Greece Yachts For Charter
The small attractive harbour of Kos is a favourite for starting a cruise in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, either southwards or northwards or to include Bodrum and the nearby Turkish coast. As the second largest island of the group, and a long-time haven for European holidaymakers, it has all the benefits of a resort together with the entertainments of Kos old town, ancient historical sites, some charming inland villages and excellent beaches.
Kos is home to the Asclepion - well worth a visit and was the birthplace of Hippocrates, plus it has a lively nightlife near the harbour. Kos airport receives direct European charter flights and domestic flights while the ferry and customs port just under the walls of the Crusader Knights castle has a busy traffic in Athens, Rhodes and island-bound ferries and catamarans, and also ferries to the nearest Turkish port of Bodrum.
Symi (or Simi) is a simply stunning island of arid cliffs and rocks plunging steeply into the sea, with deep sheltered bays and tiny beaches where a boat may moor in peace and quiet. With ferries from Rhodes and other neighbouring islands coming to the only harbour town hidden in a deep inlet at the north, and the much –visited and vast monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis on a protected bay at the south, the island is peaceful.
Symi harbour town is small and enchanting with the colourful Neo-classical buildings clinging to the steep slopes around the u-shaped harbour lined with cafes, bars and restaurants and the shops. The sponges sold are a reminder of the wealthy days of sponge collecting fleets going out from Symi, and the boats and seamen who lived there.
Rhodes is not only the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, but the second largest island of Greece after Crete. The city and island’s rich heritage of 3000 years settlement begs to be explored for two or three days before or after departure with Lindos, an ancient and medieval city, while the mountains shelter the quiet monasteries above natural valleys.
The ancient Mandraki harbour for yachts and small craft lies on the northern end of the renowned Old Town of Rhodes, the atmospheric walled medieval city that remains from the time of the Crusader Knights of St. John who made Rhodes their base when dominating the Eastern Mediterranean. Beside the Old Town lies the larger customs harbour of Kolona where all international and larger inter-island ferries and catamarans dock. With its international airport taking domestic, and direct flights from Europe, Rhodes is an excellent departure point for cruise in the Greek islands or mixing islands and the Turkish coast close by.
Leros is sometimes overlooked between its close neighbours of Kalymnos, and northern island of Patmos, however it has a charm of its own, with greener valleys, and some very deep indented bays ideal for sheltered mooring. It does have a tiny airport for local services to Rhodes, two ports for ferries, and more for smaller fishing boats and yachts.
Lakki built as a naval base during the Italian years, is port for larger ferries, while Ayia Marina on a pretty bay beneath the handsome capital of the island, Platanos, caters for smaller tourist and local island ferry traffic. Leros being the site of a fierce WWII battle, has an Allied war cemetery, and some excellent diving for shpwrecks.
The sharp 700m peak of Nissyros can’t be missed on the seas south of Kos, where the dormant volcano still mutters below a spectacular bare crust of two craters, though it last rumbled in 1933. The site and smells of the crater are well worth a trip up, by bus or taxi from the main port of Mandraki, and perhaps a three hour walk back down through some old marked paths. On the heights are two small quaint villages with fabulous views over to the next island of Tilos, and sometimes to Rhodes. Linger on the harbour or in the next fishing harbour of Palli , in the quiet of late afternoon for some special dishes of the island.
The rugged peaks and fertile valleys of Kalymnos have a rich history, most recently of seafarers, boatbuilding and sponge diving, and on those industries grew rich for a while.
The main harbour town of Pothia has many beautiful large Neo-classical mansions from the prosperous late 19th century tucked away on the back streets, and two excellent museums; one, the very new national museum, dedicated to the island’s history of over 3000 years settlement, and the other a folk museum on the harbour dedicated to the history of the famous spongediving fleets.
Favourite mooring spots are in the deep fiord of Vathi, and on the northern side near Telendos island. Popular for trekking, rock-climbing and scuba-diving, Kalymnos has a charming laid-back style, due perhaps to having no airport, and only access by the daily ferries from Kos, Rhodes, Samos, Athens(Piraeus), and smaller islands. Lying west of Bodrum Peninsula, it can also be a port for cruising from or to the Turkish coast.
A quiet tranquil island of bare hills but fertile valley and plains, Tilos has a ‘capital’ Megalo Horio on the top of a ridge which cruising guests may not get to visit, but there are small coves near the large port and harbour of Livadia. Typical small chapels and fortresses dot the hills, while tavernas serve ouzo and mezes on the shore where the locals watch the ferries connect to Rhodes and Kos. Tilos has enough natural cover and species to warrant a national park, a rarity amongst the islands.
Pilgrims head to Patmos, one of the most beautiful, atmospheric islands of Greece, and they are closely followed by tourists and travellers keen to visit the massive fortified Orthodox monastery founded in 1088 in honour of St John the Divine or the Theologian: the apostle who wrote a gospel and the Book of Revelations (the Apocalypse).
Visiting by gulet allows the best of both worlds mooring in a more peaceful bay close to the busy port and shopping harbour town of Scala (Skala) and being able to take an early morning or late afternoon walk up to visit first the grotto then the monastery on the hilltop surrounded by the medieval village of Hora, where some delightful cafes and tavernas give ease before returning.
