Sporades Sailing Itinerary
Sporades Sailing Itinerary
The Sporades Sailing Itinerary is ideal for those who want to get away from busy cities and crowds and experience sea and nature at its best. There little has changed over the years: you can still find stunning vistas void of human touch. Located east in the Aegean Sea, the area has been home to numerous groups throughout history.
Our Guide to the Sporades Sailing Itinerary
The Sporades consist of 24 islands in the Aegean Sea. 4 of these islands are completely free of human residents–you’ll only find gorgeous scenery and empty beaches. Much of the area is considered a national park, and guests are encouraged to explore the area while leaving things carefully preserved behind them. The largest and most populated island is Skopelos, which has a number of villages and an opportunity to experience island life.
The archipelago is also home to a number of historic sites. Once the home of neolithic peoples to members of the Ottoman Empire, you’ll find sunken cities, ruins, and almost-forgotten monasteries ready to visit and discover. The Sporades offer a bit of adventure and a chance to rest from modern life. This is a slightly more challenging sailing itinerary for those with a few sailing trips already under their belt (Level 3).
There are actually various ways that you can follow to reach the Sporades. If you are flying internationally, you can search for flights to the international airport of Skiathos; it is quite small and mainly works with charter flights, however, there are frequent connections especially during spring and summer. An alternative route would be to fly to the bigger international airport of Thessaloniki and from there take a flying dolphin to Skiathos*.
The weather in the Sporades Sailing Itinerary is almost always temperate. Averaging about 28°C during the day in July, it’s unlikely you will run into bad weather. Swimming is a highly-recommended activity to cool down on hot days, though on the water the heat will feel less stifling. For beach-lovers, this is a prime location.
Mooring in the Sporades can be a challenge due to the lack of established marinas. We suggest looking over the itinerary and being aware of which locations allow sailors to anchor their boats overnight. Larger, more populated islands like Skopelos will have berths available, but many of the suggested islands on this trip will required the crew to anchor offshore.
Visit the exact locations where "Mama Mia" was filmed.
Begin your journey in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea by starting on the island of Skiathos. You’ll want to make sure everything is in order, check-in, and make sure your boat is ready to sail. Before you go, make sure you visit Papadiamantis House (World famous Greek author who was born and raised on the island). Since you plan to avoid the busy, modern way of life for the next few days and enjoy some peace and quiet, why not explore cosmopolitan Skiathos on the first night, and enjoy a nice dinner and drinks in one of island’s many restaurants and bars.
Recommended Restaurants and Activities:
Extanas Bar Restaurant, Megali Ammos Beach, Skiathos Town
Papadiamantis House, Papadiamantis Street, Skiathos Town
Limnonari SSW 10NM – Nishida Adhelfi SSW 15NM – Skantzura
You’ll start out by visiting one of the Sporades’ havens for sailors. It’s also the first location where you’ll want to dip your toes in the water and test out its temperature. While you won’t find much civilization around this area, it is the ideal location to anchor and rest after two hours of sailing. On the Greek islands, life is slow and it would be a shame not to rest after a morning on the waves.
Recommended Activities: Swimming, hiking.
Nishida Adelfi SSW
Continue meandering to another gorgeous spot to anchor for the afternoon. With another chance to swim or explore the nearby island, Nishida is filled with a number of coves to visit and photo opportunities. The island is almost completely empty of human life, meaning that it’s not uncommon to have the spot to yourself for an afternoon. Bring out a picnic lunch and spend a few hours sunbathing and having some time to yourself.
Recommended Activities: Picnicking, hiking, swimming.
A day away from the craziness of Grecian cities keeps on with a stop at the island of Skantzura. Although there is no swimming, it’s the ideal spot to anchor for the night. You’re likely to hear little but the sound of the waves reaching the shore since visitors are few and far between at this hidden location. After a busy day of sailing, nothing is more common than spending a night on the sea, looking at the stars above.
Xero SSE Peristera 10NM – Tzortzi SSE Alonissos 5NM – Patiriri Alonissos 2NM
Xero SSE Peristera
Located just on the edge of the National Marine Park of Alonissos, this island with 30 inhabitants represents some of the true beauty of the Greek isles. With a number of species of animals calling this region home, you’re likely to run into some of the 80 species of birds and 300 species of fish. Also check the water for some friendly visitors like bottlenose dolphins and the long-finned pilot whale.
Recommended Activities: Bird-watching, hiking, snorkeling.
Tzortzi SSE Alonissos
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Sporades without visiting one of the pristine, white-sand beaches. Often void of tourists, it’s paradise for those looking to enjoy an afternoon lunch in the Grecian sunlight. There is one taverna located here, and guests are encouraged to lounge on the beach and work on their tans. The sand is made of small, white pebbles and the coast remains in the sun most the day. For a taste of living on the islands, this is an excellent place to start.
Recommended Activities: Tanning, beach reading, swimming.
Moving on to one of the more populated locations on the itinerary, Patitiri Alonissos offers overnight anchorage and plenty of shops where you can pick up some new supplies after a few days of sailing. Try some of the local foods at the village taverns and wander around the new streets. After an earthquake in 1965, the town was rebuilt with new structures–explaining why it looks remarkably well-preserved. While it’s not necessarily a popular tourist destination now, it’s likely to become more so over time.
