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Sailing from Skiathos

Skaithos is a brilliant starting point for discovering the Sporades islands – and there is much to discover: from the vibrant town of Skiathos itself, the majestic and magnificent town of Skopelos, the seals and dolphins of Peristera, the super-remote monasteries of the Northern Sporades, and all the beaches, bays, cliffs and tavernas along the way.

It’s also possible to sail out to Skyros, which has its own species of horse, or to head to the mainland and Volos, home of the legendary centaurs.

Top 3 things to see

Check out our 6-day itinerary below, or if you’re planning your own itinerary, here’s our top 3 places to visit in the area:

Loutraki, Skopelos island (6 nM from Skiathos)
The nearby beach is most famous for its appearance in the recent Mamma Mia film, but this village has a killer sunset, and, if you climb the hill, amazing views over the Sporades.

Skopelos (15 nM from Skiathos)
An outstandingly beautiful Greek fishing village with white-washed buildings making the harbour area a giant amphitheatre, splendid architecture, and a maze of narrow streets and squares you could easily get lost in. Life moves at a different pace here!

Kira Panagia (33 nM from Skiathos)
At the heart of the Alonissos national marine park, this remote anchorage in a quiet bay of an unspoilt island is a tranquil place to sail and anchor. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and sea-turtles.

Suggested 6-day itinerary

There are 14 islands which make up the Sporades islands, including Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. It would be great to sail around them all inside a week, but given the distances involved, it’s simply impossible, unless you sail all day, every day, from dusk till dawn. And that would leave little or no time for exploring the villages, beaches, bays, cliffs, monasteries, tavernas and bars along the way, and it wouldn’t feel like much of a holiday!

This cruise yacht is authorized for 40 maximum people guest in day, & with 10 maximum people guest (10 berths ) at night

Our suggested six-day itinerary instead focusses on hitting the best islands within easy reach of Skiathos, and offers a mix of big and small villages, remote anchorages, beaches and hillsides. It’s only six days because it’s likely that, after checking in and getting everything sorted for a week away at sea, there won’t be much time to get the sails up and make way to a destination. It’s better to rest up and enjoy Skiathos for the night, and we’ll set sail first thing on Sunday morning.

You’ll need to return the boat to Skiathos on Friday night (to make sure that it can be ready in time for the next group of holidaymakers) so you won’t be able to sail on the day you check-out either.

Incidentally, if you’re thinking of heading back to the mainland instead of this route, you can check out our destination guide for Volos, which includes a number of stops along the way to Skiathos.

The islands being reasonably close, it’s not as easy as you think to get a decent amount of sailing miles in there, but this route clocks in at 108 nautical miles, which means an average of around 18 nM a day. Yachts and cats can travel at 5-6 knots, so that means you should be able to do the sailing in about four hours of meaningful sailing a day, which leaves plenty of time for leisurely meal-times, spending time exploring the things you find interesting at the start and end points each day, or spending time adventuring in bays and finding beaches on the way. You are on holiday, after all...

Escape for 7 days in the beautiful Northern Sporades

If you want a traditional experience, try sailing a wooden boat on the water to get as close to nature as possible while still enjoying a complete onboard service. You do not need to lose any of those comforts that make your yacht charter a special experience.

Wooden monohulls offer an authentic experience and we offer the rental of schooners or gulets, which are traditional fishing boats usually found among the waters of the Ionian or Aegean Sea. They range from 15 to 30 metres and come with a crew of two to three people.

These wooden boats are available to rent from Greece, and offer the comfort of a hotel with air conditioning, two to 5 cabins with private bathrooms and full board with an onboard cook. You can enjoy days and evenings with water activities, sunbathing and the moorings are very quiet.

Depending on your budget, these boats can be rented everywhere in the Aegean Sea including 

Whether your budget is economy, luxury or exclusive, contact the LatoCruiser team and we will be able to find the best deal that suits your pocket and your needs

When there are a bounty of islands close together, you often don’t need to sail far to find wonderful destinations and adventure.

