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The Europe boating bucket list: The ultimate guide to boating holidays in Greece

Greece is one of the most popular charter destinations in Europe. Our partner Odyssey Sailing gave us great insights about the most amazing travel destinations for trips with your motorboat, sailboat or even small boat in Greece. Odyssey Sailing has long years of experience in providing charter services and sailing vacations. The Greek islands are ideal for explorers and adventurers looking for brilliant beaches, laid-back culture and rich foods.

 

Advice:

You should always bring enough food aboard, especially when you travel to remote locations. However, yacht provisioning companies such as Gourmet Deliveries can be hired to deliver food to remote locations if you don’t want to worry about supplies.

 

IONIAN ISLANDS

Lefkas

Corfu

Paxos

Cephalonia

 

CYCLADES ISLANDS

Santorini

Naxos

Ermoupolis

Mykonos

 

PELOPONNESE COAST

Athens

Nafplio

Monemvasia

 

DODECANESE ISLANDS

Rhodes

Symi

 

NORTHERN GREECE

Mount Athos

 

Ionian Islands

Ionian Islands

 

The Ionian Islands are a group of seven main islands and many smaller islands. They are located to the west of the mainland and are less rugged and more fertile compared to other Greek areas. The Ionian Islands welcome visitors with green hills, deep blue waters, and scenic villages. This area is a good sailing ground due to its calm sea and a milder climate in the summer. The islands are influenced by many different cultures and you can feel the vibrant and diverse flair with plenty of monuments and historic sights.

 

Lefkas Town

 

Blue waters and green hills characterise Lefkas Island. Picturesque natural beauty is accompanied by lively towns that invite you to relax and feel the cultural richness. Lefkas town offers typical Greek markets and good shopping opportunities. We’d recommend you start your journey in the main town and explore the island from there as you go.

 

Berths

Berths are available at Lefkas Marina for yachts up to 4m of depth. You can also moor at the town quay or the causeway.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Our favourite traditional Mediterranean restaurants in Lefkas town:

- Nissi Mediterranean Kuzina

- Napul'e

- Thymari

- Frini Sto Molo

Where should you stay the night?

Beautiful places to stay in Lefkas:

- Hotel Boschetto - wonderful views over the lagoon

- Villa Elia Apartments and Suites - a luxury resort with everything you need

- Aliki Hotel - great value hotel with incredible scenery and comfortable rooms

 

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Ancient Greek Glory Yacht Services will conduct a full survey of your boat for you, assessing its readiness for the open water. If there are any problems on board, then Vliho Yacht Club are able to offer you comprehensive maintenance whilst you’re on the island.

 

What’s the weather like?

Summers in Lefkada are lovely and warm, usually with temperatures in the high 20s for July and August months. It’s not usual to find any seriously cold weather, but don’t expect it to be baking hot all year round - you can see lows of -1°C in the first months of the year.

When should you visit?

Summer is the best time to visit Lefkas, especially in July and August. You can also sail to most of Greece during the middle and late spring months if you prefer milder temperatures.

 

Corfu Old Town

 

The island of Corfu will surprise you with its rich natural beauty. You’ll find picturesque bays and coastlines that form the island’s face. It’s worth visiting the vibrant town centre in order to explore the typical Greek flair with great markets and shopping opportunities. The high street is best visited between 8pm and 10:30 pm, where it really comes to life. The real natural beauty of Corfu can be seen when you leave civilization behind and dive into pure nature.

 

Berths

Sailors have four options to moor their boat. First, you can leave your boat at the Mandraki Harbour which is suitable for smaller yachts up to 3m in depth. There’s also room at NAOK yacht club harbour, but it’s only an option for smaller boats with a maximum depth of 2.5m to 3m. The commercial harbour is the main port at Corfu town and can accommodate yachts with depths up to 4m. You can also moor at Gouvia Marina which is a little further northwest, however, a much better option than the commercial harbour. Boats can be moored up to 5.5m.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Our favourite restaurants in the lively Corfu town are:

 

- Anthos Restaurant - Mediterranean family restaurant

- Salto Wine Bar - luxury restaurant for a high-quality meal

- Avli - very cosy, traditional local food

Where should you stay the night?

Great places to stay are:

 

- Bella Venezia Hotel

- Aquis Mon Repos Palace

- Corfu Mare Boutique Hotel

Can you get any boat maintenance?

There are plenty of repair facilities across the island and particularly in the town. One of them is Boat and Yacht Services Corfu, but majority of boat services in Corfu town will offer you full and sufficient repair and surveying.  

