The Cyclades region in Greece is a dream destination for yacht charter and sailing enthusiasts. This stunning archipelago of islands is located in the Aegean Sea and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Greece. With its crystal-clear waters, rugged coastlines, and picturesque villages, the Cyclades offer a unique sailing experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
When is the best time for sailing the Cyclades?
The sailing season in the Cyclades starts in April and ends in November. The Cyclades are known for their strong winds, particularly the Meltemi. Meltemi is a dry northeasterly wind that typically blows in the summer months and is characterized by clear skies and warm temperatures. Meltemi is the strongest during July and August and can reach up to force 7 or 8, creating challenging sailing conditions. The region's open seas can also produce large waves and swells. That said, sailing the Cyclades is the best in the shoulder and off-season. Like in other popular yachting destinations, in May, June, September, and October, there will be fewer crowds, and easier to find a free berth in the ports.
Sailing the Cyclades during Meltemi is recommended for experienced and knowledgeable sailors. Alternatively, you can charter a yacht with a professional skipper or crew. With a professional crew and skipper, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable sailing experience. Aside from visiting more isolated islands, you may also be able to anchor in secluded bays, excellent sites for swimming and snorkeling.
Red beach, Santorini
Over 220 islands make up the Cyclades, each with a unique character and charm. Mykonos, Milos, Ios, Paros, Naxos, and Santorini are among the most popular sailing and yachting islands.
Santorini is known for its stunning sunsets, white-washed villages, and beautiful beaches, making it one of the most popular islands in the Cyclades. One of the most popular islands is Mykonos, which is known for its bustling nightlife, beautiful windmills, and cosmopolitan vibe. Paros has traditional villages, beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a more laid-back atmosphere. The island of Naxos is the largest in the Cyclades, offering a combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. Last but not least, Ios is an island with golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lively nightlife.
To charter a yacht and sail the Cyclades, you can choose from several marinas, depending on yacht availability, flight schedules, charter duration, and desired itinerary:
Or, you can start from the coastal marinas in Lavrion and Athens.
In Cyclades, we offer bareboat and crewed yacht charters, different brands and models of sailboats, and catamarans.
Sailboats at the anchor, Polyaigos island
Let`s sail the Cyclades
Among the Cyclades, Santorini is one of the most popular and iconic islands. With its stunning caldera, breathtaking sunsets, and white-washed villages perched on steep cliffs, it is a popular vacation destination. Aside from its stunning natural beauty, Santorini also offers a rich culture and history. One of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the world is Akrotiri, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC. Santorini is also famous for its unique wines, which are made from grapes grown on the island's volcanic soil.
Oia town, Santorini
Another popular island in the Cyclades, Mykonos offers an eclectic vibe, beautiful windmills, and a vibrant nightlife. Its main town, Chora, is a maze of narrow streets and alleys lined with white-washed buildings, shops, and restaurants. In addition to exploring the beautiful beaches and enjoying water sports, visitors also have a chance to party at some of Greece's most popular nightclubs. There are also some stunning cultural attractions on Mykonos, such as the Paraportiani church and the Archaeological Museum.
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and offers a unique combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. There are some gorgeous beaches on the island, including those at Agios Prokopios and Plaka. In Naxos Town, visitors can view the Venetian castle that dominates the island's capital and the ancient Temple of Apollo, dating back to the 6th century BC. Local cuisine on Naxos is also renowned for its delicious seafood, fresh vegetables, and traditional Greek dishes.
The Temple of Apollo, Naxos
Located in the Cyclades, Milos is another spectacular island with stunning beaches and charming villages. Known for its volcanic landscape, the island has an abundance of colorful rocks and cliffs, as well as unique geothermal features, such as natural saunas and hot springs. Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are among the activities that visitors can enjoy on the island's many beaches. The island of Milos is also home to several charming villages, including Klima, a traditional fishing village with colorful houses built into the cliffs overlooking the sea. A number of ancient sites can also be found on the island, including the ruins of the ancient city of Phylakopi and the Catacombs of Milos, which are the largest in the world. Overall, Milos is an outstanding and unique destination that offers a mix of natural beauty, history, and culture.
Firopotamos village, Milos
A beautiful island in the Cyclades, Ios is known for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages. In addition, the island has many bars, clubs, and beach parties that are popular with young people and partygoers. Ios, however, also offers many opportunities for visitors who seek a more relaxing, tranquil atmosphere. There are several beautiful beaches on the island, such as Mylopotas, Manganari, and Psathi, where the waters are crystal clear and the sand is golden. There are also a number of hiking trails on the island that offer stunning views of the Aegean Sea and nearby islands. Whitewashed buildings, narrow streets, and traditional Greek architecture can be found in Chora, the main town on the island. Aside from the Venetian castle ruins, Ios is also home to several caves and tombs from ancient times. Whether you wish to enjoy the beautiful beaches, a party atmosphere, or explore the rich history and culture of Ios, the island offers something for everyone.
Beautiful beach on Ios
A sailing adventure in the Cyclades wouldn't be complete without a trip to Paros. This picturesque island offers both historical and cultural attractions, as well as stunning natural beauty. Often included on sailing itineraries in the Cyclades, Paros boasts charming traditional villages, historic sites such as Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church, and beautiful beaches such as Kolymbithres and Golden Beach. Known for its crystal-clear waters and good wind conditions, Paros is also a favorite among windsurfers and kiteboarders. Paros offers adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both and is the perfect spot to include in your yacht charter itinerary.
Naousa village, Paros
Sailing Itineraries in the Cyclades
The Cyclades islands are the perfect destination for those seeking an exciting and unforgettable sailing experience in Greece. The region has beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and rich history.
You should keep a few things in mind when planning your sailing itinerary in the Cyclades. First, be aware of the Meltemi wind that can affect the area, especially during July and August. It's essential to monitor weather conditions and plan your route accordingly.
No matter which islands you choose to visit, be prepared for an unforgettable sailing adventure in the Cyclades. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder why this area is one of the top sailing destinations in Greece.