Sailing in Greece - where do you start?

Where are the best places in Greece to take first-time sailors? Or for first-time Skippers to find their feet?

Article Image

One of the most frequently asked questions on our LiveChat is ‘where we you recommend for a sailing holiday in Greece for someone new to sailing’ or ‘for sailing with kids / family / friends who are new to sailing. Given we offer ten bases to charter a yacht or catamaran on, in five different island areas in Greece, it’s a very fair question – and one we’re always happy to answer!

Paxos Greece is great for first-time sailors 

You’ve already made a great call if you’ve already decided on sailing in Greece – as well as epic weather, fine sailing conditions, fantastic cuisine, and genuinely warm and hospitable people, Greece is the birthplace of modern sail-tourism and the country has over 15,000km of coastline and over 6,000 islands.

Hydra What are first-time sailors after? 

The key to turning someone into someone who is ‘new to sailing’ into someone who is going to be a useful and loyal member of your crew (and who might join you year on year) is basically making sure that they enjoy the whole experience - if you play it right, at the end of day 3, then the new sailor will already be asking you about where you’re planning to go sailing next year!

That means making sure that they have fun, making sure they can relax (sunbathing on deck anyone? Or diving into the Med for a quick refresh?), as well as getting them to feel exhilarated at the possibility of exploring by boat (“Wow, a different pretty town every night!”)

The only real thing to be wary of is not to overwhelm your new sailors – it’s lots of fun to get the wind in the sails to get some good speed up and get the boat gently heeling over, but new sailors might be somewhat over-stimulated if you give them (what they consider) a white-knuckle ride, or if they spend the first part of the week feeling sea-sick (they will eventually get their sea-legs, but they might have decided never to set foot on a boat again if it takes too long…!)

Suonio We recommend the Ionian or Saronic Gulf 

Given all the above, then, we’d recommend sailing in the sheltered waters, calm seas and lighter winds of the Ionian islands (flying into Corfu, Preveza or Kefalonia airports) or the Saronic Gulf (flying into Athens airport).

Both of these sailing areas offer easy sailing, simple line-of-sight navigation, a wealth of fantastic places to visit – including the Paxi islands and Parga in the North Ionian, Meganisi and Kefalonia in the South Ionian, or Hydra and Poros in the Saronic gulf – and delightful turquoise blue sea. Honestly, what’s not to like?!

Ionian CoastThey’re virtually guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of all of your crew, and to get them raving about sailing and the possibilities that chartering a yacht or catamaran can offer. No, seriously. They should try it!

 Read more in our destination guides! 

Check out our destination guides for sailing from Corfu, Lefkas or Preveza, Kefalonia or Athens to get more of a flavour of where you could sail to.

Fiskardo(NB: If you’re already booked to sail somewhere else, then don’t worry – the rest of Greece is also a brilliant place to sail! It’s just that there’s less-sheltered waters, and there’s a chance that you’ll get stronger winds (particularly the Dodecanese and Cyclades in mid/late August, when the Meltemi gusts blows across the Med).

 Sold it you yet? 

So that's why we recommend the Ionian or the Saronic if you're taking newbie sailors, or if you're a new skipper and want somewhere simple so you can steer the ship without being overwhelmed. You will probably also love sailing from anywhere in Greece, or Croatia, or Italy, or Turkey, or the Caribbean...

Be sure to check out our destination guides to find out a LOT more about sailing in Greece, or search in the pink box for yachts and catamarans available for charter in Greece with live pricing and availability, or contact our award-winning Customer team through LiveChat, UK Freephone or email!

 Want more like this? 

This is part of our 'Destination Highlights' week of blogs focussing on sailing in Greece - including Why Greece is the most popular place to sail in the world, Where to sail in Greece with people new to sailing, the Top 5 anchorages in Greece, and the Top 5 most amazing must-see places to sail to in Greece. You might also be interested in checking out our similar Destination Highlights: Croatia, Destination Highlights: Italy, Destination Highlights: Malta, Destination Highlights: Scotland, Destination Highlights: Bahamas, Destination Highlights: Spain and Destination Highlights: France blog series from previous months!