A sailing holiday or family cruise in Greece usually means a departure from Athens
or perhaps Lefkas
. Yet, in the north there is a unique sailing ground that is absolutely worth the extra travel time to get there: the Northern Sporades. Not only are the islands lush, green and fertile - as opposed to the Cyclades
for instance - there are also a lot of beautiful anchorages and ports at very short distances from Skiathos, which port, airport and marina serve as the only yacht charter base for this area. Moreover, especially Skopelos is celebrated for its exquisite cuisine.
On a cruise or on a longer sailing holiday, exploring these islands can well be combined with other sailing grounds such as the Eastern Sporades and the Dodecanese.
Unfortunately the beautiful gulet cruises
are predominantly organized much further south and most won't offer their luxury in the Northern Sporades due to lack of speed (9 knots max). For other motorized cruises and cruising sailing yachts it is very possible to reach these distant shores via Chios, Lesbos or the larger island of Evvia, which is draped along side the Attica peninsula.
On most bareboat sailing holidays
you will however only be able to visit Lemnos or Lesbos on a 14 days or longer itinerary. With 3 week itineraries you should also be able to reach the Eastern Sporades (Chios, Samos, Ikaria, Patmos).
Ideal would be a one-way downwind towards the south: the northerlies are the prevailing winds in the Aegean Sea
Further north there is another very interesting cruising area only a couple of days sailing apart: Thassos, Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki with its renowned Mount Athos marking the horizon at great distance.
Kokkinokastro (meaning red castle) bay is shown in the above picture, which was taken during our own recent sailing holiday in the Sporades.
.: Back to sailing and cruising the Sporades :.