I stayed in Athens for 7 days. I seriously wanted to island hop but I also wanted to maximize my time.
I researched which island I should visit. Each island was 5 to 10 hours away on a boat. This means I would lose 2 days, round-trip. By my third day, it seemed it was too late to lose two days. I searched for flight deals on Ryan Air.
Ryan Air has occasional deals for 20 Euros each way, to pretty much anywhere in Europe. It was worth checking but there were no deals to be had.
I did more research and eventually asked the concierge. They suggested I try DaySailGreece.com. Day Sail Greece, is a company that uses a 50 ft yacht to sail around Athens for the day. They anchor in safe places, they let you snorkel, jump off the boat, and chill. They also find nearby islands and let you lay on the beach or explore the island for the day. This sounds perfect for me!
I looked at their website and thought long and hard. I began filling out their online form and decided I would do this on my second to last day in Athens, June 17!
The meeting point? Pier 9 about an hour away on the tram, 3 miles south of Piraeus Port, Athens main harbor.
I got up at 5am, got ready, and headed towards the tram. I sat with people heading to work. It was a nice ride. I saw parts of the city I otherwise wouldn’t. It took about 45 minutes to get to my station. I look for the boat or perhaps a sign that says Day Sail Athens.
I can’t find the boat. I literally ask everyone I could find, from security guards to tourists. They soon begin to think I’m a solicitor and people keep telling me to leave them alone. Language barriers can be a bitch.
I turn on “roaming, call them up and ask for their location. Roaming is so expensive, I seriously didn’t want to do that. They tell me I was at Pier 9, which is not their current location anymore, but I could meet them at Piraeus, where they are now. As we continue our conversation he proceeds to tell me that I registered for July 17, not June 17th, therefore they were not ready for me, which means they didn’t have any lunch for me (lunch is included in the price). We both agree that I should just come back tomorrow.
They were very polite about my bimbo moment —which I have often by the way. Even though I was pissed I had another early morning, I still thought it would be a great idea to island hop on my last day.
My Last Day in Greece
I wake up at 6am on my last day and start walking towards Syntagma square. The weather forecast said it was going to start raining today, by 7am. I was hoping they were wrong. I had visions of myself on a boat, in a severe storm. I saw the yacht capsizing due to a giant wave. I could feel the tentacles of whatever beast was going to eat me under water. It would squeeze the last breath of air as I sank into the dark water, never to be seen again. Therefore, I was really hoping it was not going to rain.
As I approached the Athens Metro station in Syntagma Square, it began to sprinkle. Hopefully this is as bad as it gets. I was ready. No tiny little sprinkle was going to ruin my beach/boat day dammit!
I board the train and head to Piraeus, the last stop on that line. The train comes to a halt and we all get off. I look outside the train station and there is a torrential downpour. I could drown just walking to the boat. This is not a good sign. My phone is not on roaming anymore. If they called to cancel the boat trip due to severe weather, I wouldn’t know. Not good.
I buy an umbrella from a man on the street for 3 Euros and grab a taxi to Piraeus port. The port is dead. There is nobody there. We are scheduled to take off at 9am and it was 8:30 in the morning. I’ll wait 30 minutes. If no one shows up ill go home. I find shelter and spot the boat with a flag that says Day Sail Athens. At least I know where the boat is this time.
30 minutes later I see a man walk past me and towards the boat. He pulls the boats plank and boards it. I head over and introduce myself.
He tells me to hop on but the plank is about two feet away, and if you know me, Im clumsy. It’s the perfect scenario for falling in the water. I hand him my bag and then board.
I should probably mention that I have a fear of the ocean. My mind freaks out. It makes me think of sea monsters and unimaginable creatures waiting to taste human flesh. I was very nervous about the heavy rain.
The skipper, Ivan, introduces me to his comrade, a female. I think it was his girlfriend. They were both so welcoming and warm-hearted. They prepared a great Greek meal for me. They made me a cup of coffee and gave me some Greek spinach pie and we set off to sail.
I continually asked about the weather and sailing conditions. I was pretty sure today was my last day on earth. The skipper, and Irish guy who is very familiar with the seas assured me how safe it is to sail. He put my mind at ease.
Although the rain sucked, it scared anyone else from registering. Basically, I had the entire Yacht to myself. It was my own private yacht.
The experience was amazing. It was like having two good friends on the boat with me. We chatted. We ate. We sailed. They let me sail the boat! It was great.
The heavy black clouds blocked out the sun. It soaked the sand and stirred the water. There would be no docking near a beach. There would be no jumping off the boat today. No sunbathing in the cold damp sand. So we did the what anyone would do and headed for land, towards the closest island, Aegina. After all, it was my last day in Greece and I wanted to live it up.
Let me break it down for you:
- 85 Euros per person
- Lunch is included (and its amazing)
- Skipper speaks English
- Meet great people (unless its raining and everyone is scared of dying on a boat)
- Sail to nearby islands
- have fun
- Cater to your specific needs
- 9am to 6pm
Would I recommend it? I def would if you’re pressed for time and want to see nearby islands.
Check out their website at www.daysailgreece.com