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Island Hopping in Greece

May 14, 2021
Ferry arriving in Ios, Greece

When people think of Greece, they think of the beautiful blue and white buildings that dot the landscapes of a Greek island. Many people want to visit as many of those islands on their Greek holiday but they may be daunted by the task of figuring which islands to visit and how to go island hopping in Greece.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

This guide will not only tell you what to do on these amazing Greek islands but how to get to there. The main way of Greek island hopping is to pick a set of islands and take the ferry from each one. Don’t worry; taking the Greek ferry is easy and a fun way to get to all the Greek islands you desire.

You will want to find islands that are interconnected by ferry. Many islands are close to each other but the ferries may not go to the island you want even if it seems logical that it would.

Keep in mind this is just a small sampling of itineraries you can create for yourself. There are about 200 inhabited Greek islands to explore and a few island chains I don’t cover here. To see where the ferries go, check out Ferry Hopper’s planner.

Cyclades Island Hopping

The Cyclades Island chain is probably the most popular of all the Greek islands. This is the set of islands that include Mykonos and Santorini, but there are 39 islands. 24 of those islands are inhabited so there are tons of different islands to explore. You can’t hit them all in one trip but you can hit anywhere from 3 to 7 islands depending on how long your trip is.

Santorini – Naxos – Mykonos

If this is your first visit to Greece, you most likely want to visit Santorini for its beautiful caldera views. To start this island-hopping adventure, I would recommend flying to Santorini to use your time efficiently. Some must-see things to do in Santorini are the hike from Thira to Oia along the caldera, visiting the ancient destroyed town of Akrotiri, and visiting a Greek winery. After spending a few days, you can then take the ferry to the largest Cycladic island of Naxos.

For great hotel with a caldera view, book a room at Strogili in Oia.

Naxos sits between Santorini and Mykonos, making it a great stop and a less touristy island than the other two. This island features some of the best beaches in Greece, and because of its size, it has large agricultural activity. Naxos has tons of great restaurants as a result with wonderful local ingredients. Spend a few days relaxing here before heading to Mykonos.

While Mykonos is well known, it is still worth a visit for its great nightlife. Dance the Greek summer night away at one of its many beach bars. During the day, you can explore the island. Make sure to check out the Mykonos windmills for an iconic photo of your trip to Greece. Finally, you can catch the ferry back to Athens directly from Mykonos, making it a great island to end your Greek holiday on.

Book you ferry tickets on Ferry Hopper.

Naxos – Paros – Milos

As mentioned before, Naxos is an amazing island to visit and especially a favorite among families. To get to Naxos from Athens, you will want to catch the ferry at Piraeus. The ferries to Naxos usually leave early in the morning, so I recommend sleeping in Piraeus the night before to save time. If you really want to be closed, I recommend the Triton Hotel as it is one of the few hotels that serves breakfast early enough to eat before you catch the ferry. The hotel is no-frills but not a problem for one night.

Book a room at the Triton Hotel.

The ferry ride to Naxos takes about 4 and a half hours but is totally worth it. Watch the blue Aegean sea go past on the deck, and you will be starting your holiday right. After spending a few days exploring Naxos, head to Paros. The ferry to Paros might be the same one you came on to! It is a short hop to the Paros port. In Paros, explore the Church of 100 Doors and the fishing village of Naousa.

Stay in Naousa at the centrally located, Liparando Hotel.

After spending a night or two in Paros, take one of the fast ferries to one of the further Cycladic islands of Milos. Milos has some other worldly-looking beaches due to its volcanic past. The beach that best represents this is Sarakinikio beach, made up of white smooth rocks. Sailing to some of the more remote beaches is one of the most popular things to do in Milos because you can’t reach them by car. Milos is a smaller island, so you may only need a couple of days here before catching the ferry back to Athens.

Tinos – Ios – Folegandros – Santorini

If you have a bit more time for your Greek holiday, consider hitting some out of the way and smaller islands. Again you will catch the ferry from Piraeus to Tinos. Tinos is a stunning island known for its artists and dovecotes. There are so many villages to explore on Tinos; you will want several days to explore this natural beauty.

Book you ferry tickets on Ferry Hopper.