 

What’s the weather like?

Corfu is generally a little warmer than Lefkada all year round, with much milder temperatures in the winter and hot summers with average highs of 31°C.

When should you visit?

Late spring or late summer months will be a great time to visit if you want to avoid the scorching temperatures in mid-summer.

 

Gaios Town

 

Paxos is a beautiful island that’s located south of Corfu. The village of Gaios is the island's biggest settlement. Its unique harbour allows for scenic views and has a busy and lively quay. You should visit Gaios in the late afternoon and in the evening to experience the best atmosphere.

 

Berths

There are four main quays available for berth at Port Gaios - North, West, South, and Quay. North Quay allows for 20 - 25 yachts up to 2.5m in depth, West Quay permits 8-10 yachts up to 3m in depth with no more than 25m of chain, South Quay which is the main harbour has the last 150m occupied by small fishing boats and sections X and Y are reserved for tripper boats from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The Quay accommodates 12 - 14 boats for up to 2m in depth. As you can see each quay only has a limited number of spots, so we recommend you arrive early during high season in order to find a free spot.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Good places to eat during your stay in Gaios are:

 

- Genesis - very popular and extremely cultural

- Mambo - awarded a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor - no more needs to be said!

- Cafe Italiano - An authentic Italian experience, the best place to grab a coffee on the whole island.

- Carnayo Restaurant - elegantly presented food with coastal inspiration.

Where should you stay the night?

There are plenty of little hotels on Paxos, and here are our firm favourites:

- Paxos Club Resort

- Villa Contessina

- Paxos Blue Apartments

 

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Although maintenance services are limited on Paxos, there is a one really good option - NoToS Yacht Shop and Marine Maintenance will assist you with any problems you have, and what’s even better is they’ll come to you out at sea too, as long as you’re within 20 miles of the island. All the contact details can be found here.

 

What’s the weather like?

Paxos is one of the warmest areas of Greece, all year round. It’s very rare that you’ll see temperatures drop lower than 6 or 7 degrees in the winter, which is much warmer than most places. During the summer months, you see temperatures soar into the 30s, so you need to be sensible when planning your trip, as you need to know what heat you can handle when being out in the open.

When to visit

Since Paxos is a very popular holiday destination, it’s advisable to visit the island off-season. Late spring would be a good option, as you’ll also get slightly cooler temperatures somewhere in the mid-20s.

 

Cephalonia & Fiskardo

 

Fiskardo is a neat little harbour town located to the North of Cephalonia. It has an extremely small population of less than 300 people, which makes room for lots of tourists and travellers like yourselves. Stylish restaurants and cafes as well as the rich Mediterranean atmosphere make this place well worth the visit. You’ll find diverse food from many cuisines and the intimacy of the town allows each and every restaurant to produce high quality food. The Cafe Tselenti even served as inspiration for the movie “Captain Corelli's Mandolin”.

 

Berths

There are four options for berthing yachts in Fiskardo, but all with particular conditions in place. You can moor at the Breakwater quay at the Southeast end of the harbour, which allows for up to 12 yachts depending on size. However, half of these spots are usually reserved for the passenger ferry that brings visitors in from Italy and other places. If there is a ferry scheduled to arrive, the people in these spots will have to give way.

South quay accommodates for 6 - 8 visitor boats, but be aware of the additional couple of private bays that will be paid for by regular members. You’ll need to be careful when thinking about water depth, as it can be as shallow as depths of 1m - 1.5m in some places. Depths do get better in the western section, however.

The West quay, similarly to the South, can hold 6 - 8 boats. It’s a considerable amount deeper here, reaching 3 metres in the central area and above 2 metres at either end also. You’ll also find room for an extra couple of boats at the top end, so long as there aren’t any taxi services running.

 

Finally the ferry quay, which is a bit more restricted. It’ll only be suitable for two or three yachts, but this is for overnight only. You’ll have to vacate the space before 11:00 am, but is ideal if you just want an overnight stop. You can find depths in excess of 3 metres here too. For all the detailed information, visit their page on Cruiserswiki.org.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

There are many great restaurants in Fiskardo and our suggestions only cover a few of the best:

- Le Passage - a lovely place to watch the boats come in and out, and they have a good selection of cocktails too

- Elli's - local seafood is a must-try here, best enjoyed at their outdoor seating, right on the beach

- The Old Stone House - the best traditional Greek cuisine in town!

- Lord Falcon - Thai restaurant that provides you with a refreshing change of food should you wish to mix it up

 

Where should you stay the night?

