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Board at 17:00. Unpack and a safety briefing may follow in the cockpit if time allows, but it is important that you read the safety information prior to boarding. For sunset head up to the luxury of Leostasis' 5 star hotel and spa. Swim in the pool, reserve a massage or simply have a shower and cocktails watching the fantastic sunset over Ios harbor. In the evening participate in the famous Ios pub-crawl!
Dinner: Leostasis' fine menu is prepared under the guidance of one of Greece's finest chefs.
The yacht remains in Ios. Hire a car and explore the many wonders of Ios including Homer's tomb where the famous writer of the Greek odyssey is entombed following a shipwreck. Drive along the coast of Ios and stop for a swim at either Manganari or Filoportas beach, two of the best beaches in the Aegean. Head back to the yacht for lunch then take some time to explore the early Cycladic civilisation archeological site - awarded a UNESCO award for the best archeological site in Europe.
Dinner: Lord Byron's is the place to go for fantastic Greek fusion dining.
*The yacht remains in Ios on Sunday awaiting the return of the 14-night guests from Santorini.
Distance and sailing conditions: 15 miles – 2 hours. Motor thn close reach.
Highlights: After ferrying from Santorini to Ios and if the weather permits, venture further east to a small group of islands south of Naxos known in sailing circles as 'Les Petite Cyclades', with charming quiet coves, bays and beaches and little traffic. Sailing into the tiny fishing cove of Skinoussa there is room to dock a few yachts on the pier and a few in the tiny bay. What is special about this little know island, is the lovely beach across from the yachts, the tiny 'Chora' hilltop town of 147 inhabitants and a fabulous restaurant. After dinner the 15 minute walk down to the yacht is breath-taking with stars and constellations lighting your way and a peaceful silence all around except for the buzz of the cicadas.
Dinner: Deli taverna offers a divine meal with our host Dimitri, who explains the wonderful island produce from the delicious creamy goat cheese, sun dried tomato, arugula salads and the fabulous fava bean puree to the succenlent kalamari the fishermen bring in each day. The view is also remarkable, with the setting sun illuminating golden hills sloping to the sea and countless islands in the distance.
Distance and sailing conditions: 30 miles – 4.5 hours. This leg tends to be close hauled.
Highlights: If the weather is good in the morning, cross the narrow channel separating Skinoussa and Iraklia in search for a particular deserted bay to stop for a swim. What is not known to visitors is that the bay is the resting place of a WW ll German Messerschmitt aircraft, felled by the British in 1945. The plane is 10-12 meters down and can easily be seen from the surface in the crysral clear water. After a swim and some photos move on to the azure lagoon of Tigania for a second swim stop and lunch, then on to Paroikia town, Paros, for the night. Navigating the tricky 14ft deep passage between Paros and Andi Paros is always interesting, before arriving in Paroikia and exploring this charming sea-level harbor town. Visit the 4th-century Panagia Ekatontapyliani (Our Lady of a Hundred Doors). The oldest remaining Byzantine church in Greece has exceptional architecture, religious icons and an exquisite marble baptismal chamber. Wander the bougainvillea-fringed streets and check out a maze of shops offering fashion, jewelry and local handicrafts.
Dinner: Apollon Garden restaurant is beautifully set in an open-air atrium full of antiquites and is a guest favorite on the tour. A gourmet menu of local and international dishes includes Greek moussaka, lamb hock, tsoutsoukakia (meat balls in tomoato garlic sauce), wonderful Italian pastas as well as Norweigen grilled salmon. The chocolate soufflé dessert is not to be missed. There are numerous local pubs for a night-cap on the way back to the boats.
Distance and sailing conditions: 20 miles – 2.5 hours. With typical northerlies this is a tack or a motor sail.
Highlights: An early departure allows a morning visit to sacred Delos, the most important archaeological and religious site of ancient Greece. Delos remains in an excellent state of preservation allowing you to wander through an amphitheatre, stadium, private palaces and Roman baths. Finish your exploration with a climb up sacred Mount Kythnos for a divine panoramic view of the Cycladic Islands. Eat lunch aboard followed by a swim in the clear waters of Delos channel.
