Greece is recognized as the cradle of civilization, western philosophy and democracy. The Greek Seafaring tradition has a history reaching back for generations. There are thousands of islands to explore and 10,000 miles of rugged coastline, inlets and beaches. White washed houses are built into windmill-dotted slopes leading to animated harbors, waterfronts and villages below.
The Greek seas are so vast that it would take months (perhaps years) to explore all of them. A 7-day charter in any of the island groups is not nearly long enough. These main island groups are: CYCLADES, SPORADES, IONIAN, SARONIC GULF & PELOPENNESE, DODECANESE and CRETE.
As a result of Greece’s geographical location, its subtropical warm summers are cooled by a system of moderate to strong winds from the North: the MELTEMIS. The Meltemi are strongest in July, August and early September especially in the Cyclades and are very unpredictable. For this reason, we caution clients not to get disappointed if a favorite island in the popular Cyclades has to be omitted because of weather. It is not uncommon for a boat to be “stuck” in port for 3 or 4 days! Air temperatures hover around 70 –80 degrees in May and June; 80-90 in July , August and September.
There are many types of yachts in Greece. There is a 4.5 % VAT on all Greek charters, regardless of the yacht’s flag. The VAT is collected by your broker with your final payment and will be passed along to the yacht’s agent.
Traditional Greek “Cacique” or Motorsailer
The wooden cacique is strong, spacious, heavy and stable – well built to withstand the strong Meltemi winds prevalent in the summer months. Many of the Caciques are old and fairly simple- a good choice for large groups on a budget.
Motoryachts, Large & Small
Most Americans choose a motor yacht for chartering in Greece because they are fast and comfortable.
Surprisingly few crewed sailing yachts are in the Greek charter fleet from year to year. Now that Greece is part of the EU, only EU-flagged sailing yachts are allowed to charter in Greek waters.
Greek crew are mostly male, highly qualified, hospitable and friendly. They are accustomed to entertaining charter guests from all over the world and are generally very accommodating! Most speak clear English
Greek law stipulates that no one may operate a speedboat or jet ski without a license. Since licenses are not available in the United States, it is almost impossible for Americans to be involved in this activity.
For over 30 years, SCUBA was forbidden to protect the hundreds of ancient ships sunk over the past 40 centuries in the Aegean waters. In 1994, the Greek Supreme Court amended this law. Now, diving is permitted in some designated areas in the following locations on a rendezvous basis: Vouliagmeni and Ermioni (near Athens), and the islands of Mykonos, Syros, Paros, Santorini, Corfu, Zakinthos, Paxi, Lefkada, Chalkidki, Skiathos, Crete, Kalymnos and Leros. Spear fishing using SCUBA equipment is prohibited.
Happily, Euros are the standard currency instead of the drachmas.
Greek cuisine is based on natural fresh ingredients…traditional dishes often contain fresh vegetables and tomatoes, feta (white goat) cheese, fine olives and virgin olive oil, honey and excellent yogurt. Many of the yachts also offer international cuisine.
There is a wide variety of Greek wine and beer, as well as the local drink, Ouzo. Most brand name liquors are available, but can be pricey by U.S. standards.
Passport & Visa
A valid passport is necessary for entry into Greece. For U.S., Canadian and EU citizens, a visa is not required.
Water & Electricity
Tap water is of good quality in Greece. Bottled water is inexpensive and readily available. Electricity is 220 volts AC.
Five to fifteen percent of the charter fee is an appropriate tip, depending in the type of yacht and crew.