Greece, with its azure waters, ancient history, and delicious cuisine, has long been a dream destination for travelers worldwide. And what better way to explore this Mediterranean paradise than on a yacht? Yacht Getaways in Greece offers an unparalleled experience of freedom and luxury, all set against the backdrop of the stunning Ionian Sea. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most enchanting ports, offering a glimpse into the cost, culture, and culinary delights that await you on this idyllic adventure.
Yacht Getaways – Explore the Greek Islands
The Cost of Yacht Getaways in Greece
Embarking on a yacht getaway in Greece is a dream come true for many, and it’s surprisingly accessible. Prices for yacht charters can start at around 1450 euros per week, depending on the size and type of yacht, the time of year, and the specific route you choose.
When you consider the cost of hotels on the islands in Greece this is a very reasonable vacation. The cost includes not only the yacht itself but also the services of a skipper and hostess/chef offering a hearty breakfast and lunch (including beer and wine) each day plus the luxury of a private cruise through the Ionian Islands. Our crew Ana and Clara took care of every detail from navigation, safety, and preparing delicious Greek dishes on board.
We sailed right into the enchanting towns on the Ionian Islands staying in the heart of all the action. For most of our ports, we could walk right off the boat and were free to hike to hidden beaches, amazing lookouts, or simply enjoy a waterfront taverna to watch the sunset.
A Day in the Life on a Yacht Cruise
Each day we left port at about 8 am to beat the rush of tour boats to our swimming spots in the middle of the sea. As our Skipper Ana cruised to our first stop, we enjoyed a breakfast of fruit and bread with hot coffee or tea while Clara prepared our hot meals. Breakfasts were always something different and were a delicious start to the day to keep our energy up for the adventures ahead.
Once breakfast was done, we chose a spot on deck to take in the extraordinary views of the Ionian Islands. We had choices of cushioned lounges above, the trampoline below, lounges at the front, and seats and beds at the back.
We’d stop for a swim and relaxation and while we were frocking in the water, Clara prepared our lunches. Lunches consisted of fresh seafood, Greek Food, pasta, and salads. All were served with our choice of beer, wine, water, or sparkling water. It truly was a dream.
It was then on to our port of call where we arrived each day early in the afternoon. Arriving after lunch gave us the perfect amount of time to explore the town, do some shopping, and visit a beach or scenic lookout. Whenever we were docked or anchored, we had access to snorkeling gear, paddle boards, floaties, and tubes to enjoy the day in the crystal-clear waters.
Watch our Video – Yacht Getaways, the Best Way to See the Greek Islands
There were two group meals, one at the beginning of the cruise and one at the end of our trip where we went to a local taverna to bond over delicious Greek dishes and the rest of the evenings were spent doing as we pleased.
Exploring the Ionian Islands
The Ionian Explorer trip with Yacht Getaways begins by setting sail from the picturesque island of Corfu. We spent 3 days in Corfu before our trip which allowed us to see all of the top attractions of the Old Town that dates back to the 8th century BC! Corfu boasts a rich history, with Venetian, French, and British influences evident in its architecture and culture. Unlike the Cyclades Islands of Santorini or Mykonos, Corfu with its whitewashed buildings and blue domes, Corfu will remind you more of Venice with pastel buildings and clay roofs. It is a stunning city.
Before you embark on your voyage, make sure to take some time to explore the old town of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and savor some traditional Greek cuisine in one of its charming tavernas. Watch our full videos of Things to do in Cofu Old Town.
Embarkation of Yacht Getaways
We caught a taxi to the Gouvia Marina in Corfu that cost €35 from Mon Repos Palace just outside of the Old Town. Prices are probably cheaper from downtown. We met our skipper and host on the pier and they led us to our 42-foot Catamaran where we unpacked and enjoyed a welcome drink and snacks.
The moment you enter the boat, you know you are in for something special.
About the Yacht
Our Yacht was part of the Superior Class which has four cabins for guests that sleep 8 people. The back cabins are larger with more storage space, and a larger bed, and the shower is separate from the toilet.
The front cabins (where we stayed) are smaller with the shower being a part of the sink so we had to shower over the toilet and sink. It’s not so bad as we showered outside after swimming a lot as well.
Prices are the same for all cabins and are chosen on a first come first serve basis. The sooner you book the better cabin you get. So if you are considering a Yacht Getaway, book it today! And make sure to ask if you will be getting the larger cabin.
We didn’t mind our smaller cabin at all, and it was quieter being at the front as guests sit around the table in the back so you are early to bed, you may hear people.
