Sail & Yacht holidays near Athens [ Saronic cruise packages, itineraries & yacht charter rental tips]
What are the sailing vacation categories?
Are you or a fellow traveler a certified skipper? If the answer is yes, you can opt for a bareboat charter, which means that you aren’t going to hire a skipper to guide your boat. This option is perfect for those who are experienced sailors and adventure seekers, know how to navigate through the Greek islands, and want utmost privacy and freedom.
However, bareboat charter comes with some drawbacks. First of all, at least one of the boat’s passengers must own an RYA Day Skipper International Certificate of Competence or equivalent certification to run the boat. Second, the licensed skipper must be familiar with the route you’re going to follow and the wind conditions in the different parts of the sea in Greece. Navigating through the several island complexes will definitely be challenging for someone who hasn’t done it before!
A skippered charter is a great option for those who aren’t certified skippers or just want to sit back and enjoy the trip. Hiring a skipper you’ll have a professional to guide the boat and save you from the stress of navigating through unknown waters, making sure you’ll arrive at your destination safely. What’s more, a local skipper knows better than anyone the most beautiful caves, beaches, and coves. This means that not only you’re going to discover the hidden gems, but you’ll also save time!
How much you’re going to spend on a skipper depends on the season and the vessel type you’re going to choose for your trip. An indicative price for hiring a skipper in the summer season is about 1,000 euros per week. For three persons, this means less than 50 euros per person/day, which is less than the price you’re going to pay for a hotel.
If you want to have a luxurious sailing experience in Greece, a crewed charter is your best bet! With a crewed charter, you’re going to have -except for the skipper- chefs, hostesses, etc, who will go out of their way to meet your every need during the trip. The only thing you’re going to do is sit back and enjoy the trip, without worrying about cleaning, cooking, and other mundane tasks that you should avoid during your holidays. If you worry about being on a boat with a crew of strangers, well, don’t! The crew and the skipper are trained to be discreet and respect your privacy.
Where to sail in Greece
With about 6,000 islands and islets, most of them uninhabited, it may be hard to choose where to go! If you opt for a bareboat charter, we suggest sticking with the tried-and-tested routes. But, if you choose a skippered charter, you can go off the beaten tourist trail and discover many hidden islets. Below you’ll find the most popular sailing destinations in Greece.
Sailing around the Saronic islands
The Saronic island complex is the best, easiest, and most popular option for a sailing trip from Athens, thanks to its proximity to the capital, ideal wind conditions, and calm waters. For these reasons, the Saronic Gulf is also a very good option for bareboat trips and cruises. However, there is a chance that the Saronic gets affected by the Meltemi Winds that blow in the Aegean and can exceed 7 Beaufort. This doesn’t happen often, though, and most of the time the winds are between 4 and 5 Beaufort.
The most popular islands of the Saronic island group are Aegina, Poros, and Hydra. Many yachts moor at the ports of these islands every summer to renew their supplies and their passengers often spend some days exploring the island’s villages and beaches.
The best sailing itineraries in the Saronic
Following this itinerary, you’re going to see the best of the Saronic and the verdant bays of the Peloponnese peninsula. Departing from Athens, you’ll sail to Agistri to enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches and emerald waters. Then, you’ll continue your trip to Poros, a picturesque island in the heart of the Saronic, and Porto Heli, a cosmopolitan coastal town in the Peloponnese peninsula. Next, you’ll sail to Spetses and Hydra, the most elegant islands of the Argosaronic Gulf before departing to the final destination of your trip, Aegina.
This is a great itinerary for first-timers and for those who opt for a bareboat charter. Starting from Athens, you’ll sail to Aegina, Poros, and finally Hydra, the most cosmopolitan island of the Saronic. The distance between the islands is not very long, so you can sail to the next destination whenever you want.