Should you wish to get away from the boat for a night or two, here are your top options:

- Fiskardo Bay Hotel - beautiful family run hotel set into picturesque scenery

- Emelisse Art Hotel - relaxing spa hotel perfect for weddings or a luxury stay

- Almyra Hotel - unbeatable views over Fiskardo Bay and neighbouring islands, you could sit on the balcony all day!

 

Can you get any boat maintenance?

The Philoxenia agency is reachable through VHF channel 16 and Mr. Makis can arrange yacht repairs and other services. There are a few small chandlery shops around the fishing village that you’ll be able to get any repair parts from should you need them. Notably, http://www.fiscardochandlers.com/ offers a reliable service.

 

What’s the weather like?

You’ll get pleasant, mild temperatures during winter around 12-14 degrees celsius, so even a visit in January would be very enjoyable. These are accompanied by hot Mediterranean summers with that can be as warm as 35℃ often. The average during July and August is above 30 degrees.

When to visit

If you want to avoid the really hot days, spring or early autumn will be a great time to visit, but even the burning heat of mid-summer is bearable due to the ocean breeze that surrounds the island.

 

The Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades Islands - Santorini

 

The Cyclades Islands are among the real favorite destinations for boating enthusiasts. It has to be mentioned however, that the Cyclades are affected by strong winds from the north, called the meltemi. Therefore, these waters are difficult to sail and not recommended for inexperienced sailors. Nonetheless, they’re almost ideal for island hopping with your motorboat or sailboat. The whole region isn’t too crowded and tourism doesn’t really harm the flair of the islands.

 

Santorini

 

Santorini is clearly known as one of the prime destinations of Greece and of the whole Mediterranean. The island has picturesque panoramas, scenic houses, windmills and hilly towns. However, for the travelling yachtsman, the island is rather difficult to explore and to enjoy due to a lack of yacht infrastructure. Nevertheless, we had to include this amazing destination in our ultimate bucket list, as you have to see it at least once in your life.

 

Berths

The main harbour in Santorini is called Skala Fira, and this is the main place cruise ships will stop when bringing tourists in. It’s possible to for yachts to tie to a buoy as the water is way too deep to anchor, but there are complications when another boat wishes to depart, as you’ll have to vacate to let them out. Because of this, we’d suggest going to the marina, Vlychada. It’s a really comprehensive berthing spot with toilets, clean water, internet and many other amenities.  We’ll warn you that entering the marina is a pretty tricky task, so you’ll need be confident with handling the boat. But once you’re there, it’s incredibly safe, sheltered, and a short distance from some nice restaurants and the marina office.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Top restaurants on Santorini are:

- Metaxy Mas Tavern - one of the best reviewed restaurants in all of the Greek isles, full of cool Greek food and delicate bites to relax with

- Terra Nera - many people have praised the impeccable service given by the restaurant, which makes it one of the most pleasant places to eat in all of Santorini.

- Kapari Wine Restaurant - One of the best settings for a restaurant we’ve ever seen - you’ll not be disappointed with these views of the ocean

- V Lounge Cafe & Cocktail Bar - wonderful cocktails and a chilled setting, perfect to enjoy a night of fun

 

Where should you stay the night?

Top places to stay:

- Anastasis Apartments - Luxury at its finest. A glorious stay with 5-star accommodation

- Astra Suites - Personal suites of the highest quality, allowing you to have some quiet time to yourself, away from the noise

- Dreams Luxury Suites - An equally impressive alternative to the Astra Suites

If we’re being honest, you could pick from hundreds of stunning hotels, suites and apartments in the area, the list just goes on and on!

 

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Santo Marine is a new company in Santorini that are experts in building custom yachts and passenger boats. Their team includes some very experienced mechanics and technicians that offer boat repairs and maintenance to visitors of the island.

 

What’s the weather like?

The average temperatures during July and August will see highs of around 29/30 degrees celsius. This is a nice heat to be able to cope with during summer, and although you may not get the scorching temperatures of some other areas of Greece, Santorini has some of the best winter weather in the country. Even in January you’ll rarely see the heat drop below 10 degrees, which makes it a comfortable place to be all year round.

When to visit

June, July and August are best for swimming and enjoying the beach-life, and we think visiting in mid summer will be perfect here, as the temperatures shouldn’t be a real struggle, and this is when the town comes to life.

 

Naxos Old Town

 

Naxos is quite a large island that invites you with a neat old town that also has a harbour providing good shelter. It’s definitely worth exploring the settlement. Pretty restaurants and shops offer extraordinary food - make sure you visit The Spice and Cheese Shop as well as The Beer House and the gorgeous sandy beaches. The ruins, located on a small peninsula before the town, are worth the visit as well, as they’ll give you some spectacular photo opportunities. It’s definitely worth taking a visit to Naxos Castle too.

