A pleasant mediterranean climate and the twelfth longest coastline in the world are just two of the exemplary qualities making Greece one of the most enchanting destinations for a luxury cruise. With a fifth of the country consisting of islands, an ideal backdrop is created for those who love to have a vast variety of pastimes and sceneries at their disposal. Receiving an invitation to spend a three night cruise on Nitta V experiencing all good things Greece has to offer was the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the local people, culture and scenery all over again.
Our home during the cruise, 28.4m/93ft Nitta V, is a traditionally styled motor yacht perfectly combining class and comfort for up to ten guests. Whether spending time in the main salon, enjoying one of three inside and outside dining areas, upper deck jacuzzi or various lounging areas, Nitta V and her crew of six make you feel right at home.
With five cabins, the vessel easily fits a party of ten in a master cabin, two VIP cabins and two twin cabins, each of which have plenty of space for relaxation and storage. A fullsize bathroom for each cabin perfectly supplies each guest with all comfort and privacy needed, while tastful interior designs and flatscreen TV, DVD and CD player, radio and telephone in each cabin wonderfully complete a stay on this modern motoryacht with a luxurious, classic feel.
Leaving from Pireaus at 5 pm on Friday, an ideal situation arises to spend some time in the ancient city of Athens. Both relaxing and exhilarating, a day spent in Athens is a day experiencing one of the oldest cities in the world while enjoying all the good things a modern metropolis has to offer. Contemporary life and classic culture blend seamlessly here and one can spend hours wandering small streets, visiting charming cafés, shopping and sightseeing. A visit to the magnificient Akropolis of Athens is a perfect starting point for an exciting day in Greece's capital city. Walking around the mountain one can only greatly appreciate the wonderful architecture of ancient Athens. The Parthenon being notably the most famous building and central point of the complex, a vast array of twenty different sites can be visited all within walking distance. Hours spent at the Akropolis are hours spent in wonder and inspiration, perfectly complemented by stunning views of modern-day Athens. Surrounded by a variety of enjoyable areas, the location is perfect for a day of sightseeing, shopping and enjoying the fine local cuisine, making this a very pleasurable starting point for a magical cruise around the Aegean sea.
When starting a charter cruise from Athens, the island of Poros often is the first beautiful stop and well worth a visit. Separated from the Peloponnese by a 200m wide sea channel, Poros consists of Sphairia, the southern part of the island where the main town is situated, and Kalaureia, the northern and largest part. Multiple historical sites, a town that is both energetic and remarkably pieceful, a generous collection of authentic cafes and restaurants and a welcoming population of approximately 4,120 are just some of the many amenities Poros has to offer.
After arriving in the Poros marina, we are offered a possibility to freshen up and walk around Poros town before dinner is served. Upon our return, the warm and professional crew has prepared a table setting for dinner, in one of the multiple marine-style themes we would be enjoying during our cruise. This variety of table settings form a very charming frame for each of the chefs magnificiently prepared meals. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, each course is a delightful experience of local cuisine and the quality and variation is simply astounding. Dining on Nitta V in the marina, with views of the old town catching the light of the setting sun, is more than a treat. The experience is a luscious mix of delicous foods, good wines, tasteful ambiance and comfort and great crew service, framed with stunning views of charming Poros town. Being able to experience all this as part of such a fine and warm company of guests made our stay all the more enjoyable, also proving that Nitta V more than lives up to her promise of easily facilitating a sizeable company of eleven.
After dinner, a short stroll and some much appreciated dancing in one of the small local clubs, we retire to our cabins for a good night sleep, in full anticipation of things to come. Leaving the Poros marina early, we cruise along the islands coast, soaked in the friendly Greek morning sun.
At anchor in a charming bay, the crew surprises us with a wonderful breakfast in surroundings offering views of some of Poros' interesting sites. The remains of an old Russian naval base and the tiny island upon which the small Islet chapel was built, where, notably, one of our accompanying guests was baptised a few years ago, offer nice views during our relaxing breakfast.
