Discover the beauty of Greece through the generally sheltered waters of the Aegean and Ionian seas. With its 10,000 islands, Greece is one of the most idyllic vacation charter cruising areas of the whole Mediterranean. Relax on a professionally crewed yacht as you escape to a country of great natural beauty, friendly locals, and be overwhelmed by quaint villages where the pace of life is slower and time seems to have forgotten them.
There are many island groups to choose from when visiting Greece and while each island has a special character and charm of its own, popular groups of islands are the Ionian, the Saronic and the Cyclades.
The Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are Cephalonia, Corfu, Ithaca, Lefkada, Paxi and Zakynthos. All of the Ionian Islands have a mild climate, which provides more vegetation, more rain, more flat seas and lesser winds than any other regions in Greece and Corfu is best known of the Ionian Islands. Widely considered the most idyllic cruising area of the Mediterranean, the Ionian Sea is located on the western side of the Greek mainland. Sparkling waters, charming little villages, and the mild breezes from the north will relax all you troubles away.
All of the Ionian Islands offer spectacular stretches of endless golden beaches as far as the eye can see, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and fishing. Pass through villages where fine examples of folk art and crafts are displayed in shops all over the island. You’ll want to visit the age old castles and lovely historic churches as well as sample each island’s famous dishes for the true flavor of each town.
With the exception of the two bigger islands (Corfu and Zante), the rest are only accessible by water and as a result, have very little tourists except for those yachting. The ability to enjoy rare sights which are found nowhere else in the world, such as the Cedar-like fir trees that cover Mt. Enos located on Cephalonia, are one of the true delights of doing vacation charters.
Greece has numerous opportunities for exploration from your vacation charter. The Saronic Islands are a popular yacht destination as the many small, deserted islets to explore offer a sense of independence. Ancient ruins, architecture and abundant sea life are available from the many unspoiled anchorages.
The Saronic islands
The Saronic islands are situated at a close distance from Athens, the capital of Greece and its port, Piraeus and are scattered between the prefecture of Attica and the eastern side of the Peloponnese. This group of Greek Islands is composed of Angistri, Aegina, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Spetses and Hydra and they have a lot to offer to the visitors. Located in the Northwest side of the Aegean Sea, the Saronic Islands are protected by the coast, which allows you to avoid the big wells that come in from the Agean and provide vacation charters a calm and relaxing cruise.
Athens offers locals and foreigners many things to see and do such as a stroll through the ancient markets, window shopping along its narrow picturesque alleys or simply enjoying the sun and having a glass of wine in one of its many taverns. The 5th century BC temple of Aphaia can be visited and the island has many fine neoclassical buildings to explore.
The southern suburbs of Athens constitute a center for entertainment with many bars, clubs, taverns and restaurants. Don’t miss the ever so popular organized beach parties with a variety of access water sports, music and dancing throughout the night. Only a few kilometers from the center of Athens is Sounion, whose impressive marble columns are considered to be the finest in Greece
The Cyclades are located the middle of the Aegean Sea and may be the most popular vacation charter destination in the world. The little whitewashed houses with their blue windows, the windmills and the churches at the highest points of the steep barren hills with their characteristic blue dome, are a sight that will not soon be forgotten. The Sea breezes that are created by the larger land masses do not exist here and it is not uncommon to find yourself on a mirror-like ocean. The whitewashed little villages are situated high above the harbors (which allowed for better protection from pirates) and the proximity of the islands to one another permits a relaxed sailing schedule, allowing more time for sightseeing and shopping.
As a popular tourist destination, the islands are busy during the height of the season, so for a completely different picture of the Cyclades, try the islands of Tínos with its imposing pilgrimage church, Sýros with its elegant Italianate townscape or Sífnos, which remains a smart, chic destination for tourists of all nationalities.