Ask a Greek what the most beautiful destination in their country is and you will quite possibly get any of about 11 million answers. A different answer from each Greek and all answers are quite true: the country continues to amaze, inspire and surprise even the most seasoned traveller. Photo: Stuart Pearce
With thousands of islands and richly facetted panoramas scattered around a large fraction of the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece is without a doubt one of the most sumptuous yachting destinations in the world. An impressive wealth of landscapes, an endless treasure trove of cultural and historical inspiration and a varied culinary scene that spans centuries, the area has an unbridled variety and still boasts that pleasant sense of being unspoiled by mass yachting tourism – yet has all facilities to ensure many perfect yachting journeys. All this, combined with plenty of sun and a rich shades of blues which the local seas and skies are famous for, turns Elláda into one of the most desirable and fulfilling yachting destinations to experience time and time again.
The Greek identity is, of course, formed by the classic ages, having had a history of turmoil combined with periods of peace and prosperity. In recent years, a handful of well known, heavily covered subjects have been dominating the media when it comes to Greece, which has undeservedly taken away focus from a people that are as warm and hospitable as few other destinations in the Mediterranean. History has enriched the country and her people tremendously, and to miss an opportunity to experience this is to miss out one of the great pleasures of travelling.Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
The country undoubtedly has a European spirit but is, especially compared to other Mediterranean areas, surprisingly different. Indeed, the country is beautiful, the climate is fantastic and the food is incredible but that simply doesn’t cover the secret that is Greece. The only way to peel away the layers and truly discover what the country is all about, is to experience it for yourself. Which is exactly what we did, discovering the east Peloponnese and Saronic Gulf area by yacht. Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
Our vessel: the charming Tacos of the Seas, which has nothing specifically to do with Mexican food but everything with hospitality, style and comfort. Tacos of the Seas is a 34-meter Ferretti motor yacht, built in 2004 and completely refitted in 2018. She is in an impeccable state, combining a friendly classic interior with spacious areas, a wide range of amenities and perfect guest quarters, all with well-equipped en suite bathrooms.Photo: Stuart Pearce
The spacious main saloon is everything you’d hope for, with panoramic windows, friendly interiors, a big and inviting lounge and large main dining setup. For guest accommodations, Tacos features a grand and light master suite on the main deck fore, with panoramic windows, lounge and office areas and a large en-suite as some of the standout features. On the lower deck, the range of quest quarters is completed with two large double suites and one twin, plus a playroom which is convertible to a stateroom with three Pullman berths for children, guests or extra staff. Tacos of the Seas can comfortably house 10 guests (12 maximum) and the yacht has a crew of six (Captain and five crew) members. Photo: Stuart Pearce
Tacos of the Seas' interiors are classic, light and friendly, combining sleek lacquered wood with crisp white panelling, light cream upholstery and a stunning collection of contemporary art that give this luxury yacht an extra fresh personality. Arguably her most desirable feature, however, is the amazing sun deck which features one of two al fresco dining areas on board, comfortably seating all guests, a wonderfully large lounging area, cocktail bar and a big set of sun pads aft. All this covered by bimini shades that be adjusted into any configuration to offer sun and shade wherever you desire. With the main deck offering a set of big secluded sun pads fore and the main al fresco dining area and large swimming platform aft, it is very easy to imagine life on board Tacos of the Seas being predominantly spent outside. Which, during our unforgettable time on board, is exactly what happened.Photo: Stuart Pearce
Our itinerary spanned four days and nights while cruising the part of the Aegean sea that is nestled between the Attika peninsula and the northeastern coastlines of the Peloponnese, which took us south along the Arkadia and Lakonia regions and the coasts of Argolis. The area being of tactical importance in classic times, this region swiftly flourished under the influence of trade and shipping, enriching and diversifying the local culture, people, architecture and cuisine considerably.
