Sailing in Greece is one of the most pleasurable ways to discover its myriad of islands, quaint fishing villages and remote bays. Greece’s bigger, more cosmopolitan islands have spectacular beaches packed with sun-worshippers and exciting nightlife. The quieter, lesser known Greece is also easily accessible, especially by boat.
Marina facilities in Greece have been greatly improved. There are 22 private marinas, with 6,661 docking berths, offering facilities and good service for reasonable prices. A good number of these marinas have been awarded the European Blue Flag for adherence to environmental management standards. Greek marinas are usually based in convenient places, close to airports and amenities.
There are also a number of marinas that are deep enough to offer berths and five star services for mega yachts. Most marinas are built inside breakwaters and natural harbours. The greatest concentration of marinas is in the Athens area, with around 50% of berths in Greece located along the coast of Attica. A complete range of repair facilities are accessible and spare parts may be difficult to find outside this area.
There might be some difficulties in obtaining water in the most remote places and ports especially in the busy and dry summer season. In this case it would be best to keep supplies on board.
There are various charter bases around Greece for starting a sailing holiday, depending on which area is to be explored. Most of them are to be found in the well-organised marinas where services and winter berthing are available. The main charter bases for the Argosaronic Gulf are Athens, Lavrio and Kalamata. For the famed Cyclades, popular places to pick up a charter are Paros, right in the centre of the complex, Mykonos and Syros. Hugging the coast of Turkey are the Dodecanese Islands, where charter boats are available from Kos and Rhodes. The island of Crete does not offer many charter options as it is geographically separated from the other islands and difficult to sail to and from.
The charter base for the Sporades Islands is based on Skiathos Island, while the Aegean Islands have a charter base on Samos Island. On the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea are the seven Ionian Islands. To explore these, charters can be picked up on Lefkas Island or Corfu Island.
Apart from the berths in the marinas, about 3,000 pleasure craft can be hosted in Greek harbours. Many ports, apart from the big commercial ones, have basic moorings with some basic services and facilities. These moorings are usually on piers and seawalls where tourist vessels can dock after paying the relevant port dues.
Of course, one can also simply dock in the pretty fishing villages on route, which are usually free of charge, but offer no services.
Daily berth price in marinas vary according to season, size of the vessel, and marina. The most expensive daily berth is in high season from 1 April to 31 September. Daily berth prices for a 10-12 m a sailing boat range from around 37-90 Euros per day. Larger sailing boats of 14-16m price at about 75-100 Euros. It is best to contact the marinas individually for accurate pricing information.
The price of berths for catamarans are mostly charged per length multiplied by 1.5 and the prices vary from a marina to a marina. The more popular marinas are more expensive. For those sailing one way, or on an extended charter, weekends are good to moor up in the marinas on islands because they are less crowded.