GREECE YACHT CHARTER GUIDE
The crystalline Greek waters are home to a bounty of charming islands, inlets and secluded bays, divided loosely into seafaring regions each with their own distinct character and charm. The most precious gems Greece has to offer are undoubtedly experienced by water: secluded and sheltered bays inaccessible by road, beachside tavernas serving up freshly caught seafood right on the water and the sight of blue-domed churches amidst the shady olive groves of picturesque fishing towns.
A country of unparalleled beauty, Greece remains one of the top travel destinations in the world. Its incredible history spans four millennia and the country is referred-to by many as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games and Western philosophy. It has more archaeological museums and landmarks than any other country in the world, including the Acropolis situated in Athens, dating back to the 5th-century B.C.
Greece boasts 9000 miles of coastline, the 10th longest in the world, and more than 2000 islands, of which only 170 are inhabited. There is no better way to explore the beauties of the Greek Islands and the coast of mainland Greece than on a yacht. Having your base on water allows you to experience the unique landscape and culture of several islands in just a short period of time.
With most islands just a few hours away from Athens, you can find yourself enjoying the traditional white houses of the Cyclades or the green Venetian inspired landscapes of the Ionian after a quick journey. Several of the islands have airports and easy helicopter access, making it quite simple to meet your yacht. With many islands situated close to each other, the term island hopping truly comes to life when you are on a superyacht, with the ability to cruise between the islands to explore secluded beaches, their unique local culture and the freshest local food in a single day.
Greece enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine a year and a typically Mediterranean climate with cool winters and warm to hot dry summers. The peek of the yacht charter season is during the summer months, from June through August, however May, September and October are a wonderful time to visit the area by sea. The temperatures are still warm, although a little cooler, and the sea is a delight to swim in.
The alluring Aegean seas offer travellers an assortment of large and rugged isles blessed with warm winds and plenty to discover off-the-beaten-track. Scattered across the Aegean Sea, located to the southeast of the mainland, the 220 islands of the Cyclades are the most popular yachting destination in Greece. Easily accessible from Athens, the archipelago is known for the white-washed, cube houses built on hillsides leading down to glittering azure waters. The Cyclades are a must for anyone with a thirst for architecture, archaeology and beautiful views. Enjoy the nightlife in cosmopolitan Mykonos, take an afternoon to explore Apollo’s temple in Delos, and enjoy the famous Santorini sunset with a glass of ouzo and a bowl of glossy olives.
The twelve Dodecanese islands lie less than a hundred miles from the Turkish coast and are positively soaked in rich and complex ancient history. The smallest of these islands offer a range of secluded harbours – a relic of their trading past – whilst all offer an abundance of stunning beaches and dramatic terrain, best viewed from the water, of course. Across all twelve islands and 150 less known islets are countless of Byzantine churches and medieval castles, and the climate is between temperate and dry tropical, with an extended dry summer period.
The vertical string of lush Ionian islands comprises of seven main islands including Cephalonia, Corfu, Zakynthos, Ithaca Paxi, Lefkada and Kythira. The Ionian sea embraces Greece’s west coast and boasts mild weather, rich vegetation, staggering Venetian architecture and calm and predictable sailing conditions.The islands offer miles of sandy beaches with turquoise waters, making this area the perfect yacht charter destination. Even though split into the north and south islands, the entire island-chain can be experienced on a two-week charter itinerary.
The Saronic Islands, just a couple of hours from Athens, offer a rich history of modern Greece. Located to the south of Athens, between the north eastern shore of the Peloponnese and the peninsula of Attica, the Saronic Islands stand out for their calm, protected waters suitable for cruising year-round. They are just a two hour cruise away from Athens and are ideal for weekend escapes. Rich in culture, history, tradition and natural beauty the main attractions include Hydra and Spetses but Angistri, Poros and Aegena are equally as impressive. Hop ashore for a Greek coffee and wander through the cobbled streets of these islands’ beautiful towns.
Situated across the northwest of the Aegean Sea off the east coast of Greece, the Sporades are known as the ‘the emerald of the Aegean’ thanks to their rich vegetation and green-blue waters. For anyone looking for natural beauty and seclusion, these 24 islands are an authentic Greek charter destination. The cruising conditions are ideal for a yacht charter and the summer months are warm and dry. Skiathos with its famous Koukounaries beach, Alonissos home of the monk seal and Skopelos, where scenes from Hollywood movie Mamma Mia were shot are not to be missed.