A Greece yacht charter promises one of the most magical experiences of anywhere in the Mediterranean. With more shoreline than anywhere else in Europe and around 6,000 islands to explore, Greece offers endless opportunities for discovery on your next superyacht charter. Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun in Mykonos, a romantic getaway in Santorini or peace and quiet in the Ionian Islands, a yacht rental in Greece will fulfil every desire.
If you're considering renting a luxury yacht in Greece, you’re in good company. This popular yachting hotspot is thought to be the original home of modern yacht charter, and there are few destinations on earth that are so perfect for exploring by boat!
- Variety of islands
The sheer number of Greek islands means there’s countless itineraries and plenty of destinations to fall in love with, and you can keep coming back time and time again.
- Quiet bays, secluded anchorages and isolated beaches
There’s no shortage of peaceful spots in Greece, meaning you can escape the crowds and you don’t always need to dock in port.
- Incredible culture and history
The history of ancient Greece is one of the most fascinating in all of western civilization, and its culture is still very prominent today across Greece today. You can expect to see many temples, statues, settlements and sights across the Greek shores.
- Excellent dive sites
Wreck sites, coral reefs and natural underwater caves create ample opportunities for scuba diving (and snorkelling, in some cases).
- Thriving food scene
With an abundance of ingredients on its doorstep, Greek cuisine is among the most beloved in the world and you can expect nothing but the best on your next yacht charter vacation.
- More coastline than anywhere else in Europe
In fact, Greece has more coastline than almost any other country in the world, and offers 6,000 islands (277 of which are inhabited).
- Stunning scenery
Everywhere you cruise, you’ll be awed by the spectacular scenery of Greece. From pine-coated hills and dramatic chalky cliffs to tiny islands rising up from the sea, Greece is steeped in natural beauty.
The best Greek yacht charters are generally structured into the five major island chains and two peninsulas. Each of these Greek charter destinations has its own unique charm and character.
Cyclades Islands (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos)
Best for: buzzy restaurants and beach clubs, luxury shopping, iconic sights, fine dining
Saronic Islands (Hydra, Spetses, Aegina, Poros)
Best for: charming towns, secluded beaches, cycling and hiking trails, authentic dining
Dodecanese Islands (Rhodes, Kos, Simi)
Best for: cultural attractions, ancient towns, quiet anchorages, swimming and snorkelling
Ionian Islands (Corfu, Zakynthos, (Zante), Ithaca, Kefalonia)
Best for: beautiful beaches, short-hop sailing, scuba diving, nightlife
Sporades Islands (Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros)
Best for: peace and quiet, unspoilt nature, pristine beaches
Peloponnese Region (Corinth, Patras, Kalamata, Nafplion,)
Best for: pretty towns, ancient culture, beautiful beaches, calm moorings
Halkidiki Region (Kassandreia, Sani)
Best for: cultural sights, untouched beaches, swimming and snorkelling
Mykonos yacht charters have attracted well-heeled guests time after time with the island's sugar-cubed villages combined with cosmopolitan allure. Mykonos' main attraction is undeniably its vibrant nightlife; amid its myriad seafront bars and clubs, partygoers dance till dawn under rose-gold skies. But this is not the island's only appeal.
Wander around the enchanting vividly-colored houses of Little Venice as the sun sets; savor a candlelit meal at one of its many fine-dining options (such as Nobu); and discover some of the magnificent bays such as Ornos. Of course, there are also a vast array of beaches to bronze on: from the iconic Paradise Beach to the hip and happening Psarou or the more tranquil Agios Sostis.
A Vouliagmeni yacht charter is highly exclusive, with the idyllic coastal town being a popular superyacht haven for vacations beginning or ending in Athens. Located 13 miles southeast of the capital, yacht charter guests can moor here with ease at its peaceful bay. It's an absolute must whilst you are here to take a dip in the emerald-hued waters of the lake, hugged by soaring cliffs and gently warmed by thermal springs. For the more adventurous, be sure to make the most of the bountiful underwater caves.
A Santorini yacht charter is a firm favorite amongst discerning travelers who fall in love with its endless, dramatic beauty at every turn. Dappled with whitewashed cottages and cerulean-hued domed churches tumbling down the hillsides of Oia to and up to the capital of Firá, guests have no shortage of backdrops for sunset tipples or sights to gaze at. Visiting the world-famous Red beach in nearby Akrotiri village whilst you are here is also a must.
Santorini is also superbly located for cruising towards the crystalline shores of Magganari beach on Ios island: an ideal location for snorkeling or taking out the toys.
