I've done a number of one-week bareboat
charters in the Med and Aegean. My favorite place was Split in Croatia -- I guess my favorite place for sailing anywhere in the world I've tried. It was fantastic! An amazing wealth of beautiful places to see within easy 10 -- 25 mile legs. The only downsides are (a) Croatia still a bit wild, with rapacious cab drivers and underdeveloped infrastructure; (b) very difficult bottom conditions; poor holding at anchor
I also loved sailing out of Bodrum, in Turkey
, which I did twice. The Meltemi was blowing hard both times (both were in August) -- some days 45 knots sustained (not gusts!). But it blows out of a clear sky and we didn't find it too unpleasant to sail in, well reefed of course. It kicks up a big swell when it has the fetch to do so (like in the long Gulf of Gokovo), but it's not a steep sea so its not too scary even when it gets up to 15 feet and more. We were in 40-something foot Beneteaus both times.
Both places have crystal clear water
, coolish if you're used to the Caribbean
but fine for swimming in, especially in August when it's quite hot anyway (especially Turkey) and you want to cool off.
has excellent marinas
and is more developed and civilized than Croatia. Extremely friendly people and fantastic food
I think you'll have a blast in either place, or in Greece; just go for it.
1. I can't imagine you'll go wrong in any of the popular charter bases; don't waste too much time agonizing over it.
2. If you're going to be sailing in the Meltemi (late July through September in most of the Aegean), you'll be more comfortable in a slightly larger boat, I would think, than 32 -- 36 feet.
3. If you are new to bare-boat chartering, then be aware that the bane of this is clapped-out abused boats with blown-out sails
. Spring for something as new as possible, and try to choose something which you can verify is in good condition. A smaller charter operation might be easier to deal with in this regard.
4. Beware hidden charges like transit log, dinghy engine
rental, and all kinds of other crap. Make sure and ask 10 times what is included and what is not.
5. Be aware that some places (like Croatia and I think Greece, but not Turkey the last time I was there) demand an International Certificate of Competence for the skipper
, and a VHF
6. Bargain hard -- it's a slow year and you should be able to negotiate a deal.