 

Berths

You could use the Naxos commercial harbour - the island’s only harbour - but it’s noisy and pretty exposed to the meltemi wind. Not only this, but you’re going to have to berth very close to some big ferries which are always on the move, so we’d suggest not to go here. The better option would be the Naxos Marina. The marina is fairly new, most of the moorings are laid and it’s well sheltered. Water and electricity are provided as well. Due to popularity in the Summer, it might not always be possible to find a space, so it’s always worth contacting in advance to get an idea of how to secure a spot. You can book an online reservation right here.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Great spots to get a meal in Naxos:

- Rotonda - Best enjoyed at sunset with extra special views

- To Ariston - By no means the classiest place you’ll visit, but without a doubt the best place to experience true Greek cuisine

- Antamoma Cuisine Deli Store - This restaurant is highly recommended by the locals, so you can’t do better than that!

For even more great food ideas, check out this restaurant guide by The Telegraph

 

Where should you stay the night?

If you’d like a night away from the boat in Naxos:

- Saint Vlassis Hotel - A ‘discreet getaway’ with beautiful furnishings and extremely modest prices

- Hotel Grotta - Perfect ocean views high above the old town, TripAdvisor ‘Travellers’ Choice’ Award 2015 Winner

- Villa Marandi Luxury Suites - A collection of individually designed suites of the highest quality

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Naxos Marine Spanos is your go-to place if you need any repair or maintenance work done at sea or in shore. They’re based just a short distance from the marina and will offer you comprehensive boat care during your visit.

 

What’s the weather like?

Naxos has extremely mild temperatures in the wintertime with lows of 10°C, which are followed by average highs of around 27°C during July and August: these are pretty mild temperatures for Mediterranean summers.

When to visit

Naxos can be visited all year round, but late spring or early autumn are definitely the most beautiful months. You should avoid peak season during summer time, if you don’t want to stumble into many tourists.

                                  

Ermoupolis

 

Ermoupolis is the biggest and probably the most beautiful town on the island of Syros. Fabulous taverns are spread all over the village alongside great shopping opportunities and the beautiful views that invite you to spend time to relax. In addition, make sure to climb the hill and visit the historic monastery which is a centerpiece of this postcard perfect town.

 

Berths

You can moor along the quay but if you do so, make sure you’ve secured your boat properly as the ferry wash can be a problem. A better option would be the marina in Lazareta which is a pretty modern space. The facilities here are of the highest quality, with everything from car rental and a bank, to its own restaurant and a heavy duty crane for boat maintenance. You can contact the marina in advance to enquire about mooring space.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Top restaurants are:

- Kouchico - Multiple award-winning bar which serves some of the best cocktails in all of Greece

- Mazi - An ‘open space’ restaurant with a beautiful garden setting and wonderfully presented food

- Kouzina Restaurant - Many reviews describe Kouzina as ‘the best in Syros’, with a chef who’s seriously passionate about good food

Where should you stay the night?

Ermoupolis has some excellent accommodation options:

- Hotel Ploes - Elegant Neoclassical hotel for the visitor who truly admires Greek history

- Aktaion Hotel - A stylish representation of postmodernism, exposed brickwork and marble surfaces give the hotel a very classy feel

- Anemologio - Full studio rooms with plenty of space and unbeatable prices

 

Can you get any boat maintenance?

The Neorion Shipyard does major repairs and Antonis Dalmyras is responsible for electrical work and can help you out. Alternatively, a business in Ermoupolis called Nautilus specifically offers maintenance for the boats of visitors to the island, so you may find them even more helpful.

 

What’s the weather like?

On Syros, you’re guaranteed at least mild temperatures all year round. In fact, temperatures on the island haven’t dropped below 11 degrees celsius in the last 10 years, which is astonishing. During peak Summer months, you’ll get 30°C heat which will feel a little cooler when the meltemi provides a breeze.

When to visit

Spring or early autumn would be a good time to visit if you want to avoid the hot weather and influx of tourists, but the summer months are easily bearable too.

 

Mykonos town

 

The island of Mykonos is known as an international resort. The architecture is minimalistic and typically Greek. The island itself offers its visitors expensive bars, nice sunsets and scenic views. Just sit back and enjoy an evening meal in one of the beautiful restaurants as the sun slowly sets to end your day in a perfect way. When you stay in Mykonos, make sure to visit the ruins of Delos, which are located on an island nearby - it’s well worth the trip.

