The best sailing routes in Greece for you

The best sailing routes in Greece for you

Heading to Greece? Check out our inspiring boating itineraries that cater to every interest and skill level.

Sail through Greece's breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in its rich culture and history. Tour the must-visit sights or discover peaceful havens for the ultimate relaxation. Whether you prefer the bustling bays and vibrant nightlife, or a challenging sailing experience, we've got you covered with 4 itineraries, tailored to your interests and experience level — for beginner to advanced sailors. Check out our alternative look at yachting in Greece.

Pitfalls and specialities of Greece

Before we get into the specific itineraries, let's take a brief look at the main differences between sailing in Greece and other popular destinations (such as Croatia).

Forget about moorings and buoys 

Sailing in Greece is a unique experience compared to the Adriatic, where mooring opportunities are abundant. In Greece, mooring jetties and buoy fields are scarce, making anchoring to the shore the typical way to secure your boat. This requires a good understanding of anchoring techniques. Whether mooring at a pier or in a bay, anchoring is a necessary skill for sailing in Greece.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Make sure you have long lines ready on board to tie the stern to a tree or rock.

Free overnight stays 

Since the most common anchorages in Greek waters are "wild", a night in the bay will cost you practically nothing. Of course, some of the larger marinas do charge, but as most bays are unsupervised, you can anchor for free.

Excellent cuisine 

When in Greece, be sure to try authentic Greek yoghurt, souvlaki, tzatziki, pita bread, Greek salad, moussaka and the other delicacies of this incredibly varied and healthy cuisine. Read more about Greek gastronomy in our guide — What delicacies to try in Greece.

Greek cuisine is simply delicious. Are you salivating?

Greek cuisine is simply delicious.

No more searching for beaches

The Greek coast boasts abundant sandy and pebbled beaches, making the search for a perfect beach a thing of the past. Unlike other locations, such as Croatia, where finding a beach can be a challenge, the Greek coastline offers ample opportunities to fully enjoy beach life. If you're lucky enough to discover a hidden gem, you may even find yourself alone on a sprawling beach.

Recommended sailing routes according to your interests

We've put together 4 Greek sailing itineraries for you based on specific interests and activities. Which one will you choose?

Sailing in Greece for the sightseeing enthusiast

Do you enjoy discovering interesting places that transport you back in time? Do you actively seek out sights and unusual landmarks? Try out this route or choose the spots you find most appealing along the way.

  • Day 1: Marina Gouvia (Corfu) 

Gouvia marina on Corfu Island is the starting point for many of our boat rentals and provides top-notch yachting amenities, including restrooms, showers, shopping, dining, and even a swimming pool for the kids to enjoy. Once you've taken over your boat, take a quick taxi ride to the heart of Kerkyra town and explore its historic centre with its charming, well-preserved houses, churches, and narrow streets. Should you linger into the night, the local bars and restaurants offer a lively, yet not overwhelming, atmosphere.

  • Day 2: Petriti Bay 

This bay is located on the southern part of the island of Corfu, approximately 15 NM from Gouvia marina. Because of its fine sand and azure waters, the beach here is sometimes nicknamed "the Caribbean" and you'll find anchoring here comfortable — it isn't too deep and the anchor holds well on the seabed. Take a walk to the nearby shipwreck and witness the effects of time on a once-modern vessel. There is an excellent restaurant on the shore that serves the best octopus stifado and feta in puff pastry in the Ionian Sea.

  • Day 3: Parga 

At Parga, you can moor at the pier, but there are only a few berths for leisure boats, so we recommend anchoring in the huge bay. If you don't have or don't want to use a dinghy, you can hail a water taxi — they run all evening ferrying boaters ashore. About 20 NM from the previous stop on the route, it should take about half a day to get here in favourable winds. Those who love sightseeing will be enthralled by the town, which appears to be straight out of a historical movie (except for the souvenir stalls). The town features a maze of winding streets leading to the hilltop walls, and dining at a restaurant on the ramparts is highly recommended for the fantastic view.

The town of Parga, Greece, historic colourful houses under a cliff.

Yes, you can actually see this in Greece. Picture perfect Parga!

  • Day 4: Longos (Paxos island) 

The charming bay of Longos offers a variety of anchoring options, either at the shore or at a few spots near the small jetty, though it's important to be aware of the depth if your boat has a deeper draft. The town boasts several well-known restaurants and terrace bars, affording stunning views. The quaint atmosphere of small fishing boats and boats lined up along the bay truly captures the essence of coastal life.

