The north Cyclades islands are close enough to the Attica mainland to make a grand loop of seven islands and return back to the mainland in eight days. The northern islands have more variation between them then the southern islands which gives the tour a feeling of exploring a novel island each day.
Each island of the North Cyclades is unique in its own way which , with its own historical importance and tradition. Hence, this cruise offers active and leisure activities at each destination. We organize a final itinerary — active, leisure or a combination of both — depending on your group’s specified interests.
The tour starts at Raffina Port which is located 20 minutes drive from Athens airport. We visit seven islands in total, organising activities relevant to each island’s own uniqe identity and landscape. The tour ends at Lavrio in southern Attica which is a 30 minute drive from Athens airport.
Activities: Each day offers active and lesiure activities. The itinerary below indicates activity choices available at each destination. We organize a final itinerary — active, leisure or a combination of both — depending on your group’s specified interests.
Tour Starts: Alimos Marina located 20 minutes drive from central Athens.
Tour Ends: Lavrio in southern Attika, a 30 minute drive to Athens.
Welcome & Orientation at Rafina port, 20 minutes drive east of Athens Airport. The yacht sails eastward towards Evia island, stopping at Petali islands just west of Marmari port for swimming and lunch. Evia is Greece’s second largest island yet few foreign tourists know to come here. It has no resorts or boutique hotels. It is purely a locals’ scene. Overnight Karystos
Active choices: Bike from Marmari to Karystos port 15 km (9 miles), then visit the Bourtzi, the 700 year old fortress protecting Karystos harbor. Take a two hour hike along a coastal path between Marmari and Karystos.
Leisure choices: Tour and winetasting at the organic Montofoli winery, an estate going back to the Frankish occupation. Visit the Archaeology Museum (Yokaleio Foundation) holding many artifacts from the Montofli estate. Observe how pastelli is made by old family methods and recipes. Visit the factory where Karystos stone slate is made.
A three hour morning sail takes guests from Karystos to Andros, the second largest Cyclades island. Despite its size, Andros is one of the least touristed islands in the Cyclades even though it is very green and water is plentiful. Andros is a wealthy ship owners island and as a result many beautiful mansions with red roofs dot the island. Overnight Andros island
Active choices: Bike from Batsi to Chora, the capital roundtrip 47 km 29 miles. Windsurf at windy Ormos Beach on the east side. Take a 2 hour hike on original “kalderimi” paths to Zagora archaeology site.
Leisure choices: Visit the Cyclades Olive Museum to marvel at a fine example of pre-industrial, animal powered olive oil production. Visit the world class Goulandris Museum of Modern Art and the Archaeology Museum. The Nautical Museum presents a history of Andros from ancient times to the present.
Sailing to Tinos from Andros lasts two hours. Tinos is the most traditional island in the Cyclades. The occupying Venetians left their mark by building dovecotes that dot the island. Thousands of pilgrims come to Tinos’ Church of Panagia (Virgin), considered the protector of the country, with a miraculous icon inside. On Tinos you will likely encounter more chapels and churches in a single day than you may see a month at home. Overnight Tinos island
Active choices: Bike a loop that goes to Volax village where basket makers still weave their craft by hand. Biking 40 km, 25 miles. Take a two hour hike (roundtrip) to the Tsiknias, the highest point on the island (727 meters).
Leisure choices: Tinos is famous for its marble crafts — attend a class of marble sculpture and visit the museum in Pyrgos. Discover the island by a dovecote quest to see how many you can spot. Visit Volax, the basketmakers’ village. Visit the Sanctuary of Poseidon ruins on the coast.
Less than an hour’s sailing separates Mykonos from Tinos but the contrast between the two islands feels as if they lie 20,000 leagues apart. Mykonos is the sophisticated island with cosmopolitan visitors and high end boutiques. Before reaching Mykonos, the yacht first stops at nearby Delos island, once the most sacred sanctuary in ancient Greece. In fact, Cyclades means “circle” in Greek, so named because the surrounding islands circled Delos. Overnight Mykonos island
Active choices: Bike a loop to chic Elia Beach and linger there for swimming 24 km, 15 miles. One hour hike (roundtrip) to Paradise beach — and linger there for swimming. Water sports at Elia Beach or Paradise beach.
Leisure choices: Visit the Archaeology Museum, especially for the vase (pithoi) depicting the Trojan horse. Go shopping in Chora’s famous boutiques. Wine tasting at Vioma, an organic winery.
It is a three hour sail from Mykonos to Syros, the capital of the Cyclades region. Everyone will enjoy strolling the beautiful port city, Ermoupouli, with its elegant neo-Classical mansions, lively Miaoulis Square with its stately town hall, marble paved streets and the picturesque Vaporia neigborhood. Syros still has a hearty shipbuilding industry, too. Overnight Syros island
Active choices: Bike a loop of the island passing at least a half dozen beaches for swimming choices. 39 km, 24 miles. Hike up to Ano Syros, the car-free Catholic neighborhood with a Capuchin monastery and a museum lauded to “rembetiko,” known as the Greek blues.
Leisure choices: Engage in olive oil tasting and other delights at a local produce shop. Swim in one of Syros’ many sandy beaches. Visit Ano Syro, the car-free Catholic area with imposing churchs and photogenic alleyways. If you are interested, Syros has the only casino in the Cyclades.
Sailing from Syros to Kythnos takes three hours. Another name for the island is Thermia due to the presence of hot mineral springs located in Loutra. Tradition says that the water comes undersea from Vesuvious and the springs have been used since ancient times -and still are used as a cure from rheumatism. Kythnos is a dry and arid island. Overnight Kythnos island
Active choices: Bike to the Loutra hot springs 24 km, 15 miles (roundtrip) and then to Chora. Hike two hours (roundtrip) to the formidable Paleokastro with amazing views.
Leisure choices: Visit the ancient cave of Katafiki in Driopida, one of the largest caves in Greece and used as a refuge by locals when pirates or enemies attacked. Stroll the charming narrow streets with whitewashed houses of Chora, the capital, and visit a traditional potter’s workshop. Near Chora are the healing thermal waters of Loutra.
After three hours morning sailing you are back on the Greece mainland in the Attiki peninsula to Lavrio. Lavrio is a big surprise because of all the cultural activities awaiting you, such as, the National Park of Sounion, the ancient Silver Mines (an open air museum), the Mineral Museum and the Lavrio Archaology Museum. There are also fine wineries nearby. We will have our farewell dinner in Lavrio’s lovely marina. Overnight Lavrio port
Active choices: Cycle a loop to the magnificent Temple of Poseidon and the Sounion National Park. 42 km, 26 miles
Leisure choices: Visit the magnificent Temple of Poseidon and try to find Lord Byron’s signature grafitti in the marble column. Visit the Theatre of Dionysus at Thoriko built in the 6th century BC, said to be the earliest theatre in all Greece.
Morning transfer in company vehicle from Lavrio to Athens Airport.
Inclusions depend on the yacht that is chartered and its capabilities. Below are indicative inclusions for this tour.
Bring swim wear, hat, sun glasses and sun screen For bikers, wear appropriate shoes.
On the yacht rubber soled footwear only, or barefoot.