The archipelago of the Ionian islands, which stretches from north to south on the sea of the same name on the west coast of Greece, is a paradise for boat holidays, whether sailing, motor or catamaran. There are seven major islands, the main one of which is Corfu, with an international airport, ideal for starting your holiday. Just 10 km away we have the marina of Gouvia, full of charter options and boat services. Compared to the islands of the Aegean Sea, mostly barren, the Ionian Islands are fertile and green islands, for the most part mountainous. At the same time they retain the strong Greek taste for traditional villages and gastronomy.
The sea is beautiful: during navigation it is easy to meet coves and bays where you can drop anchor for long baths and snorkeling. From Corfu we move to the small Paxos and Antipaxos. Then a slightly longer journey (about 25 miles) southwards to reach the other four major islands: Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. The weather is warm in spring and autumn, with light breezes from the southeast. In summer, always sunny and very hot even if the constant winds from the north-west, sustained even if not at the level of the Aegean Meltheni, cool the air.
A dream boat holiday through these beautiful islands: there is no lack of an opportunity to moor at a marina, anchor in a bay, visit beautiful beaches: the sand is white and very fine. Lefkas (in Italian Lèucade or island of San Mauro, as renamed by the Venetians) has a very equipped marina where you can moor or possibly rent a charter. Here the beauty of the places is combined with history and myth: from the rock overlooking the sea of the southern tip the poet Sappho committed suicide. Sailing south, we meet Ithaca, the mythical land where part of the Odyssey takes place and exactly facing it, separated by a short arm of the sea, Kefalonia, the largest island of the archipelago. Still largely wild, surrounded by crystal clear sea: the Bay of Myrthos and the capital Fiskardo and the village of Argostoli are worth mentioning. Finally Zakynthos, the Zante sung by Foscolo where he was born here: the beaches of Laganas and Turtle Bay, where giant turtles nest, are not to be missed.
Sailing charter in the Cyclades: the archipelago is not by chance the most famous in Greece and a boat holiday allows you to enjoy all its beauties. The hundreds of islands (23 largest and about 200 islets) form a unique scenario in the world, where barren rock landscapes blend with the intense blue of the sea. Postcard villages perched on hills or lying in coves, with characteristic whitewashed walls and blue roofs that recall the sky and the sea. A breathtaking sunset and, inevitably, a table with a red checkered tablecloth where tasty Greek specialties triumph. The starting point can be Athens, from which to reach the port of Lavrion with an excellent marina equipped with hundreds of charters. From here Mykonos is 62 miles. Alternatively, the ferry from Athens in 3 1/2 hours takes you to Paros. The islands have two airports: Santorini and Mykonos, the latter with a beautiful marina and many rental options.
Whatever marina you decide, you can navigate with short distances and reach many of them: the main island is Paros, with archaeological parks, the lush Naxos with beautiful beaches, the picturesque and wild Kea and Serifos. You can continue with the transgressive parties until morning in Mykonos and Ios, and end in the suggestive famous bay of Santorini created by the cataclysm of an erupting volcano. And then Kythnos, Antiparos, Delos..the list is endless. Each island has its own vocation, but all of them are surrounded by a crystal blue sea, full of bays and golden sandy beaches. A boat paradise, with which you can explore the innermost and less crowded corners.
The weather is in fact beautiful from spring to autumn: from warm to hot in summer although extreme (July and August the average is 25 ° C). For sailing charters, however, be careful: the typical warm and dry Meltemi wind, which blows slightly north-east from the center of the Aegean all year round, becomes sustained in the central summer months, largely exceeding strength 5-6 making navigation difficult. For this reason, if you decide to rent a sailboat or catamaran in that period, the Ionian Islands or the Dodecanese are preferable. Alternatively, consider renting a boat with a professional skipper.
Far from mass tourism and the Cycladic worldliness, but a stone's throw from Athens, you can spend a wonderful sailing or motor charter holiday in the Saronic islands. They are small islands that extend in front of the homonymous gulf, between Athens and the Peloponnese. The strait of Corinth is a few miles away. A condensation of scenic beauty, crystal clear sea, superb white beaches and traditional Greek hospitality. In addition, given the position, they offer an ideal destination for sailing, being sheltered from the Meltemi which blows in the center of the Aegean.
Just in front of Piraeus lies the island of Salamina, then the main island Aegina with a magnificent Greek theater, then the tiny Agistri, Methana and Poros always in a very collected area that does not force long navigations. Both by boat and catamaran are islands where you can take advantage of the potential of the Greek sea in peace, easily anchor in the bay or moor in small harbors and visit the charming villages. Small golden beaches, crystal clear waters and safe sailing. Finally, after the Peloponnese, you reach the fascinating Hydra. Now the waters of which it was historically rich are lost, it is today the most cosmopolitan of the archipelago: bars, restaurants, boutiques but also excellent clubs for an evening full of dance!
