A luxury yacht charter vacation in Greece promises one of the most magical experiences of anywhere in the Mediterranean. With more shoreline than anywhere else in Europe and around 6,000 Greek islands to explore, this destination 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 Greece yacht charter will fulfill every desire.
If you're considering renting a crewed 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!
The best yacht charter spots of Greece are generally structured into the five major island chains and two peninsulas. Each of these cruising grounds 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
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 your yacht charter broker for more information, or scroll down to take a look at our ‘Greek charter license explained’ section.
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, 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 charters, 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 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.
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.
|Average Length||Average Low Season *||Average High Season *|
|< 82ft (< 25m)||$31,129||$35,423|
|83ft - 99ft (26m - 30m)||$43,231||$47,435|
|100ft - 134ft (31m - 40m)||$64,465||$76,320|
|135ft - 164ft (41m - 50m)||$144,636||$167,103|
|165ft - 199ft (51m - 60m)||$229,542||$288,616|
|200ft - 234ft (61m - 70m)||$345,718||$431,449|
|235ft - 264ft (71m - 80m)||$697,087||$759,054|
|265ft - 294ft (81m- 90m)||$775,600||$791,750|
|295ft + (91m +)||$792,531||$964,250|
* All prices are quoted per week plus expenses.
|Average Length||Average Low Season*||Average High Season*|
|66ft - 99ft (21m - 30m)||$24,619||$26,960|
|100ft - 134ft (31m - 40m)||$39,274||$49,237|
|135ft - 164ft (41m - 50m)||$71,938||$96,733|
|165ft - 199ft (51m - 60m)||$163,125||$208,365|
|200ft - 230ft (61m - 70m)||$233,812||$305,800|
|230ft + (71m +)||$560,062||$590,124|
* All prices are quoted per week 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;
Chartering a yacht was far less constrained until 2017, when new laws came into practice to enforce tighter laws around yacht charters in Greece.
The Greek charter license was introduced in 2018 in a bid to boost the charter market in Greece by offering charter yachts increased flexibility and VAT exemptions. Foreign-flagged yachts must have a Greek charter license if they wish to start or end a yacht charter in Greek waters.
By far the most common embarkation point for a Greece yacht charter 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 and megayachts.
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 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.
The best time to visit Greece on a yacht charter 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.
Greece is one of the hottest destinations in the Mediterranean, and you can expect consistently excellent temperatures throughout the summer months.
Since the Greek islands are so spread out, there are some variations between island chains; but as a general rule of thumb, the further south you travel, the warmer the air temperature will be.
Summer in Greece usually experiences very low levels of precipitation, but be aware that all Mediterranean countries sometimes encounter summer storms, which can bring heavy rain and wind.
Greece generally enjoys long hours of sunshine- over 14 hours per day on some islands. As summer wears on, the sea temperature increases as well. The warmest sea water temperatures in Greece are usually recorded in the Aegean islands of Kos and Rhodes, as well as around the Cyclades during peak season.
Winds are great for those hiring a sailing yacht, but you don’t want winds that are so strong they become uncomfortable. Certain regions of Greece are more affected by wind, and this can potentially impact your charter vacation.
The best island chains for mooring and anchoring are the Ionian islands, the Sporades, the Dodecanese and the Aegean islands.
It can be slightly more challenging to moor and anchor in the Cyclades as there are fewer bays that offer shelter and protection. However, there are places to be found, with mooring balls and landing stages scattering throughout the islands.
Read more: 8 Days Exploring The Greek Islands
Greece is well-connected to the rest of the world by air, and also caters to private flights. Many of the islands have their own airports which you can fly into either privately or commercially.
Airports which offer domestic, chartered and private flights and some international flights include Mykonos, Santorini and Zakynthos.
Greece is one of the most popular charter destinations in the Mediterranean. Therefore, advanced booking is absolutely essential in order to secure your dream yacht on your preferred dates in the perfect destination.
In Greece, 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 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.
Your broker will need ample time to finalize the details and tailor an itinerary to suit you and your charter party. We recommend booking three to six months in advance of your intended start date.