  • Day 5: Mongonissi (Paxos Island) 

Sail around the island of Paxos and visit the famous Tripitos Arch or the Blue Grotto — there are also organised excursions from the harbour. Stay the night in Mongonissi but be sure to anchor securely here as the bed is muddy in places.

A bird's eye view of a rock arch with turquoise water on the island of Paxos, Ionian Sea, Greece

Tripitos Arch rock formation on the island of Paxos

  • Day 6: Sývota 

The picturesque town of Sývota is our next recommended stop on your journey, known for its crystal-clear waters which have earned a blue flag award. There is also a water taxi service, so you can simply drop anchor without needing to moor at the pier.

  • Day 7: Marina Mandraki (Corfu) 

On your last day, spend some time exploring the capital of Corfu of the same name. Walk around the walls, historic streets, and squares, and pick up some souvenirs. The beautiful little harbour of Marina Mandraki, just outside the city centre, boasts ancient monuments on the hill above. However, keep in mind that you must book a berth ahead of time as this marina is busy during peak season. The Mandraki marina is just a short distance from Gouvia marina, where you will return your boat.

Aerial drone view of Kerkyra with the old fortress during a sunny summer day. Corfu Island, Greece

The magical city of Kerkyra

YACHTING.COM TIP: While you're in Greece, don't forget to check out our Tips for mooring in the Ionian Sea or our Top 7 sailing destinations in Greece for 2023.

2. Sailing route for relaxation and peace

If you're tired of sightseeing and partying, we have the perfect route for the ultimate in rest and relaxation.

  • Day 1: Marina Lefkas (Lefkada) 

We have a variety of boats available for rent at Marina Lefkas on the island of Lefkada. This marina is part of the D-marina network and offers all the necessary amenities for yachting, including well-equipped facilities. After receiving your boat, take the time to inspect it, purchase supplies, and immerse yourself in the laid-back Greek way of life,

  • Day 2: Sivota (Lefkada) 

Sivota Bay on the island of Lefkada is picturesque and well-sheltered from bad weather, which makes it ideal in strong winds or when there is an impending storm. Mola is one of the restaurants that will let you moor for free if you eat out there. We also recommend visiting this bay at the beginning of your trip as there are several shops for you to stock up on supplies.

  • Day 3: Filiatro (on the east of Ithaca Island )

Anchor as far away from the beach as possible to enjoy pure relaxation.

  • Day 4: Asos (Kefalonia) 

The bay of Asos has a tranquil atmosphere that feels like time has stood still. The local town is peaceful and the surrounding tree-lined walls make for a scenic morning or evening walk. As you navigate around the Asos headland, you can take a refreshing swim at one of its pebble beaches.

Asos from a bird's eye view. This place simply has a huge genius loci.

Aerial view of Asos. This place has a truly distinctive character.

  • Day 5: Fiskardo (Kefalonia) 

Anchor for free at the edge of this bay, take a stroll through the pine grove in town or simply relax on your boat and listen to the sound of the sea.

  • Day 6: Abelike (Meganisi Island) 

This bay is a serene and peaceful oasis with nothing to distract you except the occasional millionaire's mansion on the hill or luxury yacht in the distance. You can bask in the tranquillity, gaze at the star-filled sky, and truly escape the hustle and bustle.

  • Day 7: Lefkas Marina (Lefkada) 

Return the boat at Lefkas marina. It can get very busy on Fridays and Saturdays, so head into the town of Lefkada to one of the backstreets for your final dinner.

3. Sailing route for gourmets and nightlife

Are you a foodie or occasionally like to party? Then check out this itinerary.

  • Day 1: Marina Lefkas (Lefkada) 

Marina Lefkas is very popular, home to the biggest charter companies in Greece. Take an evening stroll into town, choose the best-rated restaurant and kick-start your journey on a high note.

  • Day 2: Nidri 

The town of Nidri is a renowned party resort with crowds of people filling the promenade almost every day. If you're not in party mode or want to unwind after a hard night, visit the nearby waterfalls to the west of Nidri to clear your head.

  • Day 3: Vasiliki Bay 

Windsurfers and sailors alike flock to this bay for its favourable winds, and you'll have the option to dock at the pier or anchor along the shore. If the pier isn't too busy, you can even tie up sideways for easier access. The town offers a variety of dining options, including some of the best kebabs in Greece, to suit all budgets and tastes, as noted by Tripadvisor reviews. If you're looking for a peaceful dining experience, the restaurant at the end of the pier is a great choice. They serve delicious traditional Greek food and will even refill your boat's water tank for free when you dine there.

