Greece Yacht Charter Guide
Planning your Greece Yacht Charter - Top Destinations and Charter Yachts in the Greek Cyclades Islands, Saronic Gulf and Ionian Sea.
The Greeks have always had a deeply rooted affiliation to the sea; the ancient city of Athens remains the hub for all yachting activities and the perfect place to meet your crewed motor yacht or bareboat catamaran, as well as soaking up some history and culture before you head south. Greece offers a versatile yacht charter, as the myriad of islands all have different personalities so a range of experiences awaiting you. Embrace island hopping so you can savour the views of idyllic white-washed houses, turquoise waters and sleepy fishing towns. Whether you are into the history, water sports, looking for a romantic holiday or are a huge foodie, Greece has something for all of you!
Greece is the home of minimalism, colour, warmth and friendliness. Past the mainland, you can adventure to the fairest of the islands, and a yacht is the smartest way to zigzag between the unspoilt islands. Having sailed the Greek waters for years, our experienced team of brokers are experts on how to maximise your time in these magical waters and love to plan memorable trips for you; take a look at our about us page for more information, or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch - Greece is so versatile and offers so many options, including day charters or week-long charters, so we have something to suit everyone's needs.
Renting a crewed motor yacht in Greece provides guests with endless possibilities to enjoy the country's most spectacular anchorages and natural bays; from the photogenic and impressive Milos to the mythical retreat of Kefalonia. When chartering one of our crewed motor yachts, you will be able to cover the larger distances between the islands much more quickly than a sailing yacht, giving you time to do the things you really want to do. With sunbeds, shade and lounging areas, there is space for all guests to get comfortable whilst cruising as you cut through the glittering water to the next idyllic anchorage spot.
Chartering a luxury crewed catamaran in Greece will provide you will ultimate comfort and stability during your vacation on the sea - these boats include expansive deck spaces for sunbathing, alfresco dining and diving straight into the crystal waters that surround you. The beauty of the catamarans is their ability to get incredibly close to shore, so imagine pulling up to the lush landscape and laidback beaches awaiting you Crete or Rhodes. Soak up the sunshine on the trampoline, which makes the ultimate sunbathing spot, as you pull into picturesque ports and hidden coves.
The Greek Islands offer endless possibilities for the charterer to discover its laid-back chic, glimmering sea and almost tropical microclimate. The six thousand islands and more than 16,000km of coastline scattered around both the Aegean and Ionian Seas make the Greek archipelago one of the most sought-after sailing destinations in the world and the perfect destination to charter one of our crewed sailing yachts. With a crewed sailing yacht you can enjoy the luxury of being cooked for and looked after, as well as having a Captain who advises an itinerary, all whilst enjoying the freedom of sailing!
Chartered catamarans and sailing yachts in Greece can be either crewed or bareboat, so you can choose what type of holiday you want! With so many islands to be explored, chartering a bareboat sailing yacht or catamaran in Greece will tempt you to come back year after year, returning to explore a different island group each time. Doing a charter bareboat means you can completely plan this trip to your preferences, so check out our itineraries to mock together whatever works for you and your guests! Venture off the beaten track on your bareboat, to discover more remote islands like luscious Andros or Sifnos, a marvellous island for foodies.
The very best yachts for charter in Greece are permanently based in Athens, which has world-class marinas with all the amenities you could need. The best way to get to Athens to start your charter is to fly into Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos. There are direct flights from a range of European cities throughout the year, making it extremely accessible to all.
Flying from America, there are direct flights from New York JFK and Philadelphia in the summer season, or take a connecting flight from a European city, which will depend on your airline of choice. If you are travelling from Canada, there are a number of direct flights from the likes of Toronto and Montréal, or, as with flights from the USA, you will can change at a European airport. From Athens International, you can then easily take a taxi to the port to start your yacht charter experience!
The Cyclades Islands Yacht Charter
The most famous of the Greek Island groups, the Cyclades are composed of a number of islands of which only 24 are inhabited. It is a magnet for sailors all over the world thanks to its blissful beaches, cosmopolitan cachet and romantic restaurants. The most well known amongst them are Delos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini and Sifnos, which means you can visit a wide range of them during your charter to ensure a versatile and exotic holiday!
Wind and Sailing conditions: The ideal time to charter a yacht in the Cyclades Islands is June through mid-July. By the end of July and August, however, the ‘Meltemi’ wind that blows from the north, northwest can reach Force 5-6 and even on occasion Force 7-8.
The Ionian Islands Yacht Charter
The Ionian Islands can be found in the cool deep waters off the west coast of Greece. The 12 islands and islets offer authenticity, a bohemian buzz and charming villages. Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Ithaca and Paxi are the six large Ionian Islands and Antipaxi, Erikousa, Mathraki, Othoni, Meganisi and the deserted islets of Strofades south of Zakynthos make up the rest. In Zakynthos, the Blue Caves and Shipwreck Beach are worthwile visits, where a rusting liner leans into the chalky cliffs creating a dramatic and impressive view. Take a look at our Ionian Island Itinerary for further inspiration.
