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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Prevailing winds: Ionian coast 2-4 Bft. from northwest; Sporades 3-5 Bft from Northeast; Cyclades 4-6 Bft. from North, Northeast, Northwest
Best time of the year to sail: May – October
Lavrion, Athens, Kalamaki, Lefkas, Kos, Alimos, Paros, Korfu, Gouvia
Most important airports:
|Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”||ATH||Attica|
|Corfu International Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias”||CFU||Ionian Islands|
|Kos Island International Airport “Ippokratis/Hippocrates”||KGS||South Aegean|
|Rhodes International Airport “Diagoras”||RHO||South Aegean|
|Thessaloniki International Airport “Makedonia/Macedonia”||SKG||Central Macedonia|