WHEN TO VISIT:
May to October
- Corfu - Preveza - Athens -
- Skiathos - Mykonos - Rhodes -
English - Greek
If you are after that iconic Mediterranean feel, then it has to be Greece. It has the rustic charm of quaint little towns, white-washed villages and with such an immense variety of places to visit you would never be bored. Everywhere you go, there are reminders of Greece’s historical past with monuments, temples and sun-bleached ruins. From the green and fertile mountains by the Ionian Sea, to the dryer, sand-coloured islands east of the Peloponnese, it is without doubt a country of striking contrasts. Harbouring overnight in picture-perfect villages, indulging in the most delicious fresh food served on the water’s edge, and finishing off with a tipple of ouzo – what could be more appealing? Stunning coastlines, beautiful islands, azure waters and ancient history; Greece has it all.
The main 5 cruising grounds are described below:
Old Town, Corfu
With its impressive coastline of towering mountains and sparkling blue waters, the Ionian Sea is a yachting paradise and Greece’s most popular yachting destination..
CORFU: Corfu Old Town is an absolute delight, with its Venetian architecture and Greek elegance. Some of the prettiest beaches and the most enchanting villages can be found on this island. Spend a night in a tiny harbour at the base of a fort and you will even forget where you are!
PAXOS: It has been known for all other destination plans to go out of the window once you arrive in Paxos, see how beautiful it is and decide to stay for the whole week! Lakka is a spectacular sandy bay where the water is turquoise, shallow and warm – a paradise. Anchor in the middle of the bay and take the tender into the tiny village. Sip drinks and have lunch or dinner in one of the quayside restaurants whilst surveying your yacht! Gaios is a charming little port town that has a chic, sophisticated feel to it. This little picturesque and hidden harbour, with interesting shops and charming atmospheric restaurants, will take your breath away.
ANTI PAXOS: White sandy beaches and the bluest water you will find in Greece. Anchor for a day of swimming and water based activities.
MEGANISI: Take your pick from one of the many secluded bays on this stunning, largely uninhabited island. Swim, paddleboard or simply relax in paradise. Have dinner on deck, underneath the stars, and wake up the next morning, stepping off your yacht into your very own swimming pool!
ITHAKA: The mythical home of Odysseus. This lovely island remains completely unspoilt from the influences of the modern world. It is small and sleepy with beautiful scenery.
ZAKYNTHOS: Home to the famous and most photographed beach in Greece – Navaigo beach; also known as Shipwreck Cove. It is the site of a famed shipwreck that settled in a sandy cove surrounded by cliffs – it certainly is impressive! A stunning location with towering cliffs and deep blue water.
KEFALONIA: This island is famous for the film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It is a large island (one of the biggest in the Ionian) with forested mountains and spectacular scenery. It has an array of coves and beach bays, many of which can only be reached by boat. Spend the evening in Fiscardo, a picturesque fishing village that has remained untouched from the modern world and still has the ‘’Greek charm’’. The island is home to some magnificent caves at Drogorati and Melisani.
Sunset Restaurant, Hydra
Just a short hop from Athens, the Saronic Gulf is an ideal place for a charter full of variety. From watersports in Poros, donkey riding in Hydra and partying in Porto Heli, the Saronic Gulf has it all. Start your charter at the base of the awe-inspiring Acropolis & Parthanon.
POROS: Anchor just before Poros and enjoy an afternoon of watersports at the famous waterski school. Poros town is a delight, with restaurants, bars, clothing and jewellery shops stretching along the waterfront. Sit here and watch all the boats come and go. Take a walk up to the church which offers spectacular views over the island, before popping into the bakery for some delicious treats on your way back down. Poros has an abundance of charm and you will want to return!
HYDRA: The gem of the Saronic and a must-go place. Cars and motorised transport are not permitted on the island, making it a tranquil haven which has retained that Hellenic atmosphere. All transportation up the tiny steep cobbled streets is by donkey. Take a walk or a donkey ride round the island to explore. The most wonderful shops selling handmade silver jewellery and clothing surround the tiny
harbour, which is crammed with local fishing boats. Dinner and drinks at the Sunset Restaurant, watching the sun go down, is a truly magical experience.
PORTO HELI: The town has developed from a traditional fishing village into a chic, trendy destination for Greece’s elite. The harbour gives great protection from the wind, making it a popular place for yachts. Venture ashore and soak up the charm.
DOKOS: This tiny island, with a wild landscape, is largely unpopulated and those who live here are mainly sheep herders and Orthodox monks. The evenings here provide peace and tranquillity under the stars, in total seclusion. Early morning swims or paddleboarding in the sparking clear waters are experiences not forgotten.
SPETSES: Arriving in the little port of Dapia you will see fishermen setting out their catch on the harbour side. Stroll along the narrow, cobbled streets past the elegant villas, traditional tavernas and stylish little shops. It is without doubt an island of understated glamour! The small town doesn’t allow cars and people get around either by bike or horse-drawn carriages. This all adds to the age-old feel of the island, which has remained largely unaffected by visitors. It is a pretty island with secluded, beautiful coves and pine-clad hills.