Wind and Sailing conditions: The wind and sailing conditions in the Ionian Sea are steady and predictable which makes it fun for sailors of all abilities. Winds normally start to build around midday but drop off towards sunset – perfect for sailing to your evening destination after a morning spent snorkelling and enjoying the pristine waters, in one of the Mediterranean's deepest points. From May to September, the wind tends to blow from the northwest at Force 2-5. In spring and autumn, the wind is less strong and blows usually from the southwest.
The Saronic Islands Yacht Charter
Made up of Aegina, Agkistri, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Salamina and the peninsula of Methana, the Saronic Islands are a wonderful destination all year round for your luxury yacht charter due to its sheltered location and breathtaking natural beauty. The Saronic Gulf is located within easy reach of Athens, where this postcard pretty and understated group of islands has much to offer the visitor including alternative cuisines, boutique stores, effortless luxury, and the convenience of its proximity to the country's dynamic capital city.
Wind and Sailing conditions: The Saronic, Argolic and eastern coast of the Peloponnesian Gulf is a very well protected cruising area making it fantastic for first-time charterers. There are mild winds, usually from the north to the northeast that average Force 3-4, as it is predominately sheltered from the strong Meltemi wind that affects most of the other Island groups in Greece. This sheltered location and its close proximity to Athens makes it a brilliant sailing destination.
In the Argolic Gulf and Hydra Island, the wind blows mainly from the southeast. The Meltemi wind can be strong in the afternoon, but otherwise, it is normally calm. The Kabatic wind also affects the region coming off the mountaintops of the Peloponnese though very rarely reaching higher than Force 5 and blowing for short periods of time. The average temperature from June to September in this region is 25-34°C (77-93° F) but in May and October, the weather is a little bit cooler.
The Sporades Islands Yacht Charter
The Sporades Islands lie on the eastern coast of mainland Greece and consist of 11 islands of which only 4 are inhabited: Skiathos, now known by many for this is where the worldwide acclaimed feature Mamma Mia was filmed, Skopelos, Alonnisos and Skyros.
These idyllic islands are a fertile and green archipelago that is different to other islands anywhere else in Greece. It is for this reason that they have become known as the emerald of the Aegean, with pine-forested mountains slope down to some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean and clear blue-green waters. These beautiful islands present the opportunity for a simple and slower way of life, so you can truly unwind and enjoy a therapeutic holiday in the sunshine.
Wind and sailing conditions: The summer months in the Sporades are dry and warm. The prevailing wind in the summer is the ‘Meltemi’ (force 3-4) that provides fantastic sailing conditions but do also look out for the ‘Sirrocco’, a southerly wind that blows every few weeks in the early and late season.
Dodecanese Islands Yacht Charter
Travel back in time to the Dodecanese Islands, found in the south east of the Aegian Sea, just off the Turkish coast. Expect stunning sandy or pebble beaches, traditional Greek towns, imposing monuments as well as typically excellent Greek gastronomy. Astypalea, Leros, Lipsi, Nisyros, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Patmos, Rhodes, Tilos are just a few that make up this beautiful island group. Rhodes, for instance, has reinvented itself hilltop castles, emerald coves and powdery, golden beaches, and be sure to head to Mavikros restaurant for the unrivalled view!
Wind and Sailing Conditions. During the summer, the prevailing wind is the ‘Meltemi’, which blows from the northwest. It blows eratically through June and October but regular winds between force 4 and 6 can be expected in between these months. In the spring and autumn, the wind is usually force 2-4 and blows from the southeast.
Map of Greece Charter and Sailing Destinations
The Greek islands tend to have a "Dry Mediterranean" climate, which makes them perfect for chartering during the non-winter months. The weather in the islands is almost always sunny and dry during the summer, with the temperature hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night. Winters are chilly and wet and therefore make chartering risky, but summer in Greece lasts longer than in the likes of France and Italy, extending the charter season and allowing you more time to sail!
The Etesian winds generally blow from May to October but can be quite strong in July and August, particularly in the Cyclades islands. Please read the information about wind in each of the areas above and discuss your Greek yachting itinerary with one of our experts when booking your Greece charter.
Greek cuisine is simple yet delicious. During your sailing vacation, you will come across the freshest ingredients, the best olive oil in the world and a growing variety of excellent locally produced wines. Local specialities vary from region to region, but the most popular ones are Tzatziki, fresh Octopus, fresh grilled fish, Moussaka, fresh olives and the sweet baklava. Of course, no one should leave this country without having had a Souvlaki. Certain islands, such as Sifnos, are renowned for their role in the fabulous foodie scene, so tuck into the golden Calimari, a meze platter and the local biscuits with orange flavour. Food is what many charter guests relish and remember after their Greek yacht charter.