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See Greece by water? Small ship or yacht??

Hi- My husband and I are hoping to take our 17 year old to Greece in late August/early September 2023. We want to visit Skopelos (our daughter is a huge fan of Mamma Mia! -- me too..). I was thinking Greece may be fun to visit by doing a small cruise or yacht? I just don't know where to start with this so I would appreciate some direction. We would be traveling from Seattle and could go for up to 2 weeks. I'm thinking a week and maybe a couple days exploring what ever european city we land in from the states (Paris, Frankfurt????) Once I start planning the trip, we do have some friends that may join us-- which is why a yacht may be an option.. thank you!!

Posted by
27367 posts

I can only say that if I were going as far as Greece (I've been there three times, though not recently and not on a small ship or yacht), I'd spend the entire two weeks there. You'll probably need to go through Athens in both directions, and you might end up needing to spend two nights there. I'd want to see a few of the historical sites and museums in Athens while in the country, and there's much to enjoy in mainland Greece outside the capital city (which is mostly not very old).

Posted by
15579 posts

I agree with acraven. Spend the entire two weeks in Greece. And you will still only be sampling this amazing country. The people are wonderful and many speak English, the scenery is breathtaking, and the food is AMAZING.

I can't help with ship suggestions.

Posted by
11356 posts

Do not spend less than two weeks there. I have read about people who sail renting sailboats.
The easiest way to set up what you may be looking for would be to hire a Greek travel agent, especially at this late date. Contact these reliable agencies: Fantasy Travel or Dophin Hellas in Athens for assistance with your plans.

Posted by
13 posts

We are doing a RS Greece tour in late September and when looking at connections to get to and from Athens we found something that could be of use to you as well. All the routes from SEATAC to Athens have varying layovers and prices. Using some Google Flights features we were able to find return flights to Thessaloniki (Greek Macedonia) for $692 which was about $300 cheaper than Athens. We wanted to do a rail trip Thessaloniki to Athens but those tickets are not yet available online (since the rail accident a few months back). We were able to find ferries doing that route though. The ferry is overnight but has cabins available. The ferries go via six or so islands so there is a chance to see coastline. We have an ocean cabin both ways so hopefully we might see something different on each leg (depending on time of day).
The ferry option may satisfy your small cruise / yacht idea.
The Thessaloniki flights are via Turkish Airlines. They offer a 'free' one night stopover in Istanbul but the departure/arrival times and layovers for Istanbul and Athens did not work for us to use this. We plan on another trip to Turkey in future though so may use this option at that time. The Turkish airline flights also include two 23kg checked bags whereas most airlines charge extra for just one. Your August flights might be more or less but play around with Google.

Posted by
1 posts

If it is not too late, but may be useful information for anyone considering a visit to Sporades at this time, some potentially helpful insights...

The railway connection between Thessaloniki and Athens is now broken due the recent floods in Volos, Larisa, Karditsa and surrounding area, and it will stay that way at least for several months, probably till the end of 2023.

Thessaloniki airport has been recently renovated, making it a probable choice for finding convenient flight options. With its proximity to the Halkidiki peninsula, you might think of chartering a sailing boat from there, especially if you aim to explore the "Mamma Mia" Sporades islands such as Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, and the surrounding islets.

Several companies operate boats out of the Halkidiki peninsula. If you're thinking of setting sail from Halkidiki, consider reaching out to skippered (or bareboat if you have a license) rental companies like:

https://albatros-yachting.gr/
https://www.nautilia-yachting.com/
https://babasails.eu/
https://www.sailman.gr/

You will need to charter the boat for one week or more in order to have enough time to visit several Sporades islands.

It's worth noting that the Halkidiki area is relatively untouched when it comes to sailing, so you might want to dedicate a few days there. This area is home to picturesque villages like Poteidea, Olynth, and Stageira, the birthplace of Aristotle.

An added advantage of this itinerary is the opportunity to visit Thessaloniki, a major metropolitan center in Northern Greece.