Sailing in the Saronic Gulf
Welcome to our sailing area in the Saronic Gulf, lying to the north of Poros and the south of Athens.
This area includes some beautiful small harbours and coves as well as the world-famous Asklepion and theatre at Epidauros.
Sailing in the Saronic Gulf north of Poros
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The Saronic Gulf lies to the north of Poros and includes some beautiful harbours and the world-famous theatre above Paleo Epidauros, a world heritage site.
The sailing area
Map of the Saronic Gulf sailing area north of Greek Sails’ yacht base in Poros showing the nominal route of the Greek Sails Saronic Gulf flotilla sailing holiday route.
Click the to close the bubble identifying Greek Sails’ yacht base in Poros.
View the Saronic Gulf sailing area in a larger map
The Saronic Gulf - Saronikos Kólpos - forms our northern sailing area and lies between the north eastern shoulder of the Peloponnese and Attic Coast on which Athens lies. You will skim across this stretch of water on your way to and from Póros, presuming you travel as most do by the ‘Flying Dolphin’ hydrofoil or ‘Flying Cat’ catamaran service from Piraeus that connects Póros, Hydra (Ídhra), Ermioni and Spétsai.
The Saronic Gulf extends in the west from the famous Corinth canal, a sheer-sided channel carved through the rock of the isthmus that links the Peloponnese to the rest of the Greek mainland, to the western Aegean and Cyclades islands lying to the east.
The winds & sailing
The ‘Meltemi’ is the predominant wind across the entire area and blows from the north/north east, although nearer to Póros and towards the head of the Gulf, the wind can veer around towards the east/south east as it turns and flows up into the Saronic Gulf itself.
A great benefit of the Saronic sailing area is that the Attic (Athenian) coast protects the waters from the full extent of the ‘Meltemi’, reducing the ‘reach’ and so allowing flatter waters even when the ‘Meltemi’ is blowing. This shelter makes the Saronic a good ‘family sailing’ ground where you can enjoy a good breeze while being protected from the effects of stronger winds that not all of the family might be so enthusiastic about!
A further benefit of our yacht base in Póros is that you usually find yourself sailing downwind or on a reach back to Póros rather than beating back up towards the Athenian marinas against the prevailing wind. It all helps to make for an easier and more enjoyable sail homeward-bound.
Ports & places of interest
The Saronic gulf is full of places of interest and beauty; here we provide you some ideas and locations to consider in your passage planning.
Please note that waypoints are provided for identification purposes only and represent good ‘stand-off’ locations. However, they are not intended to be used for navigation.
Methana37° 24’.50N 23° 23’.33E (WGS84)
This port is famous for its sulphur baths, important in bygone days.
A pleasant, sleepy town where time has slowed down, there is now a new ferry quay and it is possible to moor on the south side. There is also a small marina and several tavernas and bars, but take care with the depth in the marina!
Vathi (Vathí)37° 35’.57N 23° 20’.20E (WGS84)
A charming small fishing harbour, Vathi should be
Paleo Epidauros (Palaia Epidhavros)37° 38’.31N 23° 09’.74E (WGS84)
The harbour at Paleo Epidauros has many good tavernas and bars with places to swim. This makes it a particularly pleasant destination.
However, the most important aspect of Epidauros is the nearby Asklepion and the famous theatre, an absolute wonder and world heritage site which should not be missed.
The theatre is still used to stage plays during the summer months, over 3,000 years since it was constructed.
Nea Epidauros (Néa Epidhavros)37° 40’.69N 23° 09’.19 (WGS84)
A small intimate harbour with superb views. A good taverna and bars to reward an evening’s exploring.
Korfos37° 45’.60N 23° 07’.57E (WGS84)
Korfos is a semi-landlocked bay and a useful anchorage before or after transiting the Corinth canal. It can provide good shelter in the event of other nearby harbours being full. There are some tavernas and provisions are available.
Aegina (Aígina)37° 44’.60N 23° 25’.50E (WGS84)
Aegina is a bustling little port surrounded by numerous small shops tucked away in narrow back streets with colourful tavernas and cafes along its waterfront. Traditional caiques with fruit and vegetables tie up along the quayside and sell their wares directly from the boat.
For lovers of ancient Greece, a short bus ride takes you to the temple of Aphaia, one of the better preserved Doric temples in Greece. The temple is located on the pine-clad Mesagro hill on the northeast end of the island from which there are stunning views of the Saronic Gulf and the surrounding area.
Aegina provides good shelter except to the south west but should be avoided on Thursday as it is the last port of call for the Kalamaki Marina charterers.
Perdika37° 41’.42N 23° 27’.10E (WGS84)
Perdika on the south-west tip of Aegina is a charming fishing village with excellent seafront tavernas and bars. The sunset from here is not to be missed!
Angistri37° 42’.84N 23° 20’.92E (WGS84)
Angistri is a little-visited island west of Aegina. Limin Angistri on the north east offers reasonable shelter. The island is densely wooded and has attractive bays on the west coast sheltered by Dhonousa islet.
About these notes
These notes are a general guide and appetiser to this sailing area. For more in-depth information we strongly advise you consult the ‘Greek Waters Pilot’ and ‘West Aegean’ pilot guides by Rod Heikell. These unique publications are available from Amazon and are indispensable for those wishing to get the best from sailing these waters. Greek Sails do provide crews copies of these guides, but if you want to consider and pre-plan your route you may wish to purchase copies before you arrive.
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The temple of Aphaia on Aegina
A traditional caique in Perdika harbour
Pistachio nuts growing on Aegina
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