Greece is the southernmost country on the Balkan Peninsula and is home to 6,000 beautiful islands. In fact, you’ll find a fifth of her total land area away from the mainland.
A popular tourist destination, the industry is an important part of the country’s economy and upwards of 30 million people visit each year. The majority of holidaymakers travel from within the EU and the UK but domestic tourism also represents a growing proportion.
Getting around Greece
The country is bordered by three seas: to the south lies the Mediterranean, to the east, the Aegean, and to the west is the Ionian. A Yacht charter in Greece is the perfect way to discover her hidden coastal treasures, with so much water to navigate and so many places to visit.
We take a look at some of the best coastal and island destinations for you to add to your nautical Greece itinerary.
The Paxos and it’s diminutive sibling make up the smallest island group in the Ionian. Paxos’ eastern coastline is placid with quiet pebbled beaches while the opposing side is an altogether more dramatic backdrop. Take in the imposing white cliffside vistas and sea stack rock formations before setting foot on any of the tiny islets to the west.
If Santorini has a limited palette, stunning Assos village on the isle of Kefalonia is an explosion of colour. Approach the harbour of pastel-coloured buildings and dine in local tavernas to muster the energy for the hike up to the Venetian castle on the hilltop.
Zakynthos is home to Navagio, one of the most famous beaches, perhaps in the world. Protected on all sides by huge, vertiginous limestone cliffs, it’s accessible only by boat. You’ll no doubt recognise images of the sheltered oasis, sapphire blue waters and soft pale sands which is home to the shipwreck from which the beach gets its name.
Crete has plenty to offer but Koufonissi Island to the southeast is your destination. There’s no longer a regular service from the main island so only those with their own means can get there. You can often have much of the island all to yourself.
Loutro situated on the south coast of Crete, the opposite side of the island to Chania is another special place. This quiet village is, again, only reachable via the sea which means you can visit a picture perfect Cretian fishing community where the only way to get around is by foot – or on donkeyback.
Karpathos is the second largest island in the Dodecanese Island group (after Rhodes), not far from the coast of Turkey. Drop anchor at Amoopi beach and survey the rock formations in the southeast.
Rhodes is the fourth largest of the Greek islands and is utterly steeped in history. The harbour is the site of where one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Colossus once stood. After visiting the old town in the north, we recommend journeying south to the island peninsula of Prasonisi.
Kos, in the same island chain, is rarely absent from Greek holiday tours but there are still lesser-known spots that make it a worthwhile sojourn. Position yourself close to Agios Stefanos Beach in the KolposKefalou bay and explore the small islet of Kastri and its dinky church, a short distance from the shore.
The Santorini caldera are a small group of mostly submerged islands, nestled among the Greek Cyclades. Famed for its lazuli topped, bright white buildings contrasting against cloudless skies, it’s an increasingly popular inclusion on sunseekers’ travel arrangements.
After wine tasting on the largest island, take the short voyage to NeaKameni, to revitalise in the natural volcanic hot springs.
Thasos is a large island in the very north of the Aegean Sea not far from the coast of the mainland. Thick with forest, quieter (by Greece’s standards) beaches but also with a unique architecture and feel to the place.
Make sure you don’t leave before sampling the local honey and olive oil that are some of the isle’s main exports – there’s even a museum dedicated entirely to the latter.
And it isn’t just the islands that are deserving of your attention. Continental Greece is a treasure trove of incomparable sights. In the Magnesia region on the eastern coast is Pelion, marked by a mountain of the same name and a stretch of notable beaches.
But continue on past the sands to arrive at and explore Poseidon’s caves – only accessible via the water and the source of many myths and legends.
The home of Poseidon, Olympian god of the sea and also the site where Thetis and Peleus were wed. In the same region, there’s a World War II shipwreck that is fascinating to snorkel through.
Nafplion, the capital of the Argolid region is located in the Argolic gulf and was once the country’s capital. Having been under Turkish, Venetian and Frankish rule, the romantic city has a diverse cultural history. Sail out to Bourtzi, a fortress on the nearby islet of AgioiTheodoroi.
Greece is a story without end and is in possession of several lifetimes worth of experiences. The only way to even attempt to see it all is to embark on your journey as soon as possible – and far and away the best way to do it is on the seas.