After you explore, Tinos catch the ferry to Ios. Ios has something for everyone, from vibrant nightlife to stunning beaches and some amazing history. The island small, so take this opportunity to relax on the beach and eat some of the amazing local cuisine before going to Folegandros.

Book your room at my personal favorite of Kritikakis Village Hotel.

There are so many islands in the Cyclades that I cannot list all possible routes but you can see here how easy it is to island hop in the Cycladic islands.

Saronic Island Hopping

The Saronic islands are the closest islands to Athens. These make a great option if you don’t have a long time to spend in Greece. Many of these are also great options for a day trip to an island from Athens.

Aegina – Agistri

Getting to Aegina is one of the fastest ferry trips to an island, with the fast ferry only taking about 40 minutes from Piraeus port. You can also take a slower ferry that takes about an hour from Piraeus. Aegina is a beautiful island with plenty of things to do. If hitting the beach is your top priority, then head to Agia Marina on the island’s east side. A few of the ferries go direct to Agia Marina in the high season. While on that side of Aegina, make sure to stop at the Temple of Aphaia. The Temple of Aphaia dates to around 500 B.C. and is a great spot for views of the island and surrounding sea.

Book a room at the Aphrodite Art Hotel in Aegina.

After spending a night or two on Aegina, take the short ferry ride to Agistri. Agistri is mostly covered in forests but offers some amazing beaches. This island is not very touristy and gives you an idea of what life is like on a smaller Greek island. This island is perfect for relaxing. You can see I did just that in the video below.

Book a room at Hotel Alexandra that is featured in the video above.

Poros – Hydra – Spetses

Hitting Poros is a great option if you have a car as it is one island you can reach by car. However, you can still go by ferry, and it is faster than driving. Poros is a great place to practice the Greek art of people watching and boat watching. Because of its harbor layout, you can sit in almost any cafe and watch boats docking. If you want to get a higher view, walk through the town to the clock tower for a great sunset view.

Book your ferry tickets to Poros here.

After spending a day in Poros, head to the island with no cars! Hydra does not allow cars on the island. However, if maritime history sparks your interests, Hydra boasts a small but wonderful museum located in the port. It is called the Historical Archive-Museum of Hydra. While the name doesn’t sound nautical, there is plenty of nautical history there.

Book your stay at the Orloff Boutique Hotel Hydra.

Spend a few days in Hydra and then catch the ferry to Spetses. This island is also home to two great museums that happened to be inside historic homes. Museums on Greek islands are great places to escape the heat after hitting the beach. Spetses also has some stunning beaches to go for a swim at and relax.

Dodecanese Islands

The Dodecanese Islands are far away from Athens but are close to Turkey. The largest island is Rhodes. While you can take the ferry from Athens, it will be a long ferry, so I recommend flying to one island to start and then start your Dodecanese island hopping experience. Visiting the Dodecanese may require a longer trip due to their location and where you fly into Greece.

Leros – Patmos – Kalymnos

Leros is a great place to start in the Dodecanese Islands as there is an airport and the flight is only an hour-long! While Leros is not a large Greek island, there are tons to see. It is an island of great architecture with interesting buildings, churches, and castles to visit. Once you have explored all the buildings, head over to one of the many beautiful beaches for a nice swim. There are tons of Leros beaches to choose from.

Once you spend three or four days on Leros, catch the ferry to the island of Patmos. Patmos is known for its religious history as it is supposedly the place where John wrote the book of Revelation. You can even see the cave where John wrote the book. However, you don’t have to be religious to enjoy this lovely island. Patmos has some amazing beaches and is a great spot to scuba dive.

Book your ferry ticket to Kalymnos here.

Kalymnos is known for its rock climbing activities, and there are tons of options. But, even if you aren’t into rock climbing, there is still plenty of things to do on Kalymnos. There is an archaeological museum housed inside an old mansion that is definitely worth exploring. And it wouldn’t be a Greek island without some great beaches to visit.

Astypalaia – Tilos – Kos

Astypalaia is a stunning island with a castle at the top. It is a great island to start with as it has an airport. The Venetian castle is the highlight of this Greek island. But there are other things to see such as the beaches and the Drakos Cave. Not only is it a cool natural attraction, but it is also rumored to be where pirates stored their treasure!

