The Cyclades destinations located close to Athens are easily reached even over a weekend. There are no few though who wonder if it is possible to have a weeklong island hopping to the more distant Cyclades destinations starting their sailing holidays from Athens.

Well, landing at Athens airport and reaching the central Cyclades destinations like Mykonos is much easier than those who are not familiar with the distances between Greek Islands might think. Here is how to do it.

Reaching Cyclades destinations from Lavrion

Sailing itinerary in Cyclades destinationsLavrion is a town southeast of Athens and is within 40.1 km from the Athens International Airport.
The map excerpt(1) shows proposed daily routes between Cyclades destinations starting from Lavrion. Each red line on the map connects a Cyclades destination with another and onto this line is shown the distance between these two destinations expressed in nautical miles (points where a line crosses another line are not relevant).

Considering the 6 nautical miles per hour as the minimum average speed(2) for a monohull sailing yacht, Kythnos one of the closest Cyclades destinations is reached from Lavrion in less than 5 hours. With a yacht charter check-in accomplished early in the afternoon, say Saturday at 1:00 pm, you can ensure that your crew will not miss the afternoon swimming in Loutra of Kythnos which is one of the best mooring spots among Cyclades destinations.

The next day, Sunday, Mykonos or Paros may offer their berths in 7 hours the most. That’s it, you’ve reached the central Cyclades destinations!! And if check in happens to be delayed, no worries – you may reach Vourkari of Kea in less than 2½ hours.

Reaching Cyclades destinations from Kalamaki

Kalamaki is the most popular and bustling marina of Greece offering the widest range of options to rent a yacht as well as many facilities. It is located in Alimos aloof 34.7 km from the Athens International Airport. Alimos is a nice district of Athens with many good places for dining and entertainment. Moreover you can easily go from there by public transport to other places in Athens such as the Parthenon.

From Kalamaki you can sail off the same afternoon you check-in the yacht and have your first overnight at the cove just before Cape Sounion. Cape Sounion is situated at the southernmost tip of the penisula which extends southerly of Athens and Lavrion. There the next morning before heading for Cyclades destinations you can visit on foot the exquisite temple of Poseidon and the point from which the father of Theseus gave his name eternally to the legendary Aegean Sea that stretches to the east.

From Sounion you can sail directly to the main Cyclades destinations by the above map. If what interests you though is not how fast you can get there but to enjoy a relaxed island hopping in Cyclades then we propose the following sailing itinerary:

  • Saturday: Kalamaki, Athens – Sounion, Attica = 26 NM
  • Sunday: Sounio, Attica – Livadi, Serifos = 45 NM
  • Monday: Livadi, Serifos – Naoussa, Paros = 37 NM
  • Tuesday: Naoussa, Paros – marina, Mykonos = 22 NM
  • Wednesday: marina, Mykonos – Finikas, Syros = 24 NM
  • Thursday: Finikas, Syros – Kolona, Kythnos = 29 NM
  • Friday: Kolona, Kythnos – Kalamaki, Athens = 46 NM

Alternatively, a Cyclades islands hopping like the previous one which includes Sifnos among the destinations instead of Syros is the following:

  • Saturday: Kalamaki, Athens – Sounion, Attica = 26 NM
  • Sunday: Sounio, Attica – Livadi, Serifos = 45 NM
  • Monday: Livadi, Serifos – Platis Gialos, Sifnos = 20 NM
  • Tuesday: Platis Gialos, Sifnos – Naoussa, Paros = 30 NM
  • Wednesday: Naoussa, Paros – marina, Mykonos = 22 NM
  • Thursday: marina, Mykonos – Kolona, Kythnos = 49 NM
  • Friday: Kolona, Kythnos – Kalamaki, Athens = 46 NM

If you can have two weeks for Cyclades islands hopping then in our article how to get to Santorini you will find information on sailing itineraries to the remote Cyclades destinations.

If the check-in aboard in Kalamaki is completed early in the day, instead of Sounion you can sail directly for Kolona of Kythnos which is one of the best beaches in Cyclades that you can reach in less than 8 hours of sailing. Although Kolona bay accommodates quite some moorings in the weekends, it is not inhabited neither restaurants exist so the provision of food and water is essential.

Sailing in the Aegean under the bright summer moonlight, is a unique experience. Something to remember for a life time! If you’re familiar with night sailing, the crew is experienced and not discouraged by distances, where the weather conditions are right, changing shifts every 2 to 4 hours you can reach the first morning of your sailing itinerary at that Cyclades destination you much wanted, despite its distance.

  1. The map source is Navionics – we added the red lines. These red lines intend merely to show distances. Any information provided may be incomplete, obsolete or contain errors and cannot substitute the on-board safety equipment and of course the good seamanship.
  2. As is known, the speed of a keeler yacht is limited by the length of its waterline. The longer the yacht (and the waterline) the faster can go. On the other hand a catamaran having no keel goes faster than a keeler yacht of the same size. In order to express distances in cruising time, we will use the average speed which is expected to achieve (either with the sails or with the engine) the smaller of the keeler yachts offered for charter.


Further reading about Cyclades destinations:


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