Greece is one of the most popular and attractive destinations for sailors globally. One reason that makes sailing in Greece so beautiful is the large variety of islands. The country has around 3,000 islands, the most in the Mediterranean.
Greece has many different climates and vegetations and significant variations in culture and architecture. Since the Greek sailing areas have so much to offer, from the numerous islands to the cultural heritage to the affordable prices, you will need more than just a sailing trip to explore this wonderful country, whether a beginner or a professional. This article will get everything essential you need to know about yacht charter in Greece.
We explain general information about sailing in Greece, the best time to sail, the weather, the most beautiful places and islands.
Best time for sailing in Greece
The sailing season in Greece lasts from April to November and is very similar to other Mediterranean countries. The peak season lasts from the last week of June to mid-September. During this time, you have to expect crowded marinas and harbours and many motorboats of day-trippers occupying most of the harbour berths on the islands, so you have to be prepared for occasional anchoring. In return, you can be assured that the restaurants and stores are always open.
Weather in Greece
The summer months can be sweltering and dry, with lots of sun and temperatures up to 35 °C on the coast and islands, but not in the Cyclades, where the Meltemi wind blows continuously for weeks, reaching up to 8 Beaufort in July and August. As a result, ferries are not allowed to sail at that time, and some charter companies do not let boats leave the harbour.
The best time for sailing is during the offseason, in June and from the second week of September. You can enjoy the aftermath of summer and the low prices. Due to the size of Greece, there are also regional differences in the season. For example, the summer and intermediate seasons are longer in the south of the Aegean islands, where you can still swim in December.
Where to sail on vacation in Greece?
The best way to explore and experience the coast on a Greece vacation is without a doubt a trip to all its islands. Each of the 3,000 Greek islands is more beautiful than the other, and they all have their unique charm. The Greek coast can be divided into the Ionian Sea, Epirus, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, the Cyclades, Crete, the Dodecanese, the Aegean Islands, the Sporades, Macedonia and Thrace.
The Ionian Sea is a popular tourist and sailing area with ancient European cultural influences. Many tourist sailors come here to sail. Be aware of strong winds at the end of the summer season, with violent gusts when passing high mountain islands. The region does not have many marinas, but it has many picturesque bays and harbours where you can get good traditional food and a wide selection of Greek wines.
Sailing further south, you will reach the Peloponnese, a peninsula connected to the mainland by the Corinth Canal. The peninsula has high mountains, a rich history and culture. The Peloponnese is also known for its vineyards and ancient ruins from the oldest civilizations in Greek history. You can also find beautiful bays with clear blue water where you can drop anchor.
As a tourist, it is also your responsibility to preserve the beauty of nature that you may find. Therefore, pay attention to the guidelines and instructions and make sure that you sail in an eco-friendly way.
The most beautiful islands for sailing in Greece
With so many beautiful islands in Greece, it isn’t easy to choose. But among the most beautiful islands for sailing in Greece are certainly:
Sailing near or from Athens
The birthplace of democracy, Athens is a city with a rich history. It was the center of power in ancient Greece and was the home of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It’s also home to one of the first modern democracies in the world.
Athens is the capital city of Greece and a classic destination for those who love to sail from its modern marinas to the nearby islands of the Saronic Gulf (Aigina, Hydra, Spetses), the Cyclades, the coast of the Peloponnese or Evvoia and the Sporades Islands.
But no matter how much you look forward to hoisting anchor and enjoying the Aegean breeze, it is worth spending 2-3 days visiting the antiquities in Athens, such as the famous Acropolis with its Parthenon. There are many companies that offer amazing tours in Athens to experience this city with its many beauties and thousands of years of history.