We take a closer look at the world’s most preferred yachting destination.
As a country, Greece is blessed with both a stunning natural panorama and ancient civilization. With thousands of islands, big and small spread right through the azure blue Aegean and Ionian seas has meant that luxury yachting has evolved as a phenomenon. Many call it an aquatic paradise.
The quintessential “Greek Seas” is synonymous with images of sheer exquisiteness and ethereal beauty. Also, the fact that government is so pro-active, the country offers by far the very best in terms of marine infrastructure and logistics. No wonder that the 3,000 plus islands that make up the Greek archipelago have evolved as the world’s most preferred yachting destination.
I am compelled to cite the immortal words of Nikos Kazantzakis, who once was quoted as saying –“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune of sailing the Aegean Sea”. How true it is, the world knows!
COVID 19 Situation & Greece
With the scars of the pandemic gradually waning, the government of Greece took a bold decision to reopen its borders from June 15, 2020, and since May 15, 2021, international travel is open to visitors wanting to come on a visit to this stupendous country. However, it is mandatory for all travelers to fill in the Passenger Locator Form by 11:59 PM the day before arriving in Greece.
In Europe, Greece is one country that stands out from the crowd and it wouldn’t be out of place to confirm that Greece has weathered the pandemic better than many other European countries. In Greece, the number of Covid 19 cases has touched 466,441 that resulted in 12,846 deaths as of July 22. What is more, 44.18% of the population has been already vaccinated.
The phenomenon of yachting has harmoniously evolved due largely to the fact that there are still many islands that are virgin and unexplored, thus tempting the sensory nerves of the rich and the famous to embark on yachting voyages. The hallmark of yachting in Greece is utter seclusion, laidback and hassle-free.
Unspoiled beaches, secluded coves, coastal caves with rocky promontories, and a bewildering array of stunning natural panorama make Greece the world’s most sought-after yachting destination.
Very few countries are blessed with both natural splendors and ancient civilization. Consider for instance the capital city of Athens – the city that can rightfully claim to be blessed with the most fascinating history in the world, a city that is ethereal and adored by not only humanity but also by divinity. This captivating capital city of Greece has witnessed the origin of civilization. India aside, Athens and Greece have been the place where some of the most prudent and far-sighted men were born that shaped the world society from ancient times.
The city of Athens is ideally perched on the prefecture of Attica and extends all the way to the peninsular region of Central Greece. Athens is marvelously surrounded by undulating mountains with Ymmytos, Pendeli, and Parnitha being the most prominent ones. The best part of being in Athens is that it is a year-round destination and blessed with a salubrious climate and plenty of sunshine.
If you are a beach bum, all you have to do is hop into a tram or car to reach the coastal town of Paleo Faliro, which is a mere 30 minutes away from the Syntagma neighborhood. The balmy Mediterranean Sea and the Saronic Gulf are visible from Poseidon Avenue. The 2004 Olympic Games have had a huge impact in popularising the charming towns like Paleo Faliro, Alimos, Agios Kosmas, Kalamaki, Elliniko, Glyfada, etc… extending up to Varkiza.
The marinas Mikrolimano and Zeas located ideally in the port town Pireaus also offers excellent seaside hospitality and entertainment.
When it comes to high-end yachting facilities, the Flisvos Marina, which is popularly referred to as the “Athenian Riviera”, much like the “French Riviera”, has evolved as a much sought after yachting zone replete with uninterrupted sea views, luxurious yachts, and quintessential expansive walkways. The entire neighborhood is replete with award-winning restaurants, cozy bars, and endless shopping options.
In close proximity to the Flisvos Marina is another yachting venue, although much smaller in size – the Marina Alimou that caters to the exacting needs of the mid-budget yacht aficionados. The essence here is on gastronomy. Try out the American Cheeseburgers at Kitchen Bar and Skippers for heady cocktails right beside the dockside.
You will be spoilt for a choice as Greece offers a vast diversity of yachting destinations to choose from. Apart from Athens, which also happens to be the point of entry for most international yacht enthusiasts, the elegant Cycladic isles of Mykonos and Santorini renowned for their quaint sugar cube villages and eclectic parties to the Sporadic group of islands in the north – blessed with the tag of “Eemeralds of the Aegean” offering wonderful anchorages makes for a truly knotty and awkward decision when it comes to choosing the right yachting destination.
There are also the lesser-known Saronic islands, which is every bit bewitching; the luxuriant Ionian islands; the Dodecanese islands- buzzing with culture and fascinating alcoves to contend with.
Yachting Season & Weather Patterns
In Greece the months from May to mid-October the sky is blue and the average temperatures vary between 26°C to 30°C. July and August, two of the jewels Mykonos and Santorini are at the peak of their festivity. If you prefer seclusion and a more tranquil atmosphere, yachting could be ideal in the months of May, September, and October. In these three months, the crowd is less and the ambiance is a lot quieter.
Strong winds prevail in the Cyclades and Aegean islands in the months of July and August. Yachting in the Aegean is ideal in the months of May and June and again from September to October. Beware of yachting in the Sporades in the month of August when the winds are pretty strong.
The Saronic islands and the islands of southern Peloponnese are more or less protected from strong winds due to their geographic layout. The weather pattern in the Ionian group of islands on the West Coast is ideal for yachting. However, avoid yachting in the peak summer months.
Itineraries – Top Picks
Apart from the capital city of Athens, the Saronic Islands, Poros, and Hydra are great options due largely to the quintessential Byzantine castles, dramatic anchorages, and fascinating harbors.
The Cyclades is indeed Greece’s much sought after “Superyacht Destination” and Santorini in the extreme south of the Cyclades and ideally located at a distance of 150 nautical miles from Athens is a top draw. Mykonos popularly referred to as the Ibiza of Greece, Syros and off- the- beaten- track Kea are fabulous options.
The legendary Peloponnese, which is located in close proximity to Athens has been a perennial favorite with Greek royalty. Here history and nature are entwined in a perfect embrace.
To the north-western Aegean Sea, the Sporadic islands consisting of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, and Skyros are ideal for luxury yachting.
Many yacht enthusiasts opt for yachting on the west coast of Greece, Ionian islands – Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Meganisi, Ithaca, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos (Zante) are a rage with the yachting aficionados. There is also the ethereal Lefkadas, Meganisi, the ancient and blissful Kefalonia, and Zakynthos. The latter in particular is magical.
Cost Of Yacht Charters In Greece
What is the cost of chartering a yacht in Greece? Well, in the lean season it could be US$ 1,500 per day and US$10,800 dollars per week. Yachts in Greece are mostly lent with a captain on board and if one opts for uber-luxurious yachting vessels, they obliviously will be fully crewed.
Professional Yacht Companies
Charter World is a name to reckon with. Rated amongst the world’s elite yachting charter companies. Renowned for their high-quality service and professionalism in the highly competitive yacht charter industry. Charter World is a London-based yacht charter company with worldwide offices.
Burgess Yachts have been in operations since 1975 and a renowned Super Yacht charter company for vessels over 30 Meters. The company was founded by Nigel Burgess, a world-renowned solo ocean racer with an obsessive eye for detail and a passion for the sea.