Cruising the North Sporades Islands

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WorldMediterraneanGreeceAegean SeaCruising the North Sporades Islands
The North Sporades
Greece Sporades.jpg


The North Sporades, or simply the Sporades (Σποράδες), group of islands is maybe the second most popular cruising area in the Aegean after the Cyclades. Their name comes from the the greek word σπόρος (seed) because they seem to be scattered like seeds across the NW Aegean.

Unlike the Cyclades cruising conditions here are less demanding with milder winds and seas. Also, unlike the barren Cyclades the Sporades are green and lush with many deep coves suitable for anchorage.

It is assumed that you have, following the description of Passages between Athens Region and the North Sporades you have already arrived at the southernmost of the islands Skiathos. You can, of course, start your cruise at any other island. Also, you may skip or add islands to the overall cruise.

You start the cruise by sailing in the NE direction and stopping along the islands. After you visit Pelagos you head SE and end your cruise in Skyros. From there you can follow the direction of Passages between Athens Region and the North Sporades and return to the Athens Region.

There three other alternatives:

  1. End your cruise in Kyra Panayia and then head N towards N Greece,
  2. end your cruise in Planitis and head NE to either Ayios Efstratios or Limnos, or
  3. end your cruise as described above in Sarakino and then instead of heading to the Athens Region, head E to Psara.


1062 Nisoi Voríoi Sporades
2048 Skyros island
G25 Northern Sporades and North Nisos Evvoia
G26 Nisos Evvoia
54348 Vorios Evoikos Kolpos and Notios Evoikos Kolpos
54350 Nisoi Vorioi Sporadhes
54352 Plans in theAegean Sea: Nisos Skyros
31 North Evoikos to Kavala Gulf
33 Cape Sounion to Lesvos I.
74 Corinth to Skopelos Island
331 Sporades to Ay. Efstratios

See also Aegean Sea.


In the summer months the weather is dominated by the meltemi which in the North Sporades comes from the NNE. In general the meltemi winds in the North Sporades are much weaker than in either the Cyclades or the Dodecanese. The effects of sea and land breezes are often stronger than the meltemi.

For details see Aegean Weather.

Weather Windows

The best times to tour the North Sporades are in the late Spring, May and June, and in the early autumn, September and October. You are less likely to encounter strong meltemi winds and also all the anchorages are less crowded. Other than the weather-wise unpredictable winter months, the worse time to be cruising the North Sporades is during the month of August. In August all the harbors and anchorages, even the most remote, will be crowded as this is the prime vacation time in Greece and the rest of the EU.


See Aegean Sea.

