Trip of a Lifetime: Sailing the Greek Isles

When I signed up for the G Adventures 8-day sail from Santorini to Mykonos, I had only ever spent about 2 hours at once on a sailboat. I knew I enjoyed being out on the water, but had no idea this trip was going to inspire in me a love of sailing that would last a lifetime.

This was no large-boat cruise. The 50-foot Bavaria sailing yacht had enough room for the captain, a vegetarian French guy who loved America named Ludwig, and 8 passengers from the US, Canada, and Australia. It was close quarters, and we all chipped in assisting with lunches, keeping the boat tidy and even with sailing. Every day, we’d push off after breakfast and head in the direction of the destination. Most days, we stopped in beautiful coves for lunch and a quick swim. Nothing beats being able to drop anchor and hop in the refreshing, deep blue water after a few hours of sailing!

By late afternoon, we’d arrive to the destination with enough time for a wander and a chance to scope out the best spot for catching the sunset. Probably the most memorable sunset-watching locale was from the top of the roof of a whitewashed local church in Folegandros. It was truly breathtaking. After sunset, we’d head to dinner at a local taberna, sometimes with the group and sometimes on our own. Stuffed Peppers, Roast Lamb, Zucchini Fritters… I never got tired of Greek food! A few nights we stayed out to enjoy the nightlife, but I will say that a few extra cocktails late at night and sailing the next morning do not make for a happy sailor!

The patterns of the days were predictable, but each place we visited had it’s own feeling. From the volcanic views of Santorini, to the historic ruins of Naxos, to the party town of Ios, every place was different. I fell in love with Greece on this trip and have now gone back three more times, twice on land and once as the skipper of our own chartered sailboat with friends. We’ve traveled in the Cyclades, Ionian, Crete, and plan to spend a lifetime exploring the many more islands we have yet to visit. If you haven’t ever tried sailing, I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t have to commit to a week-long sailing trip; try a sunset sail somewhere near you or on your next vacation. Seeing a place from the water is such a different experience, and to be able to do it with the engine off and just the sound of the wind and the water is an amazingly freeing feeling.

G Adventures offers sailing and other marine-based trips throughout the world, not only in Greece. Travelers can sail the British Virgin Islands, take an expedition cruise to Antarctica or a river cruise up the Mekong. As a certified G Adventures specialist, I can help match your travel dreams to the right tour for you. Not looking for a multi-day trip on the water? I also build customized itineraries and can incorporate a day sail or a river cruise – here are a few other favorite boat excursions. And, if you are already certified to skipper a sailboat, I can assist with arranging a charter or flotilla. Contact me today to learn more about what’s available: or (408)533-0080.

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