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Old 14-02-2020, 12:17   #31
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

Hi Following this thread with great interest.

We (two families) are thinking of chartering in Greece next summer. Looking for a larger catamaran with 6 cabins (new bali 4.8 would meet our needs and is a decent price and size). Thinking of chartering out of Lavrion instead of Athens. My question is whether you would still sail through the Cyclades with a Meltemi wind if you could do a one-way and would not have to sail back into the wind and waves? If we do a one way we are kind of committed to doing the one-way even if a Meltemi kicks up, however.

Alternatively, we could just do a return from Lavrion and if a Meltemi kicks in or is forecasted we can do an alternative sail plan through the Saronic and Argolic gulfs and back.

My wife really has her heart set on Cyclades and specifically mentioned... you guessed it! Santorini and Mykonos!

We would be sailing late June early July (Teenagers in High-school and exams so no choice at this point) Both myself and my friend have chartered multiple times in BVIs and Grenada. Even so, med mooring on a large cat (even with its twin screws) is a little unnerving especially if we have to deal with a 20 knot cross wind in a crowded harbour....

Thoughts?
thanks in advance!
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Old 14-02-2020, 13:52   #32
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

As far as Meltemi goes, there is a thermal component. If you leave early (6am), you can get where you're going. This was what my wife and I would do.

Absolutely do the Cyclades. I highly recommend syros. We skipped Thira (Santorini) because the Anchorage is a mile away from the mainland, and we reluctantly went to Mykonos. Worst day of the three weeks.

Paros is great! Tons of stuff to do, and there is Andiparos very close...also fun. Your kids will love both of those islands. I can give more specifics if you wish. Let me know.

Ben
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Old 17-02-2020, 08:00   #33
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

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Originally Posted by bensolomon View Post
As far as Meltemi goes, there is a thermal component. If you leave early (6am), you can get where you're going. This was what my wife and I would do.

Absolutely do the Cyclades. I highly recommend syros. We skipped Thira (Santorini) because the Anchorage is a mile away from the mainland, and we reluctantly went to Mykonos. Worst day of the three weeks.

Paros is great! Tons of stuff to do, and there is Andiparos very close...also fun. Your kids will love both of those islands. I can give more specifics if you wish. Let me know.

Ben
Thanks so much Ben for the suggestions. This is encouraging! perhaps a one way is not out of the question. We would have no problem leaving early to get to the next destination. Yes some suggestions on top destinations would be helpful. There is so much information out there so some feedback on top islands/ bays/ harbors to visit would be helpful. thanks again!
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Old 17-02-2020, 09:28   #34
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

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Hi Julian

The four biggest charter fleets in the Greek Aegean are (not necessarily in this order)

Kiriacoulis

Veronicos Yachts

Dream Yacht Charter (seem to specialize in Cats)

Sun Charter

But there are plenty of others! I chartered from Sun Charter many years ago and then bought a yacht that was being retired from their fleet. They were good people to do business with.

Your biggest decision is likely to be where to begin and end your Charter. Choosing a company with a base in the Athens area makes it easier to get there from the airport, but you’re at least a day and a half away from the Cyclades and the islands you mentioned. Speaking of which..., Mykonos is crowded, expensive and fairly “down market”. Santorini, once you’ve admired the view from the cliff top town of Thera, is also crowded, expensive etc.

Your best source for up to date info on marina prices etc is Rod Heikell’s latest edition of GREEK WATERS PILOT. The last time I used the marina at Santorini, nobody cane to collect the money, but don’t count on that being usual!

Here are a few Cyclades island destinations which are less popular but more fun -

Kea

Andros (the harbor at Batsi, not Gavrio)

Kithnos

Sifnos

Amorgos -

(there are more, but these are my favorites.)

In all these places you can anchor for free or moor to a public dock for less than €30 including water and power for a 45’ yacht.

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Kea is a good one, semi sheltered from the meltemi
With a decent anchorage or stern too
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Old 18-02-2020, 10:02   #35
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

Trigger,

I sailed the Cyclades,. Here's what I did:

I sail one day then stay for a day...so we move every other day. There's much to see, and since you can't see it all, enjoy what you can. I also avoided some of the more touristy areas so that we could just blend in with the community.

