The Yacht Set
Yachting in the Aegean
Chartering a luxury yacht in the Aegean is a truly spectacular way to experience one of the most dazzling corners of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is famous for its excellent climate.
Greece Yacht Charter Guide
A perfect place to experience on a yacht charter, Greece has many beautiful anchorages only accessible by yacht, and off-the-beaten-track coves to spend your days soaking up the sun. The beautiful crystalline Greek waters have attracted visitors for centuries, drawn to the charming islands and secluded bays, and always welcomed by the warm Greek hospitality.
Why explore Greece on a luxury yacht charter:
Endless Stunning Coastlines & Beaches
Greece is home to 9,000 miles of coastline and more than 2,000 islands, of which only 170 are inhabited. There is no better way to explore the beauties of the Greek Islands and the coast of mainland Greece than on your own private yacht.
Easy Island Hopping
Sail between the islands of Greece on board, and several of the islands have airports and easy helicopter access, making it quite simple to meet your yacht. You can cruise between the islands to explore secluded beaches, experience each one’s unique local culture, and try different local products every day.
Glorious Sunshine Throughout the Summer
Greece enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine a year and a typically Mediterranean climate with cool winters and warm to hot dry summers. The peak of the yacht charter season is during the summer months from June through August, however, May, September, and October are a wonderful time to visit the area by sea.
A Rich Cultural Heritage
Greece’s incredible history spans four millennia and the country is referred to by many as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games, and Western philosophy. Begin or end your yacht charter exploring its historic cities and towns.
The alluring Aegean seas offer travellers an assortment of large and rugged isles blessed with warm winds and plenty to discover off-the-beaten-track. Scattered across the Aegean Sea, located to the southeast of the mainland, the 220 islands of the Cyclades are the most popular yachting destination in Greece. Easily accessible from Athens, the archipelago is known for the white-washed, cube houses built on hillsides leading down to glittering azure waters. The Cyclades are a must for anyone with a thirst for architecture, archaeology and beautiful views. Enjoy the nightlife in cosmopolitan Mykonos, take an afternoon to explore Apollo’s temple in Delos, and enjoy the famous Santorini sunset with a glass of ouzo and a bowl of glossy olives.
The twelve Dodeanese lie less than a hundred miles from the Turkish coast and are positively soaked in rich and complex ancient history. The smallest of these islands offer a range of secluded harbours – a relic of their trading past – whilst all offer an abundance of stunning beaches and dramatic terrain, best viewed from the water, of course. Across all twelve islands and 150 less known islets are countless of Byzantine churches and medieval castles, and the climate is between temperate and dry tropical, with an extended dry summer period.
The Saronic Islands, just a couple of hours from Athens, offer a rich history of modern Greece. Located to the south of Athens, between the north eastern shore of the Peloponnese and the peninsula of Attica, the Saronic Islands stand out for their calm, protected waters suitable for cruising year-round. They are just a two hour cruise away from Athens and are ideal for weekend escapes. Rich in culture, history, tradition and natural beauty the main attractions include Hydra and Spetses but Angistri, Poros and Aegena are equally as impressive. Hop ashore for a Greek coffee and wander through the cobbled streets of these islands’ beautiful towns.
Situated across the northwest of the Aegean Sea off the east coast of Greece, the Sporades are known as the ‘the emerald of the Aegean’ thanks to their rich vegetation and green-blue waters. For anyone looking for natural beauty and seclusion, these 24 islands are an authentic Greek charter destination. The cruising conditions are ideal for a yacht charter and the summer months are warm and dry. Skiathos with its famous Koukounaries beach, Alonissos home of the monk seal and Skopelos, where scenes from Hollywood movie Mamma Mia were shot are not to be missed.
A private yacht charter in the Greek Aegean sea is an experience of a lifetime. But to explore the Cycladic Islands by luxury yacht is a dream come true. Drink in the views of white-washed, sugar cube houses perched in the hills of picture-postcard Greek towns, amongst windmills and church domes painted in vibrant bright blue. Explore hundreds of secluded Cycladic beaches and peaceful anchorages where an afternoon can be spent snorkelling crystalline waters and sunbathing in privacy before cruising onward for a romantic supper under the stars. Talking of night time, sunset over Santorini is an ethereal experience perhaps best witnessed from the deck of your charter, whilst fabulous Mykonos boasts some of the most glamorous nightlife the Mediterranean has to offer.
