If you love sailing you’ve probably heard the tales about chartering a yacht in Greece; its crystalline waters, great Mediterranean food and nice reliable breezes. It is a wonderful place to go, and quite accessible. Here we’ll tell you a few good things to know if you’re thinking of chartering in the region.
The Charter Season
The prime season for bareboat chartering in Greece begins in April and ends in November. The truly high season runs from the end of July to the beginning of September. Around this time you’ll see the highest concentrations of sailors in places like the Saronic Gulf, Corfu and Lefkas. Naturally this is also a time when charters are a bit more costly.
If you choose to charter in April, May or June you’ll be rewarded with lots of blooming flowers, green islands and fun festivities related to Easter, which is the biggest religious holiday in the country. There will also be less visitors around these times.
Categories of Charter Bases
Greece offers over 2,000 islands and 10,000 miles of coastline to explore. These can be divided into five basic categories: The Ionian, Athens and the Saronic Gulf, The Sporades, The Cyclades and The Dodecanese.
Each has its own high points, depending on what it is you’re searching for. The Ionian, for example, offers a relaxed sailing experience with short passages between anchorages, while The Dodecanses is great for those looking for a sailing experience that challenges their skills.
For most destinations you can fly into Athens and get to your base from there. There also may be direct charter flights from European cities to smaller airports.
Greek Bareboat Charter Requirements
Just like any country Greece has certain special requirements for bareboat charters:
- There must be at least one certified skipper on the yacht. The skipper must be able to provide proof of competency such as and International Certificate of Competence or ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course”.
- In addition to the skipper each group must have a second experienced crew member, and this person must be over the age of 18.
Great Mooring Costs
Unlike many other beautiful destinations the mooring costs in many areas of Greece are extremely reasonable. Your LateSail advisor can provide you with further information on where to go to take advantage of low cost mooring, and where to avoid as well.
Provisioning in Greece
As an experienced host to charterers and yachties from around the world, much of Greece is well versed in providing great provisions from which to select from during your trip. The region boasts excellent olives, sardines and cheeses, all of which are great for putting together an energizing snack while out on the water.
You’ll also find plenty of waterfront tavernas serving excellent seafood and many other types of regional specialities. Good wine abounds and you can stock up on Mythos and other Greek beers to keep you satiated throughout your journey.
If you’re not quite ready for a full on bareboat charter in Greece you can also easily join a flotilla. Greece is a popular cruising grounds for these fleets of boats, and they have several distinct benefits.
Choose a flotilla to have an expert lead boat to help chart the course and help if any issues arise. The charter schedule is relaxed, allowing you to set off early or take your time before meeting up with the other boats at the next planned stop. You also have a built in group of sailors to dine with in the evenings, although you can also choose to relax in privacy.
Your flotilla can be what you make of it- if this option appeals to you LateSail can also help you book a flotilla charter.
For more information on sailing in Greece feel free to visit our Greece section or contact us any time.