If you want to discover the Southern Cyclades and the island of Santorini, a cruise from Athens is the best way to do it. In this article, you can find the most important landmarks, marinas, and other useful information.
Our article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- Important facts when sailing from Athens to Santorini
- Ports in route from Athens to Santorini
- Sailing routes from Athens to Santorini:
- One-way 7days sailing from Athens to Santorini
- 1-week catamaran sailing from Athens to Santorini
- Marine gas near Athens, boat gas stations en route from Athens to Santorini
Weather in Athens and Santorini
Like the other parts of Greece, these areas have a Mediterranean climate too. In summer, the weather is dry and warm, culminating in early July and the first 10 days of August. This time the temperature can be up to 33-35 degrees, while the constant sea wind reduces the feeling of heat while sailing. In winter, the temperature in the Aegean Sea is 15 degrees, but in summer it warms up to 25-26 degrees. There is little rainfall in the summer months and lasts only a few hours. The winds are relatively predictable, almost sustained at sea.
From June to about the end of September, the Meltemi blows from the north. In spring and autumn, the Sirocco blows from the south. We recommend sailing towards Santorini in the summer so the wind can help you along the way. Check the sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Saronic gulf, or sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Cyclades.
The official currency of the country is the euro. If you are coming from a country where the euro is not the official currency, be sure to visit a currency exchange before you leave. Also, be prepared that the pricing of marinas is not uniform. You can moor for free in some places, but typically you will expect prices of around € 30-50 per port, depending on the length of your yacht. In the Cycladic islands, food is usually 1-2 euros more expensive than, for example, in the Attica Peninsula.
What to do in Athens before sailing?
If you arrive in Athens early enough, you should take a look around the city, you can even admire the Acropolis if you have time. And if you’re a nature lover, don’t miss the National Garden of Athens! When organizing your programs, it is worth considering the time of arrival at the port. From the airport, you can reach the Alimos Marina by taxi or direct bus, so it is about an hour and a half. If you pick up the yacht at Cape Sounion or Lavrion marina, you should expect a trip of one and a half to 2 hours. In Greece, GMT +3 is the time zone, as in other EU countries, it switches between winter and summertime.
Should I choose a one-way or round trip?
Santorini is quite far from Athens. We recommend sailing there in summer because the north-eastern meltemi wind can help you along the way. If you choose the one-way route, your destination is going to be Santorini. From there, you can go back to Athens by plane or ferry. The round trip is more difficult due to the headwind that is constantly blowing on the way back. We recommend this route if you want to explore the Southern Cyclades and Santorini is just one of the stops.
Most hired yachts depart from here; this port locates in the Paleon Faliron district of Athens. It is easily accessible by public transport and taxi even if you are arriving from the airport. You can pre-fill your yacht’s food and beverage set if you want to be ready to go right on arrival. Up to 1, 080 yachts can anchor in the bay, and 600 ships can be placed on dry docks. The port can accommodate yachts up to 40 metres long. The depth of the water is 6.5 metres.
Olympic Marina, Cape Sounion
Located at Cape Sounion with beautiful views, the Olympic Marina can accommodate 680 yachts up to 40 metres long. The maximum water depth here is 10 metres. It offers a wide range of services, including free Wi-Fi, power supply, boat service, and refuelling. Yacht charter in Athens
Many sailors start at the marina of Lavrion in the eastern part of the Attica Peninsula, which can accommodate up to 680 yachts. The maximum depth of the port built in the bay is 7 metres, and incoming ships can be up to 30 metres long.
Ayios Nikólaos Marina, Kea
It is an important port on the island of Kea, close to beautiful golden beaches and excellent fishing spots. It can accommodate 255 yachts at the same time, with a maximum length of 50 metres. The water depth of the port is up to 8 metres.
Mérikha Marina, Kithnos
This tiny marina can accommodate about 30 yachts up to 60 meters long and has a water depth of 8 meters. Local hotels, restaurants, and lively nightlife area in the immediate vicinity.
