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Sailing itineraries Cyclades

To thoroughly enjoy the richness of the Cycladic islands you need at least 20 to 25 sailing days. But already a 2-week itinerary opens up much more possibilities, thus enabling you to see three times more than in a single week. When sailing 14 days:
paros parikia port Naxos: view from the cave-church of Theologaki and Paros can be seen in the background kea lion

The Cyclades

The following table gives the characteristics of the Cyclades islands and you might also want to compare all the Greek regions. More dark blue stars the better.
 
Characteristics Northern Cyclades Southern Cyclades
Easy access by plane or ferry
Unspoiled by tourism
Beautiful ports
Amenities and tavernas
Ancient Greek sites
Mediaeval sites
Secluded anchorages
Spectacular scenery
Easy sailing conditions
Fertile and lush vegetation
Wildlife

The sailing itineraries

The following routes are the result of our own travels and the vast amount of suggestions from my visitors. Similar to my Ionian or Saronic routes, these Cyclades itineraries have an “off the beaten track” character and are certainly biased towards natural beauty, sequestered anchorages and ancient archaeological sites, so perhaps not suitable for all yacht charters…

Please toggle between the itineraries with the A through L buttons in the clickable map below or by simply clicking a view button in a table. The Winds button directly above the clickable map shows you the prevailing Meltemi wind directions.

Itinerary A   1 week   Athens-Athens Itinerary B   1 week   Athens-Athens
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Alimos/Kalamaki    1 Alimos/Kalamaki  
 2 Sounion 22  2 Kythnos Mericha 44
 3 Kythnos Mericha 23  3 Syros Ermoupolis 50
 4 Kythnos Loutra 20  4 Mykonos Delos 27
 5 Syros Finikas 20  5 Kea 60
 6 Kea 35  6 Sounion 15
 7 Alimos/Kalamaki 36  7 Alimos/Kalamaki 22
    156     218
 
Itinerary C   1 week   Lavrion-Lavrion Itinerary D   1 week   Lavrion-Lavrion
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Lavrion    1 Lavrion  
 2 Kythnos Mericha 23  2 Kythnos Mericha 23
 3 Syros Ermoupolis 50  3 Serifos Livadi 31
 4 Mykonos Delos 27  4 Sifnos Kamares 9
 5 Andros Gavrion 44  5 Syros Finikas 39
 6 Kea 25  6 Kea 36
 7 Lavrion 17  7 Lavrion 17
    186     155
Iraklia port Paros Naoussa Church Amorgos Aegiali
Itinerary E   1 week   Paros-Paros Itinerary F   1 week   Syros-Syros
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Paros Paroikia    1 Syros Finikas  
 2 Sifnos Kamaras 30  2 Mykonos Delos 30
 3 Folegandros 28  3 Naxos 31
 4 Santorini 30  4 Paros Naoussa 9
 5 Amorgos 40  5 Sifnos Kamares 42
 6 Paros Naoussa 41  6 Kythnos Loutra 26
 7 Paros Paroikia 10  7 Syros Finikas 19
    179     157
 
Itinerary G   2 weeks   Athens-Athens Itinerary H   2 weeks   Lavrion-Lavrion
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Alimos/Kalamaki    1 Lavrion  
 2 Sounion 22  2 Kythnos Loutra 39
 3 Kea 15  3 Syros Finikas 19
 4 Kythnos Mericha 19  4 Paros Naoussa 24
 5 Serifos 31  5 Naxos 9
 6 Sifnos Kameres 9  6 Amorgos 41
 7     '' --  7     '' --
 8 Milos 24  8 Little Cyclades 17
 9 Polyaigos 4  9 Sifnos Kamares 44
 10 Paros Paroikia 33  10     '' --
 11 Paros Naoussa 10  11 Serifos 9
 12 Syros Ermoupolis 24  12 Kythnos Mericha 31
 13 Kythnos Loutra 27  13 Kea 19
 14 Alimos/Kalamaki 48  14 Lavrion 17
    266     269

