has two main yachting routes: the Saronic route and the Cyclades route. The Saronic Isles, which are nearest Athens and consist of Aegina, Poros, Angistri, Hydra, Dokos and Spetes is recommended for easy sailing, being sheltered from the strong Cyclades winds. Along this route you will find small fishing ports, unspoiled anchorages, sandy beaches, ancient temples, and modern towns. From Athens, you can easily set sail to the thousands of islands in the Cyclades, or to the serene Ionian archipelago. Cruise to the pine covered islands of the Northern Sporades or the ancient splendor of Crete. Diving is spectacular, but if you want to go independently, you must get permission from the local port police; otherwise go with a recognized dive center. There are plenty of reefs, walls, caves and wrecks to explore, with some shallow sites around Crete boasting scatterings of ancient Greek and Roman storage pots. The city of Athens is a sprawling metropolis of over four million people, dominated by the ancient beauty of the Acropolis, and packed with art galleries, museums, restaurants, bustling shops, and a well-known nightlife. The Yacht Club of Greece, which sponsors several yachting events each year, is located on Piraeus Peninsula, in the ancient military port called Mounichia. Their main club house is situated on the top of a picturesque hill at the southeast end of the port, with a unique view of the Phaleron Bay, the Saronic Gulf and the islands of Salamis, Aegina and Poros, as well as the city of Athens and the surrounding mountains.