Ermoupolis Marina, Siros
Yachts up to 60 metres long can moor in the main marina of the tiny island of Siros. The water depth here is 9 metres. There are plenty of services available, including boat service and refuelling. Information about sailing in Syros, or rent a boat in Syros
Naxos Marina, Naxos
Yachts up to 20 metres in length and a number of 70 may berth in this marina. The maximum dive is 5 metres. In addition to the boat service, you can find the usual basic services in the marinas here. Information about sailing in Naxos, or rent a boat in Naxos
Paroikia Marina, Paros
The most popular marina is in Paros. It can accommodate yachts up to 60 metres. They also offer refuelling, boat service, and electricity. The city’s sights, the best hotels, and apartments, as well as great taverns and bars, await visitors near the marina. The depth of the marina is 3.5 metres. Information about sailing in Paros, or Paros rent a boat
Karavostasi Marina, Ios
It is a medium-sized marina on the island of Ios. It can accommodate boats up to 60 metres in length. The depth of the seabed is 4 metres. There are many services available such as a water tank refill, and you can find restaurants nearby.
Adamas Marina, Milos
The Adamas Marina can accommodate 50 boats up to 50 metres in length. The depth of the seabed is 5 metres. The offered services include bars, restaurants, boat maintenance service, and water tank refills. Information about sailing in Milos, or Milos boat rental.
It is a small marina in the southeast corner of Santorini. It can accommodate boats up to 25 metres in length with a draft of 1.5 metres. Compared to its size, the marina offers many services like electricity, a marketplace, restaurants, and a water tank refill.
It is the largest port of Santorini. It can accommodate hundreds of boats. You can find every important service here that you might need. It is a little far from the town of Fira, but you can go there by taxi, on donkey back, in the cable car or on foot. Yacht charter in Santorini
With this one-week itinerary, you depart from Athens, heading southeast towards Santorini. Along the way, you will see some western and southern islands of the Cyclades. You will depart from Olympic Marina in Lavrion so you do not have to travel too much on the first afternoon of your journey.
Day 1. Athens (Lavrion-i Olympic Marina) – Kea
27, 68 km (17, 20 mi)
Sailing around the island of Makronisos from the south and from there a little northeast, you will arrive at the island of Kea. In addition to its sandy beaches, this place glories in many attractions. You will also find a medieval castle, churches, and watermills here. Fans of Greek mythologies and legends will also amaze this island. The ancient temples of Athens and Apollo, the holy sites of Demeter and Askiplios, and the famous Holy Theatre are also here.
Day 2. Kea – Kithnos
37, 99 km (23, 60 mi)
Kithnos is a typical Cycladic island, known to many tourists for its healing springs. If you love caves, you should check out the Katafiki, which operated as an iron mine until 1939. You can see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites as well as interesting rock formations here. If you are interested in the island’s past, you will also find a museum of local folklore and the Byzantine church museum in Dryopida. There are also many Cycladic-style churches on the island, the most popular of which is Panagia Kanala, the patron saint of the island.
Day 3. Kithnos – Sifnos
61, 77 km (38, 38 mi)
With the help of the Meltemi, you can get to the island of Sifnos in the southeast direction relatively quickly. On the way, you will pass west of the island of Serifos and then you will arrive in Sifnos. Here you can admire beautiful olive trees and almond fields. The symbol of the island is the Church of the Seven Martyrs, seen on a tiny peninsula-like extension of the east coast. Its beautiful whitewashed walls, sky-blue dome, and Cycladic architectural style are worth a look. In addition to the iconic church, the island hides many monasteries and museums. The most significant of these is the monastery of Chrissopighi.
