By Cliff Blaylock
The Greek islands are one of the world’s undisputed paradises. With luscious forests, enticing blue waters, vibrant wildlife and exotic culture, it is small wonder why these isles – set like jewels upon the Mediterranean – are so popular with holidaymakers. But, when visiting Greece , you are faced with a dilemma. Every island has its own unique qualities and attractions, and those who visit are often forced to spend their time in a specific place, with the likes of Corfu, Mykonos or Crete proving the most popular. While these are certainly beautiful places, being in one location means you simply cannot see and experience what the rest of the islands have to offer.
Sailing yourself around the Greek islands, however, is the perfect solution to this dilemma. Aboard a boat of your own you are not limited to one island, nor do you have to run by anybody else’s clock but your own. The possibilities are simply limitless. You can explore, discover and experience everything the islands have in-store for you, while still being able to relax and unwind in the hot Mediterranean sun. It truly is the best of both worlds.
While sailing opens you up to so many options, one of the most popular choices of the Greek islands is their crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. While those heading to tourist hotspots will have to share their stretch of beach with thousands of other holidaymakers, those aboard their own sailing vessel are in for a rather different experience. The many islands of Greece offer up stunning beaches in cutaway bays far from towns or any kind of civilization. While reaching these types of places would prove near impossible for most, a sailing boat can easily slip into these sheltered, secluded bays, allowing you to have the beach all to yourself. The Greek islands are home to thousands of beautiful beaches, with only a small percentage being in constant use, meaning it is not that hard to find a place just for you. Could it be any more tranquil than that?
Sometimes though, you want to enjoy more of the natural world. The scenery found upon some of the islands is simply awe-inspiring and well worth exploring. Be it the hiking trips on Santorini, the breathtaking Samaria Gorge on the island of Crete or the oasis-like cave of Melissani on Kefalonia, there really is plenty to keep those in love with nature satisfied. However, while a boat allows you to enjoy all these sights, there are rarer and more unique experiences to be had. For example, a boat can take you places others simply can’t reach, such as amazing underwater reefs and unspoiled lagoons. Possibly the best experience you can have aboard your own vessel is to explore one of the many uninhabited islands found in this vibrant, yet mysterious, part of the Med. With thousands of islands dotted around Greece’s coast, and only around 300 actually inhabited, it won’t take you long to find a paradise to be on your own. For here you can leave your boat anchored off-shore and step foot where few have gone before. Explore an island untouched by humans. Mother earth in her most natural state.
But if you want to mix in a bit of culture with your relaxation, you might want to consider a trip to some of the Greek islands’ most incredible ancient ruins. The Greek, Roman and Egyptian history surrounding the islands draws in people from across the globe, looking to discover its mysteries or just bask in its wonder. While those on land, visiting just one island, may only enjoy the sights of the ruins on their particular patch of land, aboard a sailing boat you can travel between islands, exploring every castle, city or ancient temple you desire. Find the lesser known pieces of history and walk in the footsteps of emperors and kings, rather than behind a bustling crowd just appearing from the local resort tour bus.
Another great part of the Greek islands is their range of dining options. From hilltop views to waterfront cafes, every island has its own style and uniqueness when it comes to food. So why not travel to a new island every night, go ashore and enjoy the delicacies it has to offer? However, not only can you experience great food, but being able to tour all the isles’ towns means you will also be able to experience all the different aspects they excel in. For example, stop in Oia, Santorini, to enjoy their famous pure white houses topped with the iconic blue domes, or head into Kavos, Corfu, to experience some energetic nightlife. No matter what you feel like doing, a boat can take you where you want to go.
No other method of transport can take you to these places. A boat under your control is simply the ultimate way to experience the Greek islands. But, as with most holidays, concern now falls to the price. Touring around the Greek islands in a boat sounds incredibly expensive but actually its cheaper than you might think. Greece is very laxed on its harbor rules and as such, means most ports are cheap, either requiring a small fee or simply being free to dock. This also means that if you get a boat with a cabin, you don’t have to shell out for a resort or hotel room as you can sleep on the boat. So it all comes down to where you get this whimsical object of transport from. If you own a sailing boat, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice, long voyage round the coast of southern Europe; although that can be very time-consuming. If you don’t own your own boat, or simply don’t have the time to make the round-trip, your options include rental or hiring a charter service.
If you want to experience the ultimate in Greek island travel, contact Cliff Blaylock of Deep Blue Yachting. Cliff and his crew will be happy to charter any cruise you desire, taking care of the transport, while you just sit back, relax and wait to arrive at your next location. See as much, or as little, as you please.