Tharsheblows

Bareboat Charter Company recommendation for Greece

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I'm planning on chartering a sailboat (35 ft-45 ft) in Greece this year.  I would like to start my charter in the Cyclades rather than in Athens so I don't have to wast time reaching the islands I an interested in and going back.  (Paros, Mykonos, or Syros would be perfect)  Does anyone know of any companies that they had a good experience with or recommend?  Is there a central place that lists all the charter companies.  (I am aware of https://www.latesail.com/en-us/ and https://www.cyclades-sailing.com/)

Anyone know of others?

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There is a company in greece chartering POGO 12.5 s...these are unique Boats...you might do some googling 

i doubt is they have charter companies based on the islands.   

 

Lavrion is the big port that serves the Aegean 

 

 

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When I've sailed in Greek waters, there have been quite a lot of bareboats chartered from a company called Kiriacoulis.  They appear to have several bases on Greek islands.

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I have chartered from Michalis at FastSailing many times, and he is pure gold. The boats are at Lavrion (Olympic Marina), not Athens/Pireas, which is the same distance from the airport but a days sail closer to the islands. Lavrion is NOT a big town or a big port, but its perfect for a launch point. And the sail from Pireas to Cape Sounio is boring anyway. He'll meet you with a boat anywhere you want, but why bother? With a Pogo 12.5 we left at noon and were Syros for an early dinner. Highly fucking recommended.

 

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Lavrion is a good location...close to  the airport ...first night sailing to Kia  , then reach into the Aegean or if the wind is too strong .you can sail  into the  Eviiokos inland sea 

Circumnavigating Nisos Evioko , then  returning downwind  in the Meltemi to Lavrion  via the wind blasted Steno  Kafirea is one of the worlds great cruises .  

 

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Thank you for the info.  Those Pogos look like wild awesome rides.  Almost a race boats minimally outfitted to serve as a cruisers!  Kiriacoulis looks like it has some good boats too (closer to the traditional cruisers).  I think I would prefer the Pogos cause I tend to enjoy always racing  (myself or any unsuspecting sailboat in view) but may crew may prefer the traditional Beneteaus, Jeaneaus, and Bavarias.  I will have to go sell it!

Thanks for the info guys!

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8 hours ago, Tharsheblows said:

Thank you for the info.  Those Pogos look like wild awesome rides.  Almost a race boats minimally outfitted to serve as a cruisers!  Kiriacoulis looks like it has some good boats too (closer to the traditional cruisers).  I think I would prefer the Pogos cause I tend to enjoy always racing  (myself or any unsuspecting sailboat in view) but may crew may prefer the traditional Beneteaus, Jeaneaus, and Bavarias.  I will have to go sell it!

Thanks for the info guys!

 

Once you get over the visual effect created by the lack of wood, you'll find that the Pogo's interiors are very comfortable. And VERY roomy.  Any while they look daunting, the boats are immensely stable with a very straightforward rig.

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Or you could come and sail mine around the islands on the Great Barrier Reef, nowhere near as crowded!

Seriously though, Jackdaw’s right , roomy, comfortable and rigged like a big dinghy, it’s amazingly easy to sail single handed. Do it, I promise you’ll be grinning from ear to ear!

SB

 

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3 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

Or you could come and sail mine around the islands on the Great Barrier Reef, nowhere near as crowded!

Seriously though, Jackdaw’s right , roomy, comfortable and rigged like a big dinghy, it’s amazingly easy to sail single handed. Do it, I promise you’ll be grinning from ear to ear!

SB

 

I am sold on the Pogos.  I would love to sail the reef.  I was lucky enough to sail a little Hobbie in Manly Beach a few years ago and would like to get back down under.

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Another quick Greece question.  We would like to visit Santorini but everything I hear about the anchorages sound terrible.  However, in my experience people tend to be real conservative when they discuss such things.  Does anyone have any experience anchoring around Santorini.  The charts show several places.  I guess I'm asking- How bad is it really?      At this point I'm probably gunna try to do it anyway.  Anyone with real experience?  Is that a really bad idea?

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Thira is a bad place to visit with a yacht .

Bad.  

The water is deep, the meltemi blows hard and the town " port " is washed with waves.

the port is on the east side of the chart 

when sailing across the Aegean  and I MUST stop , I anchor on the south side of the Island .

indicated by the two long arrows 

the bottom is grass, poor holding ...use a sharp eye to spot a clear patch 

 

With  a sailboat , the beauty of Greece...the Aegean ...is to the north.

when the meltemi blows , tall islands pull the wind down to the sea , the wind may  be stronger on the lee side . Williwaws are always to leeward 

even anchored of  the lee side of islands is stressful when the meltemi blows . 

