Greece - Profile
- Although the more popular places on the Aegean are quite crowded, especially during the high season, there are still plenty of less frequented places dotted around the rim of the Aegean and some of the more remote islands rarely see more than a handful of yachts.
- The crowds are also seasonal and it certainly pays to cruise Greece outside of the peak summer months, ideally around Easter, which is the main holiday in the Greek Orthodox calendar. The autumn months are just as attractive; both winds and weather are more pleasant than in the meltemi-swept months of high summer.
- The recent expansion in yachting has been accompanied by a parallel development in facilities, but fortunately none of the picturesque ports have been ruined by the construction of pontoons in centuries old harbours. Most marinas have been built inside newly built breakwaters or reclaimed land and in most islands yachts still either come stern-to the existing quay, if there is space, or stay at anchor. Most of the new marinas are on the mainland and this is also where the best repair facilities are.
- If looking to take an annual contract in a Greek marina, be aware that it may well stipulate that you avoid the marina during the summer months, or have your boat on the hard during the summer. This may be due to availability of space available for charter fleets or for visiting yachts, which is where most marinas here make their money.
- Harbour dues are applicable in all harbours in Greece, although in many places these are not collected. Some harbours also have local fees in addition, usually where there is a recent new extension.
- The greatest concentration of facilities is in the Athens-Piraeus area, where there are several boatyards with hauling-out facilities and a full range of repair services. Haul-out facilities are available at Alimos, Aretsou, Flisvos, Glifada, Mandraki, Lavrion, Patras, Porto Carras and Zea.
- Marine Spares: Now more readily available and in the main no more expensive (perhaps even cheaper) than elsewhere in the EU. Essential spares may need to be ordered from abroad however locally produced products can normally be used instead.
- In summer in some of the smaller islands it may be difficult to obtain any large quantity of water, so one should try to arrive with full tanks from the mainland.
April 2016: Security levels at ports raised when cruise ships in dock due to terrorism concerns. Whilst on the whole most cruise ship docks are seperate from yacht marinas/quays in Greece, there are some ports (such as Zante) where the 2 share the same quay. As the port authority secure the dock whilst the cruise ship is in port, with no prior warning, this can be very inconvenient for yacht crew wishing to get off or on their boat. It is recommended to enquire if berthing at a shared cruise ship dock if/when the next cruise ship is expected, so you can plan accordingly.
Migrant Crisis: See news items adjacent for updates and recommendations regarding the Migrant Crisis.
Gov.UK is a travel update and warning site. For those sailing (or flying) to Greece this spring/summer, you may follow this link for the news below and updates: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece
There are regular strikes. These are sometimes called at short notice and can cause disruption to public transport in and out of Greece (including air travel and ports). Demonstrations take place regularly in central Athens, and have also taken place in other towns and cities. You should avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice given by local security authorities. See Major pre-planned strikes and demonstrations.
In the early hours of 10 April 2014 there was a large explosion outside the Bank of Greece in central Athens. There were no reported injuries.
The emergency services number in Greece is 112. Calling 999 from a UK mobile in Greece will automatically transfer you to the Greek emergency services.
Last updated May 2016.
Spring and autumn weather is the most pleasant, while the summer is hot and dry. Winters are mild in Crete and Rhodes and cooler as one moves north as well as inland. The prevailing winds of summer are northerly. The seasonal wind of summer, called etesian in Greece because of its seasonal character, but better known by its Turkish name meltemi, sets in about May and lasts until September. It blows at its strongest in July and August when it can reach force 7 and even 8 on occasions. Violent storms occur only in winter, February being a particularly bad month, but overall the weather is pleasant and extreme conditions are rarely known.
Ionian: Argostoli (Kephalonia) * , Corfu Port (Corfu) * , Gaios (Paxos) , Gouvia (Corfu) * , Ithaca , Kalamos , Kephalonia (island of) , Kithera , Lakka (Paxos) , Lefkas , Mourtos , Othonoi Island (Corfu) , Palairos , Petriti (Corfu) , Platarias , Preveza * , Zakinthos *
Peloponnese: Astrous , Ermioni , Hydra (Idhra) , Kalamata * , Katakolon * , Kiparissia , Koroni , Methoni , Monemvasia , Nafplion (Navplion) * , Patras * , Pilos * , Porto Kheli (Heli/Cheli/Xeli) , Spetsai * , Yerakas (Limin Leraka/Gerakas) , Yithion (Githion)
* indicates port of entry