Greece, the land of the Sun and the Gods, scatters its islands into the iridescent Mediterranean Sea presenting one of the most beautiful cruising areas in the world. Perfect for a sailing holiday, what better way to explore the Greek Islands, this myriad of unspoiled treasures, than rent a private super yacht, motor boat or ship. Greece is world famous for it’s shipping fleet and the charter collection does not disappoint with a high proportion of super yachts and mega luxury.
Picture yourself laying back on deck as you whiz from one island to the next with the sea glistening and white spray flying. Think of a taverna on the beach with fresh grilled seafood and a glass of ouzo. Think of white walled houses with blue roofs and little streets with brightly colored flowers tumbling into them and the scent of gardenia in the air. Think of music and a cool little bar where you sit outside and laugh into the night sky. Think of smiling, handsome people who welcome you as though this was the home you didn’t know you’d left.
Greek Island cruises are divided into seven main areas. We will speak here of four: the Saronic Gulf and Peloponese, the Cyclades, the Ionian and the Dodecanese. Only a little of what is on offer is talked about here. Contact us for more information and Cruise Itineraries for the areas.
Just a short drive from Athens Airport is Pireaus Harbour – an ideal starting point for a week of relaxed sailing and cruising. Steeped in history, these Greek islands consist of long sandy beaches, fragrant pines, lemon groves and rocky capes and the towns and villages are of an infinite variety of cultures and people. Perfect for a family holiday, the sailing distances are short with lively cafés in the harbors and beaches and coves idea for water sports. For those interested in culture and history, you will be in heaven – you can discover the original Greek capital of Nafplion filled with Roman, Byzantine and Venetian civilization and visit the ancient amphitheatre, Epdavros. Delightful Poros is cosmopolitan and inviting with a relaxed but lively bar scene and St Tropez style display of super yachts. Away from the main harbour the island is peaceful with little restaurants on the beach and citrus groves in the hills. The main islands and attractions here are: Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, Elafonisos, Kithira, Pylos, Kyparissia, Moni Aegina, Nafplion and Monemvasia.
Moving further away from mainland Greece these rocky islands with their sparkling waters and beautiful small white houses are home to majestic Santorini – a volcanic island rising from the seas. The town, perched high above you, is 587 narrow steps up by foot or donkey or cable car. So picturesesque it is much photographed with spectacular sunsets and a great nightlife. Then there is naughty Mikonos with its wild parties – a celebrity haunt of ‘Beautiful People, Artists and Intellectuals from around the globe. Contrast this with gorgeous laid-back little Kea steeped in tradition and the rich archaeological sites on other islands where you will find a Venetian Castles, Byzantine churches and Christian catacombs, and you will want to stay for the whole summer. Ultra suited to a fast, Performance Yacht or a cruise of longer than one week. Other islands here: Andros (‘the Greek Ship owner’s Island’), Tinos, Syros, Delos, Paros (cosmopolitan bustle and artists), Naxos, Amorgos, Folegandros, Sikinos, Ios, Anafi, Thirassia, Kimolos, Milos, Serifos, Sifnos, and the group of Iralkia-Shinoussa-Koufonisia-Kero and Danousa (an Aegian paradise with clear blue water and natural beauty).
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The Dodecanese Islands lie furthest to the East; close to Turkey. If you are not already on board your yacht, you can fly into Samos or Athens and depart from Rhodes, giving you time to sail in one direction and enjoy these glittering jewels of land set in a sapphire sea and visit Turkey too. With enough ancient history, culture and architecture to satisfy even the most well nourished of buffs these islands (especially when combined with a little foray into Turkey) are a feast to behold. Patmos is ‘The Jerusalem of the Aeean’ where St John wrote the Revelation of Apocalypse – a great monastery above the port is built in his honor. Patmos is one of the most remarkable medieveal sites in all Greece. It is also a charismatic, gentle and fun island which draws you into its easy lifestyle. Leros is unspoiled with rare local tropical fruit trees and deep coves.
Symi is steep and quaint with pebble beaches and a thriving boat building industry. Rhodes is world famous for it’s old walled city, fascinating bazaars and colorful streets, golden beaches and Valley of the Butterflies; The picturesque town of Lindos is car free with narrow lanes and excellent restaurants, a beautiful bay and an acropolis.
The Ionian Sea and its islands lie on the west coast of Greece to the west of the Corinth Canal. The area is known for gentle winds, short sailing hops and beatutiful small villages. There are 7 main islands: Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Kafalonia, Ithaca, Zakynthos and Cythera each with their own individual characteristics and attractions.
There is a glorious Italian influence and an abundance of ancient archaeological sites. Paxi and Antipaxi are prized for their amazing beaches with crystal waters and spectacular white cliffs with coves and grottos. Kafalonia has underground lakes, caves with stalagmites and is where the famous book, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was set. Ithaca is home of Odysseus. With a buzzing nightlife and delightful coves it is also home to the magical ‘Cave of the Nymphs’, monasteries and museums.
For a 1 week charter people tend to either focus on the north or south Ionian and you can fly into either on Corfu or Lefkas. Over 2 weeks you can visit every island.