Greek seafaring tradition has a history reaching back for generations. There are thousands of islands to explore and 10,000 miles of rugged coastlines, inlets and beaches. The Greek seas are so vast that it would take months (perhaps years) to explore them all. A seven day yacht charter in any of the island groups is not nearly long enough.
Onboard your privately chartered yacht you can relax whilst cruising among beautiful clusters of islands, to anchor off in naturally protected bays to go safely for a swim in exceptionally clear waters or explore the coastline with a tender.
The main charter regions are the Cyclades, Sporades, Ionian, Saronic Gulf, Peloponnese and Dodecanese island groups.
As a result of Greece’s geographical location, the subtropical warm summers are cooled by a stream of moderate to strong Northerly winds. These “Meltemi” winds are strongest in July, August and early September, especially in the Cyclades and can be unpredictable. Therefore, cruising in the Cyclades may be restricted however there are hundreds of islands protected from the Meltemi so alternatives abound. Temperatures are around 70-80 degrees in May and June and 80-90 degrees in July, August and Sept.
The Cyclades are a group of islands located in the center of The Aegean Sea. From the island of Andros in the north to the islands of Thera and Anafi in the south the Cyclades form a oval circle of approx. 220 islands and islets. Paros, Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini are but a few of the more well known islands in this area.
Although the winds of the “Meltemi” can govern your cruising schedule you can relax on your luxury charter yacht and just enjoy this area whilst the captain and crew will do their outmost for comfortable journeys in-between the islands.
For more information of The Cyclades go:
Visit Greece – Cyclades
Located in the center of the Cyclades lies the island of Mykonos. It has an area of 85.5 square kilometres and the highest point measures 341 metres above sea level. The island is world famous for it’s night life and the beach & night clubs attracts thousands of visitors every year. Celebrities, jet setters and family tourist alike mingle amongst whitewashed facades, beautiful beaches, fabulous food and culture on this cosmopolitan island.
This happening island is an excellent destination on your Greek luxury yacht cruise.
Archaeological Museum of Mykonos, is small but well worth a visit for any history buff together with the Aegean Maritime Museum.
For more information of Mykonos go:
Mykonos.gr – Official website of the Municipality of Mykonos
Visit Greece – Mykonos
Paros & Naxos
The island groups of Paros and Naxos, are located south of Mykonos and the main islands are separated by a channel about 8 kilometres wide. Traditionally, Paros was known for it’s fine white marble, although today, the marble quarries and mines have been abandoned and Paros is primarily known as a loved holiday destination. Numerous beaches including Chrissí Aktí (Golden Beach) on the east coast, Logaras, Piso Livadi, Naousa Bay, Parikia and Agia Irini.
Strong constant winds funnelling between the island and Naxos makes it a popular windsurfing destination.
Largest of the Cyclades island group is Naxos. It was once the centre of archaic Cycladic culture and according to Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mount Zas (Zeus). The mountain in impressive and
raises 1003 meters high.
The island has a unique blend of Cycladic cubic white washed houses, medieval architecture, Venetian buildings & castles, beautiful old churches and monasteries all set on a canvas of high mountains, lush green valleys and gorges , a sunning coast line and traditional villages. Perched high on mountain you will find villages where the locals still wear the traditional dresses and live off the fruits of the land.
Naxos is a popular wind and kitesurfing destination as winds are considered favourable. The island has a number of beaches Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Agios Georgios, most of them near Chora to mention a few.
In the southern part of the Cyclades you will find a group of islands called Santorini (Thira). These magnificent islands will capture your attention already at the onlook. The islands are in fact part of a large volcano where the caldera is submerged and the visible sides of the volcano are the islands of Santorini (Thíra), Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni. The caldera is deep, approx. 400m which makes it possible for your luxury charter yacht to be anchoring in the protected bay. The coastlines are high, steep cliffs at the most part and the picturesque settlements are located at the highlands on the islands. Classical whitewashed houses with blue details makes the romantic towns and villages sparkle in the Greek summer sun.
