Sailing in Greece

Charter bases in Greece

Yacht charter in Greece

There is no doubt that Greece is the most diverse sailing area in the Mediterranean, both in terms of diversity of landscapes and the sailing challenges. Trere are plenty charter bases and bareboat yacht charter is possible from Korfu, Vounaki, Lefkas, Athens, Lavrion, Syros, Paros, Milina, Skiathos, Samos, Kos, Rhodos and Crete.

The Ionian Sea

The Ionian Sea is located on the west side of the country. The area offers numerous islands between Korfu and Zakynthos, with soft hills in fresh green and sleepy fishing villages. The distances between islands are short, the sea usually calm - an ideal area for beginners and relaxed sailing. During summer you will find light to moderate winds from north-western directions, rising in the afternoon and usually fading towards sunset. Best time to visit is between May and September.

The Aegean

The Aegean is divided into several districts: in the the Sporades, in the center the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, along the Turkish coast and the Saronic Gulf and Argolic south / southwest of Athens.

The Cyclades offer illustrious island names like Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and Santorini, as well as the   volcanic Islands Santorin and Milos - each a legend in itself. Uniquely bright sunlight from a deep blue sky meets charming landscapes with fresh white-washed houses. During summer, the Meltemi  wind  creates a sporty sailing environment, reaching its maximum between june and august. The sailing crew should be well prepared. The area is not recommended for beginners.

Dodecanese

The islands of the Dodecanese are located in the southwestern Aegean, right in front of the Turkish coast. They are in total about 200 islands, but only 19 of them are inhabited. Rhodos with its impressive fortress and Kos with its archeological sites  are among the biggest and most famous of the Dodecanese islands. Others are Kalymnos, Karpathos, Symi and Patmos. High mountainous and a broken coastline with plenty of small bays and anchorages are typical for the Dodecanese islands. Some of the larger islands are lush forested. A turbulent history has left a diverse cultural heritage with oriental and western influences - mosques, bazaars, as well as neo-classical buildings from the period of Italian occupation.
The Meltemi ensures comfortable sailing breezes. In spring and late autumn, strong winds can cause a stir.

For overnight stays, Greece offers mainly simple, inexpensive moorings in small town harbors, piers or bay anchorages. Sanitary facilities are found in nearby hotels or restaurants that have specialized on serving boaters. Full service and high comfort marinas like Laviron or Athens are the exception.

Wind and weather

Segelwetter in GriechenlandThe weather in the Greek Islands is generally beautiful with cloudless blue skies, especially in summer.

By July the daytime temperature is often in the 30s. July and August are the peak summer months, and temperature will rarely drop below 20°C even at night. Fortunately the islands are relieved by the cooling sea breezes that blow from the north and north-west.

The winds are strongest in July and August when they are needed the most. Mid-May to Mid-September is very dry, while July and August are unlikely to see any rainfall at all. Winters are mild and wet - somewhat akin to an English spring. Temperature will generally be in the low to mid-teens, although a sunny day can sometimes see the temperature creep up towards 20°C.

During the summer months and especially between mid July and mid August, strong winds are common in the Aegean Sea. These winds are called "Meltemi" and blow from North/Northeast. "Meltemi" starts suddenly and can blow continuously for several days. Wind conditions in the Ionian are generally 1-2 beaufort less than in the Aegean.

Sailing season in Greece

Ionian Sea: from May until end of September. Aegean: from May until October.

SAILING REQUIREMENTS in Greece

According to the Greek law and port authorities, to charter a bareboat yacht in Greece, it is required for two members of the crew to have sailing experience and abilities to sail and navigate the yacht, and at least one of them to have a sailing certificate officially authorized to his/her country (Skipper). If the second member (co-Skipper) has no sailing certificate of any kind, it is required to fill in an official statement declaration for his/her sailing ability and experience. This official statement will be normally filled prior embarkation.

How to get there

Greece has 15 international airports and 25 airports for domestic and chartered flights.

International Airports

Airport Location Airport Name Code Region Website
Alexandroupolis Alexandroupolis International Airport "Dimokritos/Democritus" AXD East Macedonia and Thrace http://http://www.alxd.gr/
Athens / Spata Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" ATH Attica http://www.aia.gr/
Chania Chania International Airport "Ioannis Daskalogiannis" CHQ Crete http://www.chania-airport.com/
Corfu Corfu International Airport "Ioannis Kapodistrias" CFU Ionian Islands http://www.corfu-airport.com/
Heraklion Heraklion International Airport "Nikos Kazantzakis" HER Crete http://www.heraklionairport.net/
Kalamata Kalamata International Airport "Nestor" KLX Peloponnese http://www.hcaa-eleng.gr/kalam.htm
Kavala / Chrysoupoli Kavala International Airport "Megas Alexandros" KVA East Macedonia and Thrace www.hcaa-eleng.gr/kavala.htm
Kefalonia Kefalonia Island International Airport "Odysseas/Ulisse" EFL Ionian Islands http://kefaloniaairport.info/
Kos Kos Island International Airport "Ippokratis/Hippocrates" KGS South Aegean http://www.kos-airport.com/
Lemnos Lemnos International Airport "Hephaestos" LXS North Aegean http://www.hcaa-eleng.gr/limnos.htm
Mytilene, Lesbos Mytilene International Airport "Odysseas Elytis" MJT North Aegean http://www.hcaa-eleng.gr/mitilin.htm
Rhodes Rhodes International Airport "Diagoras" RHO South Aegean www.rhodes-airport.info/
Samos Samos International Airport "Aristarchos" SMI North Aegean http://www.hcaa-eleng.gr/samos.htm
Thessaloniki/Mikra Thessaloniki International Airport "Makedonia/Macedonia" SKG Central Macedonia http://www.thessalonikiairport.gr/
Zakynthos Zakynthos International Airport "Dionysios Solomos" ZTN Ionian Islands http://www.zakynthos-airport.com/

 

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