Sailing & Yachting in Greece

07 May 2024
Second only to Norway in length of coastline in Europe (file that fact away for a future pub quiz!) and tenth in the entire world, Greece has always had a close relationship with the sea. No wonder sailing holidays rank high amongst Greeks’ preferences and many own some kind of vessel, from a humble fishing boat or inflatable speedboat, to stunning, ultra luxurious, mega yachts.

An increasing number of holiday makers discover that a sailing holiday is much more affordable than they previously thought and in many cases a lot cheaper than an up-market hotel in a cosmopolitan island. Hundreds of charters, whether large listed companies or small family-owned business operate in Athens and yachting is a fast growing businesses in the Greek market. 
Sailing & Yachting in Greece © Peter Chirkov, Unsplash

Prices obviously vary depending on the season, the pick-up and destination port and naturally the type of vessel. If you are prepared to have your holiday slightly off season (say April or October) and you are flexible enough to adjust your plans to the charter company’s logistic needs, (they often need to move boats from an island back to its base or between ports) then you can get high discounts and amazing bargains from as little as €1000 per week for a small sailing boat accommodating 6 persons! 

High season prices are of course higher but if shared between four or six people, then the cost rarely exceeds the cost of accommodation and travelling to and between islands.

The experience of course is incomparable, as one can combine swimming in the best waters during daytime, and going out in the island of one’s choice every evening. The price that the charter company quotes is per yacht, per week and includes VAT, linen and cleaning, but does not include port fees, fuel, damages deposit and/or extra insurance. There is an extra charge if one opts for a one-way charter to a port different than the base, which ranges between €300-800. The down-payment is about 50%, payable upon the signing of the agreement and most companies require full payment a few weeks before the charter starts.
Sailing & Yachting in Greece © Matthew Waring, Unsplash
Two people with a valid sailing licence are required to hire a boat, or else it has to come with a professional skipper at an extra cost of €100-150 per day. The pros of a professional skipper are complete peace of mind, especially for the less experienced ones and total concentration of everyone in the..enjoyment of the holiday. On the other hand, those with a licence to sail, probably enjoy the sporting part of it as much as the holiday and on top of that, they avoid having an unknown person, the skipper, reducing the privacy of their holiday. 

Motor yachts are a whole different story. Prices here are much higher (the range is huge, it starts at €4,000-5,000 per week for a small yacht accommodating 4-6 persons and has no upper limit) but if cost is not an issue, then quite simply there is no better way to enjoy the Greek blue seas and the countless inaccessible tiny islets and beaches that the masses can only dream of, in true style. The skipper is obligatory in this case, as the sailing licence is not accepted for a motor yacht, and depending on your bank balance you can have any number of crew to spoil you rotten during your days at sea. 

As with the sailing yachts, unless you want to go for a last minute bargain, it is advisable that you contact the charter company of your choice early enough, to secure the vessel that really suits your needs. And bear in mind that, unlike sailing boats, fuel is a large part of the total cost of the holiday (not included in the prices quoted of course).  
Sailing & Yachting in Greece © Nikolaos Anastasopoulos, Unsplash

Yachting clubs - Sailing Schools 

All major yachting clubs in Athens operate schools where you can learn how to sail and get the sailing license after you pass the appropriate exams. Most schools have evening weekly theory classes and practice during weekends, and you can qualify as a licensed skipper in 2 months (8 evening theory and 8 all day practice classes)  

Hellenic Offshore Racing Club, Akti Dilaveri 3, Piraeus 210 4123357 2-month classes (theory one evening  per week, practice every Saturday or Sunday 12:00-18:00 Fees : €440 , 1-month intensive course every July.

Yacht Club of Greece, Karageorgi Servias St, Piraeus, 210 4179730 2-month classes (theory classes Mondays or Wednesdays 19:00-22:30 , practice every Saturday or Sunday 10:00-18:00) Fees: beginners class  €420, advanced class €480, English classes available upon arrangement.

Yachting Club of Palaio Faliro, Marina Floisvou 210 9849201 2 month classes (theory one evening  per week, practice every Saturday or Sunday Fees: €440, 1 month intensive course every July.   

Charter companies 

The largest charter companies that offer complete services  whether you’re just looking for a bareboat charter or a fully staffed mega yacht are:

Kiriacoulis Mediterranean, Alimou 7, 17455 Alimos. Tel. 210 9886187-91, Fax. 210 9818979,,

Vernicos Yachts, Poseidonos 11, 17455 Alimos. Tel. 210 9896000, Fax.210 9850130,

And also:,


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