Greece, a country with a rich ancient history, is blessed with abundant sunshine, a bountiful and generous nature, and a warm welcome for visitors. The azure sea, golden beaches, white houses, the scent of strong coffee, and fragrant coniferous plants all contribute to a unique atmosphere that is perfect for a leisurely and relaxing yachting holiday. Greece is bordered by four seas: the Mediterranean, Ionian, Aegean, and Libyan. With around 6,000 islands, nearly 20% of the country’s landmass, only 200 are inhabited. Each Greek island has its own distinct personality and rich history dating back to mythological and ancient times. Here, visitors can discover traces of the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, France, or Italy. The islands are full of hidden treasures such as numerous underwater grottoes, caves, and secluded bays with golden sand, tucked away among peculiar rocks, adding to their mysterious charm. To help navigate the endless variety of what Ancient Hellas’ waters offer, we have created a guide to the top yachting destinations in the Greek islands.
Yacht Itinerary for the Saronic Islands in Greece, Departing from Athens
This is a 7-day sailing route that starts from Athens and travels through the Saronic Islands of Greece, covering a distance of 125 nautical miles. The stops along the way are Athens, Aegina, Hydra, Spetse, Poros, Patroklos, and Athens.
The Saronic Gulf, the largest bay in the Aegean Sea, stretches from Cape Sounion in the east to Cape Skileon in the southwest. It lies to the east of the Isthmus of Corinth, between Attica and the Peloponnese. This yacht journey through the authentic islands of the Saronic Gulf begins in Athens, the legendary center of ancient Greek civilization, renowned for its power in the antiquity era. The city, named after the goddess of wisdom Athena, was the birthplace of philosophy, literature, architecture, theater, and democracy. The Parthenon temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is the most famous monument of ancient architecture. It has served as a pagan temple, an Orthodox church, and a mosque at different times in history. The temple is situated in the Acropolis, the “Sacred Hill” of the upper city, around which the city of Athens was founded. As the Acropolis is visible from everywhere in the city, the route can be easily navigated even without maps or GPS.
Yacht Itinerary in the Cyclades Islands of Greece from Lavrion
Description: This 7-day yacht trip takes you on an itinerary from Lavrion to the Cyclades Islands of Greece.
Distance: 252 nautical miles
The Cyclades archipelago, located between mainland Greece and Crete, is the heart of the Aegean Sea. It’s made up of two hundred small and very small islands, with a little over twenty of them inhabited. The Cycladic civilization, attributed to the 3rd millennium BC, remains one of the great mysteries of human history. The Cyclades, being the most fertile archipelago for those who like to travel from island to island, is perfect for yacht trips. The archipelago includes two volcanic islands – Santorini and Milos, while the others are of mainland origin. Each of the islands in the Cyclades archipelago is unique and has its own traditions, customs, and development paths. Despite their uniqueness, the islands share similarities, such as the sparkling white dwellings in the Cycladic “cubist” style, and the arid and rocky terrain. The Cyclades are known for the northwest wind called “Meltemi,” which rages on the islands in July and August. This yacht itinerary takes you to some of the best destinations in the Cyclades, including Kythnos, Milos, Santorini, Folegandros, Serifos, and Kea.
Yacht Tour of the Ionian Islands of Greece from Lefkada
Description: A 7-day sailing itinerary exploring the Ionian Islands of Greece from Lefkada.
Distance: 152 nautical miles
Lefkada, an island in the Ionian archipelago, boasts rich vegetation in its eastern and southern regions, and its western coastline is adorned with endless golden beaches and spectacular scenery. It is the only Ionian Island that can be accessed by road from the western coast of Greece. Lefkada is the fourth largest of the Ionian group, and it is renowned for its white sheer cliffs, which stretch along the western side of the island, giving it its name. “Levkos” means “white” in Greek. The eastern, leeward side of the island has a gently sloping coast and is dotted with small islands covered in greenery. The most famous of them is Skorpios, which is owned by the descendants of Aristotle Onassis. Lefkada was once a peninsula until the 7th century BC when Corinthian settlers dug a canal separating Lefkada from the mainland. In the 20th century, it was reconnected to the mainland by a pontoon floating road bridge. Lefkada has been known since Homeric times, and over the centuries, it has passed through the hands of the Venetians, the French, the Turks, the Russians, and the British, leaving their mark on the lifestyle and architectural appearance of the island.