Possible Departure Points

Route/Suggested Stopovers

  1. It is suggested to first stop in the most pleasant cove of Koukounaries/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkiathos.23Koukounaries.7CKoukounaries.5D.5DAnchorage icon Koukounaries [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Koukounaries|Koukounaries]] (Κουκουναριές) 39°08.8′N, 23°24.1′E in the island of Skiathos where you can relax after your passage.
  2. From Koukounaries proceed about 2 nM NE to Skiathos Harbor/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkiathos.23Skiathos_Harbor.7CSkiathos_Harbor.5D.5DHarbour icon Skiathos Harbor [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Skiathos Harbor|Skiathos Harbor]] (Σκιάθος) 39°09.9′N, 23°29.6′E .
    • This is a good place from where to explore the island. Wander in the nice town and visit the house of Papadiamantis one of the most notable modern Greek writers. Even better read his books before you come to Skiathos.
  3. After you depart from Skiathos Harbor you head SE to the island of Skopelos (Σκόπελος). If you are not in great hurry stop at the lovely cove of Panormos/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkopelos.23Panormos.7CPanormos.5D.5DAnchorage icon Panormos [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Panormos|Panormos]] (Πάνορμος) 39°06.5′N, 23°39.6′E , it is 9 nM from Skiathos Harbor.
  4. The next stopover is Skopelos Harbor/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkopelos.23Skopelos_Harbor.7CSkopelos_Harbor.5D.5DHarbour icon Skopelos Harbor [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Skopelos Harbor|Skopelos Harbor]] 39°7.34′N, 23°43.93′E on the NE side of the island, it is 15 nM from either Panormos or from Skiathos Harbor if you go directly from there.
    • Skopelos is a lovely heavily wooded island which provides an opportunity for many off-track hikes and to observe its many birds. The towns of Chora (the harbor) and Glossa are particularly attractive and with interesting architecture.
  5. From Skopelos Harbor the next recommended stop is Votsi/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BAlonnisos.23Votsi.7CVotsi.5D.5DAnchorage icon Votsi [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Votsi|Votsi]] (Βότση) 39°08.9′N, 23°52.4′E in the island of Alonnisos (Αλόννησος), a 8 nM sail (note that Alonnisos' main harbor of Patitiri/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BAlonnisos.23Patitiri.7CPatitiri.5D.5DHarbour icon Patitiri [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Patitiri|Patitiri]] (Πατητήρι) 39°08.543'N, 023°51.967'E is not recommended because it is usually very crowded and noisy).
    • The restored town of Chora is well worth a visit. It is about 5 km from either Patitiri or Votsi.
  6. The next island N of Alonnisos is Pelagos (Πέλαγος) an uninhabited island. It is part of the Marine Park and anchorage is restricted but not prohibited to private boats not engaged in fishing activities. The fist stopover in Pelagos is Kyra-Panayia/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BPelagos.23Kyra-Panayia.7CKyra-Panayia.5D.5DAnchorage icon Kyra-Panayia [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Kyra-Panayia|Kyra-Panayia]] (Κυρα-Παναγιά) 39°19′N, 24°03.1′E a 14 nM sail NE from Votsi.
    • As mentioned above, you can stop you cruise here and head N to ports in Northern Greece.
  7. From Kyra-Panayia you can sail 9 nM to Planitis/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BPelagos.23Planitis.7CPlanitis.5D.5DAnchorage icon Planitis [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Planitis|Planitis]] (Πλανήτης) 39°21′N, 24°04.5′E a very secure all weather anchorage.
  8. If you continue your cruise from Planitis, you will now be sailing S for 20 nM to the uninhabited island of Skantzoura/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkyros.23Skantzoura.7CSkantzoura.5D.5DAnchorage icon Skantzoura [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Skantzoura|Skantzoura]] (Σκάντζουρα) 39°04′N, 24°06.7′E . Skantzoura is also part of the Marine Park and while you can anchor you are not allowed to fish.
  9. When you depart from Skantzoura, sail for 23 nM SE to Ayios Phokas/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkyros.23Ayios_Phokas.7CAyios_Phokas.5D.5DAnchorage icon Ayios Phokas [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Ayios Phokas|Ayios Phokas]] (Άγιος Φωκάς) 38°52.4′N, 24°28.6′E , a most pleasant anchorage on the NW of the island of Skyros.
  10. From Ayios Phokas it is a short 8.5 nM sail (for safety you need to go around Valaxa island/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#Valaxa_islandWorld icon.png Valaxa island [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Valaxa island|Valaxa island]] 38°47.694'N, 024°29.332'E ) to Linaria/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkyros.23Linaria_Harbor.7CLinaria.5D.5DHarbour icon Linaria [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Linaria|Linaria]] (Λινάρια) 38°50.6′N, 24°32.1′E the main harbor of the island of Skyros (Σκύρος).
    • Note: While there is a marina on the N side of the island, it is not recommended. It is better to use Linaria as your base for your land exploration of this fabulous island.
    • You can take either a bus or a taxi from here to visit Chora, one of the most picturesque towns in the Aegean.
  11. Finally it is only a short sail of 9 nM from Linaria to the small uninhabited island of Sarakino/wiki/Cruising_the_North_Sporades_Islands#.5B.5BSkyros.23Sarakino.7CSarakino.5D.5DAnchorage icon Sarakino [[Cruising the North Sporades Islands#Sarakino|Sarakino]] (Σαράκινο) 38°45′N, 24°36.9′E . This is a lovely anchorage and the end of your cruise.

Possible Arrival Ports

You can stop your cruise in any of the islands but if you complete it you will end in

Distance & Duration

See also Aegean Distances Tables.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


See Aegean Sea.


See also Aegean Sea.


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