When it comes to sailing there are few better destinations than the Greek Islands. But with around 6,000 islands to choose from the question is where to sail in Greece? Fortunately, we’ve pulled together 7 of the best Greek Islands for sailing holidays.
Why sail in Greece
Because Greece is a land of utter enchantment! It’s no surprise that many movies have been shot here. The Greek Islands have a lot to offer almost every tourist, but they are especially good for sailing holidays.
Think dreamy summers spent enjoying exceptional sailing conditions. You can sail between whitewashed coastal villages sampling incredible food and warm hospitality.
The Greek Islands and their endless shorelines seem shaped for sailing. It is little wonder then that Greece has earned its reputation as a premiere sailing destination.
Types of Greek Island sailing holidays
When deciding where to sail in Greece, first you need to consider what style of sailing holiday you are looking for. Do you want to stay on an island and sail during day trips or would you rather overnight on the boat?
Do you need sailing lessons? Or are you already a qualified sailor looking to get charter a yacht? Would you prefer to join a flotilla sailing holiday or is going it alone more your style?
Perhaps you would prefer dinghy sailing over a yacht. In some ways this is better for families as it is learning to sail a small craft from a land base. There are many Greek Islands with sailing clubs offering this kind of experience.
Where to sail in Greece?
Once you have decided the type of sailing holiday you are after it’s time to start considering your destination. Are you interested in what you can experience from the water or are the land options just as important to you?
We have chosen 7 of the best Greek Islands for sailing holidays below. They cover the full range of different types of sailing so there is something for everyone.
The Greek summers (April-September) are the optimum time to set your sails. Not only are the air and sea temperatures peaking, but this is the most consistent season for wind.
Best Greek Islands for sailing holidays
Whether you take your own boat, charter a yacht or go on sailing day trips, Greece is the place to go. Here are the best Greek Islands for sailing holidays:
Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands
Rhodes is a favourite amongst sailors. This is in some part because the islands fertile soil creates a vast array of colourful vegetation that can be seen from sea.
Approaching Rhodes by sea reveals a stunning view of the old city walls. Check out Lindos, as the entire town is an archaeological site with plenty to see and do.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete doesn’t have as much incoming sailing traffic due to its isolated location. But the crystal clear waters are perfect for sailing day trips while staying on Crete.
Inland there are prizes galore for the history buffs so if you like culture and archeology you are in for a treat. The local winds can top 35 knots, so exercise caution during a peak summer season. Check out the harbour at Milatos, and visit Malia Palace.
Mykonos, Aegean Islands
Commonly regarded as a jewel of the Aegean Islands, Mykonos is a major sailing and yachting destination. Though not legal, nude sailing and beach going is permitted in certain areas.
Stroll through the town’s labyrinth of tiny narrow streets. Be sure to visit the Nautical and Folklore museums and the six famous windmills. Wine tasting is also a popular onshore pastime here – as it is on many of the Greek Islands.
Mykonos makes a great base for sailing holidays in Greece. For the best experience book Villas in Mykonos and go out on various sailing day trips. There are many stunning beaches to explore an archeological trip to Delos and to the uninhabited island Rhenia are highlights.
Lemnos, North Aegean
If you like dinghys, one of the the best Greek Islands for sailing holidays is Lemnos. This is because the huge bay at Portomyrina has perfect conditions – you can sail up to a kilometre from the beautiful beach.
The wind is stronger in the morning which is ideal for experienced sailors. After lunch it weakens and is perfect for beginners. The island is not far from the mainland and has enough historical sites to keep you interested when not on the water.
Zakynthos (Zante), Ionian Islands
Zante is a stunning island from the land but from out at sea it is even better. Explore the Blue Caves and the famous Navagio (shipwreck) beach, which are only accessible by boat. Being in your own yacht you can get there early to beat the crowds.
From Zante you can easily sail north to beautiful Kefalonia. There is stunning scenery and tasty food to be had at the many harbours dotted about the coast. Be sure to try Kefalonia meat pie!
Corfu, Ionian Islands
Even the most high-profile movie companies have spotted Corfu’s lush beauty. As one of the first Greek islands to embrace tourism, this place continues to be a favourite destination for Greeks and foreign nationals alike.
Despite the flocking tourists, many of the seaside towns in Corfu have maintain their natural charm and splendour. Check out Spianada Square and the plethora of museums that help illustrate Corfu’s rich historical past.
Santorini, Cyclades Islands
Santorini can be crowded in peak tourist season. People flock to Santorini on sailing holidays because of it’s beauty. But also you’ll find a volcano, hot springs, great architecture and grand beaches.
The capital city of Fira is perched 1500 feet above the ocean. It is reached via either a cable car or donkey ride up the hill. And there are some amazing beaches to be found, such as Perivolos, Kamari, Perissa, and Agios Georgios.
Where ever you sail in Greece you are in for a treat. Do not forget your camera!
Do you agree with the islands we have included? Drop a comment below and to let us know your best Greek Islands for sailing holidays. Also check out our other Greece sailing discounts as you could save a fortune.