The Meltemi wind in the Cyclades and Southern Aegean comes and goes in phases, so you won’t necessarily encounter it on your vacation. But if you do, it tends to be stronger in the afternoons, but dies down in the evenings and is not usually a hindrance in the morning.
Generally speaking, the Ionian Islands experience the least wind in Greece, which is worth keeping in mind when deciding on where you want to spend the majority of your time during a Greece yacht charter and allowing for maximum comfort.
Speak to your broker for more information about the beginning and ending a Greece yacht charter in Turkey. Be aware that you will need to show passports and other valid paperwork every time you disembark in a new port- even if you have already visited in the days prior as part of the same itinerary.
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 sunsets; 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 at: from the iconic Paradise Beach to the hip and happening Psarou or the more tranquil Agios Sostis.
This idyllic coastal town is highly exclusive, and 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.
Many Greece yacht charters or Eastern Mediterranean yacht charters venture further afield to the ultramarine shores of Turkey. Dazzling guests with its bountiful sheltered bays, shimmering waters and captivatingly rich cultural heritage, the two destinations make a wonderful combined charter itinerary.
The most popular area of Turkey that Greece charters cruise towards is the spectacular Turkish Riviera, which extends across the Aegean and Mediterranean seas between the two countries. Typically commencing from the Dodecanese Islands (namely Kos, Rhodes or Symi), highlights in this region include:
However, keep in mind that additional VAT and fees may apply and you will need to provide documentation if going outside of Greek waters.
To find out more about possible yacht charter routes for Greece and beyond please contact your yacht charter broker.
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.
Our wide variety of charter itineraries around Greece have been hand-picked by a team of brokers and yachting experts to help you get the most from your next superyacht vacation.
Once you’ve chosen your dream island chain or region, it’s time to start creating your perfect itinerary.
From the Aegean islands to the Cyclades, every pocket of Greece offers so much to see, do, discover and experience.
To get the most out of your charter, be sure to choose an itinerary that covers between 6-8 days. This will give you ample time to spend enjoying on-shore excursions as well as down time on deck.
If you’re looking to explore more than one region, we recommended an itinerary that covers more than a week. Your itinerary can incorporate overnight cruises to ensure you get the most out your days, and you can easily finish your charter in a different destination to where you began.
Many people chartering in Greece choose to begin or end in Turkey. The Turkish coastlines are renowned for their incredible beauty and abundance of little bays, so be sure to bear this mind when browsing our itineraries.
Remember, all of our itineraries can be used as templates, and your broker will be able to tailor them to create bespoke charter experiences that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Historical sites, secluded beaches, short-hop sailing, cultural attractions, beautiful scenery
When to Go:
June - September
Start Planning - Speak with a Charter Expert
Our charter experts will:
Most itineraries for yachts around Greece begin in Athens because around 90% of the charter fleet in Greece has a homeport in Athens. Therefore, the yachts are usually based in the country’s capital, and you will most likely have to pay a repositioning fee if you’d like to begin elsewhere in Greece.
A Greek yacht charter license is a special permit that allows yachts to begin and end a yacht charter in Greece. Not all yachts hold a Greek charter license, so you will need to speak to your charter broker for more information about starting and finishing a charter in Greek waters.
You could start a yacht charter in Mykonos, but you will most likely have to pay a hefty repositioning fee as most yachts have their homeport in Athens. To get the most out of your yacht charter, it’s usually best to begin in Athens and spend the night underway to reach Mykonos.
The most popular destinations for sailing vacations in Greece are the Ionian Islands. However, great sailing conditions exist across the country, and other popular hotspots include the Dodecanese Islands, the Sporades Islands and the Saronic Islands.
The standard Value Added Tax (VAT) is 24%, and it is calculated based on the value of the yacht. The VAT can be reduced in certain circumstances; read our guide above.
The Cyclades Islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos are great for exploring on a luxury yacht charter during summer. The best times to visit are between June and September when you can expect long days and warm sea temperatures. The beach clubs of Mykonos will be in full swing, and the island of Santorini will be alive with activity.
As Featured In
Yachts in your shortlist