Patmos has more pleasant beaches and bays around the indented and rugged island. Being so popular for visitors it has ferry connections to most islands as well as Athens (Pireaus).
Lipsi is the largest of the scatter of islets east of Patmos, and promises a simple island experience of taverna and ouzo, a walk for an hour across to a beach on the old paths past farms and orchards, swimming and relaxing in one of the bays, or exploring the little town from the yacht quay on the fine harbour. It is connected by ferries to all the islands of the Dodecanese and to the north to Samos.
Butterfly by name and butterfly by shape, Astiphalea, is an intriguing island convenient for sailing halfway between Kos and Santorini. The white painted houses look more like those of the Cyclades than in the Dodecanese. However it has an old hilltop fortress surrounded by the older village houses of the Hora above the Italian built harbour, plenty of tavernas and smaller quieter bays, along with regular ferries to Pireaus and Kos, and a small airport that connects flights from Rhodes, Kos and Leros. Try the cheese from the many sheep and goats, and the honey.
Santorini is a place that will seduce you with its amazing landscape, dramatic heights and magnificent sunsets. This is a place of wonder that you can enjoy from your yacht as well as on the land. This is the perfect place for a honeymoon.
Santorini has become known as the "Honeymoon Island". There are many that come here to get married, or renew their vows. It is also a great place to spend an anniversary. It is romantic; probably the most romantic Greek Island.A private yacht is the most romantic way to spend the nights and days enjoying each other, and then you can go ashore and enjoy the romance of the beaches and villages with their charm and tradition.
You can take in all of the beautiful sights of the island during the day, and spend romantic time alone on the moonlit sea on the deck of your yacht.Santorini breathtaking landscape is due to a volcanic eruption that happened thousands of years ago. The beaches have warm black sand, spectacular scenery for you to enjoy, it is romantic and laid back. The islands is meant for relaxing in the extraordinary sun shine beaches, and has a traditional Greek flare and an exciting nightlife.
One of the Greek islands that lie very close to the Turkish coast near Kusadasi, Samos is large and long and lush, and has a long history to match in fluctuations in wealth and famous ancients who gathered there. Epicurus, Pythagorus and Aesop were some of its Classical scholars, then Roman, Byzantine and Genoese forces held it until the Ottoman era began. The very good museum in the northern port town and capital of Vathy tells much of the story. Vathy is a lively ferry hub for ferries travelling through the islands between Rhodes and Athens, and also to Kusadasi. Samos has some very high mountains, beaches and bays that entice a closer look, and on the south side the ancient jetty of Pythogario is where gulets can tie up to explore another small resort town. There is also an airport for domestic flights.
A rugged, once forested island with a tradition of seamanship, Chios is also famous for its yearly production of mastic, a resin from a bushy tree of the pistachio family, from a group of traditional villages. Its flavours are being added to icecream, and chewing gum, to name a few uses. There are any number of small bays and villages to explore around the coastline, and geological marvels such as the 150 million year od cave of Sykias Olimbon, and Byzantine mosaics. The ferry to Cesme on the opposite shore of Turkey leaves Chios town and harbour, as do ferries for Lesbos, Kos, Rhodes and Athens. There is also a very small airport with flights to other islands.
Lesbos the island often is called Mitilini which is the islands’s capital and port. It is the third largest island of Greece, and lies almost due south of the outcrop of the Turkish coast where the Kaz mountains and Assos promontory lie. There are regular ferries between Mitilini and the westerly Turlsih port of Ayvalik. The towns have in common rich hinterlands of rocky but vast acreages of olive trees, producing olive oil and olive. Lesbos remains wealthy from this oil and tourism. The island also has a tradition of shipbuilding and distilling ouzo. Lesbos of course is famous as the birthplace of Sappho the poetess of ancient times, and Aesop, and the archaeological museum gives an excellent display of the islands heritage of Roman, Byzantine and Genoese times. There are also two excellent museums of modern art near the town. Sailors find very interesting the two large large gulfs that are so sheltered they are almost landlocked. There are also more villages and bays scattered around the southern coast, where a gulet might drop anchor and relax for a while.
Athens is a magical, teeming and yes sometimes a challenging city to stay in, but before sailing amongst the islands, a short introduction to the long history of Greece and the role of Athens is well worth taking. Browse amongst the stones of the Acropolis, around the Parthenon, in the New Acropolis Museum or in the National Archaeological Museum, to take in some of the breathtaking beauty of the art and statues. Wander the Plaka and the city centre to taste the busy life on the streets of Athens.
Athens has its famous port-Piraeus, a city in its own right, and bustling with the comings and goings of hundreds of ferries to the Greek Islands; the lifelines of the Aegean.
Apart from the main port where cruise ships also moor, and the numerous ferry quays spread around the harbour, there are two smaller yacht marinas at far ends of the port. Mikrolimano is to the southeast, close to the Faliro Station and the tram terminus, and Zea Marina further north.
Allow time to get to Pireaus for either your disembarkation or your ferry. Express airport buses run direct from the airport to the port ( 90 minutes minimum) , the metro runs from Syntagma Square, central Athens ( approx. 50 mins), and a much slower bus runs from the same Square. Taxis, or private transfers can be arranged.