Caribbean Sailing Vacations by Ed Hamilton

Greece. The Cyclades Islands

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Greece’s Cyclades chain is sprawling, comprising some 220 islands in the heart of the Aegean Sea. About two dozen of those islands are large enough to support major towns and cities, while countless of the smaller islands remain uninhabited after centuries of sailors cruising around them. The blues and whites of your yacht’s Greek flag will be challenged by the crystal blue waters and white buildings that climb along the island hillsides. The colors in this part of Greece are simply mesmerizing, thanks to the Cyclades being one of the more secluded island chains in the nation.

            Different islands in the Cyclades offer different ambiences and activities, from thumping discotheques to modern shops to Byzantine architectural sites. A week or two of yacht charter here can include highly unique experiences, unlike in other archipelagos where you find the same offerings from island to island. 

            Mykonos is the island within the Cyclades that typically entices the biggest, fanciest yachts, with superb restaurants and nightclub hotspots known to rival the discotheques on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Cosmopolitan is the word that best describes Mykonos, which has some of the highest real-estate prices in all of Greece thanks to celebrities and millionaires falling in love with the island’s beaches and waterfront nightlife. If you want to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, this island in the Cyclades is a good bet as a charter destination during the months of July and August.

            Delos is another popular island for yacht charter because it is the legendary birthplace of the Greek God Apollo. The archaeological sites that you can tour on Delos are so extensive that the entire island was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. There are market squares, ancient temples, and preserved private houses whose floors are built of extraordinary mosaic tiles. Some archaeologists consider these sites to be among the most important in all the world’s history.

            And if that’s not impressive enough, your charter yacht itinerary in the Cyclades can also include Santorini, the southernmost island in the archipelago and one that boasts some of Mother Nature’s most impressive volcanic cliffs. You can enjoy exhilarating hikes along the shoreline, or simply scoot about in your yacht’s private dinghy, craning your neck to take in the spectacular scenery overhead. Please give me details of suitable yachts.

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