Greece is one of the most popular sailing areas in the Mediterranean. Over 1400 islands and 13,500 km's of coastlines waiting to be explored.
The most popular sailing areas are: the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, the Saronic Islands, The Dodecanese, and the Sporades Islands. The Ionian Islands are an ideal place for beginners. Corfu and Paxos are the two main starting points for yachtcharter in the area, and other interesting islands in the group are: Lefkada, Kefalonia, Meganisi, Ithaca and Zakynthos. Fascinating mythology surrounds these islands, and both lively resorts and traditional fishing villages can be found in the Ionian Islands. Paros is a good starting point for exploring the Cyclades, and the islands of Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini are popular tourist destinations within this group. Smaller islands such as Little Cyclades and Andros are quieter and less crowded during the summer months. The best times to sail in the Cyclades is during spring and autumn, as strong Meltimi winds occur during July and August that can blow at 8 Beaufort.
Athens is the starting point from which to explore the Saronic Islands, and the islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spestus are easily accessible from the capital. These islands have pebbly beaches and picturesque harbors, and are popular escapes for Athenian city dwellers during the weekends. The distances between the islands are small, and the Meltimi blows from the Northeast at around 4 - 6 Bft in the area. Rhodes is at the center of the Dodecanese and has an attractive medieval old town. From here, one can easily reach Kos, Patmos, Astipalea, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos and Kastelorizo. Sailing conditions in the Dodecanese during summer can be challenging, and will appeal to sport sailors. The Sporades islands host some of the best beaches in Greece and combine cosmopolitan culture with a relaxed way of life. Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros are wonderful places to sail to. The Meltimi blows at 3-4 Beaufort from the Northeast in the Sporades, and there are many safe anchorages.
Greece has a Mediterranean climate and the sailing season lasts from April to October. It is hot, dry and sunny during the summer. Temperatures can exceed 40°C inland, but stay in the mid-30s on the islands and coasts. The predominant wind is the Meltimi, which blows at different strengths depending on the area.