Have you sign up with MedSailors or any other companies for island-hopping Greek Islands (i.e. Saronic Gulf islands – Ermioni, Poros, Spetses, Hydra, Agistri and Egina) this summer? Or are you planning your sailing trip around Saronic Gulf islands? If the answer is YES, you must read this post. We had an AWESOME time with Medsailors in Greece this June. We thought it would be a good idea to share our experience/tips so that you can make most of your trip and have an unforgettable time on the islands… believe me it’s not just some icing on the cake!
Day 1: Blind date with your fellow sailors
Tip 1: Arrive on the dot as given in the Medsailors introductory email (1pm or so). Why? Rule of first in, first serve. If you arrive earlier, you can pick the cabin you’d like to sleep in.
Tip 2: Ranks of the cabins (from The Best to Mmm… not so good).
- Cabin at the bow (front of the yacht). It is the quietest and widest in the whole yacht – suitable for couple.
- Cabin at the stern (back of the yacht). The one far from the loo is better than the one next to the loo. These cabins are good for friends/couples, but you could be the 1st ones get wake up as everyone has to get out of the boat through the stern.
- Single room or bunk room in the cabin. It is very small: no space to turn around. If you follow Tip 1, you will not end there.
- Of course, your skipper will sleep in the cabin lounge area.
Tip 3: Visit the supermarket before going on the yacht. Items must purchase: bottles of mineral water, some banana (or fruit), chips, beers and wine/prosecco and some biscuits. you can always top up your fruit/drinks in Poros. To note, the price level is ramping up islands by islands.
Tip 4: If you’re keen on being on the helm, trim the sails and perform some cool tasks on the boat don’t be afraid to ask. The skippers will almost never ask for help, so if you’re interested, don’t be shy!
Tip 5: Definitely go out with your new crews at Perdika. Cheap drinks at the bar, where the roof is convertible.
Day 2: Watch Sunrise in Ermioni
Tip 6: The Millennium bar for the night is suggested by Medsailor. Instead if you’d like to have a typical romantic Mediterranean nigh-tout with cocktail/Greek wine in hand and light breeze brush through your face, why not try Casa dei Veranda Club (not far from your dinner venue).
Tip 7: If you can manage wake up earlier, head up to the beautiful Bisti (forest) 15-20 mins walk from the marina. From there, you have the most beautiful view of the Greek island sunrise. It is a very rewarding experience. Plus you can show off to your fellow crew/friends that you caught the 1st light of Greek island.
Tip 8: If you fancy crepes, try Ermioni Cafe (not great décor, but crepes are great).
Day 3: Scooter around Spetses
Tip 9: Definitely hire a scooter go around Spetses. There are only 2 Scooter hire places in town looks not too dodgy. Here are the MUST KNOW for scooter hire:
- You can hire for 24 hours for EURO 15, if you are friendly and know some greeting words in Greek (like “για σας” Pronounce “ya-sass” otherwise you might get charge a bit more (Say EURO 25). NO joking as the next group arrived a bit later than us got that price quote
- Your license should prove that you can ride a motorcycle. Otherwise, you may have to downgrade to a bicycle (EURO 5 per-hour). Spetses is quiet hilly as soon as you get out of the main town. This limits the range you can visit the island. How to get away from it?
a) find a yacht crew who has motorcycle license and go together.
b) find an Italian crew as riding scooter is in their blood, Greeks and Italians are good mate by nature!
c) if one scooter hire shop doesn’t allow you, then try the other one and pray they can allow you hire w/o motorcycle license.
- Of course, if you fancy Quad Bike, you can hire it from the shop as well – again motorcycle license is a must.
- There is pretty much only one road that goes around the whole island. Despite all the turns you really can’t get lost… just keep going!
Tip 10: Take a walk/scooter from Dapid to old harbour in the morning before taking off to another island – beautiful scenery. If you have sufficient time. you can also take breakfast at Roussos.
Tip 11: Have a swim at Agia Paraskevi and try to get to a beach bar for late night party (of course, scooter is must, unless you are super fit to cycle. Not sure how you manage to get back though)
Tip 12: This is the free roaming night. You can try restaurant Orloff or On the Verandah, if you fancy good food. You can either use your moped or just walk on the seafront. They’re both pretty close to the marina.