Whilst Ios, Mykonos and Santorini are perhaps the best-known Cycladic Islands, Paros, Naxos and Milos exude just as much charm and beauty as their more fashionable siblings, whilst verdant Kea, dramatic Andros, and Kythnos with its hot springs are lesser-known and hence quieter than their neighbouring islands. Arranged loosely in a ring (the word ‘Cyclades’ refers to their circular formation), the Cycladic Islands lie in close proximity to another, enabling guests to adopt a relaxed approach to their vacation and enjoy a week or two of peaceful island-hopping from the sheer luxury of their private yacht. At the centre of the Cyclades, like a precious gem, lies the sacred island of Delos – the birthplace of Apollo.
For those keen on sailing and wind based water sports, the warm and northerly Meltemi winds are more than accommodating, blowing along the Aegean Sea during the summer months and creating spectacular sailing conditions. With over 200 islands making up the Cycladic Islands, what makes this region particularly special for those visiting by private yacht charter is that there is a secluded corner and a quiet, private anchorage for everyone – even in peak season. For all the hustle of bustle of cosmopolitan Oia and glamorous Chora, you can go off the beaten track and lose yourself for an hour, a day, a week in Folegandros, Serifos and Koufonisia. So if your dreams of yacht charter in the Greek islands are all about unspoiled views, rustic charm, and utter peace and privacy, the Cyclades are for you.
Paros, known for its beaches and traditional villages, is one of the most popular of the Cycladic islands. Spend an afternoon in Paroikia and visit Panagia Ekatontapiliani, a Byzantine church built in the 4th century A.D. Naoussa is a picturesque fishing harbor on the northeast of the island filled with seafood restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Enjoy a swim at Kolimbithres, an impressive beach where naturally sculpted rocks form swimming coves.
Antiparos is a small, charming island, which over the years has turned into the “it” summer destination for Athenians. It is perfectly situated for daytrips to neighbouring secluded islands offering a range of bays to discover. Spend the day on Despotiko island, just a few miles away and return to Antiparos for a delicious late lunch at Captain Pipino’s taverna in Agios Georgios with the freshest seafood on the island. At night wander along the town’s main alley and enjoy an ice cream at Vicky’s.
Koufonisia, meaning “Hollow islands” consist of two small islets Pano (upper) and Kato (lower) Koufonisi. Kato Koufonisi is an uninhabited island accessible only by boat. This hidden gem has some of the most magnificent beaches in Greece, offering a range of secluded harbors to enjoy in privacy. With only 400 inhabitants, Pano Koufonisi, is a tiny island where it seems that time has stopped. Pori is the most beautiful beach on the island; enjoy a great lunch at taverna Kalofeggo.
Milos, is a volcanic island with unique geological and rock formations and stunning beaches with turquoise waters. It has one of the best harbors in the Medietreranean sea, which was formed when the sea broke into the volcano’s crater on the island’s north-west side. Kleftiko and Sarakiniko are the island’s most famous beaches. Kleftiko used to be an old pirate hide-out and can only be reached by boat.
Rising brusquely from the Aegean Sea, the island of Santorini is surrounded by steep cliffs, 1.000 feet high, resulting from one of the biggest volcanic eruptions ever recorded in history, which made a circular island into a crescent that wraps around a caldera crowned with whitewashed settlements that cling to their tops and trail down their sides. Santorini is situated at the most southern point of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea and is probably the most famous of the islands.
Santorini, considered one of the most romantic places on earth, is famous for its incredible sunsets, fine wine and breath-taking views and is certainly a must destination for a yacht charter. The island has some of the most unique beaches in Greece, including “Red Beach” a pebbly beach with a stunning red backdrop and “Kamari” characterized by its impossibly black sand.
Oia is the most famous village in Santorini, known for its quiet life and stunning sunsets. This complex of charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas is carved right on the cliffs and visitors will enjoy walking around the picturesque village admiring the traditional Greek architecture, cafes and tourist shops. Oia has several cultural attractions, including the Maritime museum, and one can easily distinguish between the houses built for Venetian sea captains and the more traditional “cave houses” of the villagers. Oia also has a small port called Ammoudi, which can be reached by a set of 300 steps leading down.