 

Berths

Although there are multiple berthing options right across the island, it’s probable that you’ll want to be at the Mykonos Marina - the largest port on Mykonos. Laid lines are available at the north quay here, but these are limited and you’ll have to anchor down once they’re occupied. You can get depths of nearly five metres in the right places along the jetty, but most areas will be at least three metres. Water and electricity are available at the marina for a very small cost - most visitors have noted how cheap the services are here.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Top places to eat in Mykonos:

- M-eating - lovely outdoor seating, based in Mykonos Town with really high quality food

- Funky Kitchen - A restaurant with the aim of pleasing customers, not just feeding them. They truly believe in presenting food as an experience and an art, so it’s definitely worth the visit

- Thioni Restaurant - Based at the renowned Semeli hotel, you rarely get to see food that’s prepared and delivered as elegantly as it is here

- D'Angelo Mykonos - A hearty Italian in Nihori Square, offering some really wholesome, great tastes of the mediterranean

 

Where should you stay the night?

Top places to spend a night:

- Boheme - Features in the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ collection, so you don’t even have to take our word for it

- Aeolos Mykonos Hotel - 5-star accommodation with first-class facilities alongside some surprisingly good prices

- Hotel Tagoo - Beautiful outdoor area with the best ocean views around

Can you get any boat maintenance?

O Lefteris  is a long-standing business that’ll offer you maintenance and repair of pretty much any area of your boat. They’ll also clean tanks and water systems you require.

 

What’s the weather like?

Mykonos can get slightly colder than most other Greek islands in winter, and you’re likely to get temperatures around 6/7 degrees celsius in January. You’re still going to get very hot summers though, with average highs of up to 30°C.

When to visit

Mykonos is a vibrant and lively place to be in summer - we think you’d be missing out if you went at any other time, so head over in July and August to really get the full experience!

 

The Islands of the Argolic and Saronic Gulfs & the Peloponnese Coast

 

Athens Acropolis

 

The Peloponnese coast is a very attractive area for trips with your sailboat or motorboat. The region is ideal for island hopping as the islands are located quite close together, and the mainland sits close by too. Rich cultural history is paired with natural beauty. We also recommend visiting the canal of Corinth, which is a long stretching high walled canal through solid stone.

 

Athens city centre

 

The impressive Greek capital is well worth a visit for your sailing route. The Acropolis, the Pantheon and many other monuments from ancient times make it a very special place. Make sure to visit Plaka, an old quarter of Athens that has a really unique vibe with tight winding streets and neoclassical architecture.

 

Berths

There are three main marinas in and around Athens, but if you’re happy to set up a little further afield, there are even more options. By far the most sophisticated option, is the Flisvos Marina which is an extremely high-end port that can accommodate some of the world’s biggest superyachts, as well as smaller vessels. This is the first marina in Greece with these capabilities. There are over 300 berths here that can hold boats in excess of 70m. Accompanied with the safest security measures you’ll find and a commercial centre with restaurants and shops for you to enjoy.

You’ll get a bespoke mooring cost based on your vessel size, which you can calculate on the website.

A little further out, you’ll find Alimos Marina, which has an enormous capacity of over 1,000 berths.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Top restaurants in Athens:

- Funky Gourmet - one of the most innovative restaurants in the world that focuses on activating all of your senses whilst you dine.

- Karamanlidika - immerse yourself in true Greek city culture in a restaurant that combines the feel of a traditional market buzz, and really great mezedes style food

- Eleas Gi - A ‘TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice’ winner, this restaurant provides you with not only a fabulous meal, but a lesson in the history of Greek cuisine, introducing you to the tastes and flavours that developed the country thousands of years ago

Where should you stay the night?

Just a handful of the many spectacular stays:

- AVA Hotel Athens - the location of this hotel couldn’t be better. Right in the heart of Athens’ oldest district Plaka, you’re surrounded by stunning architecture, whilst living in luxury

- Brasil Suites Hotel Apartments - a quieter location should you want to take a break from all the energy, with choices from lavish apartments and suites

- O&B Athens Boutique Hotel - Modern city-style apartments and suites at really great prices

Can you get any boat maintenance?

We’d suggest heading to the big Flisvos Marina to get any maintenance done. The facilities there are flawless and without doubt the best in all of Greece. The marina reception has access to every certified contact in the local area, so you’ll be expertly informed on where the best place for to go is. Our top suggestion is to use Spanopoulos Group which has an excellent shipyard for repair services.   