Itinerary I   2 weeks   Paros-Paros Itinerary J   2 weeks   Syros-Syros
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Paros Paroikia    1 Syros Finikas  
 2 Sifnos Kamares 30  2 Kythnos Loutra 19
 3 Milos 24  3 Serifos 18
 4 Polyaigos 4  4 Sifnos Kamares 9
 5 Folegandros 20  5     '' --
 6 Santorini 29  6 Little Cyclades 44
 7     '' --  7 Amorgos 17
 8 Astypalea 52  8     '' --
 9 Amorgos 50  9 Donoussa 19
 10     '' --  10 Naxos 28
 11 Little Cyclades 17  11 Paros Naoussa 9
 12 Naxos 19  12 Mykonos Delos 28
 13 Paros Naoussa 9  13 Tinos 12
 14 Paros Paroikia 10  14 Syros Finikas 18
    264     221
Mericha kythnos paros church amorgos ship wreck
Itinerary K   3 weeks   Lavrion-Lavrion Itinerary L   3 weeks   Athens-Athens
 Day Port NM  Day Port NM
 1 Lavrion    1 Alimos/Kalamaki  
 2 Nea Marmari 25  2 Kea 36
 3 Andros Gavrion 27  3 Syros Ermoupolis 39
 4 Andros Kastro 31  4 Paros Naoussa 24
 5 Tinos 20  5 Paros Paroikia 10
 6 Mykonos Delos 12  6 Andiparos 4
 7 Ikaria Evdilos 41  7 Little Cyclades 21
 8 Donoussa 39  8     '' --
 9 Amorgos 18  9 Ios 18
 10     '' --  10 Santorini 28
 11 Astypalea 49  11     '' --
 12 Anafi 35  12 Sikinos 26
 13 Santorini 16  13 Folegandros 8
 14     '' --  14 Polyaigos 20
 15 Little Cyclades 51  15 Milos 4
 16 Naxos 17  16 Sifnos Kamares 24
 17 Paros Naoussa 9  17     '' --
 18 Paros Paroikia 10  18 Serifos 9
 19 Kythnos Loutra 39  19 Kythnos Mericha 31
 20 Kea Poleis Bay 10  20 Sounion 23
 21 Lavrion 20  21 Alimos/Kalamaki 22
    469     347

Unsorted tips

Ios church amorgos katapola church tinos port

My favourite anchorages

Aegean itineraries

By popular demand an itinerary for one to three months in the whole Aegean of luxurious yacht charters, hence including the Dodecanese and Sporades.
First of all, yacht charters of more than 3 weeks render a one-way unnecessary. Furthermore, starting (and hence also ending) in Athens is easiest with flights, etc.

Therefore, starting in Athens and after spending about 10-14 days in the Saronic and Argolic gulfs cross via Hydra to Kea or Kythnos en start exploring the Aegean.
Highlights in the Cyclades are Sifnos, Paros, Naxos & the little Cyclades, Amorgos, Santorini, Milos and Folegandros. This will be a further 2 weeks: for instance Sifnos, Santorini and Amorgos are worth more than one day!!!

Cross towards the Dodecanese from Astypalea via Kasos, Karpathos to Rhodes, Symi, and continue north to the islands of Tilos, Nisyros & Kos plus Leros & Kalymnos, Patmos, Fourni, arki & Lipso and Samos.

Sailing north means beating the prevailing winds - yet the trick of this anticlockwise route is that particularly here the winds are weakest, especially on the east (the more interesting) coasts of the dodecanese and southern sporades which are sheltered by the the myriad of Aegean islands as well as the Turkish promontories.

From the Southern Sporades of Ikaria or Chios cross back into the Cyclades to Tinos & Andros, via Mykonos & Delos, Syros, Kea and Sounion and finally the Alimos/Kalamaki marina in Athens.

You can extend this basic circle easily with extra loops:

  1. South coast of the Peloponnese around the notorious Cape Maleas, worth an extra week at least;
  2. Include Crete from Thira;
  3. From Chios to Lesbos into the Northern Sporades, Limnos and Thassos;
  4. Through the Corinth Canal via the Corinth Gulf and Patras Gulf into the Ionian Sea;
  5. Cross the border and explore the Carian, Ionian and West Lycian coasts of Turkey.

One-way itineraries

There are several one-way routes possible in the Cyclades since Lavrion and Athens are upwind from the Cycladic main charter bases of Syros and Paros. Furthermore, the ports of Mykonos, Milos and Santorini increasingly serve as useful secundary bases for yacht charters as well.
Frequent domestic flights, ferries and hydrofoils connect these islands with Athens Airport and Pireaus Port.

