Let's Sail Away! Two of the Best Yacht Charters in Greece
Greece is one of the best destinations in the world to charter a boat. The opportunities to explore the islands and discover rare, off the beaten path locations is endless! And depending on your style of travel, chartering can be a wild adventure or the ultimate in 5 star luxury. Read on to discover the best yacht charters in Greece.
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Where to stay in Greece
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A luxurious cliffside retreat offering breathtaking panoramic views, impeccable service, and a tranquil haven to experience the beauty of Santorini.
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Things to do in Greece
When looking to charter, there are three main options: bareboat (meaning you skipper the boat - this requires experience and a license); skippered (no experience required, a skipper will take care of everything - this option is best with the addition of a hostess to cook and clean); crewed (this is the ultimate experience and ideal for those looking for a 5 star holiday).
Next, you'll decide what type of boat to charter. A lot of times this can be narrowed down by your crew option, group size, destination, and budget. These options can range from sailing boats to motor yachts to gulets -- and all of the various sizes of these!
Your budget will need to account for the boat you've opted to charter, the crew requested, and then the extra costs (fuel, mooring fees, food/drink, water toys).
When + Where to Go In Greece
Overall, April to November is the season to charter through Greece, however some destinations are better at specific times.
The Cyclades are a cluster of over 200 islands in the Aegean. It is best to charter these islands May-June and September-October - the meltemi winds in July and August can be rough causing very high waves and sometimes impossible passing. If Santorini and Mykonos are your ideal destinations, opt to charter on these shoulder season months - the bonus is you'll miss some of the major tourism times. When sailing the Cyclades, my favorite destinations include Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Koufonisi, Folegandros, Milos, Naxos and Tinos.
Another favorite route for sailing through Greece are the Dodecanese Islands. These islands are spread through the southeastern Aegean and Mediterranean, close to the coast of Turkey. The Dodecanese are best to sail in July and August, making it the perfect peak summer getaway. Rhodes was our starting and finishing point on this charter and it is a great place to explore with loads of history! Some highlights on this route include Symi, Kos, Patmos and the coast of Turkey.
My Boating Recommendations
One main reason I suggest the fully crewed charter is that your vacation can turn into an all inclusive 5 star resort sailing island to island. The chef? Usually local and cooking the best traditional meals. The captain? Well, the islands are their backyard so they know the best places to stop. The hostess will have your coffee order memorized and your room tidy before you finish sipping it! It is truly luxurious and you cannot beat this kind of access to these gorgeous destinations.
In terms of what to charter, a gulet is a great way to sail through the Greek isles. These large wooden boats are actually made off the coast of Turkey, very close to where you'll be chartering! They offer a lot of 'living' space including a larger dining area. It is the perfect size for big groups - we chartered this through the Dodecanese (one of the best yacht charters in Greece) with a group of 5 couples and it was an amazing group trip! We ate every meal on the boat at the huge dining table overlooking the Mediterranean. We went swimming, snorkeling, SUPing, and tubing. We stargazed and even caught a glimpse of the bioluminescent plankton one night! The second charter through Greece was a multigenerational family trip (including 4 children under 8 years!). It was such a fun way to travel all together and see a vast amount of the country. The crew was extra supportive and helpful with our little ones aboard.
Places to eat & drink in Greece
When chartering, we enjoyed almost every meal on the boat. The local dishes were prepared from the freshest ingredients - fish caught the same day or bread baked that morning at our island stop!
During your day trips, try these restaurants on land!
Nammos Beach Club - It's famous with good reason! It is chic and cool but quite possibly the best sushi in Greece.
Remezzo - In old town Mykonos, a fabulous dinner spot with gorgeous views and really incredible food.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Greece.