According to legend the volcano was prior to the eruption in 1630 BC the island of Atlantis – today geologic and archeological investigations hint that the legend might indeed be true, that the dissppearnce of Atlantis may be related to a catastrophic eruption in the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age that destroyed an
advanced Minoan civilization living on the island group of Santorini.
Archaeological finds show that the island has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and there is some evidence of life during the second period of the early Cycladic civilization (2800-2100 BC), although it is not until the middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC)
that evidence becomes more abundant and show that the islands settlement had a very important port.
Gastronomically Santorini’s unique ecosystem supports unique grape varieties that produce high quality wines that play a fundamental role in the island’s economic, social and financial life. Local products such as barley, split peas, cherry tomato and the
wild saffron crocus together with white egg plants, fava, caper and “hloró tyrí”, a special kind of fresh goat cheese ensures a culinary delights.
For more information of Santorini go:
Municipality of Thira official travel site
Geology-sdsu-edu – SANTORINI ERUPTION (~1630 BC) and the legend of Atlantis
“Sporades” meaning “those scattered” is a group of 24 inhibited island in the north west part of The Aegean Sea. Rocky Landscapes, dense vegetation and crystal clear blue seas are characteristic for this area.
South of the island of Kyra Panagia you will find the National Marine Park of Alonissos where you might be lucky and see the The Mediterranean monk seal “Monachus monachus”.
For more information about the Sporades go:
Visit Greece – Sporades
National Marine Park of Alonissos – Northern Sporades
West of the mainland of Greece and south of The Adriatic you will find the Ionian Islands.
Traditionally called the Heptanese (“the Seven Islands”) includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones. The biggest islands are Corfu, Zakynthos, Kephalonia, Ithaca, and Lefkada. Going westward across the Ionian Sea and the deepest point in the Mediterranean, The Calypso Deep (Within the Hellenic Trench) you have Brindisi in Southern Italy as the closest major port.
The islands of The Ionian are rich in cultural heritage, temperate climate, beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and has an excellent tourism infrastructure.
For more general information of the Ionian Islands go:
Visit Greece – Ionian
Kerkyra / Corfu
West of northern Greece resides the Island of Corfu, second largest of the Ionian Islands. The name has it roots in Greek mythology where the beautiful nymph called Korkyra, daughter of Asopus, an important Greek mainland river and river nymph Metope. According to legend Poseidon, God of the sea, feel madly in love with her so he abducted her and brought her to the island and let her name the island. Korkyra later evolved to Kerkyra.
The island’s history is filled with battles and was from medieval times and into the 17th century, recognised as a bulwark against the Ottoman Empire of the European States and became one of the most fortified places in Europe.
The Venetians, the French and the British over the centuries, has had a strong influence in the city. UNESCO titles the Old City of Corfu “Outstanding Universal Value” and it is today listed on their World Heritage list.
The island, filled with charm and character is covered with olive trees, cypress, orange and lemon groves and the coast line has a mixture of steep cliffs, golden sandy beaches, secluded coves and pebbly shorelines. An outstanding choice of vibrant beach resorts together with family oriented havens and traditional tavernas and peaceful little villages make Corfu an excellent yachting destination.
Kephalonia is the biggest island in the Ionian Sea and is located between Lefkada in the north and Zakynthos in the south by the outlet of Patraikos Bay and in the east the Korinth Canal. The island measures approx. 800 square kilometres and has a coastline of around 250 km. Kephalonia’s highest mountain is Mount Aenos (Enos), with a hight of 1628 meters and is since 1962 a national park. Mount Aenos National Park is rich in fir trees, flora, fauna, is the only national park on a Greek island and it measures over 3,000 hectares.
Kephalonia was during the Byzantine period a part of the province of Achaia and the prefecture of East Illyria and was later conquered by the Normans, the Franks, the Venetians and the Turks before finally joining the rest of Greece together with the
other Ionian Islands on May 21st, 1864. Kephalonia and The Ionians became a stronghold against the Italians and the Germans during World War II.