You will spend the week exploring the magnificent islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos, Skyros. These islands will let you be captivated by the wide variety of experiences they have to offer. There are lush forests, long quiet beaches and stunning views

The Sporades were made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster, Mamma Mia.
Spend a week getting to know the four main islands and the wildlife in the national marine park, the first in Greece and home to the Mediterranean
monk seal. 

This cruise yacht is authorized for 40 maximum people guest in day, & with 10 maximum people guest (10 berths ) at night

Sporades highlights  

Skiathos – One of the most popular islands in Greece, known for its castles and sandy beaches. Legend has it that the island’s rocks damaged King Xerxes’ ship in the Persian Wars. This is a forested island with many inlets and beaches and is the home of the Mediterranean monk seal. On the southern side, visit the beaches at Koukounaries, Agia Paraskevi, or the famous nudist Banana beach. Lalaria is also a lovely beach. Sail to the small ports and unspoiled bays on the Gulf of Volos. Venture further north to Mount Athos, home to medieval monasteries, or relax shore side at the modern marina in Port Carras 

Skopelos – Famous for the wedding scene in Mamma Mia, which was filmed at the church of Agios Ioannis Kastri right up high on the cliff face. Relax on its beaches, including Stafylos, Panormos and Elios, or explore the pine forests. Try the island’s speciality, cheese pie 

Alonissos – Enjoy a drink in the pretty harbour at Patitiri or a traditional donut called fouskakia. Stroll around Hora, the old capital of the island built into the hillside. One of the first inhabited islands in the Aegean, you’ll see Byzantine churches, such as Agio Anargyroi 

Skyros – Plot your visit around this island’s fine beaches, including Magazia, Molos, Papa and Lino, as well as Petritsa, Agios Petros and Theotokos. History lovers will enjoy the remains of the Byzantine castle, or you can explore the sea caves  

What's included?

Sightseeing cruise,6 nights accommodation,Live commentary on board,Tour escort/host

Exclusions

  • Fuel surcharge
  • Parking fees
  • Entry tax
  • Food & drinks
  • Bus fare

The listed price does not include a the parking fee, payable at the time of tour check-in.

Food and drinks,Gratuities (recommended),The listed price does not include fuel surcharge, payable at the time of tour check-in. The fuel surcharge is required by our local supplier and is not within our control. 

Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase),Drinks,Food and drinks 

Fuel cost, VAT, mooring fees, meals, the cleaning end, Rubber Dinghy, drinks and other consumables   

Please note

  • Animals or pets allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers
  • Refunds will not be issued if tour/activity is missed due to late or non-arrival of cruise ship
  • Dress code is smart casual
  • A minimum of 4 people per booking is required
  • A maximum of 12 people per booking
  • Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive
  • Passport name, number, expiry and country is required at time of booking for all participants
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • U.S and Canadian Citizens: Must bring a government issued photo ID and proof of citizenship (U.S birth certificate or naturalization certificate) or a passport for re-entry to the United States. Children, ages 18 and under only require a birth certificate. Non-U.S. Citizens: Either a Passport, I-94, Multiple Entry Visa or Resident Alien Card is required for re-entry to the United States
  • You MUST confirm and obtain any visa requirements prior to border crossing. All visa requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time

    All flight times are approximate and subject to change due to weather conditions and weight restrictions.

Cancellation policy

  • We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 2 days or less before event
Experience type
Multi day tour
Duration
7 days
Booking in advance
Can be booked until last minute
Physical difficulty level
Very easy

