The coasts and islands of Greece and Turkey are popular yacht charter destinations. The innumerable Greek islands cover a coastline of 15 000 km together with the mainland. The mesmerizing shores offer a myriad of cozy enclaves, which make for convenient natural docks. The power of ancient history looms over these lands. The best yacht charters in Greece are those covering the Dodecanese, Cyclades, Saronic, Argolic, Northern Sporades and Ionian territories.
A sailing holiday along the enchanting coasts of Turkey will provide insight into the ancient Lycian, Carian and Greek cultures and lifestyles, tinged with the exotic modern-day flavor of the Orient. Mesmerizing pine mountains rise above beautiful harbors and lucid blue bays. Moreover, this is a fine opportunity to sample Turkish cuisine, one of the best in the world. Sailing trips to the Carian coast, the Ionian coast, and the West and East Lycian coasts are available.
Greece and Turkey are excellent sailing destinations, because you can sail throughout the year. Generally, sailing trips are best in the tourist season so you can take advantage of the sunny weather. The strong winds in July and August may affect your sailing holiday.
After you have decided when to take a trip, you need to select a type of vessel. Gulet, flotilla, crewed and bareboat charters are on offer. Gulet charters are top-class luxury cruises. Gulets are popular choices along the coasts of Turkey and in the east Aegean Sea. These big wooden motor yachts are a combination of modern naval architecture and traditional Turkish sea vessels. You can opt for a flotilla if you are not very experienced and will be needing assistance. This is one of the safest options, also allowing for a great deal of privacy. You will be the skipper on your yacht, but the leader of the flotilla will be watching you. If you feel a flotilla to be too restraining, you can go for assisted bareboat charters, a well-balanced mean. A regular bareboat is appropriate for those experienced in the art of sailing. Bareboat charters exclude a captain and crew. This choice gives you and your group full independence.
The main charter bases in this region are Athens, Corfu, Lefkas, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Preveza, Bodrum, Antalya, Paros, Marmaris, Syros and Fethiye. It is recommended that one-way charters between these bases be downwind – generally speaking north to south.
We now proceed to the routes. The Dodecanese is the name of approximately 12 large and 40 small islands to the southernmost of the Southern Sporades, just off the southwest coastline of Asia Minor. The larger islands are Leros, Kos, Symi, Rhodes, Kasos, Patmos, Nisyros, Tilos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Astypalea and Khalki.
The Cyclades islands are spread in a circle around Delos, a sacred island and a famous attraction. Myth has it that the god Apollo was born here. The northern Cyclades consist mainly of marbles, Cretaceous limestone and gneisses, while some southern ones are made up of volcanic materials.
The Northern Sporades or simply Sporades are comprised of the fertile, isolated islands of Pelagos, Alonissos, Kira Panayia and many more. There are some uninhabited islands here, such as Skantzoura, Psathoura, Yioura and Peristera. You can visit the remote Eastern Sporades, including the islands of Chios, Lesbos and several others near the coast of Turkey.
The most famous of the Ionian Islands is the paradise-like Corfu. Other islands include Paxos, Ithaka and Kefalonia. They are typified by lush vegetation and a mild climate. The Ionian is perfect for gulet and bareboat charters. This area is as lovely as it must have been in antiquity. The Carian coast of Turkey borders with the Ionian coast to the north and the Lycian to the east. This green, mountainous coastline stretches from Gümüslük to Marmaris. You will relish the view of golden beaches, warm sapphire-blue bays, ancient rock tombs and the monuments of Gökeva, Mersinçik and Digirmen Bükü.
The Lycian coast takes its name from the myriad of Lycian towns upon its shores. The east Lycian coast covers Antalya, Kas and Fethiye. It is far less indented that the Carian coast, but there are some beautiful bays and enclaves between Finike and Kalkan. You can see ancient tombs here, including ornate sarcophagi, temple tombs, pigeonhole tombs, pillar tombs and house tombs.