Greece’s Cyclades chain is sprawling, comprising some 220 islands in the heart of the Aegean Sea. About two dozen of those islands are large enough to support major towns and cities, while countless of the smaller islands remain uninhabited after centuries of sailors cruising around them. The blues and whites of your yacht’s Greek flag will be challenged by the crystal blue waters and white buildings that climb along the island hillsides. The colors in this part of Greece are simply mesmerizing, thanks to the Cyclades being one of the more secluded island chains in the nation.
Unlike Greece’s Saronic Gulf, Cyclades and Dodecanese island chains, the Ionian archipelago is on the western side of the mainland. While a charter on the eastern side of mainland Greece can include one or several of the other island chains, a yacht charter in the Ionian Islands means visiting just that archipelago alone.
As Greek Islands go, the Dodecanese chain is the farthest to the east, so close to Turkey in some cases that the islands are visible from their neighboring country’s mainland. The Dodecanese—which translates literally into “12 islands”—are actually composed of 12 main islands plus dozens of smaller islands. Only two dozen or so of the Dodecanese islands are inhabited, so for the purposes of yacht charter, they tend to be the islands that will be on your itinerary for day trips ashore.