We started our journey in Nafplion, the seaport town and former Greek capital situated on the northernmost end of the Argolic Gulf. Nafplion’s pleasantly compact historical centre flows up the hillside and culminates in the castle of Palamidi, a grand fortress built on a 216-metre-high hill crest during the late 17th-century Venetian rule. Although reachable by car, the 900-plus steps from old town to the hilltop panorama provide a challenging and breathtaking hike, even just to experience if the local story of ‘999 steps’ is accurate.
Cruising southeast along the coast of Argolis, an enjoyable sample of the vista views and lush comfort we would be experiencing over the next four days, we anchor at an intimate secluded bay and private beach at the islet of Koronisi, opposite of the town of Tolo. Conditions were picture perfect so a refreshing swim and premiere sampling of Tacos’ wide range of water toys seemed like the only proper starting point for the trip. Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
After spending a late morning in pure relaxation mode on board and off our home for the week, we are treated to the first of many extraordinary meals from the chef. Highly influenced by Greek culinary traditions and often modernized with a surprising and personal twist, each and every dish prepared by our chef is simply perfect. Combined with friendly service and impeccable hospitality, the only conclusion can be that the crew of Tacos of the Seas is not merely very professional and helpful, they work as a team and are all aimed at making every guest feel right at home. Nothing but compliments for captain and crew who seem to have mastered the art of knowing what you need before you know you need it.Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
Some late afternoon cruising brings us to the beautifully picturesque Plaka marina, a small fisherman village close to the town of Leonidio. Being lovers of seafood, the Fisherman’s Tavern is legendary and the seaside dinner we enjoyed there is the perfect ending to a perfect first day on board Tacos of the Seas.
Day two commences with breakfast on board and a secluded swim close to the bay town Kiparissi. Tacos of the Seas has a wide range of toys available, including a jet ski, paddle boards, fishing equipment and sea bobs. All were tried and none disappointed, assuring plenty of active opportunities for those who desire a more sportive way of spending time.Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
Undoubtedly one of the most stunning highlights of the week is a visit to the castle town of Monemvasia, a historical Byzantine village located on a small island just off the east Peloponnese coast, connected to the mainland by a 200 metre road. The island’s hilltop plateau houses the ancient archaeological sites while the old town below, invisible from the mainland, is meticulously maintained and inhabited. Incredibly picturesque, Monemvasia is a must-see for everybody visiting the area by yacht. Our tour guide takes us all the way up the steep cliffs and uncovers just a fraction of the island’s incredible history. Monemvasia, which roughly translates to ‘single entrance’, is often nicknamed the ‘Gibraltar of the East’. However, naming Gibraltar the ‘Monemvasia of the West’ would be much more suitable as this destination is nothing short of spectacular and truly takes you back through the ages. The old town is perfectly suitable for a day trip, with some light shopping, late afternoon cocktails, rooftop dinners and just hours of strolling around the small streets and alleys making for a memorable experience.Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht TimesPhoto: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
The next few days consisted of ample pure relaxation. Hours were spent swimming and lounging at Fokianos and a visit to the bubbly island of Spetses. Shopping and strolling, Spetses offers something for everyone in a gorgeous setting of pristine authentic architecture, archaeological sites, intimate bays with sandy beaches and impressive natural surroundings. Stopping by the gorgeous island of Hydra is also a must, with the absence of motorized vehicles resulting in a uniquely soothing ambience. Sitting at one of the many terraces in the stunning main port, losing track of time wandering around the many narrow streets, Hydra is simply magical and even arriving by yacht at the main port is an experience not to be missed. The last afternoon on board Tacos of the Seas is spent at Poros island, like many islands in the Saronic a popular destination for Athenians due to its beauty and convenient location.Photo: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht TimesPhoto: Maarten Janssen / SuperYacht Times
Four days on board Tacos positively feel like many more, with a perfectly balanced itinerary filled with many destinations, the extraordinary culinary experiences, perfect crew service and all amenities at our disposal instantly making one feel right at home. After discovering the Saronic region, we head back to Athens, a final stop offering ample possibilities for a vibrant night out. One thing is certain: Tacos of the Seas and her lovely crew will steal your heart.
Tacos of the Seas is for charter with IYC.