News & Features
A TWO WEEK FLOTILLA In The SPORADES Islands
The Sporades Islands lie to the north of Athens, in the Aegean Sea. Amongst other things, they are famous for the regular summer Meltemi winds and as the setting for the 2008 ‘Mamma Mia’ movie. The area is also home to the National Marine Park of Alonissos and the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal.
WHERE DO WE VISIT?
This route starts and finishes in the village of Orei on Evia Island. You might visit the Gulf of Volos, before heading east, to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, Kyra Panayia, Peristeri and Skantzoura, depending on the direction of the wind. This flotilla route retains our normal balance of larger villages, with their hustle and bustle, and smaller settlements with just one or two tavernas.
With the stunning clarity of the water and the beautiful bays in the more remote islands that lie further east, our favourite feature of this route is spending the occasional night cooking aboard, rather than dining ashore. These nights are spent anchored in uninhabited, sheltered bays, with just the twinkle of starlight above you. The only sound is of water lapping on the beach and the tinkle of bells from wandering goats! This is a most satisfying and relaxing way to enjoy these outer islands.
What’s the wind like?
The regular summer Meltemis (strong wind) mean that this route is best for keener sailors and for those who have a few flotillas under their belt.
Typical Itinerary & Highlights
Days 1 - 3, Joining the flotilla in Orei
From Athens we transfer you to Arkitsa in the North Evia Gulf where the coach will drive onto the ferry for a delightful 45 minute crossing to Evia Island and on to our base in Orei Town. Your yacht and our team await you there, as does a drop of cold refreshment!
You’ll then head across to the Gulf of Volos to experience some fantastic fresh seafood, friendly locals and time to get to know your fellow flotilla sailors. You will have a group meal or punch party at one of the stops in the gulf. Two favourites are Achillion and Agia Kiriaki.
Days 4 - 7, Peaceful nights at anchor
With the stunning clarity of the water and the beautiful bays in the more remote islands that lie further east, a feature of this route is spending the occasional night cooking aboard, rather than dining ashore.
This will not be every night and most of the time you will be tied to a quay, with a taverna in easy reach. However, these nights spent anchored in uninhabited, sheltered bays, with just the twinkle of starlight above you are something quite special. The only sound is of water lapping on the beach and the tinkle of bells from wandering goats! This is a most satisfying and relaxing way to enjoy these outer islands. Those of you who have yet to experience an evening at anchor and dining in the cockpit by candlelight will savour the silence.
Days 8 - 13, Skopelos, Alonissos & Skiathos
Another advantage of this flotilla is having the flexibility to spend time ashore soaking up the culture, history and wonderful views that the hills have to offer. The beaches on the south side of Skopelos have the finest white sand you will find anywhere! And the village of Loutraki is a treat.
The spectacular Church of St John’s (better known as the church nestled precariously on a rocky outcrop in the Mamma Mia movie), has been an instant hit, especially with the teens. The once abandoned Old Town of Alonissos, high up in the hills, has proved quite an attraction and Kastro (fortified village on Skiathos Island), is an interesting place to spend a couple of hours.
Days 14 - 15, Returning to Orei
The wind in the Sporades during our sailing season is generally from the north or north east and is known as the ‘Meltemi’. It can be a lively wind at times and so this route is aimed at our more experienced flotilla sailors. The combination of the stronger winds and the flat seas on the leeward side of the islands offers invigorating sailing for everyone.
After two weeks of exhilarating sailing it is time to head back in to Orei with one final day’s sail. The lead crew will arrange a final night dinner where you will be able to enjoy the company of your fellow sailors and new found friends one last time (...until next year of course!)