Photo: Fishing boats in a harbor

No cars are allowed on the Greek island of Hydra, which boasts one of the isles' most picturesque harbors.

Photograph by Franck Guiziou, Photolibrary

By Kim Brown Seely

Book with Greece specialists Aegea Adventures and you’ll have a crewed, 100-foot (30-meter), two-masted schooner all to yourselves. It even comes with its own fleet of toys (kayaks, bikes, fishing rods, windsurfing boards, and snorkeling gear). Aegea’s fleet escapes the strong northerly Meltemi wind that whips through the Aegean in the summer and plies the blindingly blue waters of the more protected Argo-Saronic Gulf.

Hopping from one volcanic island to the next, you’ll ride mules on the car-free island of Hydra and bike through the lemon groves on Póros. Trek Greek ruins that don’t look ruined at all—the third-century B.C. theater in the city of Epidavros is almost completely intact. “Kids go wild running up and down the steps at Epidavros,” says Colleen McGuire, Aegea Adventures’ managing director. “The acoustics are so dead-on that if you stand on the stage and whisper it’s like talking into a microphone.”

For a bit of two-wheel action, take the bikes off your yacht for a spin on the 15-mile (24-kilometer) loop around Spétses island. Additional must-sees on the Peloponnesus peninsula: the 3,000-year-old Mycenae beehive tomb of King Agamemnon and the 999-step Palamidi fortress. After a full day of island-hopping, take a dip off your boat into warm seas and dig into a feast of calamari and eggplant meze, souvlaki, fresh-grilled fish, and homemade baklava.

Where to Play

Halfway through your Spétses island bike ride, stop to explore a hidden sea cave. Enter from above through a narrow hole in the Earth, or swim in through an opening in the seaside cliff to reach your private sandbar in a dark underground swimming hole. Back on the boat, take advantage of your sailing crew and ask them to show you the ropes. Kids and adults alike spend hours learning how to trim sheets, steer, and navigate.

At Day's End

Private live-aboard cooks and nannies are available, but if you’re not willing to spend the extra bucks, Aegea helps you hire a local babysitter in-port for an evening on the town. Greeks eat late, so tuck in the kids and head out for a taste of local culture over a glass of piney retsina wine or ouzo.

Details

8 days; $4,663 per day for up to 16 people; www.aegeaadventures.com

Based on articles from National Geographic Adventure and updated by Greer Schott

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