Yacht Itinerary in the Ionian Islands of Greece from the Island of Corfu
Discover the Best Yachting Destinations in the Greek Islands.
Description: Explore the Ionian Islands of Greece on a 7-day yacht trip from the Island of Corfu.
Distance: 135 nautical miles
The Island of Corfu, the northernmost and second-largest of the Ionian Islands, stretches for 65 kilometers parallel to the mainland coast. Its shape resembles a sickle, which it was compared to in antiquity. The concave side, with the city and port of Kerkyra at its center, lies opposite the Albanian coast. Corfu is washed by two seas: the Ionian Sea to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the north and northwest, closer to Albania. The water temperatures and sea conditions vary significantly on the east and west coasts. The open sea washes the west coast, causing the water and air temperatures to depend on the prevailing current, while the water temperature can change daily. In contrast, the east coast leads into the strait, where the water warms up in summer and is not as dependent on currents. While the west coast can be stormy, the east coast is quiet and calm. Corfu was founded earlier than Syracuse and was of great commercial importance, attracting the attention of many peoples, commanders, and tyrants from ancient times until the 20th century. Alexander the Great’s army attempted to capture the island, and the Ottoman Empire also waged wars there. For almost 400 years, Corfu belonged to Venice. The conquerors brought interesting subtleties and nuances to the island’s culture and life, including a mixture of languages with many borrowed Italian and Venetian words and monumental and sophisticated architecture.
Yacht Itinerary for Exploring the Greek Dodecanese Islands from Kos Island
Discover the Best Yachting Destinations in the Greek Islands.
Description: A 7-day itinerary for a yacht trip around the Greek Dodecanese Islands starting from Kos Island
Distance: 150 nautical miles
Kos Island is the third largest in the Dodecanese archipelago, located at the entrance to the Gulf of Gekova in the peninsula of Asia Minor. Just 4 miles away from the island, you will find the Turkish resort area of Bodrum. Known as the “Garden of the Aegean” for its lush greenery and luxurious parks, Kos Island is believed to have derived its name from the word “crab,” which was minted on coins that were first used on this island. With an ancient and fascinating history, the island has been a coveted prize for many conquerors over the ages. It was first captured by the aggressive Greek tribe of the Dorians in the 9th century BC. Throughout history, the island has belonged to various empires, such as the Macedonians, Romans, and Crusaders. Ottoman rule on Kos lasted for 4 centuries before being replaced by the Italians. In 1948, Kos Island was reunited with Greece. Due to its location in a seismically unstable zone, several strong earthquakes have occurred on the island, causing massive destruction and significant human casualties. The last major earthquake occurred in 1933.
Yacht Route through the Greek Sporades from Skiathos
Experience the Best of Yachting in the Greek Islands.
Description: A 7-day itinerary for a yacht trip through the Sporades Islands of Greece from Skiathos
Distance: 143 nautical miles
The Northern Sporades islands offer stunning landscapes and are considered the most picturesque in the Aegean Sea. Their beauty is enhanced by lush forests, ancient trees reflected in crystal-clear waters, openwork harbors, and bays that are well-protected from winds. These islands are also known for their riot of colors and mild warm climate. The archipelago is covered with dense vegetation, including pine forests, olive and plum groves, vineyards, and thickets of maquis, which makes them unique from other Greek islands. The Northern Sporades have a rich history and have been mentioned in ancient myths and Homer’s epic. According to legend, Skopelos was founded by the son of the god of winemaking, Dionysus, and Achilles, one of the most fearless and courageous heroes of Greek myths, who was hiding on the island of Skyros. Theseus, known for his heroic exploits, including the murder of the Minotaur and the battle with the centaur, met his death here. Interestingly, some villages on the islands of the Northern Sporades have preserved traditional clothing and all residential buildings are reminiscent of the traditions of the Cycladic culture, which was common on the Mediterranean coast between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC.
Embarking from Skiathos, this 7-day yacht trip covers some of the most fascinating and lesser-known islands of Greece, including Skopelos, Psaropoli, Achileo, Volos, Vatoudi, and Katigiorgis.