Cruising Ground Pros and Cons For Greece, Turkey
and The Eastern Mediterranean.

Ionian Islands - Western Greece

Pros:
Uncrowded. Far greener than the Eastern Islands. Easy sails.

Cons:
Slightly harder to get to.

The Ionian Islands are on the western side of Greece and have more vegetation than the more arid islands to the east. The area offers many anchorages, quaint fishing villages, nightlife and easy sailing. Swim off the famous island of Skorpios or go south to Odysseus's island of Ithaca with its breathtaking harbors and pretty taverns serving fabulous greek cuisine. Rent a scooter. Go west to Cephalonia and enjoy its lakes, waterfalls and one of the finest beaches in Greece. Winds average 5-15 knots.

Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Saronic Islands - Eastern Greece

Pros:
Easy to get to. Close to Athens. Protected. Short distances.

Cons:
Local traffic from the mainland.

The Saronic Gulf Islands are closest to Athens. They offer more sheltered sailing than The Cyclades and are less affected by the stronger Meltemi winds that can blow in August. This is a popular area for local yachtsmen.
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Cyclades Islands - Eastern Greece

Pros:
Very pretty villages. Everyone's idea of a Greek Island.

Cons:
Some islands very touristy. Cruise ships. Strong winds can keep boats in harbor, particularly in August.

The Cyclades are what most people imagine when they think of a Greek Island. Whitewashed houses, pretty colors and beautiful views. Some of the larger islands are visited by cruise ships and are more touristy than people expect. Great cruising for the more experienced sailor, but during mid summer The Meltemi winds can keep all boats in harbor.
Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Dodecanese Islands - Eastern Greece

Pros:
Less crowded, lots of history.

Cons:


The Dodecanese are just off Turkey and provide a bit of everything, without the crowds. Lots of history (Rhodes), quaint villages and quiet anchorages. Though easier than past years, sailing from The Greek Dodecanese to Turkey still involves considerable paperwork.
Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Sporades Islands - Northern Greece

Pros:
Uncrowded. Easier sailing. Off the tourist route.

Cons:
Harder to get to.

The Sporades are north of The Cyclades and less affected by tourism. This is a popular destination for bareboat charterers, because the sailing is easier and anchorages more are protected from wind and swells.
Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Turkey

Pros:
Ancient ruins. History. Busy ancient cities and quaint villages. More wind than some areas.

Cons:
Mid summer can get too hot.

Turkey has a longer sailing season than many other Mediterranean cruising grounds.
Most charters start in the north in Bodrum, which is referred to as the St. Tropez of Turkey due to its sophisticated restaurants, boutiques, bazaars and open air discos. As you sail south you will enter the Dorian Guld where you can stop at Ekincik and visit the ancient ruins of Caunus. Further down is the Lycian Coast where you will find the sailors paradise called Fethiye Bay. It is filled with multitude of islands and inlets to explore. Swim and snorkel in the clear water or climb to the Lycian tombs and enjoy the stunning views of the anchorage below. Along your way you will be greeted with open arms by the local people.
They are well known for wanting you to share their music and dance and to simply have a wonderful time. Winds average 10-20 from the WNW. Turkey
Map 1, Turkey Map 2, Turkey Map 3
Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Websites for crewed yachts based in The Mediterranean:
Sailboats
Powerboats

Guidelines for arranging a Mediterranean charter - what to ask:

What type of yacht should I charter? If you feel comfortable skippering a 30 to 50 foot sailboat you can certainly bareboat. Even so, some qualified bareboaters prefer joining a flotilla or even taking a crewed yacht when sailing in foriegn waters, to see more of the area's local interests and have local help with the different customs and language. A flotilla is a group of bareboats sailing the same route, with a lead boat run by the bareboat company. You still sail your own boat but there are barbecues and trips ashore when guests can get together and there is a guide when you need advice or help. Most flotillas have 'free days' when you make your own route. Flotillas are still a relatively foreign concept for Americans but have been very popular with Europeans for many years. If you don't have the sailing skills or wish to charter a larger boat, a crewed yacht can be the ultimate way to see The Mediterranean. The key is the crew, who must have local knowledge. We will take great care selecting a suitable yacht and crew to fit the requirements of your party. The differences between a bareboat and crewed yacht charter.
How many days should I charter for? Most Europeans take longer holidays. Flotillas are generally two weeks although some run for a week. All bareboat charters and flotillas start on a weekend, in the evening (sleepaboard) and sail the next morning. They finish seven days later, in the morning, so a week's bareboat charter in the Mediterranean is really 6 nights.

Crewed boats can of course start and finish in any location, on any day of the week and can charter for any number of days. The weekly price is almost always for a full 7 nights, 8 days, except for Gulets.
Where should I start and finish my charter? There are several bareboat bases in many of the popular cruising grounds - Dubrovnik, Trogir, Kornati and Kremik for Croatia, Corfu and Vounaki for The Ionian, Piraeus in The Saronic Gulf, Milina and Skiathos for The Sporades, Syros or Piraeus for The Cyclades, Kos for The Dodecanese, Bodrum, Marmaris or Gocek for Turkey.

Crewed boats have more flexibility, but Venice, Trogir and Dubrovnik are popular for Croatia, Piraeus for The Saronic Gulf and Cyclades, Rhodes or even Marmaris for The Dodecanese and Bodrum or Marmaris for Turkey. Not all boats can legally charter in all countries, particularly Croatia and Greece. Consider the boat's base location (or previous charter), to avoid heavy delivery fees.

What does it cost? The Mediterranean has a relatively short season and prices are higher than The Caribbean, sometimes significantly. Prices for a 7 day charter start around $1200 per person for a party of 4 (see sample). A more luxurious yacht around 60-70 feet will average $2500 - $3000 per person (see sample). Per person prices will be lower for parties of 6 or 8 (see sample).

How do I book? All boats look great on the internet, so it is important to use a broker who knows the boats and can give you unbiased advice. For private crewed charters, the crew is generally more important than the boat, particularly on smaller charters. A good broker will ensure your money is kept in an escrow account rather than given to the boat, and can make sure you use the correct contracts etc.. We have 33 years experience in arranging charters. The next stage is to tell us what you are looking for so that we can send you a selection of yachts that fit your requirements.

Questions about a cruising ground? Email us

Ask us to suggest some suitable boats and crews