Home of the gods, of ouzo and land of the four seas – that is Greece. Surrounded by the Ionian Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, both the mainland and the more than 2,000 Greek islands offer countless yacht charter opportunities. Discover almost 13,000 km of coastline, ancient buildings, friendly taverns and crystal clear water.
Much sunshine, mild temperatures and little rain determine the Greek weather. In summer the temperatures rise and are pleasantly softened by seasonal winds like the Meltemi (here also called Etesia).
Throughout the Aegean Sea (especially from the Dardanelles to the Maleas district) there is heavy rush hour traffic throughout the year, especially in the summer months. The ferries are fast and usually run at short intervals, ┬áspecial care must be taken here.
Important: in Greece always two adults (min. 18 years) need a skipper licence!
On the west coast of Greece, the Ionian Islands stretch from the Albanian border down to the Peloponnese peninsula. Optimal starting point for a trip are Corfu or the Marina of Lefkada. While Lefkada with its sheltered anchor bays and calm waters is ideal for newly trained sailors, a start in Corfu also offers adventurous blue water passages.
In summer, the Ionian Sea has thermal winds like the Maestro, but much milder than the Etesia in the Aegean Sea. Especially bathing holidaymakers get their money’s worth here, the water temperatures around the Ionian Islands are an incredible 24┬░C in summer! The seven main islands are known for their relaxed culture, attractive landscape and beautiful beaches.
They are considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece and have a lot to offer – the Cyclades. As a starting point most people prefer Athens (Piraeus) or Lavrion in the south, as the international connections are well developed and many charter companies have their base here. The circular archipelago lies in the middle of the Meltemi belt, which can blow from June to August for days and constantly with 6 to 8 Bft.
The absolute tourist centres are Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and of course Thira (Santorini), which is also reflected in the prices.
As a rule, each island and town has its own harbour, but this cannot be compared to marinas (which are specially equipped for pleasure craft). The usually low harbour fees and an infinite choice of free anchor bays always offer a sheltered place even in changing weather.
The Northern Sporades (also known as the Magnesian Islands) comprise some 135 islands and rocky outcrops and lie off the Greek mainland in the Aegean Sea. As one of the main islands, Skiathos also has an international airport, ferry terminal and charter base. Nevertheless, the region around Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos is considered an ideal sailing area because it offers both attractive harbours and fantastic beech trees and the distances are short.
The southern Sporades comprise over 170 islands, but only 30 of these are inhabited. The largest – and best known – islands are Samos, Ikaria, Kos, Rhodes and Karpathos. This area in the south of the Aegean Sea is considered to be rather demanding, but is also an insider tip for late autumn. Marinas are rare, as is water, which often has to be brought to the ship by tankers. Characteristic are the sparse vegetation and the steeply sloping coasts, which ensure water depths of up to 100 m even at the shortest distances.
At the very south of the Aegean Sea – in the so-called Cretan Sea – lies the largest island in Greece: Crete. The Ida Mountains, which are over 2,000 m high, are visible from afar in clear weather, but also provide strong down winds in the south of the island.