 

What’s the weather like?

Winters can be a little colder than you’d imagine with temperatures often reaching as low as 5°C. However, the summers are roasting - often as warm as 34 degrees.

When to visit

Athens is known for its beautiful monuments and sights and therefore we recommend visiting the city in spring or autumn, when the climate is milder.

 

Nafplio Bay

 

Nafplio is one of the more picturesque towns along the west coast, with clear blue seas reaching the edge of the town as well as beautiful green hills extending to the north. The lively centre with its antique monuments is worth a visit when you’re in the area, such as the Palamidi Castle and the Constitution Square.

 

Berths

Nafplio has a pretty well sheltered commercial harbour that offers good protection from the elements, unlike many small towns down the north east coast. The harbour offers easy and direct access to the town, so that you can take a day visit without any complication. There are no facilities directly at the port, but you can find all that you need after a short walk up to the centre.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Nafplio’s recommended eating spots:

- Scuola Pizza-bar - An intricate Italian restaurant where its name translates to ‘School’. The interior features a decadent bookcase set behind rows of tiny tables, creating a very unique atmosphere

- Aiolos Tavern - Of the four restaurant owners, two are local farmers who bring you their own produce straight to the restaurant. The chefs are passionate about great food and it’s unlikely that you’ll find a fresher meal elsewhere

Where should you stay the night?

Good options to spend a night:

- Aetoma Hotel - Allows you to experience traditional Ancient Greek accommodation whilst maintaining complete luxury. Brilliant views of the castle

- Pension Marianna - Placed high above the rest of the town, allowing you to share the greatest views of the bay down below. Offers luxury rooms and spacious apartments too

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Nafplio Marine is an efficient company that covers all areas of boat service - from painting and carpentry to plumbing and electricals. Based just a little further west around the bay from Nafplio.

 

What’s the weather like?

Nafplio experiences some of the most diverse weather conditions in the world. It’s been known to reach temperatures as cold as 2°C in January, but as warm as 35 degrees by the time July comes around.

When to visit

We’d almost say summer is too hot for a visit, especially as you’re unlikely to get a cool breeze due to being in a bay. April and May, or September and October are very nice times to visit this quiet town.

 

Monemvasia Ancient hills

 

Monemvasia is a place that you simply have to visit when you get the chance. The well preserved medieval village sits on a small mountainous peninsula that’s only reachable by a causeway. This place is truly special and unique. Picturesque ruins can be found on top of the mountain that makes up the biggest part of the peninsula. The ruins are well worth climbing the stairs for.

 

Berths

Yachtsmen have several options when it comes to berthing: The Monemvasia Harbour provides rather uncomfortable but secure spots. However, most of the spots are full of commercial vessels so you’ll have to enquire in advance. You can also berth at the Monemvasia Marina, a small marina only a mile south of the sights. Bigger yachts can moor at the outer side of the quay, but bad holding is an issue here. There are also several anchorages around such as at the south of the harbour, in the northwest corner of the Monemvasia bay.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

Good places to eat in Monemvasia:

- Mateo's Cafe & Snack Bar - One of the most relaxing, picturesque bars in Greece. Tucked away in its own section of paradise, you can enjoy fresh seafood and great drinks right by the harbour

- Taverna Epidilion - The views you’ll get from the outdoor seating here are what make the restaurant a must-visit. Everything is homemade and refreshingly Greek. A really authentic meal!

- Chrisovoulo Restaurant & Wine Bar - A truly regal setting just metres away from the castle, the restaurant is surrounded by history and great views. You’ll be treated to a meal crafted by an internationally renowned chef.

 

Where should you stay the night?

Good options to stay overnight:

- Moni Emvasis Luxury Suites - This is your chance to actually stay within in the grounds of a Byzantine Castle, high upon the hill with incredible ocean views.

- Likinia Hotel - You’re able to experience the best of both worlds here - a modern, newly-built hotel but with classic styling and historic setting - an ideal situation if you’re looking for a fresh retreat whilst experiencing traditional culture

Can you get any boat maintenance?

Due to the town being very secluded and in a nicely private location, Monemvasia unfortunately offers little in terms of servicing and maintenance support. You’ll be able to access everything you need at Neapoli, another small down just a couple of miles down the coast.

 

What’s the weather like?

Temperatures can soar up to 35°C in August, and it’s rare to get anything colder than 8 degrees in the winter either, meaning it’s a pleasant place to visit all year round. Of course, these extremes at either end of the seasons are separated by sections of amazing weather throughout spring and early summer.

