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Greece

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of Greece in world history – it’s the cradle of Western civilization and philosophy, the Motherland of democracy, and the birthplace of the Olympic Games and theatre. Rich cultural heritage together with Mediterranean climate and incomparable nature made this corner of Eastern Europe one of the most popular tourist destinations. Yachtsmen are no exception; numerous Greek islands have become a delight for their hearts and a joy for their eyes. The Dodecanese, the Cyclades, the Sporades, the Ionian Islands, the Aegean Islands, Crete – there are more than two thousand islands here, small and big, and each of them is remarkable for something. It’s worth going ashore to see the Acropolis of Athens, the Palace of Knossos, the ancient theatre in Epidaurus, the Delos Terrace of the Lions, the Temple of Poseidon, and Santorini Oia village. And how beautiful are the beaches here! Navajo Bay, Myrtos, Elafonisos, Porto Katsiki, Sidari, Balos – you cannot find such splendid places anywhere else.


Popular sights

Patmos
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).
Mykonos
The epithets “elegant,” “expensive”, and “fashionable” were worth thinking up if only for the purpose of describing the resorts of Mykonos. This island in the Cyclades is just as popular among affluent, beach-loving celebrities as the Alps and Aspen are among skiers. Politicians, musicians, and international movie stars flock to Mikonos every year to sail on yachts, learn windsurfing, or just stroll and tan. The island owes its name to one of Apollos’s sons, and its history to the centuries-long influence of passing Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Mikonos got its modern look after the First World War, when Europe’s creative intelligentsia started frequenting the island. Movers and shakers followed the painters and artists and began to build up the island with fabulous hotels, villas, restaurants, and shops. Mykonos is distinct from its archipelago neighbours because of its milder climate, rocky hills, and wide-open bays. The main beaches – Ornos, Agios-Yannis, Platis Yalos, Psaru, Paranga, Paradise, Super Paradise, Agrari, and Elia – and resorts are concentrated on the southern coast. Mikonos’ capital is charming all by itself with fishing boats alongside massive yachts in the harbour, white houses with blue balconies in “Little Venice,” the maze of narrow streets in the Castro district, and the most postcard-worthy view of the whole island – the five windmills on Hora hill.
Athens
Athens is consistently ranked as one of the top must-see cities of the world. Capital of Greece, birthplace of democracy, open-air museum, cradle of ancient culture – the city has no shortage of titles and admiring epithets. Thousands of years of history have made their mark on the architectural look of the city, making it a place of truly unique beauty. While all of Athens’ districts are inviting, visitors head straight for the Acropolis to see with their own eyes the Parthenon, the Erechtheion with its famous Caryatid sculptures, the temple of Athena Nike, and the Theater of Dionysus. An exhaustive exposition is offered by the city’s many museums: the National Archeological, the Byzantine, the Theatrical, the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Cycladic Art, and others. The second-most popular tourist draw is the colourful district of Plaka. Its ancient buildings have been transformed into souvenir stalls, cafes, bars and restaurants. Getting lost in the maze of Plaka’s streets is easy to do, so it’s best to regain your bearings by looking at the Wind Tower, and to stop by the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Gate. Arriving in Athens, yachtsmen can’t help but visit Piraeus – the third-largest city in Greece and the country’s biggest port. Although the locals don’t consider themselves Athenians, Piraeus is actually part of the capital, since it’s impossible to precisely delineate the boundary separating the two cities. Here, the bustle of harbour life blends seamlessly with official museums, archaeological landmarks, and even international film festivals.