There is also a number of restaurants and cafes catering to sailors right on the harbor worth checking out. This area is also known for the delightful emerald-color of the water and the nearby pine forests.
Hayiati, Alonnissos Town 370
Milia SSE Alonissos 3NM – Kira Panagia 12NM
Milia SSE Alonissos
Green waters follow you on your short sail to the Milia Beach. Tucked away in an idyllic cove, you’re also invited to swim near the beach or see if you can spot some of the unique species of fish protected here. Few tourists come to explore this small islet, but those who do are astounded by its beauty and the chance to spend a morning in some of the clearest waters in the Aegean. Located just off shore is the International Academy Homeopathy, which has made a name for itself by utilizing remedies from ancient times.
Recommended Activities: Swimming, sunbathing, the International Academy of Homeopathy.
History lives on the island of Kira Panagia, which was given to Anthonite order of the Greek Orthodox church by the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas. The beaches here are almost completely free of visitors, and offers a short walk to the local church where you can see some traditional architecture. You’ll be resting here for the night, where you can savor the rocky cliffs around you and the stunning water. After a quick visit to the church take a moment to admire the white beaches–a combination of sand and small stones.
Recommended Activities: Kira Panagia Church, enjoying the beach.
Sporades Sailing Itinerary
Kira Panagia Monastiri 6NM – Psathoura 12NM – Milia Kokkinokastro 12NM – Planitis 11NM
Kira Panagia Monastiri
Hopping to the other side of the island, the Kira Panagia stands under the care of a single monk. With few visitors, it’s a treat to visit in the morning with the accompanying Grecian sunshine. Paleochristian remains are located on the monastery grounds, and the pebble floors have recently been replaced by one of the local families. You’re also likely to see herds of goats making their way around the island–local farmers allow them to graze here under the watchful eye of the monk who lives there.
Recommended Activities: Kira Panagia Monastiri, swimming, hiking.
Home to one of the tallest lighthouses in the Aegean Sea, Psathoura has no resident population. The lighthouse stands at 28 meters and was built in 1895 as a beacon to all the ships in the local area. The island is perfect for getting off the boat and taking to land, where you can explore its volcanic geography. It is also great for hiking since it is one of the flattest islands in archipelago. In the summer, you are likely to see the island of Psathoura covered in white lilies. An afternoon on the island can yield the exploration of ancient, neolithic ruins and a nearby sunken city.
Recommended Activities: Psathoura Lighthouse, the Sunken City, swimming.
Once a morning of adventuring has ended, it’s time to hit the beach and relax in the sun. Famous in the area for some of the best sand and clear waters, Milia Kokkinokastro has enough warm sunshine and plenty of seaside to go around. Those looking to get some exercise can wander into the nearby forest or walk along the coast. After a long day of discovering new areas, it’s the best way to enjoy your environment and rest.
The island of Planitis serves as your home for the night. A small village with plenty of charm, there are remains a sense of history among its beautiful scenery. Once a haven for pirates, it’s now a quiet and serene spot with on-going excavations. Ceramic pots, tools, and animals bones have been found here as far back 6000 B.C. and it remained a safe place for the people living there for thousand of years. You’ll see what this has been a popular harbor for those looking for a place to stop after a long journey for centuries.
Mourtia Alonissos SSW 21NM – Skopelos 6NM
Mourtia Alonissos SSW
It’s off to visiting the largest island of the archipelago. Alolnissos is a much more-populous location than most of the other stops on the itinerary, and it allows you to see the very best of the local National Park and village life in the Sporades. First, however, you’ll want to make a quick stop at the Mourtia Alolnissos beach. Covered with pebbles and often quiet, there’s a good chance that you’ll have it to yourself. Before you rejoin humanity, take some time to wander the coastline and eat your breakfast in peace.
Recommended Activities: Swimming, snorkeling.
Welcome to one of the favorite islands in Greece. Skopelos is well-known for its beauty and for being the main hub of activity in the area. Slightly larger than Mykonos and Santorini, it also has a less-touristy feel and plenty of delicious places to eat. According to legend, the island was founded by the Greek god of grapes, Staphylos, and there is a vibrant wine culture here to prove it. Skopelos was conquered by a number of empires throughout its history, giving it a unique feel and several dishes worth trying. It also is home to a number of ethnic groups, adding a fun flair to the village life.
Recommended Activities and Restaurants: Agios Ioannis Kastri, Glossa, beaches.
Olivio, Skopelos Town
Tsougria 17NM -Skiathos 4NM
Before ending your journey, it’s recommended to stop by the small island of Tsougria. As a favorite among yacheters for its fabulous white sand and tiny circumference, the isle is the ideal goodbye to a voyage far away from the busy roads and crowds of tourists. Enjoy the last chance to lounge on the beach and feel the warm, Greek sun on your face. There’s time for checking out the island and looking for the resident wildlife before climbing back on board the ship and heading to your final mooring point back in Skiathos.