The Saronic gulf includes the islands of Aegina, Salamis, and Poros along with smaller islands of Patroklos and Fleves. The port of Piraeus, Athens port, lies on the northeastern edge of the gulf.
Beaches line much of the gulf coast from Poros to Epidaurus, Galataki to Kineta and from Megara to Eleusis and from Piraeus down to Anavyssos. Athens’ urban area surrounds the northern and the eastern coasts of this gulf.
Bays in the gulf include Phaleron Bay, Elefsina Bay to the north, Kechries Bay in the northwest and Sofiko Bay in the east.
The volcano of Methana is located to the southwest along with Kromyonia at the Isthmus of Corinth, Aegina and Poros. Methana is also the youngest most active volcano center and forms the northwestern end of the cycladic arch of active volcanoes that includes Milos island, Santorini island and Nisyros island. A hydropathic institute at Methana makes use of the hot sulphurous water that still surfaces in the area. The most recent eruption was of a submarine volcano north of Methana in the 17th century.
The gulf has refineries around the northern part of the gulf including east of Corinth and west of Agioi Theodoroi, Eleusis, Aspropyrgos, Skaramangas and Keratsini. These refineries produce most of Greece’s refined petroleum products, a large proportion of which are then exported. The gulf is quite a busy area with commercial shipping due to the refineries, Piraeus, and traffic to and from the canal.
The origin of the name comes from the mythological king Saron who drowned at the Psifaei lake (modern Psifta). The Saronic Gulf was a string of six entrances to the Underworld, each guarded by a chthonic enemy in the shape of a thief or bandit.
The Battle of Salamis, just to the west of modern-day Piraeus, was a major turning point in European history which saw the Athenians defeat Xerxes, assuring Athens its place as the cradle of modern European culture.
If you are willing to sail near Athens, the Saronic Islands and the east coast of Peloponnese will satisfy your demands for a safe trip in calm waters. In close proximity to the Attica Prefecture (where Athens belongs) are some wonderful sailing routes that offer ideal sailing conditions, clean and calm waters, splendid coasts and different Islands to explore. The Saronic Islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses are the most popular sailing destinations.
In the Argolic Gulf and along the east coast of Peloponnese you can make use of superb sailing and well-organized port facilities in the historical cities of Nafplion and Tolo, and marinas in Porto Heli, Astros and Leonidio.