By Maria Paravantes
If there’s one dream all of us have for a summer full of bliss, it’s chilling out in our bathing suit, a martini in hand on board a beautiful sailboat anchored somewhere in the Aegean as we make plans for the next island on our itinerary while the waves splash softly against the boat’s hull.
This dream of vacation paradise can easily come true in Greece.
With hundreds of islands – large and small, arid or lush, cosmopolitan or off the beaten path, and weather conditions for the most professional of skippers to the beginners, Greece is the ideal destination to indulge in sailing, yachting and other marine activities.
Over the last decade, all the more holidaymakers from across the globe are coming to Greece, leasing out a yacht or sailboat and sailing off into Greece’s deep blue. Inaccessible coves, bays and inlets with breathtaking waters and pristine beaches are only one part of the reward. Add to that the dining and wining, the hiking and sightseeing, the swimming and sunbathing, the partying and lounging, and you’ve got the ultimate Greece sailing experience, or in one word: heaven.
The islands + Athens
Greece is the ideal holiday choice for that once-on-a-lifetime sailing adventure thanks to its island clusters that make it easy to visit many destinations.
The Ionian isles are ideal for the novice or for those seeking emerald green waters, lush landscapes and calm winds.
The Cyclades, meanwhile, offer the traditional white-washed architecture of its island communities, dry terrain, turquoise waters and the mighty “meletemi” winds ideal for the pros or those hungry for excitement.
And if you’re in Athens for a few days you could still embark on a super sailing trip to the nearby Saronic Gulf islands of Hydra, Aegina, Poros and Spetses as well as to some wonderful coastal destinations like Methana.
One of the main reasons Greece is perfect for sailing is its famed summer wind: the powerful “meltemi” – a strong northerly wind which starts midday and picks up through to sunset roughly from June to September. The meltemi is ideal for the seasoned sailor and offers the chance for an invigorating sailing experience.
These winds often reach gale force (7-8 on the Beaufort scale) and are more vigorous in the Cyclades.
The variety & cost
There is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to sailing in Greece. Whether you’re interested in renting a luxury motor yacht, a sailing boat, catamaran or a motorsailer; want to sail it alone, with a skipper or a full crew, you’ll be spoiled for choice. That’s why we here at the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) decided to make some suggestions (see below). Rates, meanwhile, are very friendly – starting at around 50 euros per night – and in many cases cost less than renting a hotel room. So if you’ve done that already then maybe it’s time to hit the sea.
For those chartering a sailboat or yacht, make sure to bring warm clothes, sunscreen, hats and shoes with a grip (decks can be slippery).
Mykonos Yachting consists of nine motor yachts, including a vessel featuring a 10 square meters glass bottom -- the “Glassbottom Discovery” -- to showcase the hidden underwater treasures of the island of Mykonos.
Mariners Group, a yacht charter company, meets its customers’ special requests and takes care of all required formalities with the port authorities, customs, immigration offices, ports and marinas in Greece.
Kefalonia Yachting operates as yachts support agent, offering a variety of on-board and ashore services, as well as, re-fueling with our own fuel trucks. Pleasure or Business, our expertise team can handle everything on your behalf.