Sailing Greece's ancient monuments: Discovering timeless treasures by sea

Embark on an unforgettable voyage through history as you sail Greece's ancient monuments, uncovering timeless treasures

Sailing Greece's ancient monuments is a truly unique experience, offering a rare opportunity to explore the country's rich history and cultural heritage from a fresh perspective.The route from Athens to Aegina and Cape Sounion is a classic sailing itinerary that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With stunning views of the Aegean Sea and some of Greece's most iconic landmarks, this route is a must-see for anyone seeking an unforgettable sailing experience.

Keep in mind that this is just inspiration for the cruise. Each itinerary must be planned with the current weather conditions and other factors in mind.

Itinerary: Alimos Marina (Athens)– Aegina island – Epidaurus – Agkistri – Aegina island – Cape Sounion – Alimos Marina (Athens)
Difficulty: medium
Lenght: a week route (116 nm total)

Day 1: Athens

In Athens, the city's ancient monuments offer a captivating journey through time. Begin your exploration at the Acropolis, an iconic symbol of Greek civilization, where you'll find the majestic Parthenon temple dedicated to Athena, the city's patron goddess. Nearby, marvel at the Erechtheion with its iconic Porch of the Caryatids, a stunning display of female statues supporting the structure. Stroll through the Ancient Agora, a once-thriving commercial and political hub, to discover the beautifully preserved Temple of Hephaestus, one of the best-preserved temples in Greece. Don't miss the Roman Agora, which showcases the grand Tower of the Winds, an ancient timekeeping marvel. Finally, visit the Panathenaic Stadium, a grandiose structure entirely made of marble, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Each of these awe-inspiring monuments offers a unique glimpse into Athens' rich history and the splendor of ancient Greece.

As you'll be coming back to Athens, you don't have to see everything on the first day. Take your time and pace yourself to fully appreciate the city's treasures.

Acropolis is a symbol of ancient Greek civilization.

Acropolis is a symbol of ancient Greek civilization.

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Day 2: Aegina island (20 nm)

Embark on a sailing adventure from Athens to the charming Aegina Island, an ideal getaway with a rich history and fascinating ancient monuments. The journey itself is a pleasant experience, as you glide across the Saronic Gulf, soaking in the sun and admiring the picturesque coastline.

We recommend anchoring in Agia marina. The harbour is sheltered from northerly winds, but not from southerly winds. The seabed is quite rocky, we recommend anchoring about 50 m from the shore.

Upon arrival, be sure to explore the island's historical landmarks. The Temple of Aphaia, dedicated to the goddess Aphaia, is a must-visit site. This Doric temple, dating back to the 5th century BC, is remarkably well-preserved and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Another significant monument is the ancient site of Kolona, situated near Aegina Town. Here, you'll discover the remnants of a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo, including the foundations of ancient temples, and a single surviving column that has become the emblem of the site.

Epidaurus Theatre is a masterpiece of ancient Greek engineering and architecture.

Epidaurus Theatre is a masterpiece of ancient Greek engineering and architecture.

Day 3: Epidaurus (15 nm)

Set sail from Aegina and chart a course towards Epidaurus, a serene destination along the Peloponnese coastline, renowned for its wealth of ancient monuments. As you navigate the sparkling waters, enjoy the stunning views and tranquil atmosphere that the Saronic Gulf offers. Upon arrival, choose from several idyllic bays to drop anchor and take advantage of the peaceful surroundings.

Once ashore, immerse yourself in the ancient wonders of Epidaurus. The must-see attraction is the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, a remarkably well-preserved structure dating back to the 4th century BC. Known for its exceptional acoustics and stunning design, this UNESCO World Heritage Site continues to host performances during the annual Epidaurus Festival.

Another essential stop is the Sanctuary of Asclepius, an ancient healing center dedicated to the god of medicine. Explore the ruins, including the remains of the Tholos, a circular building with a mysterious subterranean labyrinth, and the Stoa of Abaton, where patients would sleep and await divine healing.

Your visit to Epidaurus will provide a unique insight into the ancient world, leaving you with unforgettable memories of Greece's extraordinary past.

Day 4: Agkistri (12 nm)

Agkistri is a small and picturesque island, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush green landscape rather than historical monuments. However, there are still some points of interest to explore on the island:

  1. Church of Agioi Anargyroi: This small church is located in the village of Skala, the main port of Agkistri. It is a charming white-washed building with blue domes, typical of Greek island architecture.
  2. Church of Agia Kyriaki: This is another small church located near the village of Megalochori, which also features traditional Greek island architecture.
  3. Church of Panagia: Located in the village of Metochi, this church is surrounded by pine trees and offers a peaceful atmosphere.

While Agkistri might not have a wealth of historical monuments, its main appeal lies in its natural beauty, pristine beaches, and relaxing atmosphere. Some popular beaches to visit on the island include Skala Beach, Dragonera Beach, and Aponissos Beach.

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Day 5: Aegina island (15 nm)

You're returning to Aegina again, so if you've missed anything, this is the perfect opportunity to make up for it! Explore the town, have a delicious lunch and enjoy a day of relaxation.

View of Aegina Island and the harbor.

View of Aegina Island and the harbor.

Day 6: Cape Sounion (22 nm)

Once you approach Cape Sounion, you'll instantly recognize the iconic promontory with its dramatic cliffs rising majestically from the sea. The ancient Temple of Poseidon, perched atop the cape, stands as a proud reminder of Greece's rich history and cultural heritage.

Your first stop should be the Temple of Poseidon, the main attraction at Cape Sounion. This ancient temple, built in the 5th century BCE, is dedicated to the god of the sea. As you walk among the Doric columns, take a moment to appreciate the temple's stunning architecture and the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The temple's strategic location allowed sailors of old to spot it from afar, serving as a beacon of hope and protection.

As you explore the Temple of Poseidon, don't miss the famous inscription by British poet Lord Byron. Carved into one of the temple's columns, this piece of graffiti dates back to the early 19th century and is a testament to the Romantic era's fascination with ancient Greece.

The entire promontory of Cape Sounion is an archaeological site that offers more than just the Temple of Poseidon. Wander through the ruins of the ancient fortified city, including the remains of the Temple of Athena Sounias, the walls, and the fortress' gates. This archaeological site provides a glimpse into the rich history of this strategic location and the lives of those who once inhabited it.

The famous Temple of Poseidon is located at Cape Sounion.

The famous Temple of Poseidon is located at Cape Sounion.

Day 7: Athens (32 nm)

On the last day, you return to Athens, which abounds with many of the sights we mentioned at the beginning. You can then return to the places you missed on the first day.

Reminder: The information given (distances, mooring details, etc.) is for information purposes only and cannot be relied upon completely. Please study the nautical chart before sailing to ensure a safe and enjoyable voyage.

Do you need help choosing a ship or do you have any other questions? Contact me!

FAQ about exploring ancient monuments in Greece