Sporades area in the northwest Aegean Sea is a well-known yacht charter destination in Greece. The archipelago consists of 24 islands of which 4 are permanently inhabited. There are numerous small coves and beaches ideal for anchoring a yacht and enjoying the crystal-clear sea. This area is great for sailing lovers, the ones who love to roll down their sails and experience the local winds.
Why are Sporades Popular Among Sailors
The Sporades are located near Volos, right off the Greek coast. The city of Volos offers many interesting locations to explore at the start of your journey. Many sailors travel to the four main Sporades islands with some stops on smaller uninhabited islands. The biggest island, Skiathos, can be used as a starting point for your bareboat or skippered yacht charter as well. The island has an airport with regular flights from Europe.
Skiathos town is the island's capital with nice beaches nearby. There are some small islets across Skiathos town; Margos, Tsougkrias and Tsogriaki. The northern part offers more challenging sailing due to stronger winds.
Skopelos is another big island with a sheltered southeast coast and an exposed northwest coast. The main capital is Skopelos town with charming small alleys and local shops. Alonissos is another island in the archipelago. It has the last colony of monk seals. The main port is Patitiri, a small port often crowded with sailboats.
Yacht Charter in Sporades Region
The easiest way to arrive is via Volos airport. Charter your yacht in the Gulf of Volos, whose gentle winds and magnificent scenery make for a perfect sailing holiday. From there you can sail to the Sporades, an archipelago on the east coast, consisting of 24 islands, among which Skiathos is the most interesting and worth exploring. There is also an option to arrive at Skiathos by plane and rent a boat there.
The high season is July and August, but the weather is ok from April till November. The whole area of Sporades is highly influenced by strong meltemi winds. Sailing conditions are recommended for experienced sailors and sailors who want adventurous sailing conditions. Beaches are on the west coast, with Steni Vala as one of the most beautiful. Skyros is a more distant island, with beaches in the south and southwest part of the island. Some of the beaches worth visiting are Tristomou, Kolympiada and Renes. Linaria is a port on the island with fuel and water, also offering some interesting taverns.
Best Places to Visit in Sporades Region
There are numerous interesting locations on Sporades. Each of the four islands offers many fantastic spots for exploration aboard a charter yacht.
Skiathos is one of the bigger islands offering a big harbour and busy nightlife. You can visit Kastro, the ruins of the old capital on Skiathos. The monastery of Pangia Evangelistria is a famous monument on the island that played an important role in the Greek War of Independence. There is also a museum of Alexandros Papadiamantis, a famous writer who lives on the island.
Skopelos is an island located south of Skiathos. There are a few lovely ports on the southern side of the island. Fans of Mamma Mia! will recognise Agios Ioannis church from the movie. There are also interesting monasteries to visit if you are interested in historical heritage. For more advanced scuba divers, a good idea is to visit a Cristophoros shipwreck sunk in 1983.
Alonissos is often the first stop for many sailors in Sporades. The reason is that it is the home of the National Marine Park, the last colony of monk seals. These shy creatures are difficult to see but each year attracts a lot of sailors. There is an interesting pirate museum and a monastery for history lovers. Alonissos is surrounded by many interesting small islets worth exploring.
Skyros is a little bit different than the rest of Sporades; the weather is more like in the Cyclades, and it is less sheltered. It is more distant from the rest of the islands but worth a visit, especially by more adventurous sailors. Most beaches are on the west coast. There is an archaeological museum on the island and a very interesting horse ranch.
Important Info for Sailing in Sporades Sailing Region
Best time to sail
April to November
Most popular marinas
Volos Marina, Skiathos Marina
Volos Nea Anchialos (VOL), Skiathos International Airport (JSI)
Number of charter yachts
Meteora, Volos, Mylopotamos Beach, Plastiras Lake, Skiathos Island
Gastronomy Highlights of Thessaly & Sporades Sailing Region
On many islands in the Sporades, you can find a lot of taverns with tasty and interesting food. They offer a lot of meat and fish meals that can be found in other Greek islands, but there are some specific meals in Sporades. Also tasting local wines, cheese and yoghurt is a good option for exploring the island's gastronomy.
Astakomakaronada is a pasta prepared with lobster meat in a tomato-based sauce flavoured with herbs and red wine. It is usually served with spaghetti, and it is the local dish of Skyros Island.
Kouneli stifado is a traditional Greek stew often found on Skiathos island. It consists of browned rabbit meat cooked with onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, red wine, and olive oil.
Skopelitiki tiropita is a cheese filled pastry traditionally prepared on Skopelos island. Usually, it is prepared with local goat milk, feta cheese and olive oil.