Compare the East and the West in seven days: colorful Turkish Bodrum and Greek classics on Leros, Patmos, Kalymnos and Kos.
Day 1: Bodrum - Kos (12 NM)
Marina Bodrum will be the first stop on this route. First, prepare the yacht for the cruise, familiarize yourself with the equipment, and discuss important details with the manager. After everything is accomplished, you’ll have time left to take a walk and explore Bodrum.
Day 2: Kos - Leros (40 NM)
Leros is part of the Dodecanese or Southern Sporades. It’s a relatively small island with a jagged shoreline and lots of natural bays and coves, which explains why it’s been a base for seafaring vessels since ancient times. In the 20th century alone, it’s managed to attract new settlers from Turkey, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. Citizens from the latter have made a significant contribution to the development of Leros, having built the city of Lakki and adding some flare to the local architecture. Today, Lakki is home to a sprawling new marina, where most yachts come to moor. There are also more modest harbours in the cities of Pandeli, Agia Marina, Vromolitos, and Ksirokambos. These are considered the island’s main resorts. Each is lined with fabulous beaches, the best of which is in the hamlet of Gurna on the west coast. The attractions on Leros include a number of churches sprinkled chaotically throughout the island, the majestic knights’ castle Castro in the village of Platanost, and the Artemis temple ruins seven kilometers from Alindi.
Day 3: Leros - Patmos (23 NM)
Patmos, like some other northern islands in the Southern Sporades, has a dramatically-jagged coastline, which yachtsmen find particularly alluring. Patmos’ main port is Skala, situated on the shores of a rather large bay – by local standards anyway. Every day in the harbour, curious tourists flock to the waterfront, headed to the island’s main attraction – the Monastery of St. John the Apostle. The saint was banished by Emperor Domitian into exile on Patmos, where he lived in a cave and wrote “Revelation” and “Apocalypse.” From the monastery walls to the shore run the tidy streets and neoclassical buildings of Chora – considered one of the most picturesque island capitals of its kind. The surroundings here are tranquil and serene. Patmos has its beaches too. Kambos and Grikos are the most frequented, Meloi and Aspri – the most quiet and wind-free, and Psili Amos – the most beautiful and inaccessible (but not for those travelling by yacht).
Day 4: Patmos - Leipsoi (13 NM)
The name “Leipsoi” belongs both to a whole archipelago in the Aegean Sea, as well as to its largest and only populated island. Leipsoi’s landscape is similar to that of neighbouring Patmos and Leros with mountainous, rocky locales, a shoreline dotted with coves, and pristine, secluded beaches. There’s just one city here, also called Leipsoi. You’ll find it nestled along a convenient bay, perfect for mooring yachts. The depth is more than enough for free navigation. The island is sprinkled with so many churches that the locales joke it’s almost as if each family had their own. The most notable of these are the Byzantine church of the Holy Mother of God, the cathedral of St. John the Apostle, the cathedral of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God, and the church of the Mother of God in the village of Kuselio. The island’s beaches are also popular: Kambos, Elena, and Lientu near the city of Leipsoi, Khokhlakura just four miles away, the wild Platis Yalos, the calm-water Catsadia, and windy Turkomnima.
Day 5: Leipsoi - Kalymnos (35 NM)
Though it shares the same mountainous terrain and cove-dotted coastline as its northern neighbours in the Dodecanese Islands, the island if Kalymnos is unique in its own special way. Kalymnos, situated between Kos and Leros, is also a whole chain of islands of the same name. It has plenty of churches, a few museums, and dozens of fantastic beaches. The population is sparse and in the past, the local residents crafted handmade sponges. The history of Kalymnos has the same history of governing bodies as the nearby Southern Sporades: from the Byzantines to the Venetians, the Knights of Malta, the Turks and the Italians. Yet, it does have one standout feature that sharply distinguishes the island from its counterparts, and that’s mountain climbing. The terrain of Kalymnos is so mountainous and yet so varied that it manages to pack in more than 1,500 climbing routes of varying difficulty. Once every two years, it’s the scene of the Kalymnos International Mountain Climbing Festival. Aside from alpinists, the island also draws diving enthusiasts. Kalymnos boasts Greece’s only state-run scuba diving school.
Day 6: Kalymnos - Kos (19 NM)
Situated in the south-eastern part of the Aegean Sea, Kos is the third-largest island in the Southern Sporades after Rhodes and Karpathos. The two main descriptors commonly used in referring to Kos are “garden of the Aegean Sea” and “birthplace of Hippocrates.” Both are true. The island’s natural terrain is highly varied with cliffs, ravines, coniferous forests and beaches to suit any taste. Kos is filled with the springtime scent of blossoming lilies swirling into summer where it then gives way to the aroma of ripe citrus fruit. The main attraction on Kos is its large temple complex, built in honour of Asclepius the Healer. Its three stories used to house a medical school, a museum of anatomy, thermal-water baths, and a shrine. Today, the ruins of the Asclepion serve as a theater stage. Kos’ other attractions include its Joanite fortress, Hippocrates museum, ancient Agora, and the old mosques in the capital city of Kos. The entire island is also sprinkled with numerous monuments, fortresses, and basilicas. The island’s main cities are concentrated along the northern and southern coasts. Yachts most commonly enter the Kos marina from the north and maintain course towards the south. You can even sail around the whole island if you wish, stopping in the port of Kardamaina, the Kefalos bay, and in the northern villages of Marmari, Mastichari, and Tigaki with its 10-kilometer-long beach.
Day 7: Kos - Bodrum (12 NM)
Your voyage is coming to an end. Prepare the yacht for transferring back over to the charter company, assess the equipment’s operation, and resupply water and fuel. After handing the vessel over successfully, take leisurely walk through Bodrum and don’t forget to pick up souvenirs for your friends.