Vasiliki is a paradise for windsurfers, wingsurfers and other water sports enthusiasts.

Vasiliki is a paradise for windsurfers, wingsurfers and other water sports enthusiasts.

  • Day 4: Argostoli (Kefalonia island) 

The crossing here will take you almost a full day, so get an early start. Come evening, you'll be able to enjoy some great nightlife.

  • Day 5: Agios Nikolaos 

You might think there's basically nothing in this bay on Zakynthos. But that's because you haven't heard of one of the best restaurants in Greece (and we're really not exaggerating). It's called Los Nobelos, and apart from being set in a beautiful organic garden, the cooking here is absolutely divine. They grow their own herbs and vegetables, their ice cream is made from natural ingredients and their saganaki prawns taste amazing.

  • Day 6: Filiatro (on the east of Ithaka) 

This bay is quite peaceful although a lot depends on how many boats arrive. On the shore, the restaurant and bar often feature live music or host music festivals, attracting a lively crowd of people dancing and having fun.

  • Day 7: Lefkas (Lefkada) 

End your trip with a stroll around the town of Lefkada. Prepare the boat for your return, get some sleep for the journey or simply just soak up the moment.

Recommended sailing routes according to difficulty

As well as basing your itinerary on your interests, you can plan the route according to your sailing experience. So, what do we recommend in Greece for experienced sailors who like to race the wind?

4. Greek route for experienced sailors

The best region for more demanding sailors is undoubtedly the Cyclades — located in the Aegean Sea southeast of Athens. These islands are some of the windiest in Europe, with winds of 20-25 knots even in summer.

YACHTING.COM TIP: The prevailing wind in this area is the Meltemi. Read more about it in our guide, The Greek Meltemi: friend or foe?

You can rent a boat on the islands of Mykonos, Paros or Athens. Due to flight availability, it is often most practical to sail from Athens.

  • Day 1: Alimos Marina (Athens) 

At the marina, stock up on food and supplies. Have a welcome dinner and set sail in the morning.

  • Day 2: Cape Sounion (Attica Peninsula) 

The route from Athens takes approximately half a day (23 NM) on a good day. Anchor under the cape, in the well-sheltered bay. If you can reach it before dark, you can take in a spectacular sunset with the Temple of Poseidon on the hill providing an incredible backdrop.

Ancient Temple of Poseidon in Sounion, Attica, Greece

Ancient Temple of Poseidon in Sounion

  • Day 3: Port of Loutra (island of Kythnos

This small harbour is well protected from the wind and has hot thermal water springs. In the local hydropathic institute, you will find baths in a small stone pool. This is a special experience and quite unique in Greece.

  • Day 4: Serifos Island

If you're looking for an adventure in Greece, consider exploring the hundreds of secluded coves along the rocky coast of Serifos. However, keep in mind that some of these coves are shallow with seagrass on the bottom, making it difficult to anchor on your first try. If you do venture into town, you'll be impressed by the rich history and vibrant nightlife, which features numerous clubs

  • Day 5: Port of Merihas (island of Kythnos

There are several restaurants and a nightclub on the harbour promenade. You can also replenish your supplies here.

  • Day 6: Koundouros Bay (Kea Island) 

Stop at Kolona beach on the island of Kythnos — one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Then continue to the island of Kea, where we recommend the tranquil Koundouros Bay for a stunning sunset. You need to get plenty of rest here before the long return to the Athens marina.

Kolona Bay on the island of Kithnos is really beautiful.

Kolona Bay on the island of Kythnos is stunning.

  • Day 7: Alimos Marina (Athens)

Hand back your boat at Alimos Marina. If you haven't already visited Athens, it is quite far, but take a trip to the centre on your last day. After all, it's one of the oldest cities in the world, so you need to explore it a bit.

Not satisfied with just a one-week sailing trip? Why not extend it to two weeks and explore even more destinations such as the popular Mykonos, Anafi or Paros? Check out our 10 reasons to go on a 14-day charter.

The Acropolis of Athens with the Temple of the Parthenon at sunset.

The Acropolis of Athens with the Temple of the Parthenon at sunset.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Read more about the Cyclades on our page dedicated to these beautiful islands.

Would you like to sail in Greece? Get in touch for advice and help finding the perfect boat.

FAQs: Sailing routes in Greece