Sailing the Saronic Islands of Greece
Between Athens and the Peloponnesian peninsula lays the Saronic Gulf. Dotted with islands, this area offers wonderful cruising routes with ideal sailing conditions, clean, calm waters and spectacular coasts and islands to explore. A region famous for fishing, look out for local fishing boats as local Greeks go about their everyday lives. Many of the islands in this region you may have heard of before, with such well known names as Poros, Hydra, Spetses and Aegina. South of the Saronic Gulf is the Argolic Gulf, which is also a very special sailing destination. It is readily accessible even on a one week holiday as much of the sailing in this area can be either gentle 'short-hop' or longer more intensive sailing if you wish (have a look on the right for suggested one and two week itineraries). With numerous bays to explore, secluded beaches to enjoy, historical towns to sweep you back in time and enough wind to fill your sails, sailing the Saronic Islands will delight all those that cruise its waters.
Weather and Winds
While the predominant wind in the Saronic comes from the northeast, the Meltemi – the strong, dry north wind from the Aegean Sea – is present in the Saronic Islands. The Meltemi can pick up to 5-6 Beaufort, particularly later in the season around July and August, but the winds usually calm down later in September. In the Argolic Gulf around Hydra and Spetses the wind blows mainly from the southeast, though the Meltemi also affects this area, bringing some fantastic afternoon sailing breezes. With temperatures averaging between22 and 25 degrees in May and October it makes it a great destination to visit out of peak season. In July and August expect temperatures of 28 to 33 degrees, which is lovely and warm! The beauty of the Saronic area is that it is a comfortable compromise between the sometimes benign sailing in the Ionian and the challenging sailing in the Cyclades Islands.