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With its warm climate, the Mediterranean is a fantastic spring, summer and autumn sailing destination for bareboat lovers. Greece offers thousands of islands in the Aegean and Ionian seas, divided into the Saronic, Northern Sporades, Ionian, Dodecanese, Aegean, Cyclades and Cretan island groups.
The Saronic and Cyclades islands are ideal for US sailors with direct flights to Athens from the US east coast and Canada. If you want to stop-off in Europe, there are good connector flights from the UK’s Heathrow Airport to Athens. Once you’ve landed in Greece, you can get a bus from Athens airport to Piraeus port.
Chartering the Saronic islands
Head to the Saronic Gulf for sunny weather and sailing-friendly winds that are perfect for a bareboat yacht charter.
Visit Epidavros, an ancient health resort, and see the well-preserved amphitheater. If you want fun nightlife, Poros offers plenty of bars and traditional food in the local tavernas. If you love photography, head to traffic-free Hydra and its pretty harbour and steep stone streets. Take a walk on Kea and head to the stone carving landmark, the Lion of Kea. Sail the narrow channel between Poros and the Peloponnese peninsula or walk through the island’s olive groves. Aegina’s harbour will provide plenty of dining opportunities and Spetses has a wonderful promenade and sophisticated restaurants.
The Corinth Canal bisects the Peloponnese peninsula and many sailors head down to the bay just to take a look at the canal. This very narrow channel was constructed in 1893 and is flanked by steep red rock cliffs.
Sailing the Cyclades
The Cyclades is the most popular island chain in Greece with its slightly longer legs between the archipelago’s 220 islands. Allow yourself two weeks instead of one so you can see as much as possible. The region is not protected by the mainland, so it is great for experienced sailors who can have fun mastering the summer’s northerly meltemi wind.
The shining star is Mykonos, which has become the uber sophisticated hot spot in the Mediterranean with its sandy beaches, cobalt skies, whitewashed windmills and cobbled streets. This is the playground of the rich and famous and Greece’s “south of France” equivalent with its cafe culture.
Make sure your itinerary includes the ruins on Santorini, Aegean architecture and windmills on Ios, citrus groves on Naxos, beaches on Syros and ceramic studios on Sifnos. You can relax in Loutra’s Kithnos’ hot spring, sunbathe on Paros’ golden sands and enjoy the history on Aegina.
Learn more about chartering Greece
For more inspiration, read our Greek-themed blogs:
- Sail the Aeolian Islands
- Five friends sail the Greek Islands
- Exploring Lefkas in Greece with a bareboat charter
Find out more