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Yacht Charters in Greece with Istion

Greece is quite simply the perfect sailing destination in Europe. Blessed with a mild southern Mediterranean climate with an extended summer giving a comfortable sailing season of close to eight months, our small country has over 13,000 kilometres of coastline to explore. That impressive number comes from the over 6000 islands and islets scattered like diamonds in the sea, each of them inviting you to swim for hours, socialise while tasting Greece’s well know cuisine and enjoy the beauty of a Greek summer spent next to the waves. Greece is truly a sailor’s paradise.

At Istion Yachting, we have been providing unforgettable sailing holidays in Greece for more than 30 years. From our humble beginnings on the island of Kos in 1992 we now offer charters throughout Greece from our 11 main charter bases. Our experienced skippers and crews, charter base staff, planning departments and every one of the wider Istion team is an expert in their field and is ready to assist you in planning the perfect sailing holiday in Greece. We look forwarded to welcoming you this summer!    

There are so many options, and only so much time. The diversity of the different sailing areas in Greece makes picking just one difficult, which is why so many of our guests come back to sail again and again. There is always another beautiful island to visit and another idyllic beach to swim on!

Peak sailing season is from late June through August with hot weather, warm seas and busy islands. Availability can become limited during this period so booking early is essential.

Late spring from May to June and late summer from September to early October are often considered the best time to sail for experienced sailors and repeat visitors to our country. The weather is great and the islands are more relaxed than the busy summer months.

For those who want to live the real Greek way of life, April and October can be rewarding, with less heat, fewer visitors and enticing low-season offers. A few of the restaurants and shops on some islands may not have opened or may have closed for the season, but in our opinion early and late season sailing in Greece is a magical and unique experience.

The Argo Saronic Gulf is actually two gulfs (the Saronic and Argolic) that are often referred to together in sailing terms given their close distances to each other. The Saronic Gulf lies in between Athens and the coast of the Argolid Peninsula while the Argolic Gulf is one hop over in between the peninsula and the first large leg of the Eastern Peloponnese, which runs all the way south to Monemvasia.

We often recommend this area to first time sailors for a number of practical reasons. First and foremost, it is the easiest area to reach from Athens, which makes it an ideal spot for those arriving via the Athens International Airport. Within a few hours of touching down you can be swimming and relaxing on board having reached your first destination.

Another advantage is that the area is well protected from the annual Meltemi winds that can blow strongly in July and August and may create challenging conditions for less experienced sailors.

The Argo Saronic Gulf also has plenty of places to visit on either a one or two-week holiday. One-week holidays will usually take in the nearby islands of Aigina and Poros before looping down to the coastal town of Ermioni and the cosmopolitan islands of Spetses and Hydra further south. A visit to Epidavros for a quick trip to its famous ancient theatre is not to be missed for the history buffs.

Two week holidays allow you to explore further east, with the coastal towns of Nafpleio, Leonidio and Kyparissi offering relaxed mooring while cruising the coast of the Eastern Peloponnese.

We invite you to learn more about our Athens charter base, download our sample one-week Saronic Gulf sailing itinerary for inspiration and contact us with any questions, we are here to help you plan your perfect sailing holiday.

Ah, the Cyclades. A name steeped in history that brings the classic image of a Greek island to everyone’s mind. While Greece has many island chains and all of them are unique and magical, the Cyclades has become nearly synonymous with the county as a whole for many visitors.

Characterised by their white houses, rugged landscapes and world famous beaches, the Cyclades attract visitors from around the world and are a must see for everyone at some point in their life. For sailors the area offers a huge variety of routes and islands to visit, from the world famous islands Mykonos and Santorini to the popular Paros and Naxos and many, many more in between.

A note about the Meltemi winds that blow from the north in July and August. In the Cyclades these winds can make for challenging conditions and sailing the area during these times is best for experienced sailors. Don’t despair all you beginner sailors! If you want a helping hand our skippers are the best in Greece and will be happy to take care of the sailing and navigation so you can enjoy the islands worry free.

The Cyclades are reached from our main base in Alimos Marina on the western side of Attica giving quick access to the islands of Kea, Kithnos, Serifos, Sifnos and Milos among others.

