Spotlight on Greece: Part Two. Charter The Sporades, Dodecanese and Ionian Islands
The Sporades get their nickname of ‘the emerald of the Aegean’ from their vegetation rich coastlines and green-blue ocean tones. This cluster of 24 islands offers a really authentic luxury charter experience.
A nature lover’s paradise, the national marine park of Alonissos is the perfect place for spotting monk seals, dolphins and seabirds. The extensive open deck space on board 139’5’’ (42.50m) M/Y Libra Y will give you a front seat view of the wildlife.
Don’t miss Skopelos, where scenes of famous movie Mamma Mia were shot. After a day of exploring the island, relive the magic on board by enjoy the movie itself on board 170’11’’ (52.1m) M/Y Wind of Fotune, a yacht that offers a real old school glamour in her design without compromising on the latest luxury superyacht features.
Skiathos is known for the shimmering sand of Koukounaries beach, but the beach gets busy, so head instead to the striking sea arches of Larlaria beach, only accessible by boat, or explore the hills on horseback.
The twelve islands of the Dodecanese have a rich cultural history, a clash of Crusaders and Ottomans left a footprint of unique architecture and cuisine – the Greek islands with a twist. Rhodes is the most famous of all of them. Walk the walled old town and eclectic shops before sailing off at speed on the luxury sport yacht 90’7’’ (27.6m) M/Y Eleven I to make the most of the stunning beaches of nearby Symi or the wild mountains of Karpathos.
The key islands in the Ionian Sea are known as the Heptanese, or seven islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Corfu, Ithaca, Lefkada, Paxa and Kythira. The Ionian islands are one of the most sought after charter destinations in the Mediterranean, offering the perfect mix of dramatic and changing scenery, exquisite food and a unique history.
One of the most picturesque islands in the group, Kefalonia, has views a plenty. The best way to view the stunning bay of Myrtos or the colourful venetian houses in village of Fiscardo, is from the deck of a superyacht. You would be hard pressed to find one better than that on 156’ (47.5m) M/Y Oasis, which comes complete with lounge area and 12 person jacuzzi.
Ithaca is the place of Greek legend; the birthplace of Odysseus, and Zakynthos offers more than one unique experience. Explore the mesmerizing blue caves on the islands northern tip, or try and spot a loggerhead turtle from 69’5’’ (21.16m) M/Y Meli.
The coastlines of Corfu are lined with olive and lemon trees and the history is a melting pot of cultures. With one of IYC’s newest offices located in Corfu, the team can provide plenty of expert advice on the best that this area has to offer. 88’7’’ (27m) M/Y This is Mine is one of the many beautiful yachts available for charter in this area – why not enjoy an aperitif on the deck, before coming ashore for an unforgettable meal in a Venetian fortress?
Whichever yacht and islands you choose, the long Greek cruising season lasts from May to October. If you would like your charter to feature a bit of everything Greece has to offer, including the atmosphere and parties of islands like Mykonos, then mid-season is the time to visit. Once you have had your fill of parties, or if the crowds get too much, simply sail to a secluded cove and recharge your batteries. But if you are looking for a quieter experience all around, then by visiting at the start or end of the season in May or September/October, you will still enjoy Greece’s wonderful climate (and some of the incredible 250 sunshine days a year), but have the islands almost completely to yourself.
With an ideal climate, safe waters and short distances between ports the only worry you will have is choosing which island to visit and which luxury yacht to choose as your base to explore.
To plan your own Greek island charter, contact our IYC charter team today.
For more information on IYC’s range of services please contact the IYC office most convenient to you. IYC has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami, Nantucket, Great Lakes, London, Monaco, Greece, Russia, Croatia, Montenegro and Scandinavia. To contact an IYC office click here.