When to visit

Because Monemvasia mainly is attractive because of its extraordinary sights, it might be best to visit it in late spring or autumn, when the temperatures are milder.

 

The Dodecanese islands

 

Dodecanese Islands

 

Located in the eastern part of Greece and west of the Turkish coast, the Dodecanese islands are colourful and different compared to other Greek islands. Strong medieval structures in Rhodes are reminders of the diverse cultures that Rhodes saw over the centuries: Christians as well as Romans, Turks and Jews.

 

Rhodes historic town

 

Indisputably, Rhodes is one of the most well recognised islands in the Mediterranean. With its beaches, colorful houses and ancient structures, it’s a magnet for tourists. Rhodes town has good berthing options and offers many historic sights and medieval structures. Its castle belongs to the UNESCO world heritage - a must-see!

 

Berths

There are seven different options to berth your boat, but we recommend the brand new and beautiful marina, which just opened in 2015. All regular services are provided and berths can be booked online here. The marina  has capacity for nearly 400 berths, but will very soon be upgraded to 560+ berths. It’s less than a 10 minute walk to get to the main commercial district, so everything you need will be directly at hand. You’re warned to watch out for shallow water and dangerous rocks near the entrance at the north end of the port, and to make full use of your chain supplies when anchoring, to avoid entanglement with the mooring lines.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

You can get some really great food in Rhodes:

- Tamam - Traditional Greek cuisine at very modest prices, right at the heart of all the action

- El Toro Steak House - A very unique establishment where two expertly trained brothers run this superb steakhouse in an attempt to revolutionise the Rhodos eating experience

- Locanda Demenagas Greek Restaurant - A hearty family restaurant which has produced stunning food for many years, based on recipes passed down through generations. This is as raw and authentic as it gets.

Where should you stay the night?

Good places to spend a night (or four):

- Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel - Featured in the ‘100 best hotels in the world by the Sunday Times’, with unrivalled architecture and design

- In Camera Art Boutique Hotel - The hotel owner is native to Rhodes Island and has over 40 years of tourist experience in the area. You can trust that he knows exactly how to set up the perfect hotel in the area.

- Kokkini Porta Rossa - Ranked number one hotel in Rhodes. Features six individually designed suites that are luxuriously finished and of the best quality

Can you get any boat maintenance?

There is an extensive collection of maintenance and repairs services available on the island, and Rhodes marina even has a shipyard and a dry dock. You can book it by phone or online. If you’re looking for a trusted business right in the heart of Rhodes town, then we’d strongly recommend the Houlis Service. They’ve been in operation since 1945 and will repair or service just about any part of your vessel.

 

What’s the weather like?

You’re likely to get really nice temperatures in Rhodes all year round. It’s some of the most pleasant weather in the whole of Greece. Temperatures in summer months will stay around the 30 degree mark which is perfect for enjoying your trip. In the winter it’ll be a lot colder, but never lower than 10°C, so it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to have to wrap up really warm.

When to visit

If you visit Rhodes primarily for swimming and beach life, the hot summer months between June and September will be perfect. However, spring and early autumn would be the best time for sightseeing.

 

Symi old town

 

Symi is a rather small island located above Rhodes and offers its visitors beautiful and colorful seaside villages, a good harbour and nice anchorages. We’d recommend going to see the monastery and enjoy the stunning architecture that covers the town. It’s natural beauty and vibrant lifestyle makes it worth spending a few days here, you’ll fall in love!

 

Berths

You can berth at the Harbour of Yialós, which is a really nice spot to settle down at. Many people have labelled it as ‘the most beautiful harbour in Greece’ and we’re inclined to agree with that. What makes this so special is the that the harbour is naturally formed - the town wraps around it on either side to create a little cove of excellence. Water and electricity are available at the harbour. Keep in mind that there is little room during busy periods and the depth of the water can make it tricky to moor. You’ll find some very nice restaurants directly at the harbour’s edge.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

If you want to dine in style whilst you enjoy the setting:

- To Spitiko Restaurant - A chilled out vibe right by the water, serving wholesome Greek food and divine seafood, a really family friendly tavern in a truly mediterranean atmosphere

- The Olive Tree Cafe - The perfect place to go for a relaxing breakfast, lunch or dinner. Constantly praised for its 5-star atmosphere and service; a combination that is the basis for a successful restaurant. We’d seriously recommend going to the Olive Tree to start your day right!

- Mythos Restaurant - Another restaurant nestled right in the harbour below spectacular cliffs. Mythos focuses more on providing high quality taste and presentation. We’d suggest a long evening meal here, with good drinks, a beautiful setting and great company.