Athens/Lavrion to Syros - 7 days
Day 0   SatAthens or Lavrion
Day 1   SunKea, Main port as well as Polis bay, delightful anchorage
Day 2   MonAndros/Tinos, Andros Port is lee-shore and involves distance, Tinos port is recommended. These islands are really off the beaten track and Gavrion and Kastro are very beautiful
Day 3   TueDenoussa - delightful islet east of Naxos
Day 4   WedAmorgos, Fjord bay lunch, night in Aegiali, visit northeast cliffs-800 metres sheer drop, Katapola for night (after santorini the best island in the Cyclades)
Day 5   ThuIraklia + bays around the islets there - mini cruise area :-)
Day 6   FriSifnos, Kamares port; anchorages: Platis Gialos, Faros and Kastro
Day 7   SatSyros, Ermoupolis approach even more breathtaking than the Poros approach

Athens/Lavrion to Paros - 7 days
Day 0   SatKea, port and anchorages (Poleis bay)
Day 1   SunKythnos, both Mericha and Loutra are worthwhile
Day 2   MonSifnos, Kamares and anchorages; Platis Gialos, Faros or Kastro
Day 3   TueFolegandros, Karavostasi and the chora
Day 4   WedSikinos, Alopronia port, delightfully off the beaten track and lots of ancient ruins
Day 5   ThuSantorini, Vlichadi marina (rent scooters) and thirasia or oia, best to visit the Kameni islands by tripper boat from Skala
Day 6   FriNaoussa on Paros, very pretty both the bay (anchorages!) as the harbour
Day 7   SatParikia port on Paros, charter base and ferry port

Athens/Lavrion to Syros - 10 days
Day 0Athens or Lavrion
Day 1Kea, main port and Poleis bay in the south east of the island
Day 2Andros/Tinos, though usually not Andros Port (lee-shore and more distance) but likely Tinos port
Day 3Denoussa, - delightful
Day 4Amorgos, Fjord bay lunch, visit northeast cliffs-800 metres sheer drop, katapola for night or Aegiali
Day 5Iraklia, Mirsini, Karos, Parianos
Day 6Naxos, Ay Ioannis bay, Panormou or Apollonia
Day 7Paros Naoussa,
Day 8Sifnos, Kamares port and lunch at either Platis Gialos, Faros or Kastro (blue turquoise)
Day 9Syros, Ermoupolis, Finikas and Delfino Bay

Further reading:
Greek chart terms and toponyms for sailing in Greece.
An Ionian combined with Aegean logbook of 2 months.
The Wind roses of Greece.
Luxury crewed yacht charters.

Sifnos Chrisopigi Milos-tsigrado Kea port lighthouse

Nautical charts

British Admiralty Charts 1095 and 1037, 1038, 1040, 1041
Greek Waters Pilot Greek Waters Pilot

Edition 11th (August 2011) - Rod Heikell

A yachtsman's guide to the entire area from the Ionian Islands to the Aegean, Rhodes and Crete and includes details of over 450 harbours in a single volume.

Greek Waters Pilot - Amazon.co.uk


Greek Waters Pilot - Amazon.com
Northern Cyclades Greece, Imray chart G31 Imray Chart G31:
Northern Cyclades




→ All nautical charts for the Greek Islands and Turkish Coasts.
Southern west Cyclades Greece, Imray chart G33 Imray Chart G33:
Southern Cyclades
(west sheet)




→ All nautical charts for the Greek Islands and Turkish Coasts.
Southern east Cyclades Greece, Imray chart G34 Imray Chart G34:
Southern Cyclades
(east sheet)




→ All nautical charts for the Greek Islands and Turkish Coasts.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you want to know more about sailing Greece and reliable yacht charters in this area...

Sailing resources
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 Itineraries Ionian
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 Itineraries Cyclades
 Itineraries Dodecanese
 One-way itineraries
 Flights & ferries
 Last minutes & budget
 Sailing between Greece & Turkey
 Greek chart terms
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 Climate graphs Athens
 Climate graphs Bodrum
Greece :

Ionian Islands
Dodecanese Islands
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Northern Sporades
Peloponnese – Athens
Top 10 islands

Yacht charter companies
 
Tower of winds
Acropolis
Olympia
Turkey :

Izmir – Bodrum
Bodrum – Marmaris
Marmaris – Fethiye
Fethiye – Antalya
9 May 2013
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