Cyclades Yacht Charter Guide
With their steady winds, dramatic landscapes and natural harbors, the Cyclades are a haven for waterborne travelers
Offering everything from total silence to a vibrant nightlight, numerous itineraries can be carved out through the Cyclades archipelago. Begging to be approached by sea, they reveal their charms in a sudden moment of sheer drama. You could see them all in a week, but chances are you will want to linger longer. All of the islands offer an astonishing wealth of historical sites and legacies left by countless successive civilizations. From the cosmopolitan Mykonos, famous for its nightlife, to bohemian Hydra and majestic Santorini, each island has a unique personality, but their charms are unanimous.
ATHENS TO KEA (40 NAUTICAL MILES)
Embark on your Cyclades yacht charter in Athens and cruise toward the island of Kea. Anchor in the port of Korissia and acclimatize to the relaxed pace of life on board as you begin to appreciate the laid-back charm of Greek-island cruising. The sea is inviting, and the relaxed vibe of the island makes it perfect for a family charter.
KEA TO SIFNOS (40 NAUTICAL MILES)
Take an anti-clockwise circle around the Cyclades, cruising past Kythnos and Serifos to the sophisticated island of Sifnos. Climb to the medieval hilltop village of Kastro for spectacular views over the neighboring island of Milos, your next port of call. Take a dip and swim ashore to the beach havens of Vathi and Platys Gialos and reward your efforts with dinner at one of seafood restaurants that line the cosmopolitan port of Kamares.
SIFNOS TO MILOS (23 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise toward Milos, the island of love. As you approach the island step up on deck to appreciate the rousing colors of the cliffs. Drop anchor and take the tender to discover the sea grottoes and beaches tucked in between. Explore the ancient ruins up in Plaka before stepping back on board for a sunset cocktail while watching the stunning colors change as the sun dips into the ocean.
MILOS TO SANTORINI (55 NAUTICAL MILES)
The vertiginous island of Santorini is one of the most popular of the Cyclades. Take the cable car to Fira and walk the cobbled streets where you will find a number of designer boutiques to browse. Many of the best restaurants are conveniently located in the island’s top hotels. Homeric Poems is one such establishment with a restaurant, which sits on the edge of the Firostefani cliff, providing spectacular views over the caldera.
SANTORINI TO IOS (22 NAUTICAL MILES)
Dip your toes in the sands of the stunning beaches around the satellite islands of Thirassia, Palea and Nea Kameni, before heading north for a peaceful night’s anchorage at Ios. The island is adorned with small coves, countless chapels (in fact the island has 365 churches), olive trees and vineyards. Sip a sundowner in the town of Chora, watching the sky turn to a fiery red as the sun sets.
IOS TO PAROS (30 NAUTICAL MILES)
Spend the day enjoying all manner of watersports anchored off Paros before cruising to the small fishing village of Naoussa. Quiet by day, the village transforms in the evening with restaurant and bars open until the early hours. The main port and island capital Parikia can on first impression seem rather disappointing, but step behind the seafront and you will find a pretty town.
PAROS TO MYKONOS (26 NAUTICAL MILES)
For the past quarter of a century the sun-drenched island of Mykonos has welcomed the jet set for whom Mykonos is the St Tropez of the Eastern Mediterranean. Enjoy a hedonistic long lunch at Nammos on Psarou Beach – the Greek alternative to Le Club 55. Here, as with many of the beach clubs in Mykonos, sedentary lunches usually segue into dancing on the tables late into the afternoon. As the sun sets over the horizon, an impressive hubbub fills the maze of alleyways throughout Mykonos Old Town.
MYKONOS TO DELOS TO SYROS (38 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise towards the ancient island of Syros, stepping ashore to walk the sacred grounds of Delos. The island is reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis and was a center for trade and worship as far back as the ninth century BC. Ruins and temples remain today. Visit the capital of Ermoupoli before an overnight cross to Athens.
With a combination of steady winds, dramatic landscapes and natural harbors, the sun-drenched Cyclades are a hub of superyacht activity throughout the summer season. The idyllic chain, with its picture-postcard whitewashed villages and bright blue church domes piled above the sea, has been luring visitors to its shores for centuries. From poets, historians, romantics an, today, the superyacht set, the archipelago’s popularity is such that there is little left undiscovered on these islands. Fortunately, there are plenty of them to go around, with something to appeal to everyone.
Making your way anticlockwise around the Cyclades, the islands offer so many choices. They have everything from unpopulated islets with secret bays to cosmopolitan islands with chic beach clubs and first-class restaurants. Sophisticated and relaxed, Sifnos is like a small piece of chic Caribbean, while Milos has an excess of sandy inlets only accessible by boat. Folengandros is known as the “island of peace” on account of its relaxing atmosphere, and Santorini’s satellite islands envelop visitors with peace and tranquility. Mykonos and Santorini are famous for their plethora of hip bars and restaurants, but there is more to these cosmopolitan islands than its hedonistic party vibe. And finally, come full circle and discover the sacred grounds of Delos. A moving experience to end your cruise through these varied cruising grounds.
- Savor sushi and cocktails at Ovac, Santorini
- Enjoy an Aegean Julep ashore or on board
- Dip your toes in the black sand at the Seaside by Notos, Santorini
- Drink Palomas at Theros Wave Bar, Santorini
- Step ashore to the outdoor Anemo Theatre, Mykonos
- Pick up a matching kaftan and bikini at Luisa Beach, Mykonos
- Explore the beautiful caves of Dragonisi, Mykonos
- Head to Caprice for sunset cocktails, Mykonos
No yacht charter in the Cyclades is complete without a visit to its most famous island Mykonos, where there is truly something for everyone. Long stretches of beach, shops and restaurants and of course its well-known windmills, provide beautiful scenery. If nights out are more your speed, there is no shortage of trendy cocktail bars and nightclubs. Stay up until sunrise and you won’t regret it. Don’t worry you can snooze on the way to the Cyclades’ other famous island, Santorini.