Piraeus to cape Sounioun.
Went to the temple of Posieden.
Cape Sounioun to Port kythnos on Kithnos. the port town there is absolutely lovely and I recommend the Byzantium for food.
From Kithnos to serifos.
Sierifos to sifnos.
Sifnos to Paros.
Once in Paris, to be honest, I got caught in the mail Timmy and we ended up Leaving the boat in Paris for 3 days. From here we took fast ferries to antiparos as well as naxos each day. Thoroughly enjoyed Paris and on the east coast of Paris is a place called Punda Beach club. your kids will love it. It's right on the beach, there's a pool there's a bar for the adults it's an absolute friggin party!

from paros because it was still meltemi, we ended up leaving at 5:30 in the morning and we sailed to Mykonos. The marina for Mykonos is about a mile away from town Mykonos. There are mooring lines set in the water so you don't have to med more you can just pick up The mooring line. The wind rifles down the mountain though, and makes getting into dock quite difficult. That was our least favorite stop over. we then left from Mykonos, again at 5:30 in the morning to avoid 60 knot winds, to make our way back to Athens and we went to Syros. Syros was absolutely lovely. I easily could emigrate to see a rose. Take the walk up the thousand steps to Ano Syros.

From Syros, to the east side of kythnos in a town called Loutra. In this town there's a volcanic spring that makes a natural hot tub in the corner of the harbor. At sunset everyone joins in that corner and it is very cool! King Louie even bathe in this hot tub back in the day.

From Loutra, we sailed back to cape sounion. From cape sounion back to piraeus.

You will find that each island is completely different from the last or the next. it was an amazing and lovely trip. And although I'm not a fan of motor scooters, renting motor scooters was a great way to get around. With my kids in tow, I would probably Rent-A-Car which is available on almost every island.

The biggest problem in Greece is obtaining fresh water. Anchoring on the mole it's free and electricity cost a dollar or two per day. Water was the only thing that took a little work to secure. I'm at multiple people who didn't trash in the water appropriately and they had run out. I have two daughters and his son in addition to my wife. I had to be very clear about boat showers and dishwashing. We had a lovely trip but at every opportunity I filled up the fresh water tanks.

We anchored out approximately 50% of the time and tied up to the mole when we could just for ease of getting on and off the boat.

One thing... Fairy wash is true and real! These huge ferries keep the props moving when they discharge cars and passengers. They keep their engines fired up at about 50% Max to keep the boat off the mole while remaining tied up. This results in a tremendous wave propagation down this giant cement wall and the ferries run late into the night. If you're connected to the mole when the ferry comes you will be tossed about. This is why I got into the habit of anchoring out at night even though we were tied up during the day.

It's awesome there!!!

Ben
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Old 18-02-2020, 12:10   #36
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

Ben, Thanks for the tips and advice! thinking about a one way from Lavrion to Paros. It looks like Paros is a great hub to explore some of the other islands so will stay a few days to a week after our cruise and explore the island, and some of the other islands that people say don't take your boat (i.e. Santorini, Mykanos/Dilos). I will think about staying on an island for more than a day. May have to at least move bays/ports just for some excitement and variety. Quickly realizing that Cyclades let a lone Greece is way bigger sailing ground than I expected. I am used to the BVIs or Grenadines where if you sail there a 2-3 times you have seen it all.... will have to adjust thinking!
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Old 18-02-2020, 14:48   #37
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

I agree with you about gaining familiarity while sailing the BVI and the Grenadines. It's still very lovely, though.

It's definitely different than the BVI. Each island has so much character that you really miss out if you just Port hop. the Greece trip is all about the land. The sailing is fantastic but there's not much to see in the water. I snorkeled around a few times and there was just nothing to see despite how beautiful and blue the water was. The towns are adorable and you will eat the best yogurt and feta you'll ever have in your life, as well as spanakopita and baklava. Also, the churches are beautiful and very ornamental. We tended to visit the churches just because they were pretty and reverant.

