When to Go
The sailing season in Greece lasts from March to early November. During the Spring months, the weather during the day varies from cool to warm and is usually cool at night. The sea temperature is not usually suitable for swimming until the middle of May and then you can swim right through to the middle of October. The months of May, June, September and October usually have warm to hot daytime temperatures and pleasant temperatures at night. There are good winds at this time, but they are often variable. In July and August there are stronger winds, particularly in the Cyclades islands. Spring and Autumn are the most popular seasons for yacht chartering in Greece because this is when the climate is most suitable and there are far fewer tourists on the mainland and on the islands, than in high Summer.
Deciding on the Type of Charter
There are many options to choose from and when planning your trip you should consider the following questions. How many people will be in your party and will they require single or double berths aboard? Do you require a sailing yacht, a motor yacht or a motorsailer? What level of comfort do you want aboard? Will you require a skipper? If you require a bareboat (i.e. you intend to do the sailing yourself, without a skipper or other professional crew aboard), what size of yacht are you experienced in handling? Remember that European regulations, require that two qualified people be aboard. Another option is to sail in a group or flotilla of other boats. These can be a combination of bareboat and skippered yachts, and can provide you with the right balance of educational support and local knowledge.
Length of Trip
In order to get the most out of a yacht charter, the minimum length of trip should be about 7 days. As for the maximum amount of time, that is up to you. Many companies will offer discounts for longer charters. Good charter companies will have lots of local knowledge on the best routes and places to visit, and will work with you to agree an itinerary, which suits your needs. Remember that you do not have to spend your entire holiday aboard the boat. You could arrange a couple of days at the beginning or end of your charter to explore the mainland. It is well worth spending at least two or three days in Athens - a wonderful city, which unfortunately is often side-stepped by people who head straight for the islands.
Emmanuel Mendonca is the webmaster and publisher of Greece Travel Articles - a source of interesting articles and information about visiting, living and working in Greece.