Your anchor may hold , but its to aggressive to board the dingy 

as a rule , to deal with the meltemi stay west of  24 E and north of 38 N

P1090890.jpg

 

 

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11 hours ago, Tharsheblows said:

Another quick Greece question.  We would like to visit Santorini but everything I hear about the anchorages sound terrible.  However, in my experience people tend to be real conservative when they discuss such things.  Does anyone have any experience anchoring around Santorini.  The charts show several places.  I guess I'm asking- How bad is it really?      At this point I'm probably gunna try to do it anyway.  Anyone with real experience?  Is that a really bad idea?

 

Well first, entering the caldera under sail is a bucket-list kinda thing. So for sure try.

Now the bad news. The only 'marina' on Thira is on the SE corner of the island, at Vlikadha. Small and crazy busy to start off, it's pretty much been taken over by local cats doing day trips. You might get in but mooring-wise it's worse then Hydra. And that's saying something. Expect to raft up med-moor style,  a real treat. Last time I was there was in the off-season (March) and we got the last open slot. Even then local boats wintering there were using ALL the slime-lines.

If there is no room at the inn, then I'd try anchoring at Oia. Its only of the only shallow area inside the caldera (if you can call 10-15m shallow). There is a dock for dinghy, but you face a blistering climb up the face to the town. The rewards however are great, including a great view and a very cold beer.

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Wow! Thank you both! This is the kind of real info I was looking for.  I'm convinced the bad news I have been reading about Santorini is real!  Thats a scary picture.  Im not sure what is worse- the wind or the prop wash from that massive ferry!

Our trip is in May so its still early season but it sounds like I can expect the marina to about the same. (likely full).  I will have to have a serious talk with my crew about how bad they want to include Santorini . (They all wanted to visit Santorini but some are not all that salty so I'm not sure they are down for that kind of "excitment").  Do you use multiple anchors with trip lines or run lines to shore for extra assurance?  If you anchor on the south end can you get a taxi into town?  I had been looking at those coves near Oia... that hike does looks serious, perhaps it will be easy to convince someone else to volunteer to stay with the boat, lol!

Are there any other ports in the Cyclades that you recommend by sailboat?  Perhaps under rated by land tourists?

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4 hours ago, Tharsheblows said:

 

Are there any other ports in the Cyclades that you recommend by sailboat?  Perhaps under rated by land tourists?

 

Yea the trick at Santorini is you are ALL IN if you go there. I suggest jumping off from someplace very early and getting over as soon as you can. And loiter like a vulture over any likely spot.

Well its hard to pick a BAD spot.... that's I suppose part of the attraction. May will be a great month to sail, but the water might be cool for many tastes.

Scooters are available to rent everywhere, and taxis will come anywhere. So I suggest looking into secondary ports at Islands. At Paros try Marpissa for instance. Very nice little harbor.

 

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You are best to order the eagle Ray  pilot ...now 

http://www.eagleray.gr/index.php/products/greece-sea-guide/vol-l-saronic-and-argolic-gulfs-cyclades-crete-detail

they are very detailed and provide pilotage advice for greek harbours

all other pilot books are second class...eagle ray is the real thing

meltemi is a summer wind..it can blow at gale force for a week 

be aware,  conditions in a small craft will be  challenging .

 

 

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

You are best to order the eagle Ray  pilot ...now 

http://www.eagleray.gr/index.php/products/greece-sea-guide/vol-l-saronic-and-argolic-gulfs-cyclades-crete-detail

they are very detailed and provide pilotage advice for greek harbours

all other pilot books are second class...eagle ray is the real thing

meltemi is a summer wind..it can blow at gale force for a week 

be aware,  conditions in a small craft will be  challenging .

 

 

I have Rod Heikell's.  Is the Eagle Ray good enough that I should get it too?  Or is that redundant?

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3 hours ago, Jackdaw said:

 

Yea the trick at Santorini is you are ALL IN if you go there. I suggest jumping off from someplace very early and getting over as soon as you can. And loiter like a vulture over any likely spot.

Well its hard to pick a BAD spot.... that's I suppose part of the attraction. May will be a great month to sail, but the water might be cool for many tastes.

