Eco-sailing and wildlife cruise
Wildlife sailing cruises in the Greek Cyclades islands
You will start your trip from the island of Paros or Syros in the heart of the Cyclades. Our itineraries tend to visit the less well-known, less touristy, more culturally preserved and ecologically diverse islands which are off the beaten track.
- Small Cyclades: Syros / Paros, Iraklia, deserted islands of Rhinia, Amorgos, Koufonisia, Donousa and Naxos.
- West Cyclades: Syros / Paros, deserted island of Despotiko (off Antiparos), Folegandros, Sifnos, Kimolos, deserted island of Polyegos and Milos.
(Syros, Naxos, Paros and Milos have very good ferry connections to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, which also all have international airports).
As well as your skipper, there will be a biologist or conservationist guide on board who will introduce you to Mediterranean wildlife and species that don`t exist anywhere else in the globe. If you are lucky during the week, there is the chance of seeing dolphins, plenty of sea birds, reptiles, small mammals, marine species, insects and many types of wild plants. If you’re lucky you may see loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) or rare seals (Monachus monachus).
The yacht is equipped with field books, binoculars, and a hydrophone for listening underwater to dolphin chatter. If you’re really lucky you may even see a whale! The cruise can be combined with scuba diving equipment for qualified divers. You can explore the underwater life or go exploring around isolated bays and islets.
You may also participate in our efforts to protect and support the local environment. We will advise you how to have an ecologically consciencous sailing holiday, recyling and conserving resources. We will also have a beach clean-up (probably at the same time that we`ll arrange a beach barbecue). We`ll have presentations on the local flora and fauna and take about the Greek ecology and how to protect it.
The yacht Tahita is a Sun Kiss 45 with 4 cabins. The Sun Kiss 45 is one of the most exceptional and elegant classical models created by Jeanneau, known and recognised for its strength and sailing capabilities, for sailing as well as cruising the world over. The crew will occupy one of them, so there are 3 double cabins available for up to 6 guests. You can charter the whole yacht or by the cabin. There are two WC/showers on board, so it`s necessary to share. The boat is fully equipped with everything you need for comfortable sailing, including a fully equipped galley, a bimini suntent and sprayhood, GPS navigation and autopilot and full safety equipment.
Here is a sample of what you will experience sailing with us around the islands of the Cyclades…
|Day 1: Welcome at Syros
We start our journey from the historical port of Syros, Ermoupolis. The day will be devoted to getting to know each other, a briefing on the Aegean ecosystem and settling down on the boat. You will have plenty of time to walk around the picturesque old town of Ano Syros.
|Day 2. Dolphin & bird spotting while we sail to Paros
Sailing and dolphin spotting is on the agenda today. We will follow the route southwards towards Paros island. Plenty of time for dolphin spotting with the aid of our hydrophone and for watching sea birds, such as the common Yellow-legged gull, the rare Audouin’s gull and plenty of shags that hang around in these waters. By late noon we will reach the small fishing port of Piso Livadi, on the eastern coast of Paros, where you can taste the local fish delicacies of Halaris.
|Day 3: Unspoilt Iraklia is the next station of our “project”
Our prow is pointing to the southeast, to the very heart of the Aegean, the ”small Cyclades” complex. Only a few of the 50 islands, islets and rocks are inhabited by man, giving the impression of an ”empty” habitat to the unsuspected eye. On the contrary, these islands hide an impressive variety of life. The typical vegetation of the ecosystems here is phrygana. You will be surprised to discover that even a tiny rocky islet may be home to tens of invertebrate species and even to many vertebrates including birds, such as chukars, shags, but also Eleonora’s and Peregrine falcons and even the majestic Griffon vultures. Reptiles include geckos, Balkan Rock lizards, Sand boas and others. And lets not forget the endemic flowers growing there, which include a variety of unique orchids, crocuses, knapweeds, mulleins, bellflowers and many more!
|Day 4. Sail & anchor at remote Despotiko island
Today’s route is eastwards. The sailing area we will cover is a well-known passage for dolphins. Despotiko, another small island, favourite meeting point for sailors in the Aegean, is where we’ll end our small experiment. We will compare and analyse our results and photos, breaking the work with plunges in the crystal clear waters of the bay. At night you will be a witness to a unique spectacle: the glowing sea. A myriad of minuscule planktonic crustaceans produce light thanks to the phenomenon of bioluminescence.
|Day 5/6. Sail to Kimolos-Polyegos complex, home of the Monk seal
We’ll have an early start and enjoy a day sailing towards the unspoilt island of Kimolos. The area north of Kimolos and the neighboring uninhabited island of Polyegos harbors one of the most critically endangered marine mammal species in Europe, the Mediterranean Monk seal. MOm, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, a Greek NGO, has been working for the protection of the Mediterranean Monk seal since 1998, through field research, conservation and public awareness actions. After years of research and lobbying, MOm aspires to see Kimolos amongst the protected marine areas of Greece, as the second largest European population of the Mediterranean Monk seal lives and breeds in the Kimolos-Polyegos island complex. Though the Mediterranean Monk seal is not exactly sociable, we have spotted it in several occasions and who knows… we may be lucky again!
Day 7: Sail to volcanic Milos to admire its unique fauna
That will be the end of our “biodiversity project”. Please note that photographs of cetaceans and other interesting fauna and flora that you take during the sailing cruise might be of great relevance to scientists in their researches. If you like, you can contribute by sharing with us your photos at the end of the trip.
We’re as flexible as the weather!
The above itinerary is an example of what you will experience in our sailing trips in the Aegean Sea. We don’t follow the same route every week and every itinerary may slightly change due to the weather and other factors beyond our control. Remember that we cannot sail against the weather! We will do our best.
2021 Prices per person in a shared double cabin
|Sailing period||Price per person / shared cabin||Whole yacht / private charter|
|April, May, June, September, October||€800.00||€4200.00|
|2 week`s booking discount||-5%|
- skipper and biologist / nature guide
- accommodation on sailing boat (up to 6 guests)
- sailing around the Greek islands
- introduction to Mediterranean marine life, including visual presentation and seminar
- local VAT & taxes
- breakfast provisions (self-service)
- water supplies
- port fees
- outboard and tender
- final cleaning
- bed linen & towels
The fee doesn`t include*:
- private marina fees (if any)
- crew meals
- lunch or supper
- optional crew gratuity
* You should allow around €100 per week per person, payable on embarkation in cash, (for 6 guests) for fuel, crew meals and cruise expenses. How much fuel is used will depend on how much wind there is and how often the engine is used. Marina fees are only charged in a few locations. You will usually moor at small fishing ports and remote bays but once or twice per week it is necessary to go to marinas to refill the water tanks and so on.
Regarding lunches, guests usually buy provisions for a light lunch i.e. salads, snacks on board, and in the evening you would go out together to the main villages for supper at local tavernas. Supper at a local taverna with local wine costs around 10-15 Euro per adult. Tasting local food, products and wine is an important aspect of your holiday and you`ll find that most taverna owners grow their own vegetables, raise their own animals & make their own wine.