Greece cruise: the Saronic Gulf
The Saronic Gulf is the perfect destination for a one-day cruise during your tour of Greece on a luxury charter. Enjoy the unique atmosphere and wonderful vista of the charming sea on the islands of Hydra, Aegina, and Poros, where the distant echoes of the past melt seamlessly into an elegant and beautiful present.
Aegina’s delicious pistachios and beautiful Temple of Aphaea are world famous. This temple, which is one of the biggest and best-preserved ones from antiquity, overlooks the small harbor of Agia Marina from the top of a hill covered with pine trees. Aegina is a simple place that invites you to lay back, sip a coffee at one of the typical bars and take long, refreshing baths in the crystal-clear waters of its small bays. The best beaches are Marathonas, Suvala, Vagia and Perdika, Kypseli, Kavouropetra and Leonti.
Not very popular with foreigners, Aegina is a beloved escape of the locals, who flock here to relax away from Athens’ chaotic life. The rhythms are slow and the atmosphere laid back, nothing like the glamour of Mykonos and Santorini, and this is exactly what makes this island worth a visit. The writer Nikos Kazantzakis, author of “Zorba the Greek” who lived here for many years, loved the unique light that envelops Aegina all through the year.
Once a meeting place of writers and artists, Hydra is famous for its picturesque windmills and mazes of narrow streets. Today it welcomes celebrities like Leonard Cohen, Henry Miller and Mick Jagger. The slow atmosphere is reminiscent of old times: in fact, motor vehicles, including motorbikes, are banned on the island, so people walk or ride donkeys to move around and cats are everywhere, always ready to be petted and pampered by the tourists. Hydra, the Greek queen of the Saronic Gulf, also known as “the Greek Capri”, is the ideal place for a slow and classy escape to lovely beaches and charming spots.
It’s already time to stop in Poros, where you can visit the picturesque Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or the ruins of the ancient Sanctuary of Poseidon, the god of the sea. The island, covered in a thick pinewood that extends all the way to the beach, is home to a lemon plantation whose intense scent fills the hot summer days. What are the best beaches? Visit Neorio, where rows of pine trees plunge into the sea, Askeli, Monastiri, Rossikos Nafstathmos, Aspros Gatos, Lemonodasos, Alikes, Mpougia, Artemos, Kanali and Vaghionia.
This charming island formation, which is believed to be Plato’s birthplace, is one of Greece’s less known destinations. Being away from the crowd is exactly what makes a tour of the Saronic Gulf on a yacht an experience of relaxation and slow rhythms, to enjoy surrounded by lush nature and the turquoise water of the Aegean Sea. Are you looking for an itinerary that is even more off the beaten path and just as breathtaking? Read our post on Greece’s five hidden islands.