• slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands

photo: jay mantri

 

For the next article in our ‘slow adventures’ series, we are once again stepping away from the more typical summer holidays of beach retreats and city breaks. Demonstrating that it is indeed possible to enjoy adventures at a slow and relaxing pace, we suggest spending a few weeks in the sun sailing around the Greek islands.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: luis llerena

 

Whether you have sailing experience and decide to self-sail or you book onto a small yacht with an experienced team, prepare to lie back and relax as you drift through the sea, leap into crystal clear waters and visit a selection of diversely different islands.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

To begin planning your sailing adventure, first decide which region of islands you wish to visit. The Saronic & Argolic Gulfs are ideal for a debut sailing holiday, thanks to their calm waters, and the seas around the Ionian Islands offer less strong winds than other areas in the region. It is the Cyclades, however, that are often seen as the ultimate destination for a summer spent sailing around their clear waters and picturesque islands.

 

sailing// mahabis journalphoto: anthony delanoix

 

Santorini and Mykonos may be the islands that lure in the tourists, but there are plenty of tranquil bays and peaceful islands to discover as your boat is pushed along by the notoriously strong winds. A sailing trip around the Cyclades offers the perfect combination of adventure and chances to unwind, with the opportunity to head to somewhere more populated if you so wish.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: alex wigan

 

From July to September, the strong Meltemi northerly winds blows across the Cyclades, occasionally whipping up to strengths of Force 7 or above. This makes for invigorating sailing, although the winds do lull, allowing for a more relaxing pace. For those seeking an adventurous sail, these winds offer the perfect opportunity.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

Deciding upon which of the 220 islands of the Cyclades to visit along your journey depends on your preference of pace. If you are seeking remote, idyllic getaways, situated off the beaten track and away from the hordes of tourists that descend on the area each summer, stay clear of Santorini, Mykonos and Ios. Santorini may boast spectacular sunsets and white-washed villages perched upon the clifftops overlooking the caldera, but it is one of the most popular islands to visit in the summer months. Mykonos and Ios, meanwhile, are both popular with the under-25s and are renowned for their nightlife.

 

greece // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

Instead, set sail for some of the area’s lesser-visited islands, which boast just as spectacular scenery yet are further from the tourist trail. Head to Milos for white sandy beaches and underground hot springs, Folegandros for dramatic cliff-top views, Andros for secluded beaches, and Serifos for white-washed buildings perched upon steep cliffs – not unlike Santorini, apart from the lack of tourists. Picturesque Naxos is a paradise for archaeology advocates, thanks to the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Venetian castle that overlooks Naxos Town and Byzantine remains scattered across the island. Kimolos, Paros and Donousa all offer beautiful beaches and hidden coves that you’re likely to have to yourself.

 

greek islands // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

When at sea, you'll experience the ultimate tranquillity, with the crew and your travel companions being the only other souls for miles around. Lie back on the deck and soak up the sun whilst enjoying a good book. Dine on Greek salads and sip local wine whilst admiring the uninterrupted views of the spectacular sunsets. Leap into the azure waters to cool off. Then set sail for land to discover the next postcard-worthy island.

slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands

photo: jay mantri

 

For the next article in our ‘slow adventures’ series, we are once again stepping away from the more typical summer holidays of beach retreats and city breaks. Demonstrating that it is indeed possible to enjoy adventures at a slow and relaxing pace, we suggest spending a few weeks in the sun sailing around the Greek islands.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: luis llerena

 

Whether you have sailing experience and decide to self-sail or you book onto a small yacht with an experienced team, prepare to lie back and relax as you drift through the sea, leap into crystal clear waters and visit a selection of diversely different islands.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

To begin planning your sailing adventure, first decide which region of islands you wish to visit. The Saronic & Argolic Gulfs are ideal for a debut sailing holiday, thanks to their calm waters, and the seas around the Ionian Islands offer less strong winds than other areas in the region. It is the Cyclades, however, that are often seen as the ultimate destination for a summer spent sailing around their clear waters and picturesque islands.

 

sailing// mahabis journalphoto: anthony delanoix

 

Santorini and Mykonos may be the islands that lure in the tourists, but there are plenty of tranquil bays and peaceful islands to discover as your boat is pushed along by the notoriously strong winds. A sailing trip around the Cyclades offers the perfect combination of adventure and chances to unwind, with the opportunity to head to somewhere more populated if you so wish.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: alex wigan

 

From July to September, the strong Meltemi northerly winds blows across the Cyclades, occasionally whipping up to strengths of Force 7 or above. This makes for invigorating sailing, although the winds do lull, allowing for a more relaxing pace. For those seeking an adventurous sail, these winds offer the perfect opportunity.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

Deciding upon which of the 220 islands of the Cyclades to visit along your journey depends on your preference of pace. If you are seeking remote, idyllic getaways, situated off the beaten track and away from the hordes of tourists that descend on the area each summer, stay clear of Santorini, Mykonos and Ios. Santorini may boast spectacular sunsets and white-washed villages perched upon the clifftops overlooking the caldera, but it is one of the most popular islands to visit in the summer months. Mykonos and Ios, meanwhile, are both popular with the under-25s and are renowned for their nightlife.

 

greece // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

Instead, set sail for some of the area’s lesser-visited islands, which boast just as spectacular scenery yet are further from the tourist trail. Head to Milos for white sandy beaches and underground hot springs, Folegandros for dramatic cliff-top views, Andros for secluded beaches, and Serifos for white-washed buildings perched upon steep cliffs – not unlike Santorini, apart from the lack of tourists. Picturesque Naxos is a paradise for archaeology advocates, thanks to the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Venetian castle that overlooks Naxos Town and Byzantine remains scattered across the island. Kimolos, Paros and Donousa all offer beautiful beaches and hidden coves that you’re likely to have to yourself.

 

greek islands // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

When at sea, you'll experience the ultimate tranquillity, with the crew and your travel companions being the only other souls for miles around. Lie back on the deck and soak up the sun whilst enjoying a good book. Dine on Greek salads and sip local wine whilst admiring the uninterrupted views of the spectacular sunsets. Leap into the azure waters to cool off. Then set sail for land to discover the next postcard-worthy island.

  • Emma Lavelle
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