipped with deck chairs and umbrellas, from which to dive directly into the clear sea.
To approach by sea also Perastà, the Blue Grotto, which in the early hours of the day is flooded with blue reflections, and is known as one of the most fascinating of Greece. Among the destinations to visit absolutely during the trip to Greece. Among the destinations to visit absolutely during the trip to Greece by sailboat is the Cyclades. Santorini is perhaps the most romantic island and deserves a visit along with the archaeological site of Akrotiri, an ancient Minoan city buried by volcanic ash in 1613 BC. Even Milo, with its white rocks and stacks in the middle of the sea, offers a unique spectacle. In one of its caves was discovered the statue of Venus, the famous Venus of Milos.

The island of Cos, also known as Kos, surprises for how much history hovers along its roads and landscapes, but also for the mix of cultures it hosts, given its proximity to Turkey. Here it is possible to see the tree, which according to legend, planted Hippocrates and under which he used to teach, besides, of course, to visit the temple of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Cos has both sandy and pebble beaches, both equipped and free. The most famous are Therma, Psalidi, Marmari, and Kardamena. Therma is known for its hot springs that flow to the sea, Psalidi is among the most famous and crowded beaches of Cos, Marmari is famous for the long beach equipped with sand dunes and Kardamena is a beach of fine sand, with its sea always calm and shallow.

Unmissable is the stop at one of the most romantic islands in the world, Santorini: a popular destination for romantic trips, for those looking for the perfect blend of relaxation and fun, together with a hint of atmosphere and a bit of nightlife. The white roofs and the sheer blue sea are part of an unstoppable mix.
The caldera walk, magnificent sunsets, white houses, and panoramic terraces are just some of the main attractions of Santorini, one of the pearls of the Cyclades. Located by the Aegean Sea, it is famous for its volcanic stone beaches, and at sunset its shades of black, red and white, light up even more creating a unique atmosphere in the world.

Paxos, very close to Corfù, less known but absolutely wonderful, is the second-largest island of the Ionian Islands. Oasis of tranquility ideal for those on holiday looking for privacy. For those who decide to make a stop on this island, there are wonderful beaches and restaurants that serve fresh fish Gaios,in its center. Among the most beautiful beaches to visit on this island can not miss the beach of Mongonissi, Harami, Kanoni, Glyfada, Orkos, and Monadendri. In the archipelago of the Cyclades, another famous island, worldwide for its nightlife, perfect for those who want to party in Mykonos.


The holiday atmosphere and the desire for fun infect anyone just landing on this island. Which has become over the years among the most popular island in all Greece. Despite the growing tourism, the beauty of the countryside remains unchanged, with its picturesque houses and its crystal clear sea.


For the more adventurous you should not miss a visit to Tilos, one of the most famous of the Dodecanese: inaccessible mountains and trails to hike and venture, among wildlife and flora. The beautiful beaches are stone and very difficult to reach, but for this reason the island is unique. Located in the Aegean Sea, about 20 km from Samos, is located the Ikaria Island, which takes its name from Icarus, whose legend says he fell into the sea not far from the island. Its beauty is precisely that of being inaccessible: mountainous and wild, with breathtaking views. The beaches are spectacular, perhaps the most beautiful beaches in Greece, lapped by hot springs where you can relax. Among these, the most famous is the so-called Seychelles beach of Ikaria, among the most beautiful beaches in Greece, thanks to the white gravel, the emerald sea and the mountains surrounding the beach. Absolutely not to be missed!

In the Sporades archipelago, in the western part of the Aegean Sea, Skyros is the largest and probably the quietest of these islands. Suitable for those looking for a relaxing holiday, here you can not find nightlife, but during the day you can rent a bike or a motorbike and walk through its characteristic streets. Among the most beautiful and least touristy Greek islands, because it is also one of the most difficult to reach islands in Greece. Do not miss Arazo Bay and its beautiful pebble beach, the Aihili Bay, and that of Mealos. One of the most unexplored and uncontaminated islands of the northern Aegean, rich in secrets, surprises, and hidden treasures is Chios. Fragrant, authentic, irresistible, it offers countless attractions to explore: from Kambos, with its operated doors and beautiful arches, to the legendary medieval villages of mastic such as Pyrghì and Mesta, followed by Vessa, Armolia, Benita, and Patrika. Taking a walk in the alleys of these cities is something magical, especially in August, when you can see, in the surrounding farms, the trees pour their crystalline “tears” of mastic. The mastic is, in fact, the symbol of the island: the collection of its resin is obtained by making little cuts on the tree (that the locals people calls “Kentima” or embroidery) and gives life to a delicate product, available exclusively in Chios, where it is cultivated from the tenth century A.D. To complete the whole is Anavatos, the highly fortified Byzantine village, and Vrontados, a suburb of the island’s capital famous for its rukestopolemos, rockets wars, that happened every Easter, where thousands of rockets are launched from the opposite fields creating an incredible spectacle that illuminates the entire immensity of the night sky.
Just two hours from the port of Rafina, Andros is the greenest of the Cyclades and the second largest after Naxos. Venetian castles, pristine beaches, rushing rivers, and water mills make the island unique, relaxed, and discreet, shy towards mass tourism and waiting to be discovered but the most demanding traveler. The main city, the Hora, is rich in stately houses and neoclassical buildings, while the wide main street emanates prosperity in its marble sidewalk, in the vast squares, in the large churches and fountains finely carved. Do not miss the Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses, among others, works by Picasso, Matisse, Klee, Chagall, Rodin, Miro, and Kandinsky, the village of Stenies, which is worth visiting even just for the majestic tower erected in the seventeenth century and the beaches accessible only by dirt roads or by seas such as Ahla, Zorkos, and Ateni; ultra interesting destination is Korthi, a place for hikers and adventurers that leads to the ruins of a Venetian castle and the gorge of Dipotamata where once the mills grinder the cereals of Andros. An Island to discover for visitors who can not be satisfied.
White houses, turquoise sea as far as the eye can see, romantic sunsets, Mediterranean scents, mythological references: the islands of Greece hide many secretes and magical places to not give up at least once in your life.

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