Sailing Holidays

Yacht Charter in the Aegean

Explore the sun-baked Cyclades islands with their dazzling whitewashed hilltop villages on a sailing holiday in the Aegean.

Sailing off Santorini in Greece

View our sailing logThe Cyclades in the central Aegean Sea are the archetypal Greek islands, with charming white washed houses, windmills, churches with bright blue domes, ancient ruins and small tavernas with traditional food and wine.

On a yacht charter holiday you can visit Paros and Naxos, popular tourist islands with sandy beaches and a lively nightlife. Santorini (Thira) has one of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece as the island is the exposed rim of a submerged volcanic crater. As a contrast, Kea, Sikinos, Kithnos, Serifos, Sifnos and Amorgos are much simpler with unspoilt small fishing harbours and protected anchorages - charming islands to discover and still very genuine places to visit on your sailing holiday.

This sailing holiday is great for more experienced sailors who want plenty of wind, longer passages and more challenging sailing itineraries. Distances between the islands in the Aegean are longer so you will spend much of the day sailing. Great sailing for serious sailors!

To book your next sailing holiday in Greece, give us a call or fill out the Quick Quote Form.

Sailing conditions

A sailing holiday in the Aegean will suit more experienced skippers as the passages between the islands can be exposed. In general the sailing conditions are more demanding than in other areas of Greece.

The best times to sail in the Aegean are May/June and September/October when you are less likely to be affected by the prevailing meltemi wind from the north which blows strongest in July and August at Force 5-6 and may reach Force 7-8. The meltemi can blow for 1 day or it can blow for 1 week continuously. In the Spring and Autumn the wind strength is less, around Force 3-4. Summer temperatures reach  25-27ºC.

Sailing area

There are many sailing itinerary options available in the Aegean so you can plan your itinerary to best suit your sailing experience and the weather forecast. Your itinerary in this area must be flexible to cope with wind conditions. The prevailing wind is northerly or north-easterly so keep an extra day or so in hand to allow for adverse weather on the return leg. Distances between the islands in the Aegean are longer so you may spend much of the day sailing.

Start your bareboat yacht charter holiday from Lavrion, close to Athens airport, and sail south to the Cyclades islands of Kithnos, Sifnos and Paros. Return via the islands of Serifos and Kea. On a 2-week yacht charter, if the winds are favourable, more experienced sailors will want to plan a sailing holiday to head further south as far as Ios and the dramatic island of Santorini (Thira).

Or start your yacht charter at Paros or Mykonos in the centre of the Aegean for easy access to the Cyclades islands. See our suggested sailing itineraries below.

Charter yachts

We offer high specification Bavaria yachts from Olympic Yachts based in Lavrion Harbour, easily accessed from Athens airport. Charters start and finish on Saturdays. We can also offer bareboat charter yachts from several other charter fleets in Lavrion so we are sure to have the perfect charter yacht for your next sailing holiday in the Aegean.

Kiriacoulis run one of the largest fleets of bareboat charter yachts in the Mediterranean, and have charter yachts at bases all around Greece including Paros and Mykonos. These yacht charters can start and finish any day of the week, giving you total flexibility over your sailing holiday dates. Not all yacht models are available in every base in Greece.

Travel arrangements

For yacht charters starting in Lavrion, fly to Athens. British Airways, Aegean Airlines & Olympic Airlines operate flights from Heathrow to Athens. easyJet operate flights from Gatwick. Transfer time to Lavrion 40 minutes. With daily flights you can add on a few days for a city break in Athens before or after your yacht charter.

Paros is a popular holiday island but has no direct flights from the UK. the yachts are moored next to the ferry terminal from Athens. Although there are direct flights to Mykonos, the newly constructed Mykonos marina is unfinished and has no facilities. For yacht charters starting in Paros, fly to Athens. Olympic & Aegean Airlines have a 30 minute flight from Athens to Paros or catch the ferry from Pireaus Port in Athens to Paros which runs daily and takes 4-5 hours. easyJet have direct flights to Mykonos from Gatwick on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

DAY 1 : Embark at Lavrion. Sail to Sounion Point (10nm). The photogenic temple ruins are worth a visit.
DAY 2 : Kithnos (35nm) island charms visitors with its authentic atmosphere. The island is barren and rocky and the rugged coastline has numerous coves and beaches. Anchor in Ormos Kolona (Sand Bar Bay) or moor in Merikha, the main harbour.
DAY 3 : Sifnos (25nm) is a verdant island, full of olive trees, with traditional whitewashed houses, blue sea and bright red bougainvillea. Choose between Kamares, the main harbour or Faros, an attractive bay in the south-east.
DAY 4 : Paros (28nm) is one of the most popular Greek islands due to its sandy beaches, traditional villages with narrow paved alleys and plenty of tavernas. The main harbour is Parikia but Naoussa is also a lovely anchorage with a picture-postcard town. 
DAY 5 : Serifos (32nm) has remained its traditional character with an unspoilt coastline and beautiful beaches. Moor in Lavadhi harbour or anchor in Ormos Koutala to the south.
DAY 6 : Kea (27nm) lies to the south of Lavrion and is famed for its important archaeological sites, locations of unique natural beauty, wonderful beaches and picturesque villages. Ayios Nikolas offers a choice of anchorages within the bay.
DAY 7 : Return to Lavrion (16nm).

DAY 1 : Embark at Paroika, the main harbour on Paros.
DAY 2 : Folegrandos (30nm) is an enchanting little island in the Cyclades, with an authentic character and spectacular landscape. Ther main harbour of Karavostasi is a traditional Greek fishing harbour. 
DAY 3 : Santorini (21nm) (also called Thira) was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world and what remains today is a submerged volcano and a caldera. Moor in the new marina and visit the stunning town of Thira overlooking the volcano crater to enjoy the sunset and local wine.
DAY 4 : Ios (15nm) is a "party island" famed for its nightlife but the harbour front is not noisy - most of the action is in the town, a steep walk up the hill. Apart from fun, the island has many beautiful beaches and peaceful anchorages. 
DAY 5 : Naxos (40m) is the largest of the Cyclades islands with many sandy beaches. Naxos Town is the capital and main harbour and has a lovely waterfront with elegant Venetian architecture. 
DAY 6 : Naoussa, Paros (28nm). Paros is one of the most popular islands with lovely sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, traditional villages with whitewashed houses in narrow paved alleys contrasted with the many colourful bougainvilleas. Naoussa is a lovely anchorage with a cosmopolitan town and plenty of tavernas.
DAY 7 : Return to Paroika (6nm).

DAY 1 : Embark at Mykonos in the new marina.
DAY 2 : Naxos (21nm) is the largest of the Cyclades islands with many sandy beaches. Naxos Town is the capital and main harbour and has a lovely waterfront with elegant Venetian architecture. 
DAY 3 : Amorgos (35nm) is a mountainous island whose trademark is the beautiful monastery of Hozoviotissa which is wedged into a huge precipice at 300m from the sea. Katapola’s waterfront is lined with cafes, tavernas and moorings for fishing boats and visiting yachts.
DAY 4 : Schinousa (15nm) is an escape from the tourist trail.  The beautiful harbour at Mersini is considered one of the best havens for anchoring in the Aegean Sea. Visit the beaches and bays on nearby Koufonisi.
DAY 5 : Ios (18nm) is a "party island" famed for its nightlife but the harbour front is not noisy - most of the action is in the town, a steep walk up the hill. Apart from fun, the island has many beautiful beaches and peaceful anchorages.
DAY 6 : Paros (25nm) is one of the most popular islands with lovely sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, traditional villages with whitewashed houses in narrow paved alleys contrasted with the many colourful bougainvilleas. Paroika is the main harbour with plenty of tavernas.
DAY 7 : Return to Mykonos (27nm).

planning
25% OFF in the Aegean

25% OFF in the Aegean

Book any Kiriacoulis yacht from Paros or Mykonos up to 31 Oct and get 25% OFF.

DON'T MISS OUT

ready
40% OFF  Lavrion

40% OFF Lavrion

Discover the archetypical Greek islands of the Aegean with a bareboat charter from Lavrion.
Sail a Bavaria 46 Cruiser (2007) from Lavrion 30 Aug-06 Sep with 40% OFF! NOW just £1555/week. 
This yacht has a popular 4 cabin (3 double and 1 twin) and 2 head layout.

looking
One Way to Lavrion

One Way to Lavrion

Sail a Bavaria 50 cruiser (2006) on a one way charter from Rhodes to Lavrion 23-30 Aug for JUST £2715/week. That’s 30% OFF this super 5 cabin yacht.

HEAD FOR THE BLUE

Prices given below. Click on the yacht names to view yacht layout & specification

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.

FLIGHTS TO ATHENS:
British Airways, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines run flights from Heathrow to Athens, easyJet operates from Gatwick. With daily flights you can add on a few days for a city break in Athens before or after your charter. Transfer time to Lavrion 40 minutes.

FLIGHTS TO PAROS:
Olympic & Aegean have a 30 minute flight from Athens to Paros or the ferry from Pireaus Port in Athens to Paros runs daily and takes 4-5 hours.

FLIGHTS TO MYKONOS:
easyJet have direct flights to Mykonos from Gatwick on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Thomson have direct charter flights from Gatwick and Manchester on Fridays.

To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew.

At present you need an RYA Day Skipper qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for charters in Croatia, Mallorca, Tenerife and Malta.

The RYA ICC will be ever more required by overseas port authorities but if you have skipper experience it is easily obtained in a day from RYA sailing schools in the UK such as Hamilton Sailing or Brixham Sea School

Whether you are an experienced sailor or setting foot on a yacht for the first time, we can offer you a holiday afloat to suit you. We have given all the sailing areas a level with 'Experience Level 1' suitable for less experienced crews and 'Experience Level 3' for the experts.    

This takes into account the wind strength, tidal range and currents, distances between stops and ease of mooring. Of course even experts may choose to sail in Level 1 areas as they still offer stunning scenery and great sailing.

Experience Level 1: Ionian

Generally light winds Force 2-4, line of sight navigation, shorter sailing distances under 20nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 1 week or 100nm as skipper

Experience Level 2: Saronic Gulf & Sporades

Stronger winds up to Force 3-5 with some longer passages up to 30nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 2 weeks or 200nm as skipper

Experience Level 3: Aegean & Dodecanese

Stronger winds up to Force 4-7 which can lead to bigger seas on long passages between the islands. You will be Coastal Skipper standard with experience to a higher level having sailed at least 4 weeks or 400nm as skipper

Built in 444BC, the Temple of Poseidon stands on the tip of Cape Sounion, overlooking the Aegean Sea, and is a spectacular sight. The ruins bear the engraved name of Romantic poet Lord Byron. According to legend, Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt to his death off the cliff at Cape Sounion, giving his name to the Aegean Sea. Aegeus, anxiously looking out from Sounion, despaired when he saw a black sail on his son Theseus' ship returning from Crete. Theseus had successfully slain the Minotaur, but tragically had forgotten his promise to hoist a white sail.

Santorini (now called Thira) sits on the top of a volcano which erupted in 1500BC. Some believe that this eruption was responsible for the extinction of the Minoan Civilization on Crete and the resulting tsunami drowned the fabled city of Atlantis. With a new marina on the south side of the island it is now easier to visit the island but take the bus into the old town for spectacular views across the crater.

"This has been the best charter we have done to date and would recommend the Odysseus base at Palairos as great place to charter from. This cruising area is excellent, with beautiful little bays dotted all around the place."
Ionian 2013 - J.D.

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