The Island’s capital is Argostoli, a modern town but with a traditional character. It is set as an amphitheatre surrounding
the Koutavous lagoon. Visit the Korgialeneios Library, one of the biggest libraries in Greece, housing more than 55,000 volumes and an excellent collection of Byzantine icons. The Archaeological Museum has important findings discovered in the whole island, mainly dating back to the Mycenaean period the their exhibition so also worth a visit for anyone interested in history.
The coast line has 39 beautiful beaches, some sandy, some pebble and some gravel. Some of Kefalonia most cherished beaches are scattered along the southern coast of the island although Myrthos Beach, a kilometre long and 100 meters wide beach with no buildings as such with rugged hills surrounding it is located on the north western shore, a perfect spot for your yacht charter cruise in Greece.
Zakynthos is the third largest of the Ionian Islands and is a separate regional unit with it’s own municipality. The Venetians gave the island the nickname “To fioro tou Levante“, i.e. Il fiore di Levante / The flower of the East. Lush valleys, thousands of flower species and a dramatic and changeable coastline, above as well as under the waterline makes Zakynthos a perfect holiday destination on your Greek yacht charter cruise.
Archaeologically it has been proven that the island was inhibited already during the Neolithic Age, thousands of years before Christ. Later the Venetians left their architectural mark and despite an earthquake in 1953 where many buildings perished some still remains and others have been rebuilt honouring both anti-seismic specifications and the original architecture. Visit the Venetian Castle overlooking the City of Zakynthos built on the old acropolis named Psofis or explore the Solomos and the Aghios Markos squares where you will find the Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante, Museum of Solomos, Kalvos and Eminent Zakynthians.
On Zakyntos’ north shores by the light house of Cape Skinari you will find the fascinating Blue Caves of Zakynthos. Discovered in 1897 by a man called Antoino Komouto, these caves can be visited by boats and are a wonderful attraction on your Ionian yacht charter.
For more information on Zakynthos go:
Visit Greece – Zakhyntos
The Sacronic Gulf is the gulf south of Athens/Pireaus, north of the peninsula of Methana and harbours the east end of the Corinth Canal.
The Sarconic islands are together with the surrounding coastline steeped in ancient history and mythology and is a must for anyone interested in European history, archaeology and culture. Greece’ major archaeological sites are often called the “Cradle of Humanity”.
In close proximity to Athens you have many islands surrounding the biggest island Aegina so why not combine your visit to Acropolis with a Argosaronic island cruise.
The Peloponeese is the once peninsula of the mainland Greece. It was separated from the central part of the country by the Gulf of Corinth since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893 although the area is still referred to as a peninsula.
Greece’s (and Europe’s) first major civilisation, The Mycenaean civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from its stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula.
Monuments such as ancient Olympia and Epidaurus combined with beautiful nature, mountains, forests, rivers, the coast line full of caves and beautiful beaches to explore makes this peninsula and surrounding prefect for a holiday in a gorgeous climate.
The Dodecanese island are a group of 12 larger plus more than hounded smaller islands in the Aegean Sea. This is considered the sunnier part of Greece and the islands are ranging from cosmopolitan island like Rhodes or Kos to unspoilt destinations.
Major archaeological finds together with a suburb climate and fabulous flora and fauna, both above and below sea level makes this area exquisite cruising grounds.
For more general information of the Dodecanese go:
Visit Greece – Dodecanese
Leros, Kalymnos, Pserimos & Kos
The islands groups of Leros, Kalymnos, Pserimos and Kos are located west of Turkish Bodrum.
If you are seeking to discover a lesser-known, unspoiled destination visit Leros or Pserimos. Leros is north of Kalymnos whereas Pserimos is tucked in-between Kalymnos and Kos.
East of the Leros cities of Lakki, Agia Marina and Platanos, stands the island’s eye catching medieval castle – Kastro Panteli and the Church of Panagia – the Church of the Virgin Mary. The church was built on the western side of the fortress and has gold-adorned iconostasis with remarkable religious paintings and icons inside. It is today a religious and intellectual cultural symbol for the residents of Leros.
This peaceful island has gentile hills with scattered windmills and many sheltered bays for your luxury yacht cruise.
