SEAS THE DAY: SARONIC SAILING
Many of us are itching to get away, somewhere further afield from home, but with the presence of Covid-19 still lingering and new variants forming and spreading, the thought of staying in a crowded place such as a hotel or resort may be off putting right now. Which is why I believe that now is the time to explore and experience other options – such as a sailing holiday!
But before I jump into sharing a bit about my personal experience with you, let me explain why you should consider it!
Chartered boats can hold anywhere between 6-30 people, making it perfect for groups of family/friends wanting to spend some quality time together, think of it as a more intimate version of cruising!
Freedom! You decide where you want to go, due to the smaller size of the vessel (compared to a cruise ship) you have much more choice on which destinations to sail around!
Not only do you choose where to go, you can custom plan an itinerary too, meaning that you can explore all you want of a certain area and leave when you are ready.
You don’t need to know how to sail! Many companies provide a skipper (some at an additional cost) to guide you through your journey smoothly.
If you’re the type of person who gets bored of pre-arranged dining that offers the same foods day in, day out, or perhaps within the group there are various dietary restrictions to consider, this alleviates those issues as you are able to bring your own food aboard to make just as you like – just ensure the minimal kitchen is equipped with all you need to make it! Oh and of course there will be countless eateries to choose from wherever you dock up too!
You will discover hidden areas that you may not know about or even have access to via land only!
Needless to say, this is the ideal holiday for water babies! Not only can you stop for a swim (pretty much whenever you like), but also try out different water sports, paddle boarding or just lie back on your favourite inflatable!
That being said, it will be the lightest amount of clothes you’ll ever pack for, considering you’ll pretty much be living in your swimwear!
If you can fill up the entire chartered vessel, it makes for a cost-effective yet luxurious experience that will provide you with memories of a lifetime! How many people do you know can say they have experienced a sailing holiday?!
There are plenty of pre-packaged touring companies to choose from such as MedSailors (who we sailed with) that offer everything you need, just turn up and enjoy!
And that final point leads perfectly onto my sailing experience!
Below is a roundup of the islands we visited and my favourite parts about each one:
Although we didn’t see too much of the island as we only stopped for a brief period, it was in Perdika that we had our first group dinner along with fellow passengers from the other boats joining the Saronic voyage. Picture a long table of happy travellers feasting together, laughing together, excited for what lies ahead under the Greek night sky.
There is one scene that has been stuck in my head that always brings a smile to my face when I think about Hydra, and that is the mules which line the side of the harbour; it was as though they were waiting to greet us as we arrived onto the island! Due to the steep hills and narrow streets of Hydra, transportation is limited so residents rely on the help of horses, donkeys and mules to carry their goods around.
For those of you reading this who consider yourselves as dare-devils or thrill-seekers, head over to Spilia Rock for some cliff jumping straight into Saronic sea.
Another evening, another stop! At Cavo Bianco we were entertained with some pre-dinner drinks whilst watching the sunset, followed by delicious platters of typical Greek cuisine such as dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), moussaka and of course Greek salad before heading onto our first club for the week!
There are 2 places you must experience in Spetses!
Firstly, head to Bekiri’s Cave, which can be reached either by a local bus from town or you can hire a scooter – the roads are rather narrow and windy though, so be super careful if you do! After the bus dropped us to our destination, we trekked through a pine forest and eventually found the unexpected entrance to the cave. Once inside, a gap is visible where the sea water seeps through to fill up the cave and the slightest bit of light also makes its way through the cracks. Other than that, it was pretty dark inside. Pitch black to be precise. Take a (waterproof) torch if you go! Even if you don’t fancy entering the cave, there is a secluded beach nearby away from the busy hotspots, where you can relax and have a bite to eat or drink from the nearby café too! Secondly, the Clock Eatery is the place to go for dinner, they serve a range of pizza and pasta dishes, but their most famed for their mouth-wateringly delicious burgers! I remember how much I wanted to be able to finish mine, but it was just too big to eat the whole thing! #noregrets
If you just can’t get enough of water sports, or want to try something a little different, this is the stop for you! We tried out the big mable and tubing whilst holding on for our dear lives, because those operators were determined to land us in the water!
I should mention not a day went by on our week of sailing that I didn’t eat an ice cream – a different flavour each day! Pagotomania serves an amazing range of flavours, all presented in an irresistible way – I had the Kinder Bueno, in case you were wondering…
Here we had the option of free time or to take a group tour to visit the world’s largest and most ancient Greek amphitheatre – no trip to Greece would be complete without visiting some sort of architectural ruins, right?! What’s even better is that this amphitheatre still showcases famous ancient dramas and modern plays every summer during the Epidavria Festival!
One more thing a trip to Greece is incomplete without trying is the Greek gyros! And it was on this island that I finally managed to have an authentic one, now if only I could remember the name of the restaurant – sorry folks!
Our final full day of the voyage turned out to be the hottest of them all, so once docked up, we headed straight for the swimming pool before…
Ain’t no party like a toga party! Oh yes, our final night ended with a bang! Well, technically a smash, because we were smashing plates on the floor, as is the Greek custom!
I hope you found this guide useful and that you may approach future travels from a different perspective, knowing that there are so many more ways to experience another destination than via hotel or resort! Stay safe x