Book a room at the Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel.

Tilos is the island for relaxing! The island is known for being one of the greenest places in Greece. However, there isn’t much to do but enjoy nature. Hiking is a popular activity on Tilos, and there are tons of old pathways.

Once you have relaxed enough, take the ferry to Kos.

Kos is one of the most popular islands to visit in the Dodecanese island chain. There is so much to do in Kos; you could spend at least a week exploring. If ancient sites are your thing, make sure to visit Asklepieion. Asklepieion is a temple built to honor the god of health, Asklepios. It was built after the death of Hippocrates. Another great ancient site on Kos is their Ancient Agora. Much like the Agora in Athens, it has ruins of temples and baths. Spend at least a few days on Kos so you can see it all.

Sporades Islands

The Sporades Islands have been famous by Mamma Mia. Much of the first film was filmed on the island of Skopelos, well, at least the outdoor scenes. While you can easily ferry hop between these four islands, you can’t do it from Athens. You will either need to fly to one to begin or drive to Volos or Agios Constantinos on the mainland to catch the ferry. You can only island-hop from three of the four Sporades as ferries to Skyros only leave from Kymi on the island of Evia, so I will give you things to do on each island, and you can decide the order!

Skopelos

Most people will want to hunt for film locations of Mamma Mia on Skopelos, including the church. The church is called Agios Ioannis Kastri and is located on the eastern side of the island towards the north. Once you hike to the top, head to a beach to relax. If you need more to explore, check some of the many monasteries on the island.

Book your hotel room at Aeolos Hotel in Skopelos.

Skiathos

Skiathos has something for everyone. The island boasts beautiful beaches, diving spots, party spots, castles, and churches. Not to mention all the wonderful Greek tavernas to visit. If you want to island-hop in a more traditional way, Skiathos offers many options for days sails that take you to Skopelos and Alonissos!

Alonissos

Said to be the most beautiful island of the Sporades, Alonissos is for the nature lover. There is a marine park to explore, plenty of hikes, and a cave to explore. Around Alonissos are several small islets that have churches on them and there are boats that will take you to them to explore.

Ionian and Northern Aegean Islands

The Ionian and Northern Aegean Islands are harder to island-hop on a ferry. Many places only go to one island from the mainland on these islands. For example, you can catch the ferry to Lemnos but not to another island from Lemnos. For islands like Corfu, you can catch more local ferry lines to one or two islands, but most of them are far from each other. Technically the Northern Aegean islands aren’t an island chain at all but get grouped together.

Let me know if you have done any island hopping in Greece and what your favorites were!

Greece, Travel

Getting a Greece Resident Permit

December 13, 2020

After several years of research and a year of living in Greece, I finally have my Greece resident permit. This was especially important this year with all the travel bans in place. If I hadn’t gotten it, I might not have been able to return home for Christmas without it. As it was, I didn’t receive it until the middle of November.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Getting a Greek resident permit is not hard, but it takes patience and persistence to get it. I am going to walk you through the steps of applying for the Greek resident permit here. This is for the financially independent resident permit. Keep in mind there are several types of permits in Greece that you can apply for.

Before you enter Greece, you should apply for a visa in your home country. Read my blog post about that if you haven’t done that yet.

Do You Need an Attorney?

One of the questions I am asked frequently is if you need an attorney to apply for the Greece resident permit. It is not required but may make the process easier for you. The lawyers in Greece have direct access to the Aliens administration to make appointments and ask questions.

If you decide to get an attorney, ask around to find one who has experience with this process. Many are not familiar with applying for the financially independent resident permit.

To use an attorney, you will need to get a power of attorney. The lawyer can write it up for you in Greek. You will then take it to your local KEP office to have it notarized. The KEP is the citizen’s services department in Greece. Take your passport with you. You may also need to have several copies of the power of attorney notarized, so do a few at once. At the time of writing this, there were no fees for the notarization.

The lawyer will tell you want they want you to do next.

Gather All Your Documents

You will need many documents to apply for the resident permit. Some of these will be similar to what you needed for your visa, so bring all those documents with you to Greece.