Our base in Lavrion is perfect for getting a head start to the islands of Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos. The Lavrion base is further south and on the east side of Attica, saving a couple of hours of additional sailing time on your way out. As an added bonus, Lavrion is just half an hour from the Athens International Airport so you can be on your way towards your destination just an hour or two after landing.

Located on the western side of Greece the seven main islands of the Ionian Sea have their own unique charm and character. The Ionian Islands are much greener than most islands in Greece, their location and geography bringing more rainfall during the winter months and allowing trees and shrubs to grow and thrive. The combining of colours between the green of the hills, the white of the sands and the blue of the sea are a special treat for visitors to this area.

Istion maintains three bases in the Ionian, on Corfu in the north and in Lefkas (or Lefkada) and nearby Preveza further south.

Itineraries starting from Corfu may include multiple stops along the Corfu coast, visits to the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos and visits to mainland ports including Parga and Syvota.

Trips starting from Lefkas or Preveza may head either north towards Corfu or South towards the islands of Kalamos and Kastos and then on to the mythical island of Ithaca and nearby Kefalonia. Note that our base in Preveza is just 10 minutes from the Aktion Airport where all charter flights to Lefkas arrive. If your flight times are tight, Preveza is a great option.

We recommend downloading our sample sailing itineraries for trips leaving from Corfu and from Lefkas or Preveza. If you need more recommendations for a truly unique voyage through to the Ionian just contact us, we will be happy to help.

The Dodecanese islands in the southeast Aegean are close to our heart. The central island of Kos is where Istion Yachting first started operations in 1992.

The Dodecanese are known for their wonderful beaches and rich history ranging from the ancient to the medieval to the modern in a delightful kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. The area has relatively mild wind conditions that are perfect for sailing throughout the year and has plenty of sun and warmth during the summer months.

Istion now has two bases in the Dodecanese, our home base on Kos and another on the historic island of Rhodes. From Kos you may head north towards the islands of Kalimos, Leros and Patmos and if time permits all the way to amazing Ithaki and Fourni.

Heading south from Kos will put you on course to visit the islands north of Rhodes including Nisiros, Tilos and Symi. Setting sail from Rhodes itself also reaches these islands or you can choose to head west, exploring the coast of Rhodes and visiting the quaint island of Chalki and the beautiful islands of Karpathos and Kasos.

Charter flights from most European countries fly direct to both Kos and Rhodes making them a great starting point for your next Aegean adventure!

The Sporades are the hidden gem on the Greek sailing map. Nestled off the eastern coast of central Greece the main islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros are a beautiful combination of green mountains, sandy and pebble beaches and deep blue seas. Nature plays a staring role here, with the National Marine Park at Alonissos being a significant refuge for the Monachus Monachus or Mediterranean seal.

Sailing conditions in the Sporades are relatively mild, although winds can shift between the day and night requiring some care when mooring. Distances between islands are short allowing a lot of fun to be packed into a week long charter.

We have two charter bases servicing the Sporades, a base on the island of Skiathos where most European charter flights arrive and another on the mainland city of Volos. Volos is a convenient starting spot for guests arriving by road with their own vehicle and allows exploring of the lovely coastline of the Pagasetic Gulf and Pelion on your way out to the islands – highly recommended!

Bareboat Charters

Tailored for the seasoned sailor, bareboat charters hand the helm over to you, allowing complete freedom to navigate the Greek seas at your own pace. Your sailing party must have at least one licensed skipper and one experienced crew member at a minimum to be able to rent our yachts as bareboats.

If you have some sailing experience but do not hold a valid license then a bareboat charter is not (yet) for you and your best option is a skippered charter where our friendly captains will give you a helping hand. If you are an experienced sailor and have no concerns about the challenges of wind conditions, navigation and docking then we invite you to read more about our bareboat charters here and contact us with any questions you may have.

Skippered Charters

Our skippered charters are the perfect blend of guidance and freedom, designed for those who have some sailing experience, are eager to learn or just want to relax and let a professional do the hard work. With an Istion skipper at your side, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with their expert navigation and docking skills while still playing an active role in your sailing adventure.

It's an educational and exhilarating experience where you can hone your sailing skills, participate in manoeuvring the yacht, and even take the helm under the watchful eye of your skipper. It is an amazing experience for everyone and kids in particular have a great time learning about sailing and playing little captain for a week.

