We recognize the best of hotels, villas, resorts, and restaurants in Greece mainland and islands in our “Best of the Best” section so you don’t have to scourer the web, and now we bring you the top 5 best destinations in the world to charter a yacht…and guess what? The top destination in the world is Greece.
With over three thousand islands and over five thousand years of history, Greece is a must-see destination for anyone who loves culture, traveling, sailing, luxury and visiting one of the most photographic countries in the world.
If you don’t know where Greece is located on a map, shame on you, but we’ll tell you anyway. Greece is located in southeastern Europe and is best known for being the birthplace of Western civilization, Alexander the Great, the most beautiful landscape and award-winning deep blue seas, hospitality to spare, and an abundance of mountains to climb, fortresses to conquer, beaches to frolic from black and red sands of Santorini to the cool party beach clubs like Cavo Paradiso on Mykonos. Luxury is synonyms with Greece. With Michelin Star chefs and restaurants and breathtaking views and a hospitality that is rivaled by none.
We may be a bit bias but we believe it is the most beautiful country in the world. That’s why poets have fought; virtually all countries at one time or another wanted to conquer it and has a heritage, others emulate.
Sail through Ionian and Aegean or the Saronic Gulf, and live like king and queens for a day, week, or month. Each set of islands are totally different from the others. From the lush foliage of the Ionian to the wild west bareness of the Aegean to the breathtaking sunsets of Santorini and one of the largest calderas in the world. We can fly you from your chartered yacht with a helicopter on out of this world Meteora that was used to model the “Game of Thrones” series to some of the oldest caves in the world. We can go on and on about the amazingness of Greece but you have to experience yourself to be able to see and feel everything we are writing about.
What comes to mind when we say South of France? Think Saint-Tropez, Corsica, Provence, and Monaco. Sound glamorous? Yes. Easily accessible? Incredibly.
The French Riviera was a health retreat in the 18th century, but in the 60s, it became a hotbed destination for aristocrats and those who liked to live large. Hug the coast of fabulous Saint-Tropez where the port was a major commercial post in the 1800s and has become a spectator sport for the ever-popular regattas.
If regattas aren’t your thing, Provance may be more your style. The once Roman province called Provincia Romana has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe, dating back to 1 to 1.05 million years BC. Provance has amazing history…from Celtics to Italians to Germans to yes, even Greeks, its rich background has loads of archeological sites.
Our favorites are coastal sites, such as the Calanques or Massif des Calanques. These are a series a little over 12 miles of narrow inlets on the cliffs of coastlines between the city of Marseille and the Mediterranean fishing port of Cassis. These dramatic features are a remarkable and breathtaking sight to behold when sailing with a yacht that you will not want to miss.
The tiny island of Corsica will forever be tied to a tiny man who wanted to take over the world. The name of the island goes back to guess who…ancient Greeks. It was known as Kalliste, Corsis, Cyrnos, all derived from the word “Σειρηνούσσαι” or Sirens. Yes, the same Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey.
Romans who later built a colony on the island considered it the most backward regions of the Empire. Then the French Revolution happened and then the birth of Napoleon and his wars, the British occupation and finally back to the French monarchy.
Corsica is the most mountainous and the fourth largest of the Mediterranean islands, has 620 miles of coastline, more than 200 beaches, and rather green with 20% of forest. If you want to travel from sea to land, it’s no problem. You’ll want to check out one of Europe’s most notable advanced hiking trail, the GR 20 or the Grande Randonnée footpath…we’re not sure what the “20” in the name stands for, but it sounds cool.
The Lycian Coast was once, you guessed it, Greek (it all circles back to Greece, doesn’t it?).
It is now part of the Turkish Riviera or the Turquoise Coast in the Mediterranean with rich history, rugged cliffs, ancient rock-cut architecture, spectacular protected coves, and miles of underdeveloped sand, all begged to be seen from a chartered yacht.
The Southern Italian region is known as Mezzogiorno meaning, “midday”. It’s an Italian macroregion and includes the entire southern section of the Italian Peninsula, the island of Sicily, and Sardinia.
This area features so many attractions, some by land, some by sea, and certainly accessible by yacht, such as the Baroque Palace of Caserta, the stunning Amalfi Coast, the huge and preserved archeological site of Pompeii. Low and behold, there are several ancient Greek cities in this region, like Sybaris and Paestum.
This region is one of our favorites to visit for the sheer beauty of the coasts, the pristine beaches, quaint villages, and the well-preserved parks.
The Italian Peninsula, or aka, The Boot, extends into the Mediterranean Sea, with the Ionian and Adriatic Seas on the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west. You can’t have a boot without the “toe” which is Calabria, the “heel”, Salento, and the “spur”, Gargano. All three of these turquoise-water coastal sub-peninsulas strike a pose with Baroque architecture, Roman amphitheaters, castles, ancient forests, and limestone cliffs.
Sicily isn’t just known for its pizzas or the mob (that’s Cosa Nostra, to you). It’s the largest island in the Med, has the tallest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna, coastal towers, home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a unique mix-culture of art, music, literature, food, and architecture because of its history from Phoenician to Carthaginian to Greeks to Arabs, all leaving their impression on this magnificent island.
Another yacht destination we highly recommend is Sardinia. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Cyprus. The island is divided into four provinces and the metropolitan city of Cagliari.
To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a portion of the Mediterranean Sea, and to its east is the Tyrrhenian Sea, also part of the Mediterranean Sea. Nearby islands include Corsica, Provence, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, the Balearic Islands, and Tunisia.
Sardinia’s 1,149 miles of coast is spectacularly high and rocky, with long and straight stretches of coastline. There are also outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, rias, and many inlets with various smaller islands located just off the coast.
Besides majestic mountains, Sardinia is all about water sports and yachts since the 60s, such as superyacht marina Porto Cervo port, Costa Smeralda.
With 2000 km of coasts, in Sardinia, the wind almost never fails and regattas abound. The Centro Velico Caprera is one of the largest schools of sailing in the Mediterranean.
When you marry wind, yachts, and regattas, you get a super lux, superyacht regatta sponsored by super lux Loro Piana and the Maxy Yacht Rolex Cup, part of the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
If you’re not into the regalness of regattas, you’ll want to check out Porto Pollo, a bay known for wind and kite surfing.
If you’re like us and love to lounge around on a mega yacht surrounded by stunning beaches with an equally stunning backdrop, then Cala Luna Beach is a must.
Cala Luna is in the Orosei Gulf and near Cala Gonone village. Close your eyes and picture steep limestone cliffs, lush greenery, and azure blue water…are you there, yet? The secluded beach is a little under two miles away from large sea caves called Bue Marino Caves. These caves are composed of stalactites, stalagmites, and rock carvings from the Neolithic period.
Party island Ibiza, is the Spanish counterpart to Greek party island, Mykonos.
Set off the east coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s the third largest of the Balearic Islands. Apart from its rowdy reputation as an island with a huge summer club scene, Ibiza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It dates back to 654 BC when Phoenician settlers founded the port on Ibiza. These days, whitewashed buildings surrounded by Renaissance walls of the Castle of Ibiza, and a 14th-century cathedral rule the old town, as millions of international tourists visit each summer.
Ibiza’s coastline runs over 100 miles with about 50 sandy beaches such as Cala Benirras, Cala de Sant Vicent, S’Arenal Petit, and Sa Caleta.
No matter what part of the world you decide to charter a yacht, make sure you have the right team coordinating your every whim. After all, the experience is as important as the destination.