The documents you will need are your passport and a full-color copy of all pages, your birth certificate with apostille, a rental contract for an apartment or utility bill in your name, financial records, you will also need proof of insurance and passport photos. The passport photos will need to be digital on a CD and the four physical copies.

At the time of writing you need to prove you have €2000 a month in savings, passive income or retirement income.

All these documents will need to be translated into Greek. If you are not using a lawyer, you can have these documents translated at the Translation Service. The cost is pretty affordable at the service. There is a rush option if you need it. You will need to take your passport with you to this service as well.

Make an Appointment

Each Decentralized Administration has its own process for accepting appointments. After the events of 2020, more administrations have moved to online appointment systems for renewals. However, as of writing, the initial appointment still needs to be made via email.

The Athens administration’s email is dam_a@attica.gr. My experience with contacting them via email has been good. However, you may need to wait a day or two for a response if it is a busy time of year.

If your documents are accepted, you will be given a blue certificate that acts like a temporary Greek resident permit. Be careful with this document as you may need it to travel with while your application is being processed. You will also have to turn it in when you pick up the official resident permit.

Pay the Fee

To apply for the resident permit, you will need to pay the fee. Right now, the fee is €1000, and you can pay it online. If you can’t do this online, there is a small copy shop next to the Athens administration, and they will help you for a small fee. If you are applying outside of Athens, check with the local KEP office, and they can help you find a way to pay in person.

You will also need to pay €16 for the plastic card. This can also be done on the same website as above.

After Your Appointment

Once you have gone to the appointment, you may need to submit more documents after the appointment. You will need to send the additional documents by registered mail.

The most important thing is to follow up with them frequently. You can email them at dam_a_info@attica.gr. Keep in mind this is for the Athens administration only. You can also check the status of your application online.

I needed to submit more documents after my initial appointment. My lawyer sent the documents, and they were received. However, my attorney didn’t send a copy of the power of attorney, so they weren’t accepted. The administration never told us this, and I only found out after I emailed them.

How to Pick Up Your Resident Permit

When you get the notice your resident permit is ready, you will need to make another appointment to pick it up. You will need your resident permit number to register in the system to make your appointment. The online status system will show it to you at the bottom of the notice under remarks.

You will then go to the migration website to register and make an appointment to pick up your Greece Resident Permit. Right now, only part of the website is in English, so I recommend you use a Chrome browser and install the Google Translate extension.

Once you have registered, you can make an appointment. This part of the website is in Greek only. When you translate the website to English, there will be a section called “Performances,” which is not the correct translation. Then you will click on “Appointment for Performances.” This is also not the correct translation. However, this is where you make the appointment to pick up your plastic resident permit card.

Screenshot of Migration website to make an appointment to pick up your Greece Resident Permit

When you go to your appointment, you need to take a print out of your appointment with you, your passport and your temporary resident permit (the blue paper). You will give them the temporary permit.

They will print out a decision about your permit and all the rules to renew it. You will then sign for the permit and that is it! You are officially a Greece resident.

Other Things to Know

The financially independent resident permit is initially good for two years and can be renewed. If you are denied, there is an appeals process. Please email the administration for guidance on how to do this.

The process for getting a resident permit isn’t hard, but as you can see, there are many steps involved. Even with a lawyer, I had to follow-up with the authorities many times and with my lawyer. Be persistent in following up. I recommend checking every week in the online system and every two weeks via email. It is up to you to make sure they have all the documents they have requested.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have that Greece Resident Permit in hand. I was so relieved to get it. If you are in the process, I hope this helps, and if you haven’t started it yet, I hope you are now better prepared to start. If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them.

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Food, Greece, Travel

Best Restaurants in Naxos

October 15, 2020
Greek food in Naxos restaurant

Eating Greek food is one of the main reasons I travel to Greece, and I have been in Naxos long enough to tell you about the best restaurants to eat at in Naxos! I should add that there are even some excellent non-Greek choices for restaurants in Naxos as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Oasis

Oasis is a family run restaurant in Naxos. The restaurant is located in Naxos Town near Saint George’s beach. All of the food is homemade. Specials are offered every day and vary depending on the day of the week. My recommendations are the pasticcio, the stuffed peppers, and the pork stew.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Barozzi

Barozzi is a fine dining restaurant located not far from the main promenade of Naxos. I was invited to eat at Barozzi restaurant in September 2019. When you enter you immediately notice that this place is a bit different than many restaurants in Naxos. The manager greets you and shows you to your table. The tables are further apart from other tables unlike many traditional tavernas in Greece. The decor is elegant and simple. The waitstaff is all dress in white linen.