Firá, the Santorini’s picturesque capital, Imerovigli and Firostefani are other beautiful villages, perched on the caldera, that are certainly worth the visit. Getting around the island is quite easy. You can rent a car or you can take the rare chance to travel around the island by donkey.
Enjoy the magnificent view at Franco’s bar in the town of Fira while listening to classical music and venture to the famous taverna “Metaxi mas” in one of the most graphic villages of the island called Exo Gonia; for many this is the best restaurant on the island. For those looking to dance the night away until the early morning hours, “Enigma” club is the most famous night club of the island with an incomparable view. There is nothing better than watching the sun rise while enjoying a drink.
Thirasia & Aspronisi
Just a few miles away you can find two tiny islands called Thirasia and Aspronisi, which are part of a volcanic crater that emerged from the sea. Thirasia is serene and undeveloped and untouched by tourism to this day. It is characterized by narrow streets, colourfully painted blue, green and yellow houses and plenty of flowers that have been planted throughout. The capital, Manolas, is situated right opposite Santorini and has a beautiful monastery called Koimiseos from which visitors can enjoy a magnificent view. Apsronisi, literally meaning “white island’, is a small rocky uninhabited private island. It has two pebbly beaches and a small harbor, and as it is not visited by tourist boats, can make for a beautiful secluded anchorage.
Nea Kameni, meaning “new” and Palea Kameni, meaning “old” are two small islets in the center of the caldera of Santorini and are considered the youngest volcanic islands in Greece. Both islands are completely covered in volcanic stone. Visit Nea Kamani to view the volcano’s crater, a short twenty minute walk from the harbor. At Palea Kameni you can swim in the hot springs; the water’s temperature is around 33 Celcius and contains sulfur, known for its skin benefits.
The cosmopolitan island of Mykonos is located in the heart of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean sea and could be a yachting destination all on its own. The island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, countless restaurants ranging from well known brands to simple tavernas, and numerous bars and nightclubs to enjoy until the early morning hours. Mykonos is the ideal yacht charter holiday destination and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and preferences.
Mykonos town, also known as Chora, is a typical Cycladic village built amphitheatrically, with a maze of narrow streets leading to the sea. It features the typical architecture of the Cyclades with whitewashed cubic houses that beautifully contrast with their colored wooden doors and windows. The heart of the town is only accessible to pedestrians making the walk among the labyrinth streets particularly agreeable.
Exploring Mykanos Town (Chora)
Chora has numerous cafes, bars, night clubs, chich boutiques and jewelry stores. Iconic landmarks include the 16th century windmills and the Little Venice area. Watch a stunning sunset from Galleraki Bar in Little Venice, while sipping on its famous melon daiquiri called Katerinaki. Sea Satin restaurant, located right below the town’s windmills, is a great choice for enjoying a traditional Greek dinner and dancing on tables. Mykonos is known for its vibrant night life. Visitors can enjoy cozier bars as well as large dance clubs that attract world-known DJs and will stay open till the early morning hours.
Ornos bay is a good location to anchor your yacht and use as a base for exploring the island. Kalo Leivadi, Elia beach and Psarrou are some of the most popular and beatiful beachhes in Mykonos. Agios Sostis, another stunning bay, has one of the most picturesque restaurants on the island called Kiki’s taverna, that is certainly worth the wait. For anyone looking for a full day of partying Super Paradise is the place to be. Nammos Restaurant by the Sea at Psarou beach is another ‘it’ location on the island; guests can enjoy a delicious lunch, which will certainly turn into an afternoon on dancing and partying.
Delos & Rineia
Just a few miles away from Mykonos is the tiny, uninhabited island Rineia. Accessible only by boat, the islet has beautiful sandy beaches and stunning clear waters. It’s the ideal location to enjoy some snorkelling in the turquoise waters or take a walk on the island to the remnants of an ancient Hellenistic town. For history lovers, the neighbouring island of Delos, which is accessible only by boat, is the ideal place to spend your morning. It is considered the birthplace of Apollo and is home to some of Greece’s most important archaeological ruins.
Widely considered one of the most beautiful Islands of Greece , Hydra is a short sail from the bustle of Athens but feels a world away. Step back in time on this island, where the only transport is by donkey and the craggy coastline is dotted with hundreds of secret coves and secluded bays. While the island retains a rustic feel, the atmosphere is one of discreet decadence with some of the best restaurants in Greece and quietly stylish cocktail bars. A Hydra yacht charter will place you at an idyllic gateway to the Greek islands. Admire the beauty of the island from the deck of your charter yacht, and put ashore to leave the rush of modern life behind and spend some time enjoying the island lifestyle.
