There is arguably no more beautiful part of the world than the Greek Islands. And surely, there’s no better place to go island hopping, thanks to more than 5,000 islands and islets that make up the Greek archipelago.
Steeped In History
Sailing from island to island is a marvellous way to experience a way of life often unchanged in centuries, and to immerse yourself in the classical culture that shaped modern life. Steeped as they are in mythology, the beauty and picture-perfect settings of Greece’s islands would suggest they are indeed blessed by the gods who once ruled this land, and its mortal inhabitants from Mount Olympus. How many Greek Islands there are is actually unverified but estimates range from 1200 to 6000, from the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea. Only around 200 are inhabited and amazingly only 78 have more than 100 inhabitants, so if you fancy yourself a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, shipwrecked on your own desert island, you’re looking in the right place. While there is a terrific ferry service between many of the islands, crewing on your own boat really is the most amazing way to see the very best of this beautiful region.
Inexperienced sailors need not worry – you can charter your own yacht that comes complete with captain and crew, who act as your tour guide and translator when you put into port. Or, if you’re confident of your ability at the helm of a sailing boat, be your own skipper for your vacation.
If yachting is what appeals to you and you have visions of sailing into an unspoilt harbour on the bow of your own boat, you simply have to go for it and plan what will be the holiday of a lifetime. Chartering your own sailboat gives you the freedom to follow your own itinerary unlike a cruise with its set ports of call or a ferry stuck to rigid schedules. Today island hoppers can go yachting on a luxury vessel fitted out with every mod con and all the conveniences you would expect of a top-class hotel. And once you’ve selected your charter, you can plan your voyage, and decide which islands you’re going to hop between.
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands and has many beautiful and enticing little inlets in which you might want to drop anchor, while also being surrounded by many other little islands worth exploring. A busy and popular holiday destination, it has something to offer everyone.
Perhaps the most beautiful of all the islands is Santorini, immortalised in film in the Hollywood blockbuster Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Created from the remnants of an ancient volcanic caldera, Santorini is a breathtaking sight, curved round an enormous lagoon with its picturesque villages perched on the steep sides of lava-laden hills.
The stunningly beautiful island of Lesbos has magnificent beaches, fragrant pine forests, fertile olive groves and a mountainous landscape alive with magnificent wildlife. But, far from the madding crowds are dozens of other, equally spectacular islands that offer a wonderfully warm welcome to travellers.
And when you’re yachting across the beautiful turquoise waters of the Aegean or Ionian Sea, you might well imagine yourself following in the wake of the gods and know this journey is no myth, but a wonderful reality.
Hiring a yacht is great way to see the Greek Islands, better yet if you have a rya sailing course under your belt you will be able to voyage to where ever the mood takes you.