5 Sailing Tips for a Catamaran Sailing Holiday in Greece
It’s almost two hundred years since the first package holiday was sold in Europe. While some still enjoy this traditional way of traveling, many have developed a thirst for new adventures. Sailing holidays are one of the most popular new travel styles, and they are no longer reserved for the super-rich. You can charter your catamaran from borrowaboat, an online charter company, that has made yacht and catamaran rentals accessible to huge new markets. With their wide range of rental options, you are bound to find one that is right for you.
Travelers are now able to hire a motor or sailing boat complete with a full crew for a surprisingly affordable rate. In many circumstances, the per person cost of a chartered boat is now comparable to that of a premium hotel. The freedom, flexibility, and adventure that come from sailing a sun-drenched coastline is hugely attractive to many modern travelers. With options from simple two-berth yachts to luxury six-cabin catamarans, boat charter can suit almost any group.
In 2019, after growing steadily over the last decade, boat charter was a global industry worth almost $11 billion. Current projections suggest this will continue to grow and could increase by as much as 25% by 2028. Several European destinations have become popular with boat charter travelers, including Croatia, Italy, Malta, Turkey, and Spain. One of the most established and beautiful European sailing destinations is Greece and its stunning islands.
Although the experience can be incredible, the idea of doing something different and chartering a boat can feel daunting. With that in mind, we wanted to offer five invaluable tips for your sailing holiday in Greece.
Choose a catamaran
The idea of skipping around the blue waves in a luxury yacht might seem thrilling, or romantic, in your imagination. This can quickly melt away when the reality of unpredictable high winds create a less than comfortable sailing environment. The increased stability of a two-hulled catamaran allows for a much smoother ride and far more relaxing experience. We would always recommend a catamaran in the waters around Greece, whether you are new to sailing or not.
Catamaran’s also come with the benefit of increased space with large decking areas and ample cabins for passengers and crew. Those hoping to visit shallow coves and anchor close to beaches will also benefit from a catamaran’s shallow draft.
Get a skipper
There are two ways a boat can be hired, with crew or without, the latter is known as “bareboat” charter. For bareboat, at least one passenger must be qualified to skipper a boat and have experience selling in appropriate waters.
When you hire a boat with a skipper, you remove the need for qualifications and allow every passenger to relax. Experienced skippers can be offered by most charter companies and will bring the additional benefit of local knowledge and guidance.
For those looking to indulge, additional crew members can be hired to help cater for your needs as you sail. Personal chefs are the ultimate luxury, creating bespoke menus from local ingredients for an experience that is truly special.
In many ways, your catamaran will operate much like a boutique floating hotel, especially if it is fully crewed. Necessities such as bedding, cooking utensils, first aid kits, nautical charts, and speakers are all provided as standard. That said, it is important to remember that staying on a boat will require slightly more strategic packing. For a start, storage space will be at a premium, so soft-sided bags are recommended over hard cases.
Surfaces can become slippery, so a grippy pair of deck shoes should be the first thing placed in your bag. You’ll also need a change of shoes for shore excursions to help keep your boat shoes clean and undamaged.
A light waterproof jacket will ensure you are equipped to deal with any unexpected rain or spray. Waterproof cases for electric devices can also be a good idea to keep expensive items safe.
Plan your route
The beauty of boat charter is the freedom to explore without limitations and to be spontaneous. However, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss the best sights and locations, so a little research is advised.
The Ionian islands – Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira – are hugely popular, particularly with novice sailors. The calm harbors and warm waters of these islands off northwestern Greece offer stunning destinations in relaxing waters.
Alternatively, in the seas between eastern Greece and western Turkey are the beautiful Argo-Saronic, Cyclades, and Dodecanese and Samos islands. The winds and waters can be a little wilder here but the rewards are more than worth it.
Time it right
The Greek summer of July and August is by far the most popular time for visitors. Warm, dry days attract sun lovers and swimmers and perfectly showcase the picturesque beaches and bays of the area. However, flexible travelers wishing to avoid the crowds and premium prices might want to consider slightly earlier or later months.
Late April through to June is considered one of the best times to travel with good weather and snorkeling conditions. September and October offer lower winds but some bays and shorelines can be dryer and less accessible.
These are our five main tips for anyone considering a boat charter trip in this breathtaking European destination. Your charter company will also be able to offer specific guidance and assistance for your individual trip. Of course, the biggest tip we can give for a catamaran sailing holiday in Greece is, simply – do it. With more options and better prices than ever before, there has never been a better time to borrow that boat!