Sail to the 7 most beautiful sights in Greece

Sail to the 7 most beautiful sights in Greece

Navigate through Greece's rich history by cruising to its most scenic locations, anchoring at established marinas, and delving into ancient wonders.

Greece, with its vast expanse of islands embraced by the Mediterranean, boasts a wealth of archaeological wonders and monuments. Accessible right from the sea, these sites offer a unique opportunity to blend yachting with a deep dive into ancient civilizations. Join us as we unveil seven top destinations where stunning sea views intertwine seamlessly with a captivating journey through history. Here are our top recommendations!

1. Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens, revered as a symbol of democracy and the bedrock of Western civilization, stands among the most significant archaeological sites worldwide. Erected in the 5th century BC, it crowns a rocky hill, offering a panoramic view of the modern city below. Central to its grandeur stands the Parthenon, honouring the goddess Athena. Surrounding it, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Propylaea exemplify the pinnacle of classical Greek architecture. Exploring these iconic monuments offers a profound journey into the depths of history and culture. Central to its grandeur is the Parthenon, dedicated to the patron goddess Athena. Complementing this masterpiece are other notable edifices like the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Propylaea, representing the pinnacle of classical Greek architecture and artistry.

The legendary Acropolis of Athens is a frequent destination for all tourists.

The legendary Acropolis of Athens is a frequent destination for all tourists.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Acropolis attracts millions of visitors from all over the world who admire its architectural precision, historical significance and beauty. At the base of the hill lies the museum, which offers a broad view of the life and art of Ancient Greece, including original sculptures and reliefs from the temple complex.

Where to anchor in Athens

Alimos Marina offers a truly unique experience — direct access to the city centre via Athens' tram line, a feature rarely found elsewhere. As one of the busiest marinas in Athens and a favourite among our clients, it's no surprise that its facilities are vying for the title of the "most modern" in the Mediterranean. A cruise from Alimos Marina to the heart of Athens is a must-do experience. Upon returning the boat to the charter company, consider extending your stay to make the most of the rest of the day.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Find out about the top three marinas in Greece. In our opinion, they are Gouvia marina, Erikousa marina and Alimos marina.

2. Knossos in Crete

Knossos Palace, the largest archaeological site in Crete dating back to the Bronze Age, is synonymous with the Minoan civilisation and culture that influenced the entire Mediterranean. The palace can be found just a few kilometres south of the modern city of Heraklion. The complex was only discovered in the early 20th century by the famous archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who carried out extensive restoration work to bring Minoan architecture and design to the general public. Knossos is intrinsically linked to the famous legends of King Minos, the labyrinth and the Minotaur.

The iconic Knossos Palace near Herakleiton.

The iconic Knossos Palace near Herakleiton.

The ruins of Knossos Palace offer a fascinating insight into architectural innovations such as advanced building techniques and sophisticated water systems used by the Minoans. In the labyrinthine corridors, you will be able to admire beautifully preserved frescoes that depict scenes from everyday life, rituals and mythological stories.

Where to anchor in Crete

For those travelling by sea, the ideal place to anchor is Heraklion Marina. This marina provides all the necessary services for sailors, including fuel stations, electricity, water and security services. Knossos Palace is only 6 km from the marina. It can be reached in about an hour and a quarter on foot, or you can take a bus or taxi. If you have extra time, explore the local beaches too and treat yourself to a moment of relaxation before heading off on the next leg of your cruise.

3. Fortress of Tiryns on the Peloponnese peninsula

Tiryns is an ancient fortress complex located near the town of Nafplio on the Peloponnese peninsula. You'll be captivated by its massive fortifications and imposing palace structures, which exemplify the advanced building techniques of the time.

The ruins of the fortress complex of Tiryns remind us of the vastness of the building.

The ruins of the fortress complex of Tiryns remind us of the vastness of the building.

The extensive walls of massive stones, so large and heavy that according to legend only cyclops could lift, will take your breath away. In addition to the fortress, the remains of the palace with its magnificent frescoes and complex drainage system is amazing — a testament to the high level of urban planning and social organisation.

You can get a general idea of what the whole complex looked like in its glory days thanks to the information panels and reconstructions placed throughout the archaeological complex.

Where to anchor near the fort

For visitors travelling by sea, the ideal anchorage is in the marina of Nafplio, which is about 4.5 km from Tiryns. The Nafplio Marina offers full service facilities, technical support and safety facilities. From the marina, the fortress complex can be reached comfortably on foot in about an hour. If you are staying longer than a day, you can also take a trip to nearby Mycenae. These are about 25 km away and can be reached by rental car and public transport.

YACHTING.COM TIP: We also have a selection of 7 top places to sail in Greece — if you are more interested in nature's wonders or exploring Greek islands, check them out.

4. City of Rhodes on the island of the same name

The city of Rhodes, the island's capital, is a fascinating blend of history that stretches from ancient Greece, through the Byzantine period, to medieval times under the Johanites. The city is surrounded by imposing city walls, built by the Knights of St. John, which still dominate the skyline today. Rhodes is famous for its Palace of the Grand Masters, a giant fortress that now serves as a museum. Not to be missed are the streets of the old town, which are filled with shops, cafes and traditional tavernas.

The monumental palace of the great masters of Rhodes.

The monumental palace of the great masters of Rhodes.

In addition to its rich history, Rhodes offers stunning beaches and modern tourist facilities. Renaissance architecture combines with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. This is why it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the whole of Greece.

