Travel: Eco-Hopping

A modern-day Greek odyssey that cruises the Aegen Sea by (mostly) wind-powered means, taps unspoiled destinations, and zeroes in on sustainable island life

By Jennifer van der Kwast

Photo by Tracy Toscano

Companies that offer catamaran excursions include Sailing in Blue (, Apollonia Yacht Charters (, Istion Sailing Holidays (, and DMS Sailing ( For more information about sailing in Greece, also visit Expert Diederik Willemsen will lead you through the chartering process, and requests for price quotes forwarded by Willemsen tend to get quicker responses. Also ask Willemsen about companies that plan on using the Lagoon 420 Hybrid, the first boat of its kind available with gas and electric propulsion. This system—which experienced hiccups in its infancy—recharges a cabin’s batteries via propellers that turn while you sail.

Catamaran charter prices range from €3,600 to €6,500, depending on the company and season. As a general rule, peak season runs from July 26 to August 30; shoulder seasons, which have cooler temper­atures but fewer tourists, run from May 17 to July 26 and August 30 to October 4. Low season is anytime before May 17 and after October 4. Remember to bring along extra cash for skipper, chef, hostess, and fuel and port fees.

Sofrano Taverna
Loutra, 30-22810-31436 Leave room for the fresh grilled octopus, which is simple, clean, and exquisite.

Health Spas of Kythnos
Loutra, 30-31217-31460
The thermal spas are open June–October, 8 AM–2 PM.
Thenalokion Bakery
Livadi, across from the jetty. Of the many bakeries in Livadi, this one is arguably the best. Order the boutgatzas or a deliriously flaky ham and cheese pie.

Taverna Takis
Livadi, 30-22810-51159. Enjoy standard but well-executed classic Greek dishes at a table right on the sandy beach.

Dolci Cafe & Creperie
Kastro, 30-22840-32311. Savor sweet cocktails and dessert crepes under a thatched umbrella on the airy outdoor patio.

To Tsikali
Vathi, 30-22840-71177. The busiest restaurant on the beach, with excellent Sifnos cheese, traditional chickpea dishes and—most surprisingly­—what might be the best French fries in all of Greece.

Antonis Atsonios
Vathi, 30-22840-71119. It would be criminal to leave Sifnos without any of its signature ceramics. If you’re lucky, you can catch the old-school potter at his studio working on a foot-operated lathe.

To Tsoukaloudi
Vathi, 30-22840-71116. Stick to tradition and stock up on the simple white-and-blue painted handicrafts.

Skip Santorini. This Disneyland for honeymooners is lousy with T-shirt vendors and restaurant barkers. Adding this far-flung island to your itinerary will cost you a good two to three days of sailing and limit your opportunity to explore more authentic Greek islands. Instead, consider the romantic island of Amorgos, on the eastern end of the Cycladic loop. At the port of Katapola, you’ll find the Elichrisos Gallery jewelry store, perfect for picking up precious-stone necklaces designed by local artists and komboloi, traditional Greek worry beads. There might not be any five-star restaurants on the island, but just off the dock, you can dine on fresh grilled fish at Mouragio. The fisherman who caught the evening’s special will probably be sitting at a table next to you. 

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Issue 25

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