Packing for Yacht Getaways
Make sure to pack light for yachting in the Greek Islands. You don’t need a lot of clothes for a Yacht Getaways trip. There is not a lot of storage space and closet space is limited. There isn’t a place to put your bags, so either pack in small carry-on suitcases or a duffle bag that you can stuff in the drawer below your bed..
For days on the boat, you only need bathing suits, shorts or a sarong. If you want to protect yourself from the sun, pack long-sleeved rash guard shirts that are used in surfing. You can swim in these and it will keep you from getting a sunburn.
Nights are casual, so a sundress for women and smart shorts with a collared shirt for men are all you need for evenings.
Some essential packing items for Yacht Getaways we recommend are: Water Shoes Travel Towel Running Shoes (for hiking to beaches) Flip Flops A sun hat Sunglasses Chapstick A Dry Bag Waterproof holder for your phone
Sailing the Ionian Sea
Our first night on the boat was spent in Corfu. We left the marina and anchored in front of the Old Fort for stunning views of the harbor. We ate on board and watched a magnificent sunset as we enjoyed a glass of Greek wine.
The trip usually heads north to Kalami Bay where guests have the option to go ashore and eat at a restaurant, however, the weather was severe during our first night, and our skipper decided to start toward Paxos and seek shelter on the other side of the island. It was a good choice because we watched a spectacle of lighting igniting the skies as we sat safely sheltered on our boat.
Lakka Paxos: Tranquility and Turquoise Waters
The next morning was sunny and calm and we set sail from Corfu for a two-hour ride across the deep blue seas. It was heaven as we savored being on our private sailboat watching the scenery of the beautiful islands.
Our first port of call was Lakka on the island of Paxos. This small, tranquil village is nestled within a horseshoe-shaped bay with crystal-clear turquoise waters. I thought that we’d be anchoring in the middle of the bay like the other boats, but Ana pulled right up to the dock. I was overwhelmed with emotion. This place was so beautiful, and we had the entire day to spend paddle boarding, hiking, and swimming. Plus, we were staying the night right in the heart of the village. I don’t think I could be happier.
We immediately hopped on the paddle boards to check out the beaches and then strapped on our hiking shoes in search of the secret beach.
The secret beach is about a 30-minute walk from downtown Lakka. It is uphill on a paved road before hitting a single-track rocky trail down to the beach. Wear good running or hiking shoes, and bring water, sunscreen, water shoes, and your bathing suit. It is worth the walk.
The views from above are worth the hike alone as we looked down over the harbor filled with yachts. The blue waters against the colorful buildings of the waterfront made for a picture-perfect postcard view.
Surrounded by lush greenery and charming olive groves, Lakka is the perfect place to relax, swim, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. You can enjoy a stroll along the waterfront and dine in one of the seaside tavernas offering fresh seafood dishes.
We had a group dinner in Lakka to get to know our yacht mates and crew and turned in for an early evening after all that fun in the sun.
Logos Paxos: A Hidden Gem
As you continue your journey, you’ll reach the charming village of Logos on the island of Paxos. This picturesque harbor is a hidden gem known for its serene ambiance and laid-back charm. Explore the village’s narrow streets, visit local shops selling artisanal products, and eat a seafood dinner at a taverna while watching the sunset over the harbor.
At this stop, you can go for a hike, do some paddleboarding and swimming or hit the beach. There is a great beach with a beach bar just outside town, but there is also a small beach near the dock. And there are plenty of waterside cafes to enjoy an Aperol Spritz or two.
Gaios Paxos: Bustling Port and Greek Delights
Gaios, the capital of Paxos, is your next destination and this was our favorite. This bustling port town has a lot of energy with the party going into the wee hours of the morning along its waterfront promenade. If you want to stay in town it is easy to explore the town’s boutiques and cafes.
We suggest renting an e-bike or quad bike to get out to explore its most impressive view, the Tripitos Arch. This incredible arch is located about 3 km out of the city which can easily be cycled on an e-bike. It is hilly and hot, so we suggest renting a an e-Bike to make the climbs easier. You then hike 500 meters along a historic trail to come out to a coastal trail clinging to the side of massive sea cliffs.
You can hike down to the huge arch that stands more than 20 meters high (65 feet) and walk over it. This is not for the faint of heart. If you have a fear of heights, you’ll be feeling it. I had a bit of a panic attack out there as we snapped photos from the side of a cliff. But I am so glad that Dave helped me breathe through it and we kept on walking over the arch to see it from different vantage points. It was beautiful.