If you had to paros go to the restaurant, Dionysus, if it is still there. The owners are lovely and we had multiple great meals there.

On the southside of Serifos, is a beautiful lagoon surrounded by the mountains. There is a taverna on that Beach. On the map it is called Ganema beach. There is not much there, but it is amazing! The taverna is owned by a fisherman and will just open the refrigerator drawer and you can pick your fish that he just caught.

You can most definitely sail in there and drop the hook. It's a bit isolated and well-protected. Excellent swimming hole.
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Old 18-02-2020, 14:52   #38
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

The body of water is called O. Koutalas. The O stands for Ormos.
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Old 19-02-2020, 07:48   #39
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

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I agree with you about gaining familiarity while sailing the BVI and the Grenadines. It's still very lovely, though.

Agree! Heading back to the BVI this may for a week cruise with some friends (just the boys this time!) Looking forward to getting back as I haven't been since Irma. Going to miss Saba rock and BEYC but hopefully they will be back up soon....

Thanks again for the tips. Will be doing some more research on where we want to stop and reach out for advice!

Cheers
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Old 08-04-2020, 00:45   #40
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

It is not a good idea to charter a boat in Mykonos and Santorini. Mykonos is too windy and Santorini there is no place to anchor. Check Paros. There are many local companies there
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Old 15-04-2020, 08:10   #41
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

You can charter also on Samos island , local company Samosail.com
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:40   #42
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

I'm planning a 3 or 4 week trip in Greece this August and was thinking it would be fun to charter a boat (with a skipper) and sail around the Small Cyclades, ending in Crete (unless that's way too far, in which case we'll fly to Crete for the last part of the trip). There's only two of us + a skipper so we would likely be okay with a smaller boat.
We don't have a huge budget and would ideally like to spend less than 2,000 euros for just the sailing bit, so I'm not expecting a luxury yacht or anything. We're pretty good at ""roughing it"" but don't want to be extremely uncomfortable for a week either.
Does anyone with experience recommend nixing the sailing part, and just hopping around the islands another way? Or would we be able to afford a decent boat/skipper on our budget? If so, does anyone have recommendations as far as companies to book through?
Any other Greece recommendations?
What Athens attractions are worth visiting? I'd ideally like to spend a week inland (Athens, and 1-2 other places), 1-week sailing, and 1ish week on Crete.
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Old 06-06-2020, 08:39   #43
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

Greek skippers make 150 euros per day - minimum. You won't find something that floats for a week for less than $2000. And zero companies are going to do a one way to Crete. So essentially, I'd get it out of your mind.

You know what is fun. Taking day cruises. These probably could be done for $200 per person per day.
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Old 06-06-2020, 08:58   #44
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

We spent around a year (in total) in the various Greek Islands on our own boat. For a charter, with possibly limited experience in heavy winds/conditions I would strongly recommend the Ionian rather than the Aegean. There are beautiful islands in the Ionian (Corfu, Paxos etc etc), more importantly the winds are milder and you are unlikely to be harbor bound for your entire vacation due to a meltemi. As others have pointed out Santorini and Mykonos are inherently unsuited to visits by sailing yachts for different reasons. More on this on my website. I have a detailed page on the Ionian and another on the Aegean which you may find helpful for destinations and back up for my recommendation above.

Greece 2008. The Aegean 1

2008 - First steps in Greece

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Old 07-06-2020, 05:15   #45
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Re: Chartering in Greece Santorini/Mikonos

You're not going to be able to get on a boat for $2,000 Euro. If you want to visit the cyclades on that budget, then better off taking the fast ferries and going from island to island and grabbing a hotel room at random. There are plenty of rooms for rent available around all of the ports.

A week is too long for Athens. Maybe 3 or 4 days. as far as sites to see, there's all the usual historical stuff, and a few extra. I was personally fascinated by the Jewish museum of Greece and my wife and I took in a play at one of the outdoor amphitheaters. It was in Greek, but it was still very cool to attend. We also went to the main historical museum in Athens which was very cool.
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