Island hopping - sailing the Greek islands
We use the expression ‘island hopping’ to describe the possibility to stop at many islands on a round trip or one way trip with a sailing yacht. Unlike the big cruisers that stop at a few destinations, a sailing yacht can stop almost everywhere, especially at an area like the Cyclades islands of Greece where the number of islands gives to the visitor many options. On a weekly charter on a sailing yacht up to 7 islands (or destinations) can be visited without having extremely long sailing legs per day. The options and possibilities can be found at the ‘itinerary’ section but a sailor, or a crew with their skipper can also plan a custom itinerary based to their wants and needs depending on the wind at the time.
What makes yacht charter the greek islands an interesting idea?
- The fact that you can visit more islands than when traveling with the ferry, because you do not have to follow certain time schedule.
- You do not have to worry about finding a place to sleep on an island as you are sleeping inside the yacht.
- You do not loose time packing and unpacking as all your things are unpacked inside your cabin. You only have to unpack ones upon arrival and pack again before you disembark.
- You do not have to worry about arranging everything in advance and spend too much time in organizing. All you have to do is find the yacht that suits your needs.
- You do not have to worry about following the scheduled plan in case the weather is bad, and there are no ferry connections between the island (rarely happens in the summer but it is possible in the Cyclades because of the very strong meltemi winds). You can adjust your schedule according to your needs or the weather conditions. If you like an island more, you can stay for an extra night and skip another one.
- On the sailing yacht you have a fully equipped kitchen and refrigerator so that you can have most of the snacks on board avoiding this way extra cost in snacks and lunches.
- The overall cost of a charter (skippered charter) per person is more than 2 times less than the cost of the same itinerary scheduled with ferry and hotel overnights.
- There can always be an extra bed (even if this is on the saloon bed of a sailing yacht) for a friend who decided to join you last minute.
- On your way to the next island you can stop at any beach, isolated or crowded in order to have a swim, or snorkel, relax, or have a snack or lunch.
- There isn’t a limitation on your choices, one day you can choose a super crowed beach and the next a completely isolated one, only reachable by a boat. One day you can select a ‘party’ island full of people and nightlife, and the next visit the smallest and calmer port that you can find at the area. One night you can moor at a port and the next stay on an anchorage; have a late night swim and a romantic dinner under the stars. Different daily options, different island options can combine a perfect sailing week.
- Completing the above reason of what makes 'sailing in the greek islands' a great idea is the fact that you can also have different tastes every day. Each island and destination (at mainland, Peloponnesus etc) has a special local recipe (sometimes even more than one) that you can try. The herbs and spices of each place make even the taste of a same dish different from island to island, from place to place. Local cheese (especially Feta) tastes differently from a location to another. One more reason that will make your island hopping experience unique.
Where is the best place to visit?
If you land in Athens (as for some countries this is so far the only possible solution) you can start from Alimos marina (also known as Kalamaki) towards the Cyclades or the Saronic area. The Saronic area sounds like a boring place as most of the areas and islands are not so commonly known (or famous like Mykonos and Santorini) but all the professional non-Greek skippers who come and sail here for decades think of this as the best place to go sailing to. The area is sheltered, the winds are light, the destinations are closer and the sailing hours per day less than in other locations and the options are really numerous, especially if you have more than a week to spend on your sailing vacation.
But are there enough islands to visit?
Aigina, Agkistri, Poros, Hydra and Spetses are the 5 biggest ones that you can visit, but also places like Ermioni makes you feel like if you are on an island when they are not. Those are 6 destinations to go to for a week, and experience your first sailing holiday in Greece.
Can I start in Athens and visit the Cyclades islands?
Yes of course, even in a week time you can sail to the Cyclades and back and visit 5 or more islands. For details you can read our suggestions here. It is more enjoyable to spend two weeks in the Cyclades and visit much more places. 95% of our guests say that one week is not enough and that next time they will come for a two weeks sailing vacation in the Cyclades. People who have chartered a yacht for one week and spend another week at an island after they went back contacted us and told us that they should have spent their entire holiday on board. This tells me that island hopping was more fun than just a week on an island.
This explains why island hopping ( greek island sailing) is a good choice and easily experience on a sailing yacht. The only thing that you have to do now is find your available dates, the suitable flights and yacht and come to Greece to experience it.