Where to anchor in Rhodes

Located right in the heart of the historic town, Rhodes Marina provides excellent service and easy access to the main tourist attractions. This modern marina offers many berths, security facilities, technical support and all the comforts of a modern marina. From the marina you can easily walk to the old town, which is only 2 km away. Its historical monuments, architecture and gastronomic delights are within easy reach.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Unsure whether to indulge in Greece's rich history or Croatia's breathtaking sights? Compare them in our article on the 9 best sights to see in Croatia

5. Old Town of Corfu

The old town of Corfu is a cultural gem steeped in history, evident in its architecture and ambiance, earning it UNESCO World Heritage status. Renowned for its labyrinthine alleys and baroque structures, it mirrors the diverse influences of Venetian, French, and British cultures. Meandering through Corfu's ancient streets, you'll tread paths trodden by soldiers, merchants, and artists, uncovering hidden courtyards, ancient churches, and the imposing fortress that defines this historic enclave.

The old fortress of Corfu inspires respect even today.

The old fortress of Corfu inspires respect even today.

The Fortress of St. Michael and St. George, which stands at the northern end of the old town, served as a defensive bastion against Ottoman attacks. Another notable site is the Liston, an elegant promenade inspired by the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, where locals and tourists alike sit in the cafés under the arcades, enjoying a coffee and watching the city go by.

Where to anchor in Corfu

We offer two tips. If you want first-class service for yourself and your boat, moor at Gouvia Marina, about 7km northwest of the old town. You can take a walk along the coast to see the sights, perhaps stopping off at the beach for a drink in a bar on the way. Alternatively, you can use the local transport to reach the centre of the old town effortlessly in minutes.

If you'd rather anchor close to the old town, you can use the Corfu marina, located on the eastern shore of the old town. But don't count on such great service here. On the other hand, the historical sights of the old town are just a few steps away.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Find out more about Corfu. In our article Discover Corfu: sailing adventure in the Ionian Sea you'll find out why Corfu is an ideal starting point for sailing and what you can explore on the island and nearby areas..

6. Faneromeni Monastery in Lefkada

Faneromeni Monastery on the west coast of Lefkada is not only a spiritual centre, but also one of the most important cultural and historical sites on the island. This monastery, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, is surrounded by dense pine forests and offers a breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea. It is an ideal place to relax, meditate and shelter from the hot sun.

Entrance to the monastery through the gate of the Virgin Mary.

Entrance to the monastery through the gate of the Virgin Mary.

Since its foundation in the 17th century, the monastery has been destroyed and plundered several times, but it has always been restored. Today, Faneromeni serves not only as a place of spiritual retreat, but also as a centre of culture and education. In the small local museum, you can admire a number of religious icons and works of art that illustrate the rich history of the monastery and its importance to the local community.

Where to anchor in Lefkada

The ideal anchorage is Lefkas Marina on the eastern side of Lefkada. This marina is one of the best equipped in the Ionian Sea and offers a wide range of services including boat repairs, security services and marine shops. From Lefkas Marina, the monastery is easily accessible. It lies only about 4 km away and making it easily accessible on foot or by public transport, or you could rent a car.

If you like places with rich spiritual significance and beautiful views, Faneromeni Monastery is one of the must-see sights. It will equally please those who looking for a quiet place to relax surrounded by the natural beauty and history of Lefkada.

7. Ancient Agora on Kos

The Agora is one of the most important monuments in the area and reveals the rich history of Kos — one of the most famous Dodecanese islands. Agora in Greek means "gathering place" or "marketplace". In ancient times it was the centre of the political, commercial and social life of the city. Visitors to this expansive complex will be captivated by the remnants of temples, shops, and public buildings, which illustrate the advanced infrastructure and the sophisticated nature of the ancient society that once thrived here.

The ruins of the ancient Agora are still impressive today.

The ruins of the ancient Agora are still impressive today.

As you walk among the remnants of columns and cobbled paths where merchants once sold their wares and politicians debated, it's easy to be transported back in time. Particularly remarkable are the remains of an ancient gymnasium and public baths, which testify to the importance of physical fitness and hygiene in the daily lives of the inhabitants of Kos. Information panels placed around the site will offer context and explain the significance of all the building remains around, so you will have a clearer idea of how people lived on Kos back then.

If you have a little extra time, take a walk about 700 metres north past the Hyppocrates Plane to Neranzia Castle. Beyond the castle's northern walls, you'll have the opportunity to admire ancient Greek architecture, column torsos and other interesting relics.

Where to anchor in Kos

We recommend anchoring in the marina of Kos, which lies just about 1.2 km east of Agora. In the marina you will find great facilities for yachts and sailboats with ample space for comfortable mooring, as well as excellent services, including the boat repairs, electricity and filling up on water. From the marina, you can walk to the Agora town centre in half an hour. If you prefer, you can walk the first half of the way along Peters Beach before turning west to Agora.

Tips on specific sailing routes to Greek sights

Cruise on the Ionian Sea

If Corfu appeals to you, set sail from here for a seven-day Ionian Sea cruise. You'll explore stunning sights and beautiful scenery, including Paxos Island, Longos Bay, and Petriti with its crystal-clear waters. Discover more in our guide to the best sailing routes in Greece (tailored to skill level and interests) for additional tips and inspiration. 

On the waves in the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea may be more for experienced sailors, but if you can handle the Meltemi, you'll definitely enjoy the sailing and gain valuable experience. You can sail from Athens to the Cyclades. Enjoy the sunset over the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. Expect the chance of rough seas.

You can also stay in the Saronic Gulf and explore the local sandy beaches, fishing villages and of course the ancient monuments. For a map to the itinerary, check out our article on smooth sailing in Greece with 3 easy routes to choose from.

Don't miss out on Greece! I can help you pick the right boat, just get in contact.