A charter vacation on a sailing, motor or catamaran boat in the Sporades, to enjoy the beauty of the Aegean sea for a week or two, among unspoiled landscapes, typical villages, away from the mass tourism of the Cyclades. However the heterogeneous nature of the islands offer a mix of naturalistic tranquility and sparkling social life. The Sporades are a group of islands located in the north-east area of the Aegean, but easily accessible from the mainland by ferry from both Athens and Thessaloniki. They are 11 major islands, but only Alonissos, Skyros, Skiatos and Skopelos inhabited permanently. The latter two have an equipped marina, which can be an excellent starting point. With ItalyCharter you have many options of sailing boats, catamarans and even luxury yachts. Alternatively, you can rent a boat or catamaran from the best shipyards from the centers of Achillio and especially Volos, on the coast a few miles from Skiatos.
Our navigation begins from here: the capital is not only a traditional fishing village, but also offers a remarkable nightlife. Then the discovery of the magnificent coast of the island, dotted with dozens of beautiful beaches: unmissable Koukounariés voted the third most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Continuing the navigation to the east, we meet Skopelos, covered by pine woods. Alonissos is at the center of one of the largest protected marine parks which includes 6 other smaller islands in a scenario of incomparable beauty. Finally, with a motor boat or, wind permitting sailing, you can reach the southernmost island of the archipelago and also the largest: Skyros. Crossroads of cultures for millennia, mythological land, 130 km of alternately rocky and low and sandy coasts, it deserves a stop for a few days. You can explore it with your boat, in a catamaran, enjoying suggestive sunsets after a swim in the crystal clear waters.
The 12 major islands are distributed in a north-south axis very close to the Turkish coast. The area is an exciting destination for those sailors who want to escape the Cycladic wind, without renouncing the beauty of the Greek sea and its culture: the Meltemi wind in this area is more attenuated.
You can reach the archipelago by plane at Rhodes international airport (then departure base with an excellent marina) or by ferry from Athens, in several hours of navigation. Rhodes needs no introduction: the wonderful old town surrounded by fortified walls is a world heritage site. It is perhaps too commercially exploited today with hundreds of shops and restaurants, but it remains a must to go into the medieval streets of the city once dominated by the Genoese and then by the powerful Knights of Rhodes. By sailing or catamaran, you can circumnavigate the island: as soon as you leave the capital you will find immense golden beaches on a crystal clear sea. Towards the south the admirable archaeological site of Lindos, with the acropolis overlooking the sea. Then, continuing, the exceptional beaches of Faliraki, Prassonisi, the Butterfly Valley, the ancient perched monasteries.
Rhodes is an excellent starting point for charters: from the north-west route to reach the small and pretty Simi, with a characteristic and worldly marina. Continuing we will find the remote and silent Tilos and the volcanic island Nysiros: here the beaches are black with lava and it is possible to climb into the no longer active crater. To the north we have Kos: second island full of beautiful beaches and clubs. The port has a well-equipped marina which can be an alternative to renting a boat or catamaran. Kos is located in the center of the Dodecanese. You can rent with bare-boat formula or boat with skipper. North route to get to the barren Leros and Kalymnos, then the beautiful Lipsi: forbidden to cars, it has only one mooring point, being only 3 km long. Finally, the northernmost island: Patmos, where St. John wrote the Apocalypse. In reality it has nothing apocalyptic: crystal clear sea, bays and quiet beaches and villages with whitewashed houses and blue roofs that reflect the color of the immense sky.
Greece offers a vast panorama for a boating holiday. Whether sailing, motor or catamaran, you will find hundreds of equipped marinas, marinas and professional charters ready to meet your needs. It is important to choose the type of boat but also the area, depending on the time of year, as wind is a crucial factor. In the central areas of the Aegean, especially the Cyclades, the Meltemi expires 4-5, reaching 7-8 as well. We therefore recommend the northernmost area of the Sporades or the Saronic Islands. Alternatively you can rent a sailboat with a skipper, or a luxury yachts with a full crew. The lateral areas, i.e. the Ionian and Dodecanese islands are less subject to Meltemi in summer. Therefore you will live a dream vacation on a sailing boat or catamaran at any time of the year. Remember that you can select the boat by size, shipyard, model (up to the newest of 2020), seats and cabins and obviously price.