I normally go for one big holiday in the summer, and this year, that big holiday was sailing around some of the Greek islands. The plan was for the group to congregate in the Athens marina, before meeting up with our respective skippers and getting acquainted with our yachts where we’d be spending the next 5-7 days. The route we had in mind was to sail for Paros, stopping along some of the main islands along the way such as Mykonos and Syros. Private yachts, picturesque Greek islands, fresh food and mediterranean weather – this was going to be a dream summer vacation!
We started by arriving in Athens late on a Friday night. We only had time to check into our Airbnb room for the night, before catching what would be our last proper night’s rest on land for a week. For convenience’s sake, we opted for accommodation near the marina so we wouldn’t have too far to travel the following day.
Having the next morning free to ourselves, we walked around the area and found a small fresh food supermarket where I stocked up on some luscious cheap and fresh fruit. They were too difficult to resist!
Day 1: Athens to Poros
With the aim being to meet at the marina at 3.45pm, we grabbed lunch at a local place which served typical Greek dishes. The group arrived on time to meet our skippers, but it turned out that we needn’t have hurried as Greek time operates very differently compared to London time! We ended up being delayed by 2 hours as we waited for the local shop to deliver our basics (things like toilet paper, water and snacks) so we had to kill time waiting on our yacht in the marina…
It wasn’t the best start, so we all breathed a sigh of relief when we were finally ready to go.
Our first stop that night was in the town of Poros, a great little stop-over location from Athens. After a casual dinner of typical Greek sharing plates between the 15 of us, we had a short walk around town to check out the night life. There wasn’t much to do around but to eat and drink, but despite it being midnight, there were a lot of people dining and walking about, with kids running around the town squares and streets.
Day 2: Poros to Nafplio
After picking up more food supplies for the day, we left Poros the following morning headed for Nafplio, a good 6 to 7 hour ride away. We stopped half way through for lunch and a swim in some of the clearest, warmest waters in the Argolic Gulf. Imagine being in a secluded bay, with no waves, clear waters with visibility to the bottom of the sea and no one else around… where one can only be enticed from the warm water by the smell of roasting chicken coming from the yacht’s oven! 🙂
We finally arrived in Nafplio around 5-ish that evening, happy for the chance to stretch our legs and get off the yacht. As we had spent a large part of the day just lying down and sunbathing on the boat, we decided to work up an appetite by walking the nearly 1000 steps to the top of the Palamidi Castle. If you’re in the region, I’d definitely recommend visiting this historic sight if only for the great views you get from the top (especially with the setting sun!).
We were all pretty ravenous by the time we arrived back down in town and made a beeline for the main thoroughfare which leads to the Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution Square). Although we saw a few good looking restaurants along the way, we opted for a small taverna in a off-the-main-street alley. With recorded traditional Greek music playing nearby and an arch of red bougainvillea flowers hanging overhead, it couldn’t really have gotten more authentic than this!
Another highlight of Nafplio is the ancient ruins of Mycenae. Spare a good couple of hours to visit this attraction if you’re docked at the harbour (easily accessible by hiring a €70 taxi for an hour to drive you there and wait to take you back).
As this post is already 750 words long, I think I’ll cut this off here for now and continue in a number of follow up posts. Next stop: Spetses Island.