Day 4.: Sifnos – Milos
43, 65 km (27, 12 mi)
Sailing southwest, you will reach the island of Milos. It is not too popular among tourists yet. On this beautiful volcanic island, you can enjoy nature and the atmosphere of ancient monuments, away from the crowds. In Adamas, the Agia Triada Church has a museum. The Mining Museum showcases minerals and the mining past of the island. The most important landmarks are the early Christian catacombs from the time of the Roman Empire. There is an ancient theatre nearby, where locals still hold events and theatre performances to this day. Read more about what to do in Milos or Milos sailing. Check our boats: Milos boat rental
Day 5. Milos – Ios
86, 09 km (53, 49 mi)
Sailing east of Milos, you will arrive in Ios. It is a bustling island full of life. In summer, there are parties and festivals in the capital. If you want to get away from the city, discover the Tomb of Homer! If you want to see an archaeological excavation, visit the ruins of Skarkos!
Day 6. Ios – Anafi
62, 31 km (38, 72 mi)
Sailing southeast, you will arrive at the island of Anafi, east of Santorini. It is a beautiful little island with many wonderful beaches. If you feel like it, you can sail around the island in just a few hours and visit the beaches In summer, the island is home to cultural festivals and events. Many visitors come from Santorini.
Day 7. Anafi – Kamari – Vlichada
41, 77 km (25, 95 mi)
You go west to Santorini and drop anchor in Kamari on the east coast. You can find several shops, pubs, and restaurants in the streets close to the coast. There are cinemas on the island, one of them is an open-air cinema, surrounded by trees. Be sure to visit the beach that has Blue Flag Certification! You can go diving or try some exciting water sports. If you are interested in the ancient history of the island, visit the ruins of Thera on
Mount Mesa Vouno on the south part of the island.
After a long northbound cruise, you arrive at the town of Vlychada. The 2-3 hour horseback riding tours are very popular here. On these guided tours, you can explore Vlychada and the nearby beaches by horseback. If you arrive early, you can go on a tour of the archaeological excavations at Akrotiri. On this tour, you will visit the ancient town of Akrotiri, go to a wine tasting and visit the monastery of the Prophet Elijah.
You have to prepare for a long journey, you will visit fewer islands compared to a one-way cruise. On the way back, headwinds can make the trip difficult in summer.
Day 1. Athens (Lavrion Olympic Marina) – Kea 27, 68 km (17, 20 mi), Day 2. Kea – Milos 111, 18 km (69, 08 mi), Day 3. Milos – Santorini (Thira Port) 110, 81 km (68, 85 mi), Day 4. Thira Port – Vlichada – Kamari 23, 68 km (14, 71 mi), Day 5. Kamari – Ios 45, 28 km (28, 13 mi), Day 6. Ios – Sifnos 68, 44 km (42, 53 mi), Day 7. Sifnos – Athens(Lavrion Olympic Marina) 99, 53 km (61, 85 mi)
- Olympic Marina, Athens: Depth: 10m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.6958441, 24.0583429
- Merihas, Kithnos: Depth: 8m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.389860, 24.397059
- Mikonos Marina, Mikonos: Depth: 4.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.4475266, 25.3275272
- Tinos, Tinos: Depth: 5.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.537555, 25.161119
- Parikia, Paros: Depth: 3.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.087424, 25.151587
- Naxos, Naxos: Depth: 5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 37.106213, 25.372575
- Riva Tirasia, Santorini: Depth: 5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 36.452705, 25.344247
- Thira New Port, Santorini: Depth: 4.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 36.386354, 25.428268
- Rethymno Marina, Crete: Depth: 4m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 35.367884, 24.481550
- Heraklion Marina, Crete: Depth: 3.5m, Working time: 0-24, GPS Coordinates: 35.346677, 25.151282
If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable holiday, visit the beautiful volcanic island of Santorini! It is far from Athens, but on the way there, you can visit the western and southern islands of the Cyclades. Once you arrive in Santorini, watch the sunset in Oia or Fira! Find more Saronic gulf sailing destinations or Cyclades sailing routes