When to go?

Choosing that time to go to Greece can also be a difficult choice(or no choice at all if the dates that you can travel are set), as there are advantages and disadvantages to each season but I can give you a general outline based on price and weather.

Price?- As with most tourist oriented businesses, the price is usually lower in the early and late seasons. Peak season is the highest although exact dates of peak season are different for each company. If you're looking to save money, try earlier or later in the season. You will also want to consider air fare which is highest during Peak Summer Travel(early Jun to late August depending on the airline). Also, unless you are sailing out of Athens(which is a $20-30 taxi ride), you'll want to take into consideration the cost of getting to your yacht which could be as little as a $20 ferry ticket or as much as a $120 flight plus transport costs to the marina.

Weather?- Fall and Spring weather is cooler and little less predictable than the summer(which is hot!). I've spent a lot of time in Greece in the fall and spring(and in the winter). Most of these trips have been for 2-4 weeks and I can say there was always at least 5 days of wonderful weather- meaning in the 70's and clear). Even in January there were five days of 75 degree weather and then a snowstorm and bitter cold for the last two days of my stay.

If you want hot, sunbathing weather for the whole trip, then the summer is for you. If you want cooler weather with more wind then you'll want to travel in April-early June and Sept to mid-October. Outside that period the chances of rain and cold weather increases.

And finally…where to go?

There are 5 main cruising areas in Greece, but the majority of the charters are out of Athens with easy access to the Cyclades(Mykonos, Sifnos Kea, etc….and Santorini, although this is in the outer reaches of a one week cruise form Athens) and Saronic Islands(Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetse and the northeastern Peleponnesus mainland).

You can bareboat charter to most of the islands, but the skippered boats are limited to a starting point of Napflion/Athens(Caraya), Athens(Stressbuster) or Syros in the Cyclades(Alba), although for a one way fee they can probably pick you up somewhere, but it's usually less complicated and expensive if you go to the yacht. The Cabin charters are limited to the Cyclades(Archaeological Cruise, Cycladic Pearls), Dodecanese(Seascape Singles and Couples and Zeus' Grecian Delights) or the Ionian(Ionian Odyssey). Flotillas are limited by the itinerary of Poseidon Yacht Charters.

Cyclades- These are the group of islands stretching off the coast of Attica(where Athens is located) to the central Aegean. They include Mykonos, Kea, Paros, Sifnos, Naxos, Ios and Santorini- to name a few). These are the islands that you see most often in advertisements for Greece- beaches and whitewashed villages with colorful shutters and doors. If you sail in the Cyclades you have the advantage of being able to sail in almost any direction to reach another island(a huge advantage because you can choose to sail to the island that will provide the most comfortable sail instead of fighting the wind and waves for hours and ending up exhausted at your destination!)

Saronic Islands- These islands begin with Aigina, less than 10 miles from the charter parts in Attica and stretch down along the coast of the Peleponnesus. These islands are very sheltered, offering excellent protection from the wind and seas. If the weather isn't conducive to sailing into the Cyclades, many people opt for the Saronic. This isn't to say they are less interesting than the Cyclades- being able to hop back and forth between the islands and the Peleponnesus will give you many different options- from the scenic port harbors of Poros(only half a mile from the mainland) and Hydra, to the medieval town and fort of Napflion to the ancient theater of Epidauvros.

Dedocanese Islands/Turkey- The Dodecanese(12 Islands) Islands are located off the coast of Turkey and include Rhodes, Samos, Kos, Kalymnos….). If you sail from these islands you'll have to make arrangements to get to the yacht from Athens. Depending on the island you must get to, you can either fly directly, fly and ferry if no airport is on the island, or ferry there- either stopping along the way and exploring other islands going straight to your destination.

Ionion Islands- These are the islands off the northwestern coast of Greece and include Corfu and Kefalonia. These islands are much larger than most of the islands in the Cyclades and offer great sailing, anchorages and towns to explore, but three are less destinations which means if the weather is coming from the wrong direction you will have to have an uncomfortable sail or wait in the harbor for better weather..

Saronic Islands- Skiathos, Skopelos and Skiros are off the central eastern coast of Greece. You can either fly to Skiathos(limited dates and availability) or take land transportation to Volos and ferry to one of the islands. These, as all the Greek islands are beautiful, but you will have limited options as there are only a few islands in this group.

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