- Best Time To Visit: The weather is warm year round, but June – August are the hottest months.
- Key Cruising Areas: Situated in the triangle of islands now dubbed the New Greek Riviera, Hydra is surrounded by breathtaking cruising routes. Explore the Saronic Island for unsurpassed views, historical monuments and secluded bays.
- Don’t Miss: While Hydra is not known for its nightlife, Amalour will satisfy your wild side. Open until dawn the fun, colourful atmosphere and famous cocktails are favoured by locals and visitors alike.
- Best Spots for Wining and Dining: For great service and tranquil views, head to Anthony Rampias’ restaurant “Sunset”, and see why it is ranked as one of the most outstanding gastronomic experiences in Greece. Each dish is uniquely crafted by talented chefs – try the caramelised octopus with yellow split pea mousse.
- Best Local Dish: The cooking methods and cuisine of Greece have changed little over thousands of years, creating flavours that are as ancient and lasting as the ruins. Try a Spanakopita for a simple, delicious lunch from a traditional taverna.
- Local Culture: The unspoilt nature of the island attracts writers, painters and other artists who come for inspiration, or live on the island year-round. In the summer months visit the art shows that take place in the commandeered high school and slaughterhouse.
- Best Beach: There is a number of lovely little beaches all within a short walk from Hydra town. The sheltered, aquamarine waters of Agios Nikolaos are perfect for swimming and snorkelling, and there is a traditional taverna serving drinks and snacks.
- Recommended: The best thing to do on Hydra is… nothing. Take the chance to recharge and adopt the hot, lazy lifestyle, spending your days swimming in pristine waters and drinking retsina as the sun sets.
When it comes to selecting a destination for your luxury charter yacht, Greece is the top choice for many discerning travellers looking for a memorable blend of culture, stunning scenery and incredible food. The Dodecanese (which translates as ‘twelve islands’) belong to Greece, but many of these isles lie but a short cruise away from the southwestern coast of Turkey – most notably the islands Kos and Rhodes. In fact, the western coast of Asia is only one hundred miles from this scattering of islands, so here you will find lands fought over for centuries by the Crusaders and the Ottomans – each island revealing the footprints of its previous settlers in the flavours of their cuisine and the style of their architecture.
The Dodecanese islands seem unchanged since the times of Odysseus, immersing you in the feel of ancient Greece. The marks of those that have travelled through the region are found, from the Romans and ancient Greeks, through to medieval knights; the rich heritage also infused with hints of the Byzantine and more recent Italian occupation.
The striking island of Rhodes is perhaps the largest and most well-known of the Dodecanese islands.
Some of the prettiest and most unspoiled islands can be found if you venture along the archipelago and explore the smaller islands from your luxury yacht. With limestone cliffs to climb in Kalymnos, beautiful mansions and a picturesque harbor to admire in Symi, and numerous beaches and historical sites, there really is something for every taste. Nisyros is something a little different – built on an active volcano with suitably dramatic landscapes best viewed from the sea. Leros and Tilos are small and charming, and historical Patmos is where St. John wrote his Book of Revelation.
A greek charter yacht holiday would not be complete without a swim in the crystal blue sea. On your luxury vacation you will find yourself surrounded by stunning blue water at every turn, contrasting against the white rocks to create the most magical views. The winds can be spectacular for those who dream of sailing the Greek islands, with the Meltemi winds providing an exhilarating ride across the Mediterranean Sea.
Skiathos is the quintessential idyllic island getaway for yacht charter vacation. Close to Turkey but with a distinctively Grecian feel, the lush green island is located in the Sporades archipelago in the glittering Aegean Sea. The landscape of the island is incredible – the dark green forests set against turquoise waters, and pretty pebbled beaches with impressive sea arches combined with a lively bar and restaurant scene have visitors returning time and again. A yacht charter to Skiathos is the ideal way to explore the area – with a cluster of beautiful islands nearby, and a short sail to the picturesque Northeast Aegean Islands, the sailing options are endless.
- Best Time To Visit: Mild winters and long hot summers make Skiathos a great destination year round.