Scooters are available to rent everywhere, and taxis will come anywhere. So I suggest looking into secondary ports at Islands. At Paros try Marpissa for instance. Very nice little harbor.

 

Thank you!  I'll let you guys know if my crew decides to go for it.  

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Eagle ray is fantastic....local wind behavior  for every port, "blast zones"  detailed greek charts of all navigatable waters,  plus handy phone numbers and local interest notes. 

Hiekels book is also good..i have been using his books for years. No complaints 

eagle ray is a level above. Immense amout of local knowledge data . 

if you are only going for a week eagle ray might be expensive and not needed

its up to you 

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10 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Thank you...hopefully this is the first Greece trip of many....and more info makes for less problems.  I may spring for it.

 

 

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I always use Nisos Kea, Korissia , as my first stop out of Athens airport . 

Very Good anchorage in the NE corner ...the town port is to aggressive for small craft 

the town has everything...grocery shopping , tavernas and whatnot plus  you get a feel for the wind conditions to the east .

 

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3 hours ago, Tharsheblows said:

These look like great resources.

For basic navigation and staying off the rocks I use navionics on an iPad.  Do you have an opinion on Navionics?

 

I would use iSailor. Not only does it use the vastly superior Eagle Ray charting for the region, it offers both real-time (online) and 72-hour off-line forecast GRIB weather. Makes figuring out where to go to avoid the blow (or find it) easy. It's a subscription, but they use the highly regarded THEYR service. Also has internet-based AIS. I didn't that that would be of much help, but as there is 4G internet service pretty much every were it was surprisingly handy.

 

 

GRIB.jpg

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Yah...normally at the airport or at a kiosk you can purchase a local sim card 

they are packaged for tourists..cheap 

i cant remember the best phone provider in greece...you might ask around 

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Great!-I'll look into iSailor! 

I usually leave my phone on in Europe because AT&T only charges $10 a day to extend normal coverage throughout most of Europe (I haven't checked Greece specifically but I think its included.  That price isn't not to bad for a one week trip)  I imagine there is cell phone coverage within a mile or two of most of the major cities in the Cyclades?

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Dont know your plan ..data roaming is expensive.

the islands all have coverage..i dont  remember which provider is best.

it must be a common question...your charter company will know.

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5 hours ago, Tharsheblows said:

Great!-I'll look into iSailor! 

I usually leave my phone on in Europe because AT&T only charges $10 a day to extend normal coverage throughout most of Europe (I haven't checked Greece specifically but I think its included.  That price isn't not to bad for a one week trip)  I imagine there is cell phone coverage within a mile or two of most of the major cities in the Cyclades?

 

I do the same.. I'm in Spain right at the moment and for US$10/day Verizon extends my unlimited US coverage to Europe. Its not a great deal for a month, but for a week its fine. TMOB has so-called free unlimited in Europe, but its 3G and VERY SLOW. They do have a 4G up-charge option.

Greece treats the water between the islands like it was land. The phone networks work EVERYWHERE in the Cyclades, even open water. In Greece try and attach to the Cosmote network, by far the best 4G coverage. Their 3Gig data SIM is not a bad deal for iPads. You can find these everywhere in shops, but bring your passport if you go and buy one. But I usually just leave my US SIM in. I'm lazy.

Re iSailor make sure you get the EagleRay charting; as there are two options. The other one is OK but has nowhere near the ports and marina detail. Every morning over coffee, if you have cell or WiFi coverage take a minute and refresh your 3-day off-line GRIB. That way you will always have fresh wind/precip data even if you get to some hole in the wireless network.

 

Re Santrorini you have to go. You can try and get your Caldera fix at Milos, but its nowhere near the same. Not like this.

 

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Hi Tharsheblows,

Some comments about the "must see" island of Santorini. It is indeed impressive and unique to sail in the volcano crater, which is what essentially the Santorini caldera is: 250-300m high cliffs of reddish color , picturesque white houses "hanging" above, 400m deep blue waters, briefly a great scenery. This topo map gives an idea of the morphology

The problematic part though is mooring. The little marina in Vlychada (at the SE) is in a location that has nothing special, where there is rarely a spot. Therefore you need a back up plan:

a. try the Korfos bay at the East side of Thirassia islet

b. (most importantly) plan to have plenty of time to go to Ios (~15nm), or Folegandros (~25nm)

Enjoy your cruise!