Jetsetters have long adored Hydra for yacht charters, largely owing to its heavenly seascapes. The sheltered island enthralls guests onshore, who feel as if they have stepped into a bygone era: no cars roam around, just donkeys who hobble around its picture-perfect, labyrinthine streets and harbor. Soaring escarpments set the scene for sun-drenched meals under a lingering sun, with seafood served so fresh that it's practically dripping straight from the water. Admire also the innumerable secret coves and bays to be found here, many of which can be explored on your tenders.
The luminous, volcanic island of Milos and its fabulously turquoise bays are a superyacht favorite, yet remain largely undiscovered to the wider public. But why do the elite cruise towards its shores? For the staggeringly beautiful beaches (more than 70 of them, in fact) perfect for bringing out the water toys.
The spellbinding Kleftiko bay, the geothermal Paliochori beach, and the surreal charms of Sarakiniko beach (with its moon-like surfaces flecked by countless caves) are popular spots here. Abound with ancient ruins, make sure you also pay a visit to the Catacombs of Milos near the village of Tripiti, and the achingly pretty hilltop Venetian Castle of Milos.
A Greece yacht rental vacation offers an incredible selection of things to see and do. Here is our small selection of some of the most outstanding:
Shipwreck Beach: (Navagio Beach) a beach in Zante that's best accessed by boat and is famous for the large shipwreck lying on the sand.
Nammos: the most iconic beach club in Greece.
The Portara of Naxos: a doorlike arch that once formed the Temple of Apollo on the island of Naxos.
Cavo Tagoo: one of the most photographed hotels in Greece, carved into the caves on the hills of Mykonos.
The Terrace of Lions: a walkway on the island of Delos that's lined by statues of lions.
The Corinth Canal: a long stretch of water that cuts through the mainland in Corinth.
Flyaway Creative: the hottest restaurant in Santorini.
Given its staggering popularity, a better question might be: who doesn't? For culture vultures, Greece is packed with majestic archeological ruins and attractions, for sun-worshippers, Greece is home to some of the world's most outstanding beaches that can be enjoyed by couples and families alike, and for hedonists, party havens like Mykonos are buzzing with famous nightclubs and bars.
Greece's location at the confluence of the East and West, as well as its Roman and Ottoman occupations, have had a huge cultural and historical impact that can be still felt today in terms of cuisine and architecture.
Greeks are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture. Marvelous regional traditions permeate mainland Greece and the Greek islands, ranging from religion to music, language to food and even wine, making a Greek yacht charter a truly thrilling experience.
Greece has a very diverse yacht charter market, so you can be sure to find the perfect yacht for you and your charter party. There’s a wide variety of motor yachts for charter, as well as sailing yachts and traditional Turkish gulets.
However, be aware that all yachts wishing to begin or end a yacht charter in Greece must be in possession of a valid Greek charter license. Speak to a yacht charter broker for more information.
If you’re unsure about the type of yacht you’d like to charter, here are some things to consider first.
For those looking to rent a motor yacht in Greece, you’ll find a wide range to choose from.
The most common type of motor yacht you can hire in Greece is a yacht with a planing hull. Stylish, sporty and speedy, they’re great for zipping between islands quickly and ensuring you get the most out of your itinerary. If you’re looking to spend most of your time on land or splashing in the sea, a yacht with a planing hull is the top choice for you.
You’ll also find a superb selection of displacement and semi-displacement superyachts at your disposal (pictured above). These are typically larger and more stable at anchor, with more onboard space for facilities and amenities such as gyms, movie theaters and wellness suites. They’re ideal if you’re chartering with a large group, particularly one that includes children.
Greece is a playground for sailing yacht rentals, with plenty of yachts available throughout summer. A combination of light winds, clear skies and plenty of anchorages create great sailing conditions across all the islands.
The most popular destinations for sailing charters are typically Corfu, Kefalonia, and the Sporades Islands. Other destinations are equally desirable, including the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands- but be aware that these areas typically encounter more winds. This means it might be more challenging to drop anchor, and you will have to consider spending more nights in port.
A gulet is a traditionally Turkish-built sailing yacht made out of wood. They are usually two or three-masted and are typically much larger than your average sailing yacht. Luxury gulet yacht charters in Greece are very appealing alternatives to both sailing and motor yacht charter. While they usually rely on their motor underway, they are very fuel-efficient and don't require a lot of fuel to get from point A to point B. They have displacement hulls which make them very stable and seaworthy, and typically offer lots of volume and open-plan living spaces.
Greek gulet yachts also tend to be cheaper than other types of charter as they sometimes offer all-inclusive or semi-inclusive packages, meaning you don’t need to worry about additional expenses such as food and drink. They also normally include a standard number of cruising hours per day. Plus, their crew are often local to the region that they cruise in, meaning they can double as tour guides and have a lot of expertise and valuable insight into the area.