Our skippered charters always start off with a briefing between you and your skipper so you can learn about the area you are going to sail and the islands you may want to visit. Our skippers know the Greek seas inside out and based on your preferences they will suggest recommended itineraries to follow, which islands to visit and what hidden beaches to swim at.

If you are planning your first sailing holiday in Greece, you are in the very best hands with Istion's professional skippers by your side. Read more about our skippered charters here, or just get in touch to start planning your perfect sailing holiday in Greece.

Fully Crewed Charters

For those of you that want to indulge in the epitome of maritime luxury, our crewed charters promise a carefree and opulent experience in Greece. This option is perfect for those who wish to sit back, relax, and soak in the Mediterranean sun while every detail is taken care of by our professional crew. From expert navigation to gourmet meals, and from personalized itineraries to attentive service, every aspect of your voyage is meticulously curated to ensure unparalleled comfort and elegance.

Crewed charters are available on a range of our top end sailing yachts and catamarans, and for those that want the thrum of an engine beneath their feet and to make a grand entrance wherever they go our exclusive motor yachts are waiting for you to step aboard. A crewed charter with Istion isn't just a holiday; it's an all-inclusive experience where you are the honoured guest and the Greek Isles your exclusive playground. Discover more about our fully crewed dream vacations here.

Sailing Yachts

Sailing yachts are perfect for those who love the classic feeling of sailing. Designed to be easy to handle, they smoothly glide through the water and let you enjoy the natural beauty of the Greek seas. They're a bit slower than other boats, and they lean to one side when the wind blows, which is all part of the classic sailing adventure. Their charming appearance and comfortable ride make them ideal for those who want to experience traditional sailing in a relaxed and eco-friendly way.

Sailing yachts are also the most budget friendly option for a sailing holiday in Greece. Our smaller yachts with three cabins and space for up to six guests (or eight if two sleep in the main cabin) can be rented for as little as roughly 1200 Euros a week in the low season. Costs for larger yachts with up to 6 cabins and space for up to 12 guests rise to approximately 10.000 Euros a week in the high season.

At Istion, we proudly offer a wide selection of the latest models as well as impeccably maintained older sailing yachts from Jeanneau, Beneteau, Bavaria, Sun Odyssey, Hanse and other top shipyards. Whether you're planning a cozy trip for a small group or a grand sailing adventure for a larger party, we have the right yacht to suit your needs.

Catamarans

Catamarans are the choice for those who want lots of space and a stable, comfortable trip. With their two-hull design, they don't rock as much as sailing yachts, which is great if you're new to sailing or easily feel seasick. You can also get closer to the beach with a catamaran, as they don't sit very deep in the water. Catamarans offer a smooth and spacious experience, making for a relaxing and comfortable sailing holiday and are a very popular choice for first time sailors in Greece.

For families and larger groups, the bigger cabins and more room to move around on a catamaran make them a good fit for your holiday. The double hull layout means two families can easily sail together while each having their own 'private space' on either side of the main deck. Catamarans also tend to have one washroom per cabin, a feature all parents with teenage kids appreciate.

The comfort and space offered in a catamaran puts them in a higher budget bracket than our monohull sailing yachts. Our smallest catamarans with four cabins and room for up to 10 guests start at roughly 2100 Euros per week in low season. Our top of the line models can range up to 16.000 Euros plus in the middle of the high season.

We are proud to have one of the largest fleets of catamarans in Greece with brand new models from Lagoon, Bali and Fountaine Pajot among others. We invite you to browse all our catamarans and contact us for any guidance you need to help make your sailing adventure in Greece perfect in every way.

Motor Yachts

Motor yachts are all about luxury and speed. They have multiple levels with lots of space, including big bedrooms and expansive living areas. These boats move quickly, powered by strong engines, so they're great if you want to explore a lot of places fast and make an impressive entrance wherever you go.

Our motor yachts are all modern, with plush interiors and all the latest features for entertainment and entertaining. However, they do use more fuel and require a professional captain and crew, so there's a higher cost for this kind of luxury and speed. If you're looking for a high-end and fast-paced trip with all the modern comforts, motor yachts are the way to go.