Chartering a Yacht in the Mediterranean:
Greece, Croatia, Montenegro & Beyond
We have direct experience with private charter yachts based in Greece, Croatia, Montenegro and beyond! We feel that our time sailing in Greece years ago was what inspired us to continue exploring the world via private charter catamarans and sailboats.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization. For us, it's all about history, the amazing food and the sailing around approximately 6000 islands, 227 of which are inhabited and beaches only accessible by a private charter yacht. When you decide to charter in Greece, you need to spend some time deciding which of the 5 island groups you want to explore.
The Croatian coast was made for sailing with easy access to the Adriatic Sea from any part of Europe very quickly. You will be delighted by its UNESCO World Heritage sites, cleanliness, friendly English speaking residents and the countless number of islands. Montenegro, Kotor, and Budva are the pearls of the Mediterranean sea. Swim right off the boat & see the Blue Cave.
Full of romance, drama, and history, this is one of the most popular cruising areas in Greece. Fly to Athens and then get aboard your privately crewed yacht charter to explore Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, and Naxos. When to go: June through to mid-July for calm sailing.
Nearest to Athens, Peloponnese coast was one of our favorites with its calm year-round sailing and local life. We walked the streets of Aegina enjoying pistachios while touring the splendid 5th-century Temple of Aphaia and the magical Byzantine Paleohora ruins. Hydra's harbor is full of great people watching and free of cars on its cobblestone streets. Poros maintains a sense of remoteness amongst pastel-hued houses stacked on the hillside. Carefree yachties in search of a good island party find a fun, artistic crowd in Spetses.
Love medieval castles? Get to know Rhodes’ preserved medieval town with a variety of Byzantine churches and castles. Kos, Palos, Leros, and Pserimos are ideal for getting off the beaten track in this collection of 12 islands.
Board your private charter yacht in Corfu, the perfect place to start your adventure of the Ionians with its seven main islands. Visit Kérkyra old town and get acquainted with its Venetian influence or Kanóni for its beautiful views. The whole island-chain can be taken in on a two-week charter itinerary and include Paxos, Lexos, Ivota and Agios Nikolaos and the fishing village at Mourtos Marina on the mainland
Sail into the heart of the Aegean and the Sporades archipelago. You'll find shades of green you never knew existed here in the "Emerald of the Aegean. Discover your inner Abba fan and sing-a-long to classics on Skopelos Island, the setting for the film Mamma Mia! Hop between Skopelos Town and Glossa, with its white houses winding into the hills, or swim at Panormos and Agios Ioannis.
When to sail the Med:
The yacht charter season in the Med begins in early April and ends in November. High season for charter yachts is from the last week of July until the first week of September. Keep in mind that the water will still be chilly in April & May, but by June the water temperatures reach a pleasant 74°F.
All this considered, we have found the best time to sail Greece to be around the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June. If snorkeling and swimming at beaches and anchorages are important, the months of June and July are ideal. The water overall in all the anchorages is deeper and a darker blue than in the Caribbean.
Some Basic Facts About Chartering a Yacht in Europe:
1. Depending on which yacht you choose and their management company, either the yacht will be "All-Inclusive" or "The Base Rate + Food & Beverages+Fuel+VAT.
2. Each yacht posts their base rates and then will have a different percentage required for their A.P.A. (Advanced Provisioning Allowance). The APA amount is used to cover all expenses during the course of the charter such as fuel, food, beverages, mooring fee and other expenses not included in the Charter Fee. The Captain of the yacht is responsible for accounting for all APA expenses during the charter, and the breakdown will be presented to the client at the end of the charter. If the costs during the charter are less than the APA deposit, then the difference will be refunded to the Charterer at the end of the charter. If the costs during the charter are higher than the APA deposit then this difference will be paid by the Charterer at the end of the charter.