Distance and sailing conditions: 18 miles – 2.25 hours. Beam reach in northerly winds.
Highlights: Ermoupoli the capital of the Cyclades has 30,000 population and features old mansions, neo-classical buildings and colorful houses cascading down to the harbour. Arriving by yacht into Syros is an impressive experience, and stepping off the yacht to visit both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox cathedrals, on their respective hills, is unique in Greece and offers a great view back down to the harbour. Ermoupolis is a highlight for photographers as the Venetian architecture, piaza and colorful pastel buildings is like Amalfi Italy.
Dinner: Mazi Mazi is well-worth a visit for dinner. The open dining courtyard is surrounded by hanging vines, cascading Bouganvilae and 19th century stone arches meeting 30ft above. The restaurant features exquisite Greek fusion meals and an exceptional cocktail bar.
Distance and sailing conditions: 6 miles – 1 hour. Tacking in northerly winds.
Highlights: A short tack east allows mooring at Mykonos' new marina in the afternoon. This is an unfinished marina 20 minutes North of Mykonos town -where yachts are prohibited. Take a bus or taxi to explore the labyrinth of Mykonos town, and enjoy shopping, dining and nightlife.
Dinner: Nikos taverna, the busiest restaurant in town offers well-priced daily specials, good service and captures the flavor of Mykonos with its outdoor seating - ideal for people watching. Scandinavian bar offers fun nightlife.
*Mykonos is among the windest places in Greece and the unfinished harbour is very tricky to moor due to it's poor location. There are also cargo, cruise ships and ferrys moored nearby all night, so the harbour is noisy and smelly with fuel exhaust. As a result of Mykonos being further east, in order to return to Athens a 60 mile day must be sailied to get to Kea by Thursday. Mykonos is optional based on the weather, group dynamic and skipper or flotilla leader's decison.
Distance and sailing conditions: 40 miles – 4.5 hours. Motor out of Ermoupolis then a tack to the North tip of Kea
Highlights: A longer more challenging passage, but if the conditions are right it is unforgettable. A late lunch and swim stop can be made in a bay on the south side of the island of Yiaros -Greece's Alcatraz. Making it to the little known island of Kea and the quaint harbor of Vourkari, walk around the bay to find the deserted ruins of a 3000 BC pre-historic settlement. A swim at a beautiful beach five minutes walk from the boats is a delightful way to relax before sunset.
Dinner: Vourkarion restaurant is a charming traditional Greek taverna which features exceptionally fresh meats, as the owner is a farmer. Greek delicacies such as lamb chops and mixed grill are served along with a huge range of Greek vegitarian speciallties as well. Aristos taverna, steps from the gangplank, is a sailor focal point and offers drinks and snacks as soon as we moor and can also provide dinner with their renowned lobster spaghetti.
Distance and sailing conditions: 41 miles - 6 hours. With northerlies a nice beam reach, with north westerlies more close hauled.
Highlights: Visit the traditional town of Ioulis by bus, take an enchanting 45-minute walk through the town and valley beyond and see the Petrified Lion. At twenty-one feet, this is the largest example of ancient Greek sculpture dated at 600 BC. The fascinating archaeological museum is something else not to miss and can be visited on the way back to the bus. Sail across the Kea channel and arrive in Cape Sounion on the eastern tip of Attica, enjoy lunch and the last swim of the tour in the shadow of the famous Temple of Poseidon (440 BC).
Dinner: Arriving back at Alimos Kalamaki Marina in Athens, celebrate the end of tour with a toast in the cockpit and a meal at the Greek fusion restaurant Alimonaki, or a return to the larger Edem taverna for a farewell dinner.
Please note: Due to weather it may be necessary to change the order of the itinerary, the number of days in one location or visit other islands. The Captain is responsible for the ultimate safety and comfort of the vessel and its passengers. It is within the Captain's jurisdiction to change the sequence of stops and ports if necessary due to inclement weather conditions, high or low water levels, dock and lock schedules, technical, logistical or scheduling reasons. Additionally, sailing vessels will motor in light winds to ensure vessels arrive in port by sunset.