Kalymnos is the fourth largest island in the Dodecanese and located south of Leros. The island is best known as home of the world’s finest sponge diving. The vivid marine life, crystal clear waters makes it a haven for snorkeling and scuba-diving. Combine this with island life, colourful traditions, picturesque landscapes, rock faces excellent for climbing and a warm-hearted hospitality makes this a perfect spot for your Greek yacht charter.
Reminence of Byzantine fortresses, Hellenistic temples and many churches and monesatries are part of Kalymnos. Possibly the most famous is the Monastery of St. Panteleimon and the majestic temple of Agios Savvas.
South of Kalymnos we have the small island of Pserimos. This is one of the smallest inhabited islands in the Greek archipelago and a get away from it all, island. Sandy beaches, quiet coastline, tavernas with fresh fish as a speciality, gentle hills, goat farms, pine & fig trees, sage and thyme bushes, grape vines and flowers all with a relaxing and quiet atmosphere.
Kos, 40 by 8 kilometres in size is the third largest island of the Dodecanese. The island is bordering the Turkish Gulf of Gökova and is south of Kalymnos and Pserimos. An international airport, the harbor and the marina combined with an organised net of rural transportation is the backbone of the important local infrastructure. The island’s trademark is the medieval castle – Nerantziá Castle, which is impressively situated at the entrance of the port of the City of Kos, north-west of the island.
Other monuments from the Roman and Byzantine Empires, from the Crusades, Venetian and Ottoman periods all gives influences to Kos’s distinctive character. Find the oldest plane tree in Europe, where Hippocrates himself, allegedly used to teach his students and examine his patients.
Step ashore from your charter yacht and make a visit to Zia Natural Park or the protected area of the Aliki (Salt Lake) on the north shore and see pelicans and flamingos or hike Mount Dikaios, the highest mountain of Kos with an altitude of 846 meters above sea level and stunning views.
The south-eastern part of the island has a wild beauty, steep slopes, and at Therma, a hot spring, rich in calcium, potassium, sodium, sulfur and magnesium – a natural Spa with a beach and a tidal pool allowing seawater to enter and cool the hot water.
Rhodes & Halki (Chalki)
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and also the island group’s historical capital. Commence your luxury yacht charter holiday at the ancient Mandraki harbour, famed for the for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The medieval old town of the City of Rhodes is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Gems of Gothic architecture such as the The Palace of the Grand Masters, The Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights delightfully mingles with mosques, public baths and other reminiscence from the Ottoman period.
The old towns myriad of streets and alleyways are filled with restaurants, shops, bars, cafes music and curiosa.
Outside the city, explore the beautiful beaches or the the island’s wonders such as the Valley of the Butterflies where every year, at the end of the wet season (late May), thousands of butterflies attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees covers the landscape; Escape the summer heat and relax by crystal-clear waters under pine and plate trees by the romantic Seven Springs or at the Rodin Park, enjoyed already by the Romans or visit the breathtaking Acropolis of Líndos, the ancient cities of Ialissós and ancient Kámiros, and the castles of Kritinia and Monólithos.
West of Rhodes you will find the island of Halki (Chalki).
Named after the copper mines that once was here this small island is a quiet and secluded island with an attractive village port and few people. In contract to neighbouring Rhodes Halki is a place to get away from it all.
Sea of Crete
South of the Dodecanese islands and in the center of the Sea of Crete you find the island of Crete. The island is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. This is another Greek island filled with history and archaeological finds set in a superb climate. Picturesque villages, vast valleys with olive groves and vineyards as well as the best organised tourist infrastructure makes Crete an excellent holiday destination.
Heraklion (Iráklion) the island’s mostly populated area and is an all-year-round destination. Just south-east of the city you will find the Minoan palace of Knossos. Constructed in the 1900 B.C. and then in 1700-1450 B.C. this palace connected with ancient legends and myths is truly an amazing place to visit for archaeological buffs and others alike.
For more information of Crete go:
Visit Greece – Crete
Visit Greece – The Minoan Palace of the colours / The Minoan palace of Knossos
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