- Key Cruising Areas: With plenty of beaches only accessible by boat, sailing around the island can easily fill a week. Continue on to explore more of the Sporades islands, and further south the islands of Skopelos, Alonissos and Kira Pangia have some beautiful bays and pretty anchorages.
- Don’t Miss: Skiathos is full of activities for those who love exploring nature. A highlight of a visit to the island is the riding centre in Koukounaries. With a modern set up, they offer memorable trips riding in high mountains and paths that aren’t accessible by hiking.
- Best Spots for Wining and Dining: The best tavernas and more highly regarded restaurants can be found above the old port and around the marina. For a menu created with premium, organic ingredients and Greek flavour, head to Ergon Cuisine.
- Best Local Dish: In downtown Skiathos you can find a plethora of gyros stands and tavernas – true Grecian street food! For a more upmarket taste of local specialities try Bakaliko tis Paralias, where you will find dishes such as rock samphire and sheep cheese fritters on the menu.
- Local Culture: The island is rich with culture and history. The Kehriysky Monastery is beautiful and secluded, while the Monastery of Kunistra now houses the Museum of Byzantine Culture. For a slightly quirky experience, visit the impressive Monastery of Evangelistria, now the location of the world’s largest and most eclectic collection of musical instruments
- Best Beach: The white pebble sand of Lalaria beach is flanked by an impressive sea arch and steep cliffs. Accessible only by boat, this hidden spot is ideal to escape to on your private yacht.
- Recommended: For a unique view of Skiathos island, take a private helicopter sightseeing tour. The dark, pine wooded island, laced with winding roads and fringed with white beaches, is an incredible sight from the air. With views over the islands and mainland Greece, take home amazing memories of the sun glinting off the water from the sky.
Still a secret of Greece the small peninsula of the Peloponnese is not a heavily cruised area. Escape the crowds and discover the special ambience of this enchanting sailing destination. With a yacht charter in the Peloponnese you can moor up in historic ports, relax on some of the best sand beaches in Greece, and explore hiking trails through beautiful mountains. The region is the home of legends, filled with the stories of Hercules, Paris of Troy and the Argonauts and tangible history in the ancient ruins of cities and Ottoman fortresses. The peninsula is a foodies heaven; being cut off by the mountains and gorges means that the region has its own autonomous gastronomic culture. Locals are so passionate about food that they hold a festival to commemorate the summer eggplant harvest. A perfect blend of the best of the good life, the Peloponnese is a truly special destination.
- Best Time To Visit: May to September offers the most pleasant weather.
- Key Cruising Areas: Circumnavigating the pleated coastline of the peninsula is a lovely cruising trip. Further afield, this is an ideal starting point to sail to the Aegean or Ionian Islands.
- Don’t Miss: The cave networks in the Peloponnese intrigue visitors and geologists alike. Take a tour of the caves in Diros where the reflections of amazing rock formations ripple in the water or explore the stalactites and white and red rock cascades of Kastania caves.
- Best Spots for Wining and Dining: The pretty port of Gerolimenas has a history built on cuisine, with an economy based on selling quails to French restaurants, and the town retains its passion for gastronomy. Sample the innovative twists on authentic cuisine at the restaurant of the hotel Kyrimai, where the chefs promise an experience like no other, which you will enjoy at sea level, where waves lap the rocks beside you.
- Best Local Dish: The food in the Peloponnese is some of the best in Greece. Most of the food is locally sourced, fresh, and brimming with olive oil, lemon, honey and seasonal vegetables. The seaside town of Kardamili is filled with charming tavernas and cafes – try the meze at Lela’s Taverna for home cooked food with a stunning sunset view.
- Local Culture: The Peloponnese is a place of legends – the home of Agamemnon and site of Hercules’ fight with the Nemean lions, relics of the history and legends can be seen throughout the region. As well as the impressive ancient stadium, Olympia is filled with temples to the gods – visit the ancient ruins of the Temple of Zeus, built in 5th century BC.
- Best Beach: The tiny island of Elafonissos is a little taste of the Caribbean in Greece. White and pink sands, sparkling clear water and a charming village make this an excellent spot to spend an afternoon.
- Recommended: For a beautiful afternoon, head inland and hike a section of the Menalon trail in Stemnitsa. Walk alongside streams, across wooden paths that fuse with twisting branches, past ancient stone bridges and a stunning gorge. Stop at the Katholiko Taverna for some well-earned homemade food.
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