When you feel like having the time of your life cruising in Europe, Greece is probably the best country to try out. It is surrounded by the Aegean Sea to the east, Ionian Sea to the west, and the Cretan and Mediterranean seas to the south of its mainland. Also, Greece is the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean basin, as well as the 11th longest coastline in the world.
The length of coastline in Greece is 13,676 km (or 8,498 miles), with the country endowed with lots of islands, of which 227 are inhabited.
Coasts to Sail
Due to its large coastline, the islands, bays and harbours in Greece are almost impossible to exhaust. However, some of the best places to try sailing as a new comer include the Ionian Islands, Saronic islands, Sporades islands, Cyclades islands and the Dodecanese. These various regions have different feel and offer different experiences to sailors too. For example, if you want a smooth and chill sail, then the Ionian islands are probably the best for you. However, if you want something more nerve crackling and thrilling, the Cyclades would be perfect.
Perfect Weather for Sailing?
The weather conditions for sailing in Greece are different and specific for each location. The Ionian islands are “peace loving” and generall have smooth seas, with easy and gentle winds. Islands like the Cyclades or the Dodecanese are more “daring”, with fiercer winds and water.
Chartering a yacht
The cost of hiring a yacht in Greece is dependent on the boat length in feet, crew members and the skipper himself. Prices for 70-ft long boat charter are generally around $680.
Requirements for sailing
Before your yacht can set sail, you must ensure that your skipper meets all the requirements in that coastal region. Basic requirements include the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or an International Proficiency Certificate (IPC).
Also, it is important to confirm that you get the permission to use that vessel, as well as other documents by the Customs services for sea protection and other tax fees.
Keeping an eye for the Weather
If your skipper is experienced enough, he /she should know how to check local forecasts and keep up with latest updates. Also, he should have contact with the local authorities for support and help in case of emergencies.
Safe and healthy Practices while at Sea
Avoid the use of plastic containers while sailing and if you have to use them at all, avoid disposing them in the sea
Ensure that all valuables are kept in unsuspecting areas and in small bits and stashes.
There should be no excuse whatsoever for not having the latest forecasts, to be able to plan effectively for a storm, although that is uncommon these days. Ensure the liferaft on deck is secure and its painter attached, and that it is accessible in case of emergencies.
Make sure all cockpit drains are working.