Is it too grand a statement to say that Greece is the cradle of Western Civilization, that politics, philosophy, history, the arts, medicine, trade and sportsmanship all had their origins in this gentle island nation? We don’t think so.
Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Greek villages dotted with white houses are set against turquoise water that shimmers under eternally blue skies. Here, anyone’s desire for a dream sailing vacation can be fulfilled. And with 10 bases in Greece, Dream Yacht Charter can deliver an unforgettable holiday filled with ideal sailing, beauty, culture and history. All you have to do is imagine.
Athens, the Greek capital, is built in the Attic Basin surrounded by a series of hills. Our base, in the Alimos Marina, is an ideal spot to begin sailing in the region. Along with magnificent coastal swimming and regional beaches, you can visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Acropolis, with the Parthenon, and the Daphni Monastery. Walk through the National Gardens of Athens or spend a day in the National Archaeological Museum. Find glorious shopping in the afternoons and fine dining and nightlife in the evenings. Come visit the birthplace Democracy. The friendly people are just the beginning.
The ancient silver mines of the port city of Lavrion helped to enrich the Athenian fleets. Our base here opens the door to ancient ruins of these old mines. In addition, there are beautiful beaches and local culture.
The golden beaches and turquoise waters of the Ionian Islands, which lie at 38 degrees 30 minutes north latitude and 20 degrees 30 minutes east longitude, show signs of habitation as early as the Bronze Age. Of the seven major and 30 minor islands in the group, Dream Yacht Charter has bases on two of them: at the Gouvia Marina on Corfu, and on Lefkas, at the Lefkas Marina. From both locations convenient day sails can be made to the other Ionian Islands, including Paxos and Ithaca.
Corfu is an island of multicultural beauty; its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located off the coast of Albania, the islands’ two mountain chains divide it into three districts. Visit the old citadel and the Palaio Frourio or the Achilleion palace and gardens. The beaches of Gouvia offer relaxation and water sports. While there, be sure to sample some of the famous Sofritos in one of the bistros or restaurants of Spianada.
Lefkas is said to be the model for Homer’s Ithaca; at its cape the poet Sapphos jumped to her death. Its beach at Vassiliki is a haven for windsurfing. Dramatic high cliffs back the west coast beaches, such as Porto Katsiki and Egremnoi, which make them the perfect spot for some creative photography. Or, if quiet and solitude is what you desire, Nidri beach will suit nicely.
Four major and 24 minor islands make up the Sporades in the Aegean Sea. Our base is on the island of Skiathos, which lies at 39 degrees, 10 minutes north latitude and 23 degrees, 29 minutes east longitude. Skiathos is known for its castles; its rocks damaged King Xerxes’ ship in the Persian Wars. It is a forested island, with many inlets and beaches and is the home habitat of the Mediterranean Monk seal. Enjoy the beach at Koukounadies or, for the daring, the famous nudist Banana beach.
These islands are located from the Thracian Sea through the north Aegean. In the north, there is Samothrace, famous for its sculpture of the “Winged Victory” Also well worth a visit are Lesbos, in the eastern Cyclades, and Samos in the south off the coast of Turkey. Our regional base is at the Kos Marina. This is the part of Greece where the first triremes, warships with three banks of oars on each side, were first used. Samos is the birthplace of Pythagaras and Aesop; it is the site of the early engineering project (6th century BC) the Eupalinian aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Samos is also famous for its vineyards and Samian wine.
Southeast of mainland Greece at 37 degrees, 0 minutes north latitude and 25 degrees, 10 minutes east longitude are the Cyclades, a part the Aegean archipelago that borders the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades is made up of 220 islands. Twenty-one are considered major islands, including Paros, Syros, Sifnos, Delos, Mykonos and Santorini. Our bases are on Paros, at Paroika Port, and on Syros, at the Foinikas Marina. Paros was originally known for its pure white marble and its well-known windmill at Paroika. There you will find golden beaches, antiquities, historical ruins, and the traditional narrow streets with white washed houses on each side. The city of Ermoupoli on Syros is the regional capital. A natural amphitheatre also known as the “City of Hermes,” Ermoupoli is known for its shipbuilding, silk trading, and early copper work. There are numerous churches on the island, including in the medieval town of Ano Syros. Early Minoans farmed many of the Cycladic islands. Visit Santorini’s volcanic caldera and the location of the legendary city of Atlantis; on Mykonos you will find vibrant nightlife. Delos is the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. No matter where you stop in the Cyclades, expect clear blue waters, breathtaking vistas and friendly people.
The name for the Dodecanese Islands comes from the Greek word for “twelve,” because there are 12 major and 120 minor islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, off the Turkish coast. Occupied by Minoans and Dorians by 1100 BC, two of these Islands, Kos and Rhodes, were thriving centers of commerce by the 6th century BC. Dream Yacht Charter has bases on both islands. At the Kos Marina, a 14th century fortress guards the harbor entrance. Kos was the location of Hippocrates’ medical school and the largest marketplace in the ancient world. Relax at Paradise beach.
The island of Rhodes, shaped like the head of a spear at one time was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Colossus of Rhodes – until an earthquake in 226 BC brought down these great symbols of wealth. Now, en-route to our base, in the Mandraki Port of Rhodes, you can see a pair of modern bronze deer where the great Colossus stood. The island is well known for its fallow deer. In addition, in the Petaludes Valley, there are rare butterflies and the Rhoda hibiscus.
St. Paul visited Rhodes in the first century BC, and St. John was exiled on nearby Patmos. He is credited with converting the islands to Christianity. Rhodes was the home of the Knights of St. John until the mid 16th century brought Suleiman, when they fled to Malta. Byzantine churches abound and you can visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes today. Another highlight is the Temple of Apollo in the Acropolis of Rhodes.
No matter where you go in Greece or in the Greek Islands, you will find majestic culture and abundant natural beauty. Experience the sailing vacation of a lifetime with a little help from Dream Yacht Charters.