Day 1. Skiathos to Loutraki (Skopelos) – 21 nM
Here we go! Whether you’re a regular sailor, or if this is likely to be your only time on a yacht this year, welcome aboard. Get everyone on-board, with all your provisions, and then let’s slip the lines and get out of here.
If you look to your port side as you leave Skiathos marina, it possible to see our destination in the distance on the nearest island because it’s only a few miles away in a straight line – however, we’re on a sailing holiday, and we want to get some sailing in and get to grips with the boat, so we’re going the long way around, basically circumnavigating the whole island of Skiathos.
We’ll start by heading South-west, keeping the coast on your starboard side, as we work our way round. As well as practicing sailing at pretty much all the points of sail, you’ll be able to get more of an idea about what Skiathos is all about. You’ll pass a multitude of beaches, including the ever-popular Koukounaries beach on the South-west, the party beach of Big banana beach and the neighbouring nudist Little banana beach on the West coast, and the beautiful Lalaria beach on the North of the island. Stop a while at one of the smaller beaches if you fancy, or if things are getting hot.
From Lalaria beach, we’re going to hop across due East to Skopelos island, and the small fishing village of Loutraki. Loutraki is a beautiful little village, and the local beach was made famous by being the shooting location for the recent Mamma Mia film. There’s a couple of tavernas here (or more up the hill in the nearby village of Glossa), but the best thing to do here is to settle down and watch the sun setting over the island of Skiathos.
Day 2. Loutraki to Skopelos – 17 nM
After enjoying the delights of Loutraki beach and the small-village feel of the place, we’re heading to the capital and namesake of Skopelos island. People have been living in Skopelos Town for thousands of years, and, thanks to its strategic location, it has grown into a magnificent and elegant town which is a joy to stroll around and explore. From the sea, it looks idyllic, with classic white-washed houses, an abundance of greenery, and narrow dusty roads making the town look about as Greek as they come.
To get there, we’re sailing North from Loutraki to the northernmost tip of Skopelos island, likely reaching against the prevailing wind. Once you’re round the top of the island, it’s a single tack and a broad reach to follow the coastline South-east to Skopelos Town, which you’ll find nestled in the bottom half of the island. One the way you’ll pass plenty enough bays and beaches, which might be worth a look – the most popular are Agios Ioannis and Glysteri.
Pulling into Skopelos Town might well be the highlight of your trip, with the town surrounding the marina like a giant amphitheatre, so get your camera handy. Now is also a good time to try to remember to take a group shot of your crew!
Once focussed on fishing and growing vines and olives, nowadays, Skopelos is principally a tourist town, with people flocking here from around the world, and some arguing that it is the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean. That said, it attracts a different crowd to those in Skiathos, and you’ll find it a relaxing place to be, and it’s said that people actually walk slower here. There’s a good range of shops and services, and it’s worth stocking up because we’re going remote for the next couple of days

Day 3. Skopelos to Kira Panagia – 24 nM
The trip from Skopelos to Kira Panagia is the longest leg on this itinerary at 24 nautical miles, but it will feel like you have gone to another planet. We’re leaving man-made beauty and civilisation to head to an anchorage on a remote and unspoilt island. There’s no shops there, so make sure you have plenty of food and drink to see you through the night.

From Skopelos, we’re heading north-east, into the prevailing wind, and basically sailing along the length of the West side of Alonissos island, then onwards to Kira Panagia. You should be beating your way up the wind, and by the end of the day you should have a well-trained crew, and you’ll understand the boat so much that you’ll be communicating about tacks by just nodding at each other.

The best and most sheltered anchorage on the island of Kira Panagia is on the North of the island, where there’s a narrow channel that leads into a large bay area, which has plenty of space for throwing down the anchor, and good holding conditions. Pay attention to your charts and plotter when sailing the narrow channel inwards as there are some shallow reefs along one side.

Kira Panagia is part of the Alonissos national marine park, and it is a very tranquil place to rest awhile. The only building on the whole island is a monastery. It was originally built in the 16th century and renovated in 2017, but there has been something on that site for much longer (there are graves outside which date back to 500 AD), and there are a couple of signs that a couple of Roman and ancient Greek buildings were once built on the island.

Day 4. Kira Panagia to Kalamakia (Alonissos) – 16 nM
Are you bored of the sound of silence yet? We’re going to head somewhere with a little more life (but not too much). From Kira Panagia, head Northwards back out of the bay, then due East. If you’ve gotten a taste for remote churches and monasteries, then you’re in luck – you’ll also find them on nearby Gioura and Pappous, and you’ll score double points if you dig out the binoculars and spot them both.