Fishing Boats, Spetses
The Cyclades are a group of islands, most renowned for the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. They are great to visit either early or late in summer, as the infamous Meltemi wind can blow very hard in July and August.
KEA: The closest island to Athens. This quiet and traditional island is very popular with the Greeks, so the food is always superb. Kea is a walker’s heaven, with lots of paths and trails across the island, so head on up the mountain for an early morning stroll.
MYKONOS: This pretty little island, where white windmills dominate the landscape, has become a stylishly alluring destination where jet-setters come to party. Take a walk around town or a quad bike tour of the island, before getting ready to hit the glamourous and vibrant party scene! There are plenty of sumptuous boutiques and restaurants, but it is also possible to escape to the sheltered South-coast beaches and enjoy peace before the rest of the island wakes up! Anchor up and enjoy these brilliant beaches.
SIFNOS: If you are after the perfect combination of beautiful beaches, easy- going night life and white-washed villages, then this island is for you. Sifnos is also known for the best food in the Cyclades, with many people making a ‘pilgrimage’ to the island in order to sample its cuisine!
PAROS: Has everything that you would imagine a Greek island to have. Pretty little harbours with tavernas, locals sitting and sipping their morning coffees, bars and cafes, white-washed houses with blue shutters, little fishing boats bobbing on the sea and clear waters lapping against pale, sandy beaches. In the summer months, Paros is extremely popular with windsurfers.
MILOS: A volcanic island with some incredible rock formations. It is steeped in history, with catacombs, the remains of an amphitheatre and sun-bleached ruins. On the east of the island there are hot thermal springs and stunning white landscapes. The island has an abundance of pretty beaches and matchless sunsets. The only way to appreciate the impact of Milos, is to sail around the island. The multi-coloured rocks loom out of the turquoise waters like pieces of abstract artwork. Sailing into the natural harbour in Milos is extremely impressive; it is a site to behold when the colourful boat houses with their brightly painted doors come into view. The waterfront is full of cafes and restaurants where you can relax and watch the world go by – this is the place to experience the real Greece, without the crowds.
SYROS: The vibe here is a lot more relaxed than many of the other islands, as not many tourists visit. It has therefore kept its heritage and feels like a real Greek island. The pretty town of Hermoupolis straddles the hillside, looking like a postcard with its pastel coloured houses and harbour. The island has some of the best restaurants in Greece. There is a mix of sandy and pebbled beaches, all with crystal clear water.
Rock Sculptures, Milos
Consists of just over 30 islands, with a plethora of ancient ruins and fortress towns. Due to their strategic location and proximity to the empires of by-gone ages, these islands have been fought over for centuries. Follow in the footsteps of Romans, Ottomans and Medieval knights; get exploring!
RHODES: The largest island in the Dodecanese. Its old town, a world heritage site, is enclosed by spectacular medieval walls, gates and turrets. Some argue that after the Acropolis, it is the second greatest historical site in Greece. Entering through the gate of Navarhou, you will see the remains of the temple of Aphrodite built in the 3rd century. Rhodes has impressive shopping and a vibrant nightlife.
SIMI: Sometimes called Symi, is a stunning mountainous island that is noted for its tranquillity. The beaches are not easy to get to unless you are in a boat and once the day trippers from Rhodes have departed, the early mornings and evenings are a haven of peace. It is one of the hottest Greek islands and the temperature here can soar to 40 degrees during July and August.
TILOS: Is a relatively small island that has remained untouched by tourists. There are some fascinating museums and secluded sandy beaches. With dramatic landscapes, a medieval castle and monastery, Tilos is a perfect island for exploring on foot.
KOS: The island is relatively flat compared to the others, so riding a bike or scooter is an easy way to explore. Kos was a very important trade route in ancient times, and the forts and ruins can still be seen. A green and fertile island with good beaches, make this a delightful stop.
The Sporades are Greece’s most northern cruising ground. Unspoilt by tourism they boast pine covered hills and sensational beaches. The 2008 Hollywood film ‘’Mama Mia’’ was filmed on the island of Skopelos.
SKIATHOS: With a lush, green forested backdrop and over 60 beaches to choose from, you can certainly escape to your own little paradise. The island has a rich history with monasteries and ruins to visit. Skiathos Town is the place to people-watch, whilst sitting in one of the harbour-side restaurants. It has a thriving nightlife which is why most people come here – along with the beaches of course!
SKOPELOS: The greenest of all the islands. With an abundance of wildlife, it is certainly a nature-lover’s dream. There is an enchanting little harbour with first-rate, authentic tavernas.
SKYROS: This is somewhat off the tourist trail and for this reason it has kept most of its Greek charm and customs. It is certainly an island of contrasts: the North is scattered with little bays and pine forests, and the South is dominated by a barren, rocky and jagged coastline.
Turquoise Waters, Skopelos
ALONISSOS: From the moment you arrive into the harbour you feel relaxed and instantly start to absorb the non-pretentious atmosphere. It is a tranquil island which has preserved much of the old Hellenic charm and night-life here would be described as low-key. It is the place for walking along wooded paths, sitting in little tavernas and swimming in some of the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean. Surrounding Alonissos is the only National Marine Park in the Sporades and is home to dolphins, seabirds and the famous Mediterranean Monk Seal.