Day 4: Wandering around Hydra
Tip 13: Definitely wandering around Hydra, everywhere is beautiful for pictures. Walking around is very easy and you can climb up to the hilltop with minor effort. If you want to try have a Donkey ride, good negotiation skill is required. If you are animal lover, then don’t do the donkey ride as the owner doesn’t feed them water or food for the whole day until night when they finish. We were told by the locals.
Tip 14: Check the sunset time and walk from the port towards the Miaoulis Monument on the right side or the Sunset Restaurant on the left side and you can catch a glimpse of a beautiful sunset while you’re having a little fancier dinner.
Tip 15: Many places to eat in Hydra. But we choose this place called Kai Kremmidi – cute little place for quick bite (souvlaki in pita)-delicious food, friendly staff, perfect contemporary outdoor setting and with very low price.
Day 5: Water sports is MUST in Poros
Tip 16: Definitely do the Water sport as group. If you’re not that keen or confident, you might ask to jump on the motorboat and take some shots. Otherwise Ryan, the photographer, takes amazing photos when everyone is in action. Plus free beers from the water sports shop. This tip is only for people who travel with MedSailors.
Tip 17: After the water sports, take your time! No need to rush towards the marina in town. You can indulge yourself on the nearby beach. Pick one of the several beach clubs on the way, relax on the sun bed, have a drink, grab a bite and have a nice swim!
Tip 18: Check out Poseidon Taverna. It seems super touristic, and it is. But the food is fabulous, hospitality is great and the price very reasonable (approx. EUR 15/20 including drinks). Definitely try the grilled octopus… yummmmm!!
Day 6: Agistri – Have fun with the Toga party
Tip 19: If you want to do the diving, make sure you check straight away with the guys at the Padi Hut nearby the marina. We couldn’t find them and in the end we didn’t dive 🙁 We took a long and nice walk on the seafront instead and we reached the nearby village, Skala. The water there is very shallow and really pleasant!
Tip 20: Oh well, I’m not going to spoil the surprise and fun for your last night. BUT if you have not yet had Nespresso Frappe or Club Sandwich lying on one of the beach in the Greek islands, you absolutely need to make it on your last day. As everyone says, “Do what the Greeks do when you in Greece”. Unlike Italy, most of the sun bed are free in Greece. All you need to do is to walk to the sun bed, lie down and make the order. Voilà!!! you can enjoy a quiet afternoon with some swim, sun tan and the yummy snacks. Trust me, no one will even come over chase you to pay. Just leave the $$ when you leave for the toga party.
In Greece, English is widely spoken. You would be loved if you know some basic Greek words. But it’s not compulsory if you genuinely not language guru, Greek people are so lovely and friendly. You can definitely get away speak no word of Greek.
Some other useful tips/courtesy when you are on the yacht and some basic nautical terms:
- Pay lots of attention to how to use the toilet;
- Most of the Greek marinas do not have shower facilities, so you have to shower on board. Water is precious. You may end of with no water to shower till next island;
- Try not to use the plastic bowls and glasses. we broke couple glasses (NOT pretty and hard to clean up);
- All the items down the cabin has self lock mechanism (including doors, stove). Try to lock everything when the yacht is cruising around the sea.
- Always keep one hand on the boat when cruising. you don’t want to be overboard;
- Keep all the window closed when cruising, if you are hard core sailor;
- In the busy season, the yacht could be double or triple parking/docking. The courtesy is to pass from the the back end deck the boat. i.e. the cabin at the bow is the best (no one can disturb you from your sleep);
- Basic nautical term: Bow (front of the boat), Stern (back of the boat), Helm (wheel steer the boat), Mast (the largest vertical beam through the boat), Boom (the largest horizontal beam, make sure you don’t get hit by it as it is deadly), Fender (the white long or roundish object tie up around the yacht to avoid the boat hit each other and make damage at any circumstances), Left (port), Right (starboard).
Oh well, not going to bore you on the rules. It is all about having FUN.
Bon Voyage!!! Hope all above is useful. You will have chance to take swim in the Mediterranean sea every day on the way to another island, sun bathing on the bow is a must (don’t forget the sunscreen though). Food is really amazing, experiment and have lots of different Meze.
P.s. You can also check out the beautiful islands and some sailing photos in our Gallery.