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5 hours ago, meaftias said:

Hi Tharsheblows,

Some comments about the "must see" island of Santorini. It is indeed impressive and unique to sail in the volcano crater, which is what essentially the Santorini caldera is: 250-300m high cliffs of reddish color , picturesque white houses "hanging" above, 400m deep blue waters, briefly a great scenery. This topo map gives an idea of the morphology

 

 

Nice map. Never noticed that before... the water in the caldera is MUCH deeper than the sea surrounding the island(s). That's cool and kinda spooky. 

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On 4/23/2018 at 4:21 AM, meaftias said:

Hi Tharsheblows,

Some comments about the "must see" island of Santorini. It is indeed impressive and unique to sail in the volcano crater, which is what essentially the Santorini caldera is: 250-300m high cliffs of reddish color , picturesque white houses "hanging" above, 400m deep blue waters, briefly a great scenery. This topo map gives an idea of the morphology

The problematic part though is mooring. The little marina in Vlychada (at the SE) is in a location that has nothing special, where there is rarely a spot. Therefore you need a back up plan:

a. try the Korfos bay at the East side of Thirassia islet

b. (most importantly) plan to have plenty of time to go to Ios (~15nm), or Folegandros (~25nm)

Enjoy your cruise!

Thank you!  Yes, I understand that deciding to go to Santorini carries with it several risks!  And I agree with Jackdaw said, that topography map is both cool and kinda spooky.

The east bay of Thirassia islet looks like a good place for the night but my crew will still want to go to town.  This presents issues.  This is probably my main concern of the whole trip actually.  I'm kinda hoping opportunity will present itself when needed.

 

I have decided to charter a Dufour 455 out of Mykonos.  Should be a pretty epic sail!

 

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@Tharsheblows, the times I've sailed by it, there have always been boats anchored just west of the 'Black Beach' at the SW corner of Thira. There is a road and a resort there, and I assume taxi service. The downside is that is no good for any breeze that has a southerly component, so you might have to draw straws to see who gets left behind. Unless you feel VERY confident in the forecast.

 

 

black beach.jpg

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Tap your bucketlist if you must with the big islands then get the hell away and try not to drink or eat there.

The smaller Islands like Sifnos are gems. Almost off the tourist trail except for Athenian holiday homes, otherwise you’ll get just locals and their culture. Lovely bays in the south where the ferry wash and wind ain’t. Clean water without plastics and sewerage. Dine near midnight on whatever the fishermen catch, or slow roasted goat shoulder with some vineleaf parcels and washed down with unbottled wine. Apperitif ouzo/water. Superb!

You’ll end up visiting the euro-trash cesspits no doubt if it’s your first time, but do them first and quickly leave. Don’t look back or your wife will turn into a piller of salt. :(

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I want to thank everyone who gave me info regarding Greece.  My trip was incredible trip.  I rented a Dufour 455 from Kiriacoulis and started off from Mykonos sailing downwind in 25 kt meltemi (which I enjoyed immensely but my some of my crew didn't).  We stopped in Koufonisi, then Iraklia, then two nights in Santorini, then Ios, the Naoussa, and back to Mykonos.  

In Santorini I tied the stern to the shore with two lines and put two anchors out of the bow around the corner from Oia.  The depth dropped off quickly so it was not "ideal" but it worked.  I did get a little scare in the middle of the night when a ferry came by full blast and kicked up a serious wake (I was relatively close to shore ) but the anchors held and I was ready to fire the engine if they didn't hold.

Here is a picture from a tavern at the base of Oia.   Our boat is the first one behind the Octopus.  

I agree that Santorini is a bucket list destination.  The girls in my crew definitely wanted to see Santorini and I was curious too and I am glad we saw it because it was certainly beautiful but I don't really care if I ever go back because the cruise ship crowds are pretty terrible. (but I kinda knew that before I went)   The smaller islands had much more quaint charm and far fewer people.

All in all it was an excellent trip and, again, I appreciate all the advice.

 

IMG_5258.JPG

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A friend is looking for a skipper charter in Greece.  He needs a skipper and thinks a catamaran might be preferable for his wife and daughters.

He is not particularly interested in going to Mykonos or Santorini - is it worth staying in the Cyclades, or should he just bail and go over to Corfu and the Ionian Sea? (or east towards Turkey?)

He is looking at this company: http://yachtsailing.gr/  Does anyone know it?

I have also suggested Kiriacoulis.  And it sounds like Fast Sailing might be good too.