Sporades Islands, Greece Yacht Charter Planning Guide
Sporades Islands, Greece Yacht Charter Planning Guide
The Sporades islands (literally meaning scattered) are located off the east coast of Greece in the north western Aegean sea. They consist of 11 principal islands of which only Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros are permanently inhabited. These sparsely populated and unspoiled islands are perhaps most famously known as the setting of the hollywood film 'Mamma Mia' and boast some of the most beautiful beaches and rock features in the Mediterranean. The National Marine Park of Alonissos to the north preserves the unique nature of the aquamarine waters of this archipelago that is home to such a rich variety of marine life. These islands will provide charterers with a secluded and relaxing vaction that captures the true essence of Greece.
On your Sporades Island yacht charter, both sailing and motor yachts are a fantastic way to explore this unique part of the Mediterranean. On your luxury yacht you will have access to the most inaccessible and pristine coves around and can cruise from island to island at your will, each possessing its own distinct character and beauty. Because Athens is the hub of the yachting industry in Greece, and is so centrally located, the best way to charter around these islands is to fly into Athens and then from there make the trip over to the Sporades islands.
Wind and Sailing Conditions. The summer months in the Sporades are dry and warm. The prevailing wind in the summer is the ‘Meltemi’ (force 3-4) that provides fantastic sailing conditions but do also look out for the ‘Sirrocco’, a southerly wind that blows every few weeks in early and late season.
The most remote of the Sporades islands, Alonissos is a stunningly beautiful island steeped in the history and culture of this great sea faring nation. The national marine park of Alonissos is currently the largest marine protected area in Europe (approximately 2.260 km2). It is made up of Alonissos and six smaller islands (Gioura, Kyra, Panagia, Peristera, Piperi, Psathoura, and Skantzoura), as well as 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops that provides a unique refuge for birds and marine life, notably the highly endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal, one of the largest seal species in the world.
Upon reaching the island you will encounter Patitíri, the picturesque harbour and capital of the island that is marked by its beautifully paved waterfront, imposing medieval castle and traditional stone houses. Just 5 km north of Patitíri you will find Chrisi Milia beach, known for its golden sand and turquoise waters and further north still, the beaches of Miliá, Stení Vála, Leftos Gialos and Aghios Dimitrios will offer you unforgettable moments of peace and serenity. Other highlights in this special region include the stalactite cave that once sheltered Homer's Cyclopes on the island of Youra, the island of Kyrá-Panayiá that is host to the largest natural harbour in europe and Psathoúra where charterers can find the ruins of an ancient city on the sea bed.
Look out for the traditional festivals that take place through out the year, such as the re enactment of thrashing in July and the wedding festival on 15th August. Absorb the peaceful atmosphere while sampling some of the local specialities such as grilled figs with honey, kakaviá (fish soup) and the excellent wine on offer.
Skiathos is the westernmost island in the Sporades group and also the most popular. Its blanket of lush pine forests and striking natural features coupled with its azure waters attracts charterers year on year. It has more than 60 beaches to explore, the most famous of which is Koukounariés that was recently pronounced the third most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean. Yet there are many others that are also worth a mention; Golden Sand in the southwestern part of the island and Meyáli Ámmos, located between Koukounaries and Ahladiés is another popular beach with crystal clear waters and picture-perfect tavernas by the sea. There is also Lalária, located on the northeastern part of the island and the kind of beach you find once in a lifetime. What's more it is only accessible by yacht - the perfect beach for your Greek sailing yacht charter.
Furthermore, with a buzzing nightlife and chance to dance the night away in the islands famous clubs and bars, particularly in Skaithos town or Ammoudiá, (known for its huge open air clubs), it makes for a fantastic stop on your luxury yacht charter. The islets that dot the coastline provide the charterer with stimulating sailing and stunning views, particularly when entering the natural harbour at Skiathos. The islands vibrant cultural events, concerts and exhibitions that take place through out the summer also ensures it provides charterers with a little something for everyone.
Known for being where the famous movie "Mamma Mia" was filmed, its traditional Greek culture, simple beauty and virgin pine forests makes it an alluring island. Some of the impressive sites recommended are the impressive Byzantine monasteries of Evangelistría and Timiou Prodrómou or the pirate caves at Sendoúkia. Why not taste some of the famous cheese pie and have a shot of oúzo before cruising around to Miliá beach - considered to be one of the best beaches around thanks to its stunning white pebbles and the verdant pine forest that surround it.
Skyros is the southernmost island of the Sporades complex with a coastline stretching over 130 km and has just 2,800 inhabitants. Having been inhabited since the ancient times and conquered numerous times by the Athenians, Macedonians, Romans and Ottomans it possesses a culture and landscape that is among the most interesting in the Mediterranean. The number of deserted islets that surround Skyros of which the most important are Platia, Sarakiniko, Skyropoula, and Valaxa, mark it out from all others and provide the charterer with some fabulous and interesting sailing.
As with all Greek cuisine, the food you are likely to find on you luxury yacht charter around the Sporades islands is marked by quality fresh ingredients, simple but impeccable use of herbs and spices and the famous Greek olive oil. Make sure you try the highly recommended Skópelos cheese pie, a mouth watering spiral shaped delicacy made of crispy pastry and local goat cheese. Or perhaps the grilled octopus accompanied with a glass of fine wine or traditional oúzo.
The very proximity of these islands, the interesting sailing conditions and the unbelievable beauty on offer makes this region one of the most desirable chartering destinations in the world. Boatbookings.com offers years of experience sailing in these islands and personal knowledge of the yachts we offer. We can find you the ideal charter yacht, be it bareboat, crewed, sail, motor or catamaran.