Athens is a busy commercial, financial and educational center today offering the tourist modernism with traditionalism. The coastal shores and port of Athens are on the eastern side of the Saronic Gulf. The area is a popular charter location due to the numerous places for safe and good anchoring.
Many pleasure yachts travel to Athens through the Corinth Canal. This amazing canal, which was dreamt up back as long as the 7th century BC., was only finally was completed in 1893. The canal then had a number of years with structural problems with the walls. From 1940 onwards it has been a popular tourist attraction at the bridge crossings for vehicles and for yachts passing through the 6.3km passage.
The now privately operated Port of Pireus has been an important location since ancient times and responsible for the development of the city. The Port is a vast oval shaped marina and has many large cruise liners, cargo ships and ferries operating from here. It is approximately 7km from the center of Athens and the Acropolis, but the train service from the Port will take you directly there.
From the station you are right at the marble footpath that leads to the Parthenon. Whilst you are there you will see another Roman building called the Erechtheion. There are 6 female statues as pillars to this interesting monument. However to see the original 5 female figures they are displayed at the Acropolis museum. The views are wonderful from here and you have a panoramic view over the city and surrounding land.
On the southern side of the Acropolis, is the Theatre of Dionysos which dates back to before the 4th century. The exact dating is unknown but believed to be earlier than this. Dionysos was a God different to the others as he was the God of wine, the theatre and mystery. At the front of the theatre there can be found an inscription stating "the seat for the priest of Dionysos Eleutherios “.
When taking in the many other archaeological sites, it is worth visiting The Panathenaic Stadium. In Roman times the stadium was used to host games for the Goddess Athena. It is made entirely of white marble and has a seating capacity of 50 000. In 2009 a charity concert was hosted at this venue by Sakis Rouvas. The tickets were sold out for this famous musician, television personality and actor who is one of Greeks most admired celebrities.
Also in the city one can visit “The Ruins of the Temple of Zeus”. This was built for one of the twelve Olympian Gods who was the God of the sky and thunder, as well as the ruler of Mount Olympus which can be seen from the city. Nearby is the Arch of Hadrian, dating back to 132 AD, which used to mark the division between the Roman part of the city and the ancient part.
Having seen the main city sights and maybe wishing to escape the busy streets and tourists there is a quiet place to escape called the “Kings Garden”. It has more recently been renamed the National Gardens. Here there are pretty ponds with ducks, shaded paths and seating areas. Opposite is the home of the Prime Minister of Greece and nearby the tomb of the unknown warrior which is guarded by the Special Army known as the Evzones. Their uniforms are kilts, under which are worn white long tights. These soldiers are very tall and it is a privileged ranking to achieve.
For the charterer wishing to spend some quality time on the sea the popular yachting locations to visit in the Saronic Gulf are the Islands of Aegina, Hydra, Spetsai and Poros, where the winds are milder. The winds to be cautious of are called the meltemi which blow from the north east around the Corinth canal from July to October after which they decrease. Yachting in the winter in Greece is also popular due to the mild climate, sunny days and lack of winds.
To discover this delightful yachting location the Bluewater Charter Department can guide you through a choice of luxury yachts to find which one would be most suitable, and help with the entire booking requirements.