Sailing area : The cyclades

Sailing area: The Cyclades

A stone's throw from Athens you will find the 56 islands that make up the Cyclades archipelago. These islands take their name from the circle that forms them around the island of Delos, which, according to Greek mythology, is where Apollo and Artemis were born, Rent a boat with or without a skipper/crew and set out to discover these superb islands with a rich past that lie in the southern part of the Aegean Sea. Just a few hours by boat from the mainland, the Cyclades hold many treasures that will satisfy all your holiday wishes: wild coves, deserted beaches, traditional villages with white houses and blue shutters, and more. A wealth of solutions will delight holidaymakers looking for peace and quiet as well as those looking for a cruise that includes cultural, sporting and even festive activities.
Climb aboard your rental boat at the port of Athens (Piraeus) or Lavrio, and set out to discover these islands with a mountainous relief, an arid climate, lost in the middle of the sea. You can also pick up your catamaran, luxury yacht or gulet on certain islands in the archipelago, such as Mykonos, Paros or Naxos, all accessible by ferry and plane in the summer.
Departing from the mainland, set your sights on Kea or Andros, the southernmost island in the Cyclades. Because of its steep coastal relief it is relatively difficult to access the beaches from the land. A blessing for holidaymakers with a boat who are able to enjoy the magnificent wild beaches in complete tranquillity. We strongly recommend that you pay a visit to the centre of the island where terraces planted with vineyards, olive trees, lemon trees and fig trees flow down into the valleys. A piece of paradise for those who are keen walkers!
Next, continue to Mykonos and its port where women still beat squid on the rocks to soften it. Made famous in the 1960s by figures such as Jackie Onassis, Sean Connery, Picasso and Yves Saint-Laurent, the island has become a summer destination for the jet set from around the world. If you like partying, you will enjoy drinking a glass of ouzo - the local drink - at sunset at one of the many open-air clubs that line the beach of Chora, the island's capital. Otherwise, lose yourself among the small streets of the island's villages where there are more white and blue churches per square metre than there are cafés in Paris,
Continue your cruise southwards to the island of Naxos, which many consider to be the most beautiful island in the Cyclades. In all cases, it is the largest island and, consequently, it offers many mooring areas. We recommend that you spend time on the west coast where the most beautiful beaches can be found. Discover the countryside and visit the Byzantine chapels and climb Mount Zas, the highest point in the archipelago that stands at an altitude of 1,001 metres. A 360° view over Naxos and the surrounding islands await you. Not to be missed at any cost!
Then, make a detour to Amorgos, an island of a rare beauty where the cliffs fall into the clear blue sea. It is easy to understand why most of the film "The Big Blue" was filmed here thanks to the stunning setting that invites visitors to swim and relax. Continue your cruise towards Los or make your way up to Parios, an island famous for its white marble and its immaculate white villages with streets filled with bougainvillea. Along the coast, you will find many deserted coves where you can spend the afternoon in the vivid blue water ideal for snorkelling or scuba diving.
Finish your cruise with Santorini, a volcanic island in the southern Cyclades. When you arrive by sea, you realise how unique this island is with its white houses hollowed out of the cliff 120 metres above sea level. Famous for being the island of lovers, Santorini is very popular with couples looking for a romantic holiday and who visit Oia to dine beneath the traditional olive oils as they watch the sun set. If you are travelling with the family, opt for a good Greek salad prepared by your crew and served with a glass of vinsanto, a sweet white wine produced on the island.

When to sail in the Cyclades?

The best time of year for sailing in the Cyclades is between April and October. Avoid the summer if you want to be alone at sea. The average temperature is 28°C during the daytime with relatively cool nights which makes it easier to sleep. The cooler night temperatures are a result of the Meltem, a wind that blows in the Aegean Sea in the summer months. Attention: the Meltem, which can vary from force 6 to 8 on the Beaufort scale, can surprise less well-experienced sailors. Rent your boat with a skipper to avoid any problems if you are not at ease with more sporty sailing.

Which boat to choose for my cruise in the Cyclades?

Known for its winds, the Cyclades archipelago is a genuine paradise for those who enjoy sailing, whether with or without a skipper. The model of boat will depend on what you are looking for. We recommend a catamaran which, with its small water draft, will offer you more mooring options. This means that you will be able to get closer to the archipelago's stunning beaches. Otherwise, opt for a monohull vessel to visit the Aegean Sea: sailboats, gulets, motor boats, etc. Our agents will be happy to help you choose the boat of your dreams for your forthcoming boat hire in the Cyclades.  

Worth knowing/Advice

Sustained winds Excellent sailing conditions from April to October A range of anchorages: at anchors or in the docks of small traditional ports. Seasoned sailors, navigate the high seas or make short hops to your preferred destination Don't miss out on the archaeological site on the island of Delos" Come and discover the small waterfront restaurants...

The ports in this sailing area

Cyclades, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros ...


To sail in Greece you will need: A sailing licence A sailing resume To rent a large sailboat 2 Sailing licences are required

When to travel?

To be informed of the weather forecast, you can visit the Italian website LAMMA (vento e mare)


10-20 knots


May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
20° 24° 27° 27° 24° 19°