After some of the guests decide to take a quick swim after breakfast, we sail off to the island of Hydra. Taking about one and a half hours, this offers plenty possibilities to enjoy the fresh air and wonderful views, while viewings of seals and dolphins compliment all this nicely.
Arriving at Hydra is an experience all to itself. We arrive in the old port and go at anchor right in the center of the main town. In high summer the island can traditionally be very crowded, the harbor sometimes not being able to facilitate all arriving yachts and rerouting them to the towns outer walls. But upon our arrival, before high season, the marina offers plenty of space.
Hydra's authentic atmosphere is greatly enhanced by the lack of motorised vehicles on the island. Donkeys, bicycles and water taxis are the main means of public transportation as cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the island. The compact character of the main town allow both locals as visitors to walk around and go about their activities. A variety of charming shops offer nice possibilities for shopping for clothes, jewelry and ofcourse souvenirs. After discovering the historic town of Hydra, a short walk along the islands coast takes us to a wonderfully authentic taverna, Kondylenia, where an impressive variety of high quality local cuisine can be tasted while enjoying an absolutely stunning view of the Aegean Sea. Walking back to town, while the youngest of our company takes a donkeyback ride, we enjoy the sensation of having had a delicious lunch while appreciating the beautiful surroundings and the occasional cliffdiver.
Upon arriving at the marina, some of our company enjoy some more of all the good things Hydra has to offer while others relax abourd of Nitta V. Shopping, enjoying the afternoon sun while sitting in the upper deck jacuzzi or just strolling around town are just some of many possibilities. After a good sunset cocktail at one of Hydras seaview bars, another extensive, wonderful dinner onboard our vessel is the fulfilling finishing touch to a perfect day on Nitta V. After dinner drinks on the aft deck or watching tv on the main salons large retractable LCD screen television... one can only wonder what pleasurable activities will taken on tomorrow.
Early morning, we leave Hydra. After a pleasant trip to Moni Nisida, we drop anchor on the southside of this small island where we have all day to enjoy everything Nitta V has to offer.
Some of our company are taken ashore by the vessels tender for a nice sunsoaked walk across the island to the northside where, during the course of the day, a lot more boats settle down for some fun in the sun.
The southside of the island however, remains very quiet and we spend the better part of the day enjoying the views on all sides of the vessel, jetksiing, relaxing in the jacuzzi, taking a nap on one of the various sunbeds, whether it be on the front deck or in the enjoyable coolness of the bimini shades setup on the upper deck, swimming in the bays crystal clear water and a variety of other possibilities. Ofcourse, all this is topped off by one of the chefs extensive lunches with a great variety of foods and drinks.
The island of Moni is situated opposite the village of Perdika on the island of Aegina. Other than a variation of wildlife, it has no inhabitants and on the beach during summer a beach bar, sun beds and umbrellas are at the disposal of visitors.
After a day of pure relaxation we sail to Perdika, where we go ashore for a drink and a stroll through the small town and marina, enjoying the sunset. Upon returning to Nitta V, the crew has finished preparing yet another three course dinner, consisting of a variation of starters, multiple dishes for the main course and a homemade dessert.
Accompanied by fine wines and good company, we talk about all the impressions we've had over the course of the last couple of days and after one final toast, we reluctantly retire to our cabins. Early in the morning, we are treated to one last trip, one and a half hours back to Athens where we disembark with a lot of new experiences and one big sense of satisfaction. Seas have been calm all weekend, the weather has been perfect and the experience completely pleasurable. The outstanding foods and drinks, great service, stylish and relaxing atmosphere have shown that Nitta V is a marvelous vessel offering her guests every type of comfort one could hope for... and more. A very exciting endeavour onboard an excellent vessel in the company of wonderful people are the ingredients for some wonderful days in Greece. Arriving in Athens, a taxi is called and we go ashore to catch our morning flight back home.
The wonderful Nitta V is available for charter through Aris Drivas Yachting.