3. Some yachts don't include the VAT tax. It must be added to the cost too.
4. Gratuities in Europe are usually 10% of the cost of the charter (which is lower than the Caribbean).
Yes, it sounds more complicated than chartering a yacht in the Caribbean; but in the past, we've found that it's not as awkward as you might think. I have hands-on experience working as crew on a 105' motor yacht. The Captain & the Chef sat down with the lead charter guest at the end of the charter and went over a line by line accounting of all the food, drinks & fuel consumed. In most cases, you will receive some money back at the end of the charter.
Quickly emerging as a vibrant party center for the yachting crowd and buzzing with hospitality & entertainment, Croatia's extraordinary island-speckled coastline is indisputably its main attraction. For those who love the Caribbean, the first thing that strikes you in Croatia is the clarity and intensity of jeweled emerald and sapphire waters. White pebbly beaches alternate with long sandy and stacked stone stretches too. If that all sounds too relaxing, there are myriad water-based activities at hand to lure you off your sun-lounger – snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and of course, more sailing, just for starters.
A Sample 8 Day / 7 Night Itinerary:
Day 1: Explore the medieval walled city at Trogir which features architecture from the 13th century and don’t miss the 3rd-century bas-relief of Kairos within the Benedictine Monastery of St Nicholas. Head to the port village of Maslinica on the Island Šolta, which overlooks an archipelago of seven islets.
Day 2: Sail to the old fishing port of Komiža on the island Vis. Discover the pebble beaches, relax and perhaps visit the blue caves on Bisevo Island. Get to know the local delicacies in the evening and eat at local restaurants.
Day 3: Walk around Vis town and its 16th-century villas. The island has a lush landscape that is brimming with vineyards. If you want to explore underwater, Vis is a popular scuba diving spot with plentiful marine life.
Day 4: Sail to Hvar, an island full of beautiful lavender and herbs, as well as a reputation for being rather upmarket. Walk around Hvar Town’s harbor, the piazza, the huge fortress that dominates the skyline and St Stephen’s Cathedral to get a great view from the bell tower.
Day 5: Sail around to the north of Hvar to Vrboska, a 15th-century village near UNESCO-protected Stari Grad Plain. Marvel at the patchwork of paths and walls that cross the agricultural flats.
Day 6: Set sail for the island of Brac and Milna on its west coast. You’ll find a wonderful harbor, known as the bay of a thousand ships, where you can enjoy fantastic local food and wine.
Day 7: Head back to Trogir to disembark.
Acclaimed for being the new "it" destination, Montenegro revels in the notion that good things come in small packages. Its coastline is filled with the spectacular scenery of jutting mountains touching crystal clear water. For those with even a passing interest in European history, it's a fascinating place of Roman villas, ornate Catholic churches, and convivial locals.
Day 1: Overnight at Porto Montenegro, Tivat, a state-of-the-art luxury marina with a chic beach club and beautiful pool.
Day 2: Sail to Budva, where you’ll find sandy beaches along the coast. Known as an Adriatic version of St. Tropez, you’ll find an attractive walled city, old monasteries, a natural harbor and a great atmosphere at Ploce beach. Notable beaches include Mogren, Kamenovo, and Jaz.
Day 3: Head further south to Sveti Stefan, where an ancient terracotta-roofed village meets modern-day luxury resort. Swim at Sveti Stefan, Miločer and Queen’s beaches. If you want a treat, book at the recently opened Nobu for dinner.
Day 4: Make for Herceg Novi, at the entrance to the Gulf of Kotor, where you can leisurely stroll around its heritage-listed tree-lined town squares and citadel. Sail the bay and explore the blue grotto, or head to Dobrec, Zanjic and Mirista coves.
Day 5: Head for the Bay of Kotor with its impressive medieval fortress at Kotor snaking up the steepest mountains in the region. Enjoy local food and drink in the narrow streets and cobbled squares in this walled city. An itinerary in Montenegro isn’t complete without this historic stop-off.
Day 6: Sail to Perast and explore its tiny islands of Gospa od Skrpjela and Sveti Dorde and their churches.
Day 7: Disembark.