But be aware- many gulets are Turkish-flagged, meaning they will need to hold a Greek charter license to start or finish a charter in Greece.
The price of a Greece yacht charter vacation varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of yacht, the age of the yacht, and the month in which you choose to charter.
- A Greece motor yacht rental can range from $33,000 to $1.8m per week plus expenses
- A sailing yacht charter in Greece averages from $27,200 to $559k weekly plus expenses
In Greece, VAT on a yacht charter is charged at 24% and is based on the value of the yacht. However, this figure can be reduced if the yacht meets specific criteria.
The three tax brackets are as follows;
- VAT at full 24%: applies to charters that take place in Greek waters without exiting to non-EU or International waters (Staying within the six nautical miles limit)
- VAT at 24%: with a deduction option for time spent outside of EU waters or in international waters.
- Discounted at 50% (VAT 12%):for yachts that spend a minimum of 60 % of charter time/days outside of territorial waters. (Territorial waters are considered: six nautical miles from the mainland and six nautical miles from the territorial waters of an island). This also applies to yachts charters commencing outside EU territory and that remain outside for more than 60% of the chartered days and end their charter in Greece.
The best time for Greek yacht rentals is between July and August, but warm weather typically extends well into September and even May in certain destinations. The peak of the charter season is usually July, although August historically has the hottest temperatures.
Between June and August, you can expect highs of 85 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26 - 32 degrees Celsius) in Athens, with even hotter temperatures recorded further south.
By far the most common embarkation point for a Greece yacht rental vacation is Athens. Around 90% of the Greek charter fleet has a homeport in Athens, and there are numerous luxury marinas that cater to superyachts.
However, for those looking to charter around the Ionian Islands in destinations like Corfu, Cephalonia and Zakynthos, you may wish to begin your charter closer to your desired destination.
It is possible to begin or end your charter elsewhere in Greece. However, you may have to consider the cost of repositioning as the fleet is mostly based out of Athens.
If you want to meet the yacht elsewhere – for example, Santorini, Mykonos – you can expect to pay a hefty repositioning fee. It’s generally more economical to begin your Greek yacht charter in Athens and spend the day cruising to your desired start point, enjoying your yacht to the fullest, and soaking up the scenery as you travel underway.
Around the main yachting hubs of Greece, you’ll find plenty of marinas that cater to a variety of yachts of different sizes. However, be aware that Greece doesn’t have as many big marinas as destinations such as the South of France or Italy, and demand for slips can be very high in peak season.
- Zea Marina: located in Piraeus, Athens, which is the largest seaport in Greece and one of the largest harbors in all of Europe. It's a hive of activity, offering 670 slips up to 150m.
- Athens Marina: revered marina, accommodating 130 slips measuring up to 130m. Provides plenty of amenities on land, including a helipad service.
- Flisvos Marina: award-winning and perfect for starting and ending a charter. Located 6km from Athens city center, with a 303 slip capacity (up to 70m). Well-equipped facilities and high-end restaurants at your disposal when you dock here.
- Kos Marina: close to the enchanting island's old harbor, this marina has a capacity for up to 250 slips with a maximum length of 80m. Provides an excellent array of facilities and dining options.
- Rhodes Marina: world-class marina complete with a stunning backdrop. Can accommodate a staggering 382 yachts with a maximum length of 120m.
Beginning or ending your yacht charter in Athens, one of the most exciting cities in the world, is a popular choice. Be sure to explore this historic destination in all its glory before you leave.
Greece is one of the most popular charter destinations in the Mediterranean. Therefore, advanced booking (three to six months ahead) is absolutely essential in order to secure your dream yacht on your preferred dates in the perfect destination.
When it comes to Greece yacht rentals, many charterers are repeat clients; meaning they’ve already booked the yacht once, fallen in love with the yacht and its crew, and chosen to return again to explore a new destination. This means that competition for yachts is fierce and it’s even more crucial to kickstart the booking process early.
Don’t forget that your choice of yachts in Greece is comparatively smaller than Italy or the South of France since all yachts beginning or ending a charter yacht in Greece must have a Greek charter license.
That said, it is possible for a foreign-flagged yacht to charter in Greece so long as the charter begins and ends in international waters, such as Italy and Albania for yacht charters around the Ionian Islands or Turkey for charters around the Aegean islands.
Start Planning - Speak with a Charter Expert
Our yacht charter experts will:
- Discuss your vacation plans
- Check availability & shortlist
- Negotiate booking & prepare
- Advise how to mitigate the
impact of COVID-19
Find me a Broker