Once you have decided to book your yacht holiday, you can now plan a sailing itinerary that suits your travel curiosity. There are so many different islands to choose from where do you start? First you should think about where you are starting from, how long you are staying and how much time you actually want to spend sailing.
When you book a yacht charter, not only do you have the freedom to choose your own itineraries in terms of where to visit but you get to choose how long to spend there too. If you like somewhere you can always stay a bit longer, the choice is yours. To give you a head start on your research, here are five of the best Greek Islands you should consider visiting when chartering a yacht.
Although it is a popular spot, Santorini should always be on the list for top Greek Islands to visit. With its beautiful whitewashed buildings and blue domed rooves, it is a well photographed destination which you may well feel like you have been there before. This volcanic island offers its visitors some varied landscape to explore, beautiful views and small coves and bays to explore.
Top things to do in Santorini include, watching the sunset in the gorgeous town of Oia, hiking the scenic route between Oia and Fira and exploring the bustling Amoudi bay. If you are interested in history then there’s the archaeological site of Ancient Thera to visit plus the museum of prehistoric Thera. Are you a wine lover? There are a few vineyards to visit within the island as well as the Wine Museum Koutsogiannopoulos in Fira. This museum is located in a natural underground gallery and you can learn about the history of wine making from 1660. Often listed as a bucket list destination, Santorini is the perfect Greek island escape.
On contrast to the relaxing and romantic Santorini, Mykonos is known as the party island. Mykonos town in particular has lots of bars and clubs for party animals to choose from. The island is well known for its gay friendly bars and clubs and glamourous and glitzy parties. You may even spot a celebrity or two, the highbrow and high rollers certainly make an appearance here.
Hora is a busy town full of boutiques and souvenir shops and is a popular stop with cruise ships too. If you are staying here then you might want to avoid the busiest times in the middle of the day and return on the evening when the crowds have receded. As well as partying and shopping there are some other interesting things to do here. There are beautiful beaches and coves perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling especially around Paradise and Kalafáti beaches. If you want a little trip then why not take a boat ride to the archaeological site on the Delos islet? And if you like history you can visit the Archaeological Museum’s ancient pottery collection in Mykonos town.
Rhodes is an island that has it all. The largest and most popular island of Dodecanese, it has long stretches of soft sandy beaches, beautiful buildings and a whole lot of history. The medieval city and the palace of the grand masters are the best places to visit if you are interested in history. The palace may fool you into thinking it was a castle due to the structure and architecture. There are many influences from the different times including ottoman and Italian.
When it comes to beaches Rhodes has its fair share. The eastern side of the island is best as it is more sheltered and better for sunbathing and swimming. The western side is better for those who like water sports and a good surf! Kallithea Beach is one of the best, but if you pay to enter the spa side of the beach it is less crowded as compared to other ones on the east side of Rhodes. A great way to explore is to take a drive around the island, there are little villages coves and inlets to discover on the way. You can spend a lot of time here and still not see everything but that’s what makes exploring the island even more interesting.
Found in the Aegean Sea, Paros is best known for its beaches and quaint traditional villages. The landscape here is somewhat bizarre, overshadowed by the Ágii Pándes which rises in the centre of the island and offers views out to sea over many of the surrounding islands. The villages of Naoussa, Parikia and Lefkes, are traditional Parian and offer excellent examples of Cycladic architecture, with their whitewashed houses, paved streets and blue-domed churches.
The top beaches in Paros are the white sands and shallow crystal-clear waters of Martselo beach and the natural sculpture garden of Kolymbithres Beach. Paros us an excellent destination for relaxing on quiet beautiful beaches without the fuss and noise you get on some other islands. Other things to see here include the pink Panayia Ekatondapiliani Cathedral in Parikia, the Folklore Art Museum of Cycladic Civilization in Aliki and the Moraitis Winery in Naoussa.
Unlike many of the surrounding islands Naxos is a green and fertile land. There are grazing sheep and farmland which makes it a different landscape to nearby scenery. Mix that with mountain villages, ancient ruins and long stretches of white and golden beaches, this really is a beautiful place. The main city has a lovely waterfront and you’ll find plenty of shopping and museums amongst the old cobbled streets. The wealth of home grown ingredients makes the local restaurant menus fresh and exciting and you won’t go wrong with the locally sourced food here.
As well as the gorgeous towns and villages to explore there are also many beaches to relax on an sights to see. Plaka beach and Mikri Vigla Beach are both good choices if you want to kick back and enjoy the sunshine and calm waters. If you want to know more about the history of the island, then visit one or more of the many museums here. These include the Archaeological museum, the Eggares Olive Press Museum, the Venetian museum and the Fish and Olive art gallery. There is also Kastro, a hilltop castle dating to the 13th century which towers across the old town, definitely worth a visit for anyone exploring Naxos.
Which islands would you choose?
Ok, so it would be difficult to see all of these places in one go. You will need to choose which group of islands that is best for your tastes. But there are some great destinations to enjoy on your yacht charter, so once you have chosen your destinations you can sit back and enjoy the amazing things the Greek islands have to offer.
Have you ever sailed around the Greek islands? What was your favorite spot and where would you recommend?