There are plenty of beaches on the island to explore and by having an e-bike or quad bike you can get around quickly to see some of them. The long port full of massive yachts is worth going for a stroll and you can take a short hike to discover the ancient windmill near Paxos arch. Be sure to indulge in some seafood at one of the local tavernas, or you can savor flavorsome moussaka, grilled octopus, and baklava.
Anti-Paxos: Pristine Beaches and Azure Waters
Just a short sail from Gaios, you’ll find the paradisiacal island of Anti Paxos. This tiny gem is famous for its sea caves, and stunning beaches with powdery white sand.
The trip normally anchors in a secluded bay to, swim, snorkel, and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of this piece of paradise. Unfortunately, a huge swell was coming in and we couldn’t go to the usual stop. But it gives us an excuse to come back one day soon because it is spectacular here.
Parga: Mainland Greece’s Coastal Beauty
Leaving the Paxos islands behind, we sailed to Parga on the mainland in Epirus. Nestled against a backdrop of lush hills and cliffs, Parga is a colorful coastal town with a Venetian castle overlooking the bay. We loved this town. It was our second time visiting Parga and we were surprised to find that we enjoyed it even more the second time. Usually, when we go back to a destination we are disappointed, not here. We had more resolve to buy a house here one day!
In Parga, there are beautiful beaches and plenty of water sports including parasailing, boogie boarding and water skiing. You can’t miss walking up the castle for views of the waterfront and town.
It was in Parga that we took part in a wine and olive oil tasting.
At the Old Olive Oil factory we tasted different olive oils from the region and learned about the process and history of olive oil production. We also learned that you should never buy olive oil in clear containers. Metal or dark glass are the best choices. After testing our pallets on oil, we moved on to wines.
We tasted six wines from Greece and each was better than the first! For €40 per person, the glasses were 6 generous pours for a tasting followed by a full glass of our favourite choice and some bruschetta bread.
After our tasting, it was off to the waterfront to join the lively atmosphere where crowds were dining at the local tavernas. We pulled up a seat and enjoyed fresh seafood and grilled lamb before catching the water taxi back to our boat. (the water taxi is included in the Yacht Getaways trip)
Sivota: A Hidden Harbor
No journey through the Ionian Sea would be complete without a visit to the hidden harbor of Sivota. This fishing village is surrounded by green hills and has an incredible swimming area right in the middle of a bay. People were out in the Ionian Sea, paddle boarding, swimming, and kayaking with an area completely roped off from boats that connected the two sides. There is a beach and resort, and you can rent boards and kayaks. We spent the afternoon swimming in the calm waters and savoring our meal of Greek mezes and local wines on the boat.
We then hauled up anchor to a quieter cove on the other side of the bay where we docked for the night. We had our own beach and there was a restaurant just seconds from our boat.
We walked into town which is a 15-minute walk over a steep hill from our marina, but it was worth seeing. There are plenty of restaurants and shops along the waterfront.
Back to Corfu
The next day was a full day on the water as we stopped at the Blue Lagoon for some snorkeling, paddle boarding, and exploring the cave.
We left Sivota early in the morning to beat the tour boats from Paxos and Corfu and when the others arrived more than an hour after we did, we were grateful for the early rising. We had the cave, beach, and clear waters all to ourselves. Once the huge tour boats filled with day trippers arrived, we set sail for the high seas.
The waters were calm and blue as we sailed towards Corfu. We took turns at the helm as Ana showed us how to sail a boat. As we relished our last day on the yacht enjoying the sunny breeze, Clara prepared our lunch which we ate in the waters directly below the Old Fort of Corfu.
It was then one last dip in the sea before heading back to the marina.
Our final night was spent on board but we took a walk to the town of Gouvia which was an easy 10-minute stroll to enjoy a meal outside.
Our Yacht Getaway had come to an end and we went to sleep as the gentle waves of the marina rocked us to a peaceful slumber.
Sailing the Ionian Sea: A Blissful Experience
Sailing through the Ionian Sea is a blissful experience. The sea’s gentle waves, favorable winds, and numerous sheltered bays make it an ideal destination for a relaxed sailing holiday. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a first-time adventurer, the Ionian Islands offer a range of sailing conditions suitable for all skill levels.
Yacht getaways in Greece, particularly through the enchanting Ionian Islands, offer a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural exploration. With prices starting at just 1460 euros, this dream vacation has become an attainable reality.
See Yacht Getaways to book a cruise to the Ionian Islands,
Explore historic ports, sail the azure waters of the Ionian Sea, and indulge in the exquisite flavors of Greek cuisine. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time traveler, this Mediterranean odyssey promises unforgettable memories and the magic of Greece at every turn of the bow.