Barozzi in Naxos

The menu offers a variety for everyone. You can choose al la carte, or there are two pre-set menu options. One is a 5-course meal or a 7-course meal. You could also add wine for an additional cost. I chose to do al la carte as I didn’t think I could eat that much food. First, I was brought an amuse-bouche of three different items. My favorite was the tomato one, which I can’t remember what it was called.

Then I had arugula or rocket (as it is called here) salad that came with thinly sliced apples, honey dressing and fried goat cheese. Honestly, I could have had this for my meal and been totally happy. It was so good. The goat cheese was still warm and was sweet and salty at the same time.

My main course was sea bass encrusted with artisanal bread. I was a bit hesitant about this but I love sea bass so I want to try it.  I should not have been worried. It was fantastic and the bread is so thin, it is more like a crust. The best thing is knowing that the sea bass was most likely fresh fish right from the waters of Naxos.

There are only three dessert options, but I still had a tough time choosing which one. I ended up ordering the walnut pie, which was more of a cake. The cake was moist and was served with bitter almond ice cream. The cake was good, but for me, the star was the bitter almond ice cream!

Barozzi
Barozzi in Naxos

Meltemi

Meltemi is located just up the road from Oasis near Saint George’s beach. It has been around for many years, and people continue to return year after year. Meltemi’s moussaka is one of my favorites on the island. The dip they serve with bread is excellent. Most of the food they serve is traditional Greek cuisine.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Metaxi Mas

Metaxi Mas is located in the Old Town of Naxos. Here you will eat in the streets of the old town if you want or sit inside in one of the cozy interiors. Everything I have eaten here has been amazing. My favorites are the zucchini balls, pasticcio, and the spicy meatballs.

Best Restaurants in Naxos
Best Restaurants in Naxos

Faros

Not all of the best restaurants in Naxos are located in Naxos Town. Faros is located at Agia Anna beach and features organic dishes. It also offers a great view of the beach. Faros also has some of the best zucchini balls on the island. To get to Faros, take the bus from Naxos Old Town to Agia Anna and walk down past the pier and it will be on your left.

Picasso on the Beach

Picasso is also on the beach as you may have guessed. Picasso is a Mexican restaurant, and as a Texan, I am always critical of Mexican food. However, Picasso does a good job given their limited access to Mexican ingredients. The fajitas were good, and they serve a frozen strawberry after dinner drink. Picasso on the Beach is located at Plaka beach and is reachable by bus. Tell the bus driver you want to get off at Picasso.

Paradiso

Most people stop to eat at Paradiso because of the stunning view its beachside tables offer at Agia Anna. However, you should also stop because the food is outstanding! The beetroot salad and the papoutsakia (eggplant with minced meat) were terrific. So was the semolina cake we were offered on the house. If you really like the location, they also have rooms for rent.

Best Restaurants in Naxos
Best Restaurants in Naxos

Scirocco

If you need a break from the Greek food, then I recommend Scirocco for Italian food. My favorite there is the carbonara. They also serve Greek food if you and your friends are undecided! It is a nice place to people watch as it is located in the main square of Naxos Town and many Greek families gather there in the evening to socialize.

Apostolis

Apostolis is a modern Greek restaurant serving classic Greek dishes with a twist. The restaurant is located in the Naxos Chora and has a wonderful setting under paper lanterns.

Naxos Old Town

Su e Giu

Sue Giu, also known as Susanna, is another Italian option. It is located right on the promenade of Naxos harbor. It was the only place I found a pizza with pineapple on it! Yes, I am a pineapple on pizza lover. It was good, and the focaccia bread was really great. Sit upstairs for views of the harbor.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

O Giorgis

For the more adventurous type, head to the village of Melanes and eat at O Giorgis. I had some of the best food in Naxos here. The baked eggplant was so well seasoned and melted in my mouth. I was so full but still managed to finish the whole thing. Sit on the enclosed patio so you can have a wonderful view of the valley.

