Greece is one of the greatest sailing hubs in the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of islands counting for up to a 20% of the total land area in Greece and a 9000 mile coastline could offer unlimited gems to explore, hidden bays and marinas that would need many sailing trips to thoroughly experience.
The Aegean and Ionian Sea are the most famous in Greece where the main sailing destinations are the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades and Dodecanese Islands, the Sporades and islands in the Saronic and Argolic Gulf.
Besides the pleasant weather and picturesquare marinas, what makes Greece such a special place is the profusion of historical sites, most of which are within a short distance from the sea. The Greeks have always had an anfinty with the sea and nothing they ever built was far from it. Among the sites that should not be missed are those on the mainland, the Acropolis of Athens and the temple at Delphi. On the northern shore the Peloponnese is ancient Corinth, while not far inland is the magnificent Amphitheatre at Epidaurus, the remains of Olympia and the impressive fortifications of Mycenae that go back over three thousand years.
The islands also abound in sites, and it is a great thrill to anchor close to such immortal places as Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, visit the palace and labyrinth of the legendary King Minos at Knossos on Crete, the mysterious lion hidden on a hillside on Kea, or climb to the temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion.
While the most beautiful beaches in the country include Porto Katsiki in Lefkada, Myrtos in Kefalonia, Sarakiniko in Milos, Shipwreck in Zakynthos, the beaches of Paxos and Antipaxos, Balos and Vai palm trees in Crete, Simos in Elafonisos and Voidokilia in Messinia.
The Ionian Sea offers one of the best cruising grounds anywhere in Greece as the weather conditions are generally more bening. The islands of Corfu, Lefkada and Zakynthos are the most famous
The Cyclades offer a mixture of amazing sailing conditions, great wind and exciting nightlife on the famous islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Mylos, Syros, Ios and Naxos
Some of the most beautiful hidden gems of Greece are found among the Saronic Islands. Close to the coast and capital of Athens, these islands are a very popular destination for cruising.
The yacht charter season in Greece starts April and ends in October.
The high season runs from the last week of July till the first half of August where the temperature is around 25°C.
Even though during August there is a strong Meltemi wind (it can reach a force of 7 and even 8 bf) that may cause inconvenience, mainly in the islands of Cyclades, Sporades, Dodecanese, and North Aegean, August is very popular for sailing in Greece. Violent storms occur only in winter and overall the weather is pleasant while extreme conditions are rare.
In the Central Aegean, the warmest months are July and August, with average temperatures of 25°C/77°F and day temperatures often well in excess of 30°C/90°F
It is always a smart idea to avoid peak seasons, both in terms of charter cost but also to avoid crowed beaches, marinas and restaurants. The following graphs depict the demand* for yacht holiday in respect with average precipitation and average temperature.
To avoid peak seasons while still having comfort weather conditions, start your trip in June or the second half of August until first half of September.
Depending from the destination, you can use one of the international Airport available in Greece.
For Cyclades Islands, you can fly to Athens and depart from one of the Athens marinas. Travelers usually spend a couple of dayes to visit the city and then start their trip. Alternatively you can fly directly to the islands of Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, or Syros, and start your trip from there.
For Argosaronic Islands, you can fly to Athens and start your trip from one of the Athens marinas.
For the Ionian islands, you can fly to the airports of Corfu, Kefalonia or Preveza to depart from the respective islands, while Lefkas is easily reachable from the Preveza airport.
For the Sporades islands, you can get your boat or yacht from the Volos port, located only some hours away from Athens and Thessaloniki or you can fly directly to Skiathos and get your boat from there.
For Dodecanese islands, usually yacht charter companies have their bases in either Kos, Rhodes or Kalymnos that you can easily fly to the respective airports of Kos, Rhodes. or Kalymnos. Alternatively you can fly to Athens and get the Ferrie boat from Pireus port to get to the respective islands. With the exception of Rhodes, which belongs culturally to Greece but geologically to the mainland of Anatolia, the islands are arid and largely barren. Some travelers start their trip from Turquoise coast (Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca) to enter Greece. This requires extra formalities and it is strongly advices to ask the agent to carry out the formalities. The cost of the transit log and Visa are not included in the agent fees.
Greece is an EU country, and hence EU citizens require no visa to enter the country, while non EU citizens have to check before travel.
The official currency is Euro.