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Destination of the Month: cruising the wonders of Greece

Travel
Written by
Ellie Brade

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Picture Greece and imagine a country steeped in history and tradition, with stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, fresh and vibrant food, and cosmopolitan towns and cities and tiny villages alike. It is no surprise, therefore, that Greece is a must-do destination for superyachts and with thousands of islands and destinations in easy reach of the water, all with their own flavour and vibe, picking where to visit is the most enjoyable kind of challenge.

Practically speaking, travelling by superyacht allows easy access from island to island and to beaches inaccessible by land. Superyachts and the warm Mediterranean waters of Greece are truly a match made in heaven. With several island groups split over the Aegean and Ionian seas, two of the most popular cruising spots amongst visiting superyachts are the lush Ionian islands and the more classic Cyclades islands.

Peppering the western coast of Greece, the twelve Ionian Islands are hugely varied. Corfu, the second-largest of the Ionian islands, has a rich history stretching back to Greece’s earliest years. Follow in the footsteps of Greek warriors, who would also have arrived on the island by boat and moor up in Corfu’s elegant Old Town, home to the island’s principal port and its two fortresses. Monasteries, museums and mansions paired with incredible architecture make Corfu perfect for culture-lovers.

The tiny island of Paxi is another beautiful choice, cloaked in lush olive groves and with an impressive number of stunning beaches on offer. Nearby, the uninhabited islet of Antipaxi, the smallest of the Ionian Islands, is another popular option for those after their own private stretch of beach. Legend has it that Paxi and all the tiny islands around it were created when the sea god Neptune nipped a tiny piece from Corfu with his trident, in order to create a cosy place for himself and his consort Amfitriti.

Other Ionian islands well worth a visit include Meganisi, Lefkada and Kefalonia. The largest of the islands, Kefalonia is known for its relaxed vibe, exotic beaches and highlights including the lake cave of Melissani. The location of many of the scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin movie fans can seek out key filming sites, including the natural beauty of Antisamos beach, for themselves.

Numbering over 220 islands, the Cyclades are found southeast of mainland Greece, with major islands including Milos, Mykonos, Kea and Paros. Milos is full of surprises and special charm, with the island made famous as the origin of the famous statue of Venus De Milo. Its unique lunar landscape, exotic water and picturesque architecture all add to the overall appeal. Of course no trip to Greece would be complete without a visit to the instantly-recognisable and romantic Santorini with its whitewashed houses clinging seductively to the island’s cliffs.

There are many more options outside the Ionian and Cyclades, including Poros, one of the Saronic islands and close to nearby Athens. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, Poros’ two islands of Kalavria and Sphera are another hub of history. Home to the ruined temple to Poseidon, Poros was a prestigious destination in ancient Greece. Bathe at the cove of Vayiona where the ruins of an ancient city lie just under the water, metres from the beach.

Greece’s capital city of Athens is another treasure trove of the ancient mixed with modern life.The sight of the Acropolis lit up at night, overlooking the mighty city, is unforgettable and a visit to the ruins a sobering reminder of the once powerful Greek empire and its extensive mythology. Close to Athens is the island of Hydra, the most impressive island in the Argo Saronic Gulf, with the town constructed on the cliffs above the port. No vehicles are allowed on the island so almost all travel is done by foot, boat or donkey, but a visit to the monasteries at the centre of the island is well worth the effort.

If time allows a visit inland to Delphi, once home of the famous oracle, is sure to be memorable with the site’s mountain side location dotted with archaeological ruins full of spiritual meaning. Ancient buildings at Delphi include the vast stadium, the temple of Apollo and an impressive museum. Galaxidi harbour, with its beautiful architecture, is the perfect stop off point on the way to Delphi.

With countless options on offer to visiting yachts, local experts G&K Yachting make use of their intimate and unrivalled knowledge of all Greece’s secret spots and highlights to craft a bespoke itinerary for yachts operating in Greece and the Mediterranean.

G&K Yachting[no-lb]
78 Akti Moutsopoulou Street
Piraeus
P.C. 18536
Greece

T: +30 210 418 12 212
E: info@gky.gr