From the bay on the South of Gioura, head South-west and head around the south side of Kira Panagia, enjoying the wilderness of it all. Continue South-west, running with the prevailing wind, to the Eastern side of Alonissos, and our destination, Kalamakia, is halfway down on your starboard side.

Kalamakia is a quiet fishing village with a population of just 66 people which has some amazing fish restaurants along the waterfront, a small beach, and a pretty view overlooking the channel to nearby Peristera.

Day 5. Kalamakia to Patitiri (Alonissos) – 11 nM
If you’ve not yet fallen in love with the Sporades, then perhaps today will be the day. We’re not going on a long sail, but take a look around you and be sure to enjoy the views and the peace and quiet of the islands in the sunshine.
We’re actually sailing to two places today as we bimble around the Alonissos national marine park. Firstly, sailing East to the small bay on the South side of the top half of the island of Peristera (that will make sense to you when you get the charts out), which is the island you’ll have been able to see from Kalamakia.
Peristera is like a nature reserve. It’s completely uninhabited (save for a few shepherds who tend to their flock every once in a while), and overrun with wildlife. The bay you’re in should have monk seals swimming and flopping around, plus plenty of birds (look out for Falcons), sea-turtles and it’s possible to spot dolphins in the Alonissos national marine park (if you haven’t already).
The island is also famous for an ancient shipwreck that was found opposite the town of Steni Vela which dates back to 500 BC – it’s an ancient Greek cargo ship which was heading to Skopelos with 1,500 vases of wine from Halkidiki. You need scuba gear to see it properly, but it’s only 30m below, and the crystal-clear waters mean you can spot something down there.
From Peristera, we’re heading to the picture-postcard Patitiri, further south-west down the coast of Alonissos. The prevailing wind should be behind you as you run with the wind down the straight, and it’s only a short sail away.
You’ll find the pretty town of Patitiri nestled in between the pine trees. It’s a relatively modern village that was only built in 1965 – people moved here after a nearby town was destroyed in an earthquake. It’s a delightful place to sit, reflect and people watch, and the people here don’t seem to have a care in the world.
As well as a few Tavernas, there’s a couple of bakeries and a mini-market, and a small beach. The marina tends to fill up quickly in peak season, but you can also anchor in the south side of the bay.
Day 6. Patitiri to Skiathos – 21 nM
Oh no – the last day! Hopefully you’ve had a brilliant holiday enjoying the sunshine, sailing, and the scenery – the Sporades really are a special place to sail. Hopefully all the crew have behaved themselves and you’ll be leaving Greece with more or even better friends than you arrived with – which is always the sign of a good holiday.
Over the past few days we’ve gone from an uninhabited island to a small village (Kalamakia) to a big village (Patitiri) and now it’s time to return to the sights and sounds of a town (Skiathos). Skiathos is obviously still a world away from being a big city, but it will feel big and busy after the last few days, and you won’t be able to believe the constant noise.
From Patitiri the journey is a simple hop around the South side of Skopelos island, and up to Skiathos. You could also go to Skopelos and over the northern side of it, but going around on the south side of the island means that we’ll have completed a circumnavigation of all four of the main islands we have visited on this itinerary, and seen all there is to see on each island. The first half of the leg will see you running with the prevailing wind (bonus points for throwing in a goose-wing, by the way), before reaching across the wind to Skiathos when you get beyond Skopelos island.

If you’ve not had chance to explore Skiathos then now is the time to get out there. It’s a lively place to be all week, but Fridays are particularly boisterous affairs as a lot of the package operators (both for sailing and for beach holidays) have changeover day on Saturday, so this will be a lot of people’s last night.
Have a safe trip home, thanks for the memories, and we’ll count on you to be at Latocruiser.com soon – to start to plan your next great adventure!

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