Many travelers state that sailing is the best way to visit the Greek Islands and the coastal mainland. The Greek Islands represent 20% of the total area of Greece, creating a coastline of 15000 km (about 9320 miles). The Mediterranean weather –mild winters and hot summers – and the winds make Greece the perfect location for a sailing vacation or an adventure trip.
The sailing season starts as early as March. Around mid-May you will find stable waters. July and August represent peak season for sailing as well, with hot temperatures and a lot of sun hours. In October and November the sea is less stable and there can be frequent showers.
The winds can be divided into two regions: Aegean Sea winds and Ionian Sea winds. The Aegean Sea winds, also known as “Meltemi”, blow during the summer, from May to September. They are mostly blowing during the day for 2-4 days. In the North Aegean Sea they blow from NE, in the central Aegean (also known as Cyclades) they blow from North and in the South Aegean Sea from NW. The strongest winds can be found on the Island of Naxos and in the Cyclades. Many winds blow during the winter season as well.
The Ionian Sea winds, also known as “Maistros” during the summer and “Sirocco” during the winter, generally blow from NW.
Famous Sailing Areas in Greece
The Sailing regions in Greece are: Argolida and Saronic Golf, Cyclades, Sporades and Dodecanese, Northern Sporades and Ionian. Some of the famous sailing areas in Greece include the islands of: Poros, Lefkas, Hydra, Paros, Skiathos, Corfu and Alonissos.
Starting your journey on the Alonissos Island, for example, gives you the opportunity to discover other islands of the Sporades, such as: Myknos, Sifnos, Skopelos, Paros or Naxos.
Learn to Sail in Greece
If you are beginner, the perfect place to start learning how to sail in on Poros Island. The calm waters and the Aegean Sailing School are the best combination to start enjoying the pleasures of sailing.
Yacht Charters in Greece
When renting a yacht it’s important to consider the costs as well. In a bareboat you need to buy water, groceries, fuel and pay the harbor fees. Generally, the cooking gas, GPS, linen and dinghy are included in the price. If you sail on a crewed charter, the captain and crew pay for their own dinner, while on a gullet cruise everything should be included in the price (all inclusive).
Note that due to the winds in the Aegean Sea, the minimum yacht size of 30 feet is required, hence sailors use 32 feet yachts, while when sailing in the Ionian Sea a 30 feet yacht is enough.
The fees for renting a sailboat or yacht depend on the season, the boat’s characteristics and the duration for which the boat is rented. There are numerous charter companies in Greece. The rule of thumb says to look for the most demanded companies and book in advance (the most demanded companies are generally the best).