Where should you stay the night?

When you need to spend a night in Symi, these are good options:

- Odyssia Apartments - Fully equipped apartments with comfortable furnishings. You’ll get great value for money here, plus access to facilities such as a seaside restaurant and an ocean view terrace. Right in the heart of Symi.

- Thea Apartments - The ideal way to give yourself ‘a taste of Symi life’. These apartments have received a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence two years running and it’s easy to see why. You’ll get to choose from six individual apartments all housed within a huge neoclassical mansion that’s been within the family for many decades.

Can you get any boat maintenance?

As Symi is such a small island, it’s very hard to find some maintenance and service whilst you’re there. However, you’re very close to Turkish mainland here and a short hop from Rhodes too, so there’s no need to panic if you do wind up in some trouble, help will be close at hand!

 

What’s the weather like?

Despite being so close to other islands such as Rhodes, the weather isn’t quite as warm. You’re still going to get an average 27 degrees during the Summer, and it’s not going to get much colder than 7 degrees in January. For many people, these conditions will be better and far more pleasant.

When to visit

Visiting Symi is ideal in July and August. It shouldn’t be uncomfortably hot, and you’ll have some nice weather to explore and enjoy some time relaxing.

 

Northern Greece

 

The Holy Mountain

 

Although it’s not well known as a typical destination for boat trips, northern Greece offers great sights and extraordinary beauty that can be reached by boat. Prince Charles visits Halkidiki quite regularly.

 

Mount Athos monasteries

 

Mount Athos is called the “holy mountain” and its monasteries are extraordinarily beautiful and will create an experience that lasts a lifetime. However, women aren’t allowed within 500 meters around the shore. Visitors usually have to take a ferry to Mount Athos. Normal “tourists” are also not allowed there; you need a special permit called “Diamonētērion” and different variants exist. Although these restrictions may seem like a deterrent, if you go through them you’ll be rewarded with unforgettable memories of a place full of history and extraordinary cultural heritage.

 

Berthing

As you need to be granted a permit to access Mount Athos, you’ll normally have to get to the Holy Skete via a taxi ferry, which helps keep only permitted visitors from entering. Because of this, we recommend that you base yourself in Ierissos for your stay. Ierissos is a small town just a short trip up the coast which is a great tourist destination with beautiful beaches, great hotels and restaurants too. From here you’ll be able to get your ferry to Mount Athos. There’s a small harbour here where you’ll be able to berth as long as you contact the port authority in advance.

 

Where are the best places to eat?

- The Monk eating experience - If you’re lucky enough to get a full visit to the Holy Mountain, you’ll be able to take part in lunch time with the monks, after a morning of liturgy at the church. Not a restaurant at all, but a great experience as you fuel your body in a beautiful building, whilst living the life of a dedicated monk.

- Mouragio - All locally sourced ingredients, you’ll get to taste some of the best fresh fish known to the country, which comes straight out of the town's own harbour. Incredible value and a perfect location near the beach.

- Taverna Zorbas - Great traditional food, that’s quick, tasty and great value.

Where should you stay the night?

- The Monk living experience - If you’re visiting the monasteries at Mount Athos, we recommend you stay the night. This way you’ll witness the full practice of the monk life. You’ll be sleeping in some unbelievable accommodation in an ancient monastery, with a group of up to 10 people.

- Patriko House - This hotel is back in Ierissos should you want to base yourself there. Modernly furnished apartments just 200m from the beach.

Can you get any boat maintenance?

There are ports in both the local towns of Port Carras and Sane, where you’ll be able to get any maintenance done, should you need it. If you wanted to berth somewhere different before your trip to Mount Athos, you could use these two marinas also. You can view a full list of services at Port Carras here. Likewise, you’ll get the same facilities on offer at Sani Marina too.

 

What’s the weather like?

The temperature in Mount Athos varies drastically throughout the year, with temperatures reaching as low as 3°C in January. By the time we get to August however, you could be bathing in 35°C heat. Spring months are much cooler, with temperatures around 17°C to be expected.

When to visit

Spring temperatures are a little cooler here than down south, so we’d suggest taking your visit nearer to mid-summer, like June or July. That way you’ll be able to get the best out of your trip.

 

 


 

That’s your full guide to boating around Greece. Whether it’s just the one location you visit, or you try and tick off the whole lot, we guarantee you’ll have an amazing time. Remember, this is only a guide and we can assure you that there are hotels, restaurants and destinations all over Greece that are just as impressive and worth your while. So have fun exploring!


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