Sailing the Saronic Gulf

Sailing the Saronic Gulf A Ferry Travelers Dream Itinerary

The Saronic Gulf (Saronikos Kolpos) offers excellent cruising conditions. Mild meltemi winds and minimal tidal effects make this area ideal for charterers who are new to sailing or looking to refine their skills.

The best time for a Saronic Gulf sailing holiday is late spring to early fall due to pleasant temperatures and calm seas. This itinerary offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and historic insights.


The Saronic Islands are a timeless solution for weekend getaways and summer vacations, just a short ferry ride from Athens. The lush green islands are dotted with cosmopolitan hangouts and romantic corners, as well as impressive monuments of a bygone naval state.

Ferries to Hydra run all year round and are a very affordable option even during high season. If you plan to do some island-hopping during your stay on the island, Hellenic Seaways offers a great package deal that includes hotel accommodation and ferry tickets.

If you want to save some money, we recommend that you book your tickets in advance online. This is especially important during the peak months of July and August when you’re likely to have a difficult time finding available ferry tickets to Hydra and other popular destinations in Greece.

Most visitors arrive on Hydra via cruise ships. However, there are also several ferries that depart from Piraeus. The shortest of these is the one that departs from Metochi, a tiny town on the Peloponnese Peninsula. The other ferries are operated by Hellenic Seaways and serve as connections to the fellow Saronic Islands of Poros and Spetses, as well as the cosmopolitan port of Ermioni on the mainland.

Once you’re on the island, you can explore it on foot or rent a bike for your trip. Alternatively, you can take the water taxis that go to the most popular beaches on the island like Vlychos and Plakes. The water taxis cost EUR 30 per ride and they can carry up to 8 people.


Known as one of the most cosmopolitan islands in the Saronic Gulf, Spetses offers a refreshing blend of traditional and picturesque experiences. Enjoy a stroll on cobblestone streets and admire the island’s neoclassical mansions. You can also explore the island’s luscious lemon and pine forests and see its ancient carnations.

From the moment you set foot on the island, you’ll fall in love with Spetses’ enchanting beauty. With no cars allowed on the island, you can walk around and explore its streets full of boutiques and art galleries. Then, spend your evenings enjoying gourmet dining and a sophisticated cafe bar scene.

The Saronic route is a great choice for those who want to experience the best of Greece on a short break. The islands of Aegina, Poros, Angistri, Hydra and Spetses offer a mix of cosmopolitan towns, historic temples, Byzantine castles and small fishing villages. The area is sheltered from strong winds and makes it an ideal destination for novice sailors.

The quaint towns and rocky coves of the Saronic Gulf are home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Greece. Discover idyllic beaches and picturesque hamlets, or relax on your yacht and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Sample fresh seafood at local tavernas or try dolmadakia, the classic Greek dish of vine-leaves stuffed with rice and herbs.


Aegina straddles the boundary between the modern and ancient Greece, a fact that explains why it was once Greece’s capital (for two years). This island’s port is vibrant with fishing caiques and a splendid row of neoclassical houses, while its streets are lined with cafes and restaurants. Aegina is also one of the most accessible islands for an escape from Athens during all seasons, thanks to its short distance.

Frequent ferries ply between Pireaus and Aegina town. Hydrofoils for foot passengers take 40 min, single fare EUR14; conventional vessels for cars and bikes take 70 min, single fare EUR10.

Most visitors stay in the capital Aegina Town or in nearby areas such as Perdika, Souvala and Marathonas. Hotel options range from luxury to budget. If you choose to stay in the town you’ll have the advantage of arriving by ship directly at your hotel, and it’s where most of the nightlife takes place with restaurants, shops, bars and near by beaches all within walking distance.

Many locals and visitors become very enthusiastic about Aegina, and they often visit the island several times to enjoy it all year round. The island is a perfect base for exploring all of the Saronic Gulf islands, and also for visiting Athens on day trips. Aegina is also a good base for hiking and mountain climbing, as it offers many trails with views over the sea.


A quick ferry ride from Athens, Poros is a lush island of pine forests and lively waterfront adorned with cosy cafes. This low-key yet cosmopolitan retreat is ideal for those who want to escape the noise and crowds of Athens, while also having easy access to gorgeous beaches and picturesque capital.

Poros (meaning “passage”) is actually made up of two islands, Spheria and Kalavria; the latter is topped by Sferia Town, whose neoclassical architecture feels similar to the Peloponnese that sits across the water. Small boats chug back and forth all day between the two, making it a breeze to explore both.

Ferries and hydrofoils connect Poros to Piraeus, with multiple departures a day, both high-speed and slow. If you’re interested in island hopping, ferries also stop at Hydra, Spetses, and Aegina.

When in Poros, be sure to visit the Dana Lighthouse, located 6km NE of the main port, for lovely views over the Saronic Gulf and the Methana peninsula. Afterwards, take the short boat to Galatas on the Peloponnese mainland, where you can walk through a lemon grove forest called Limonodasos. No one knows for sure how many lemon trees are here, but it’s a sight to behold! There’s no better way to soak in the scent of Greek summer. Book your tickets with no-hidden-fee FerryScanner and enjoy the trip!