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I recently found that boating around the Greek islands is the best holiday ever!
When my best friend Julia had the idea to travel through some of Greece's sunsplashed Mediterranean isles on a small sailing yacht with our buddies, I was more excited than I think I've ever been. And for sure it was a the experience of a lifetime that my entire crew will never forget.
We got a recommendation to trust the organization of our holiday to a company called OpenSea Yachting, and our expectations were more than fulfilled.
As our group consisted of three couples, we chose a newer, modern, five-cabin sailboat, a sleek, French-built Oceanis 51.1, lending a note of luxury for a two-week skippered cruise this past July - normally costing from $2,400 per week (which may sound pricey but works out affordably when split among a number of people), but we got a special offer for a one way trip from Mykonos to Athens. Among other things, this 16-meter-long (52-foot) model has an air-conditioned interior with five cabins berthing up to 13 and three heads (bathrooms), and a stereo system with CD player.
From the beginning, we felt very comfortable with the OpenSea Yachting team, which helped us choose the ideal boat according to our needs; answered all our questions; proposed a fantastic itinerary in the Cyclades islands; arranged our transfer from airport; and fulfilled all our special requests. And last but definitely not least, providing for us the best crew, including professional skipper Nikos and our amazing hostess Dimitra.
Skipper Nikos not only introduced us to the secrets of sailing, but taught us plenty of stuff along the way - even fishing tips! And Dimitra pleasantly surprised us every day with her special and delicious menu of traditional Greek cuisine (I couldn't resist and “stole” her recipe for tzatziki!).
Besides cosmopolitan Mykonos, on our two-week adventure we also visited nearby Delos, Paros (great nightlife here, too), Syros, Sifnos, Serifos, Milos, Kythnos and Ios . The old villages in Chora were looked like taken from a postcard framed by the special architecture. (Other Cyclades itineraries include islands such as Amorgos, Andros, Kos, Patmos, Rhodes, and Santorini.)
From my experience, I think the most amazing and magic of travelling on a sailboat is the opportunity to visit hidden beaches only accessible from the sea - and if you especially love a place, to spend the night there, anchored in a peaceful bay. And Nikos knew the whole area like the back of his hand, and every spot was a wonderful surprise for us.
One of the best moments for me was drinking my morning coffee on deck and reading a good book before swimming in crystal clear waters under the bright Greek sun. The highlight for my boyfriend Adam, meanwhile, was the chance to do some stand-up paddling every morning before breakfast.
And as the trip was coming to an end, a unique surprise was waiting for me under of the full moon at the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion near Athens. My boyfriend proposed to me and of course I said “yes!”. So my friends and the crew “conspired” to organize a fabulous celebratory party on the boat, complete with champagne and balloons! It was like having a very special bachelor and bachelorette party all together with my favorite friends! This surprise was a true gift and this night will forever stay an unforgettable moment of my life.
Ιf I had to describe this journey in one phrase, it would be: great weather, great food, amazing views, kind people, and top-notch service. By all means try it on your next holiday!