Holidays are so very important and sailing the azure blue Aegean Sea is one of the most idyllic. Since the 1990’s sailors have been able to charter a boat with no crew to sail the Greek islands in style. The seas around the islands range from the calm to challenging.
What qualifications are required to charter a yacht in Greece?
Greek Law requires that the skipper of a bareboat charter hold the minimum qualifications of Royal Yachting Association Day Skipper Certificate and International Certificate in Competency Sailing Certificate. The skipper must be competent in handling the boat at close quarters, such as mooring and anchoring in a variety of conditions. In addition the captain must be knowledgeable of maritime charts and navigation. Many charter companies offer the opportunity for a qualified member of the chartering team to accompany the novice skipper, for one of two days, to boost the crew’s confidence. In addition a member of crew that is over eighteen must assist the skipper. All certificates and accreditations should be carried at all times and produced when requested by port authorities.
Range of yachts for hire
Charter companies offer a large variety of vessels suitable for all sailing vacations. There are intimate two berth 10 meter monohulls that are perfect for the quieter waters around the western islands. They are perfect for hopping from port to port whilst discovering quiet secluded beaches. For families or sailors who wish to venture further a field there are larger monohull bareboat charters with up to six cabins. Those seeking the ultimate in luxury many companies offer catamarans, which are more stable giving a more comfortable ride and a shallower draft allowing for more secluded anchorages.
Areas to explore
Sailing vacations in the gentle seas to the west of the mainland allows the maritime adventurer to explore the Ionian Islands. There is Ithica to the north, the home of Ulysses, the hero of Homer’s Odyssey. In the south lies Cephalonia, an island of outstanding natural beauty and the setting for Louis De Bernieres book Captain Correlli’s Mandolin. The Dodecanese Islands lie to the east of the Aegean Sea and are famed for their white washed houses and castles perched amidst the rugged landscape. The waters around these islands are calm and a skipper with basic skill can navigate easily. For the experienced captain then, the Cyclades Islands with their more challenging waters and strong winds, are perfect. Many of the bigger islands are popular tourist destinations with great nightlife and vibrant markets. For seclusion the smaller isles have quite beaches and coves. The Sporades Islands are the most verdant of all the Greek Islands, with green fields, forests and long white beaches.
Chartering a yacht has to be a fantastic way to explore the beautiful Greek Islands. Steeped in history and legend those aboard can explore at their own pace, stopping when and where the fancy takes them. Getting the basic qualifications is easy achieved at home and then skills can be perfected on the waters of the Mediterranean. Sailing these islands is the perfect holiday for couples, families or group of good friends.
Chris Wright has been a keen sailor from an early age and has contributed to a large number of websites and blogs for eight years. He spends his summers sailing around the Mediterranean using a bareboat charter to discover its delights.