Coffee and Desserts

Greece is known for good coffee, and Naxos is no exception. I have spent lots of time having coffee in Naxos to see which places serve the best coffee and desserts.

Artοποιώ

This coffee shop and bakery was one of the first places I tried when I arrived in Naxos. I was up very early due to my jet lag and they were already open by 6:30 AM. The coffee is probably the best on the island. The baked goods are freshly made in the shop and it smells heavenly.

σιτάρι

Not only does this place have wonderful coffee but they also have some organic products available as well. If I am correct, the bakery is called Wheat in English. It is also open early for those of you who are morning people.

Omerta

Omerta is located on the promenade of Naxos Town and offers great views of the harbor along with great coffee. If you also want to have the classic Greek Yogurt for breakfast this place had an excellent one with plums and peaches on top!

Waffle House

This is not the American Waffle House, this is a wonderful ice cream parlor that also serves ice cream on waffles. You can get the ice cream to go or you can sit and have it brought to you by a waiter.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Aktaion

Aktaion is an upscale pastry shop located on the promenade of Naxos Town. They serve a selection of gelato, amazing macaroons and other mouth-watering desserts.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Flisvos

Flisvos is located on St. George’s Beach so not only do you get a beach front view but they serve a really amazing hot chocolate. It isn’t on the menu, but they will serve you one if you ask.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Kitron

This gem is located on the promenade as well and has a great coffee. They also serve the best Freddo Espresso I have had in Greece. Kitron also serves Kitron cocktails made from the citron plant.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Are you ready to eat at the best restaurants in Naxos now?

PS. Some of these Naxos restaurants are only open during the tourist season from April to October, 
so please check beforehand.

Greece, Sailing, Travel

Sailing in Greece

September 28, 2020
Sailboats with sunset behind them in Athens, Greece

Sailing in Greece is how fell I in love with Greece on my first trip. Taking a sailing holiday in Greece is a great way to see several Greek islands and even some of the mainland in one trip. Not only do you get to see many places in one trip, but you can find spots that you want to revisit on your next Greece trip.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

You sail from one beautiful Greek island to the next. Each will have a wonderful beach with clear turquoise or blue waters that practically beg you to swim in them. Then each night you will dock under the glowing harbor lights of a Greek village harbor and get to know the warmth of Greek hospitality.

There are several options for taking a sailing trip in Greece that can fit all types of vacations. Except for a few options, anyone can go on one of these sailing trips.

Sailing Charters in Greece

A sailing charter in Greece is probably the most common kind of sailing trip. On a sailing charter, you rent the boat, get crew, and the boat is provisioned for you. Usually, the crew and provisioning are included. Sometimes a hostess or cook is also included or can be added to the rental.

If you want a luxury sailing holiday in Greece, this is the way to go! You and your friends can rent the sailboat or yacht together to split the cost.

The other good thing about this option is that you usually have much more say in the itinerary so you can visit the Greek islands that you want or make a change if you decide to stay longer in one place. Dietary issues may also be more manageable since they will provision the boat as requested.

You can opt to have all your meals onboard or visit one of the many tavernas or restaurants in the places you visit.

Cabin Charters in Greece

A cabin charter is how I did my first sailing vacation in Greece. The cabin charter allows you to book a cabin on a charter with others. It can be a cheaper option if you can’t find enough people to charter a whole boat.

On a charter like this, the itinerary is set with mostly set in advance. Although, all sailing trips are dependent on the weather. The nice thing about this is that the captain usually knows the islands or towns very well, so you get top tips for each place.

I have done this type of sailing trip in Greece twice. Most recently, with Sailing Jollies. Although we were also doing a boat delivery and there was no hostess, and there was more responsibility. What I like about the cabin charter that usually you can learn a bit about sailing if you want.

 

Bareboat Charter in Greece

If you have your skipper’s license, you might be able to charter a yacht in Greece. Usually, this means there is no crew, and you provision the boat. This is a great option if you have a large family or group of friends already ready to go on the trip. You can make the food you want.

You also get to set your own itinerary so you can see the places you want without compromise. The only thing is having the yacht or sailboat back to the agreed-upon marina by the end date.

A bareboat charter in Greece is probably only a good idea if you have sailed in Greece before since the winds can be strong at certain times of the year. Another option is to join a flotilla of boats that may be a combination of bareboat or charter sailboats. Going on a flotilla is useful if you are confident in your sailing ability but unsure of the sailing waters. 

Day Sails in Greece

Almost every island has an option for a day sail around that island or to another island nearby. A day sail in Greece may also be possible from Athens and other major ports on the mainland. 

A day sail means that you will leave early in the morning and sail to points during the day. It usually consists of sailing to a swim stop, having lunch, and then sailing to another swim stop before returning to the port. Many times these swim stops are in spots on islands that may be unreachable by car or walking. 

Going on a day sail in Greece means that you might get to see parts of the country you may not have seen on your island vacation only.

Boat Delivery

Maybe you have some sailing experience and would like to build miles, then going on a boat delivery is a great option. The only drawback to these is that sometimes the delivery is on a schedule, and you cannot stop much for leisurely days in the ports. You may only have a few days to make the delivery.

As with some cabin charters, the trip is not going to be round trip, so you will need to find your way back to the starting point if that is where your flight leaves from. Of course, you might be able to pick up another boat delivery or enjoy the place you are in for longer.

Most boat deliveries need people with sailing experience, so this might not be an option for the casual sailor. It depends on the skipper that sail with.

Sunset Sails on the Greek Islands

By far, the most popular option for sailing in Greece is to take a sunset sail. Greek sunsets are out of this world, and unless a cloud blocks it, I have never seen a bad Greek sunset.

A sunset sail will usually leave in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the activities involved. Some are quick for about two hours just to get out to watch the sail, usually with a drink. Others include swimming and a light meal. The boat will head back to the harbor as soon as the sun sets to avoid getting back too late in the dark, usually.

Keep in mind that the time of the sail may vary during the year for the sunset sail since the sunset changes times.

Greek Island Hopping Itineraries

Now, where should you go on one of these fantastic sailing trips in Greece? There are so many options. Of course, if you are going on a cabin charter, flotilla, or boat delivery, you may not have much choice in your sailing itinerary.

However, if you have booked the entire boat, you get to choose! If you depart from Athens, you can choose from the Saronic islands, the Peloponnese, or the Cycladic islands. For example, my first sailing trip was Athens, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Sifnos, and Ios. The return was Ios, Paros, Syros, Delos, Kea, and Kythnos. This trip was great since we got to see both the Saronic and Cycladic islands.

If you have less time, you could leave Athens and head to Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetes, and return to Athens. My second trip was from Athens to Corfu. This trip was great as we saw lots of mainland villages and sailed through the Corinth Canal.

Another area to consider is the Dodecanese islands in eastern Greece. These islands are closer to Turkey so your itinerary could include Turkey as well as Kos, Kalimos, Leros, and Patmos.

Each of these areas of Greece offers something different, so you will want to do your research and see what kind of experience you would like to have.

Types of Boats

There are many options for types of boats to charter in Greece. If you know what kind of boat you want, you have already narrowed down your choices of charter companies. Some companies only do monohull sailboats and some do a mix of monohulls and catamarans. If you are only looking for motor yachts, then you can look for those as well.

Going on a monohull sailboat is my top choice. If you are unfamiliar, a monohull is a single hulled boat with sails. Many sailing enthusiasts prefer this as you get the real feel of sailing this way. When underway with higher speeds the boat will keel to one side. This is when one side of the sailboat is lower than the other. The wind whips through your hair and occasionally you will get a light spray of seawater!

Another type is a catamaran. These usually have two hulls that are connected. These offer more stability than a monohull. The cabins tend to be larger as is the saloon. These are a great option for people new to sailing or those traveling with young children.

Then there are motor yachts. There are many different kinds of these and I won’t go into them all. The ones you charter will have cabins for sleeping and it will vary on where the helm is. This may or may not matter to you if you are the skipper or not. If you are skippering your own boat, you will know what you prefer. If you going with a skipper, make sure the yacht has the features you desire.

Wondering what to pack for you Greek island sailing trip? Check out my post all about it by clicking here!

Have you been sailing in Greece? Share your experience in the comments!

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