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A lot of visitors have shared their chartering experiences with me and perhaps you as well can help other sailors by reporting your own charter experiences. These reports show that just a few were fully satisfied, and too many were disappointed in their charter companies.
I have to admit, my friends and I have made the same mistakes,
but now we have found those trustworthy charter businesses, with prices that are - surprisingly enough - very competitive. Needless to say that we have enjoyed perfect sailing holidays since. Also see the yacht charters in Croatia page.
Greece & Turkey
Request charter informationNote, that you cannot use the forms if you are related to the travel industry: this free service is for consumers only!If you would like me to help you find those reliable companies and to perhaps prevent you from embarking with known troublesome companies, please
e-mail me or fill out the following form.
Whatever you do, I hope you stay clear of companies
that obviously spend a lot of their budget on marketing instead on service and maintenance! So, to find the best companies for you, please fill out the form below to receive a personal and human response.
If the form doesn't work you can also
Please mention whether you prefer bareboat/skipper, which period and how many weeks, preferred sailing area and with how many persons you plan to sail, etc, etc, so that I can help you better.
You should be aware that not all companies include extras like end cleaning, linen, outboard, etc. in their prices. Also often overlooked is the airport transfer by taxi, which is considerable since the new Athens airport has come into use. Yet, these additional costs can amount to an extra 4% of the total charter fee. Therefore, a good charter company should either point out that your holiday is more expensive than it seems or - even better - simply include these costs in their prices.
An extra anchor or a spinnaker are
not standard inventory and are rarely included in the price. However, some essentials like water, fuel and ice should be provided without an extra fee: more details on my page on yacht charter provisioning.
Bareboat, Flotilla or Crewed Charters?
There are several ways to charter a yacht in Greece or explore the Turkish coasts. First of all, there is bareboat charters, which means that you will have to skipper the yacht yourself and no hired skipper, cook or hostess will be onboard. Note that you require at least two competent crew (in total) before a company can rent you a bareboat. Besides this little obstacle it is of course the most elegant way (no privacy invasions from strangers) to explore Turkey and Greece.
When in doubt of your capabilities or just a little rusty, a flotilla might be a nice compromise. This way you sail along with other boats, yet you are still the captain of your own boat but can turn to an 'admiral' for advice if you want to. Though, you have to go where the rest goes.
You get more freedom of course - although with a stranger on board - with a crewed charter or gulet cruise. These charters vary from just one skipper/instructor onboard to additional cooks, hostesses etc. On the larger yachts you can instead of a full charter also opt for a berth charter or cabin charter, effectively like a cruise, in which you rent just your own cabin.
Report your charter experiences
Many visitors have already shared their charter experiences with me. By taking the time to fill in the following form you will help other yachtsmen finding a reliable and trustworthy charter company. Your report - and any part of it - will be treated strictly confidential and will therefore not be passed on to the corresponding charter companies or any other party.
Thank you for your time !
One way Charters
The most effective way to explore the Greek Islands is to choose a one way charter: by sailing from one charter base to another you will be able to see much more. Also, a one way cruise downwind gives you a longer range and is usually a lot more comfortable than a windward beat.
Yet, when dealing with a dubious charter company, you might have to accept an inferior yacht
when starting from a smaller base. Two other good reasons to start your holiday in Athens are the logistics involved and - more importantly - you and the owner of the charter company will be able to meet each other.
Best to sail with the reliable companies of course, but many of these are not very keen on their yachts ending up downwind of larger bases (read: even further away from Athens). Therefore, one way charters come with an additional fee, but it is definitely worth your money.
During the sailing season the winds blow from the northwest or the northeast in most areas: Corfu to Lefkas, Athens to Syros, Athens to Paros, Kos to Rhodes, etc. are some examples of one-way itineraries.
Finally, Lavrion (on the mainland at the southeast tip of Attica) is often overlooked as a perfect start into the Cyclades.
Again, it is always better to start at a major base like Athens and perhaps Lavrion, Syros or Paros, since the owners of the charter company would very much like to meet you and help you with the additional requests you might have.
The best tips
- Rent your yacht about 8 months in advance : cheaper, more choice, options like one-ways or 10 days still possible.
- Budget tips.
- In two weeks  you will see three times  as much as in one week  ☺
- Charter your yacht with the fleet owner directly, without an agent or middleman.
- Do consider starting out of Athens, despite a half day sailing past the ugly outskirts to the first must-see ports/anchorages. Athens offers 90+% of the charter yachts, better prices, and some of the best yacht charter companies only operate out of Alimos/Kalamaki marina in Athens and not elsewhere. Plus biggest airport...
Our logbook of a one way sailing trip from Athens to Melos via Santorini.
Further reading: Maps and books - Greece and Turkey.
Unique climate data of Greece.
Sailing schools and navigation courses.
Choosing your ideal charter yacht.
Multihulls versus Monohulls.
The sailing season in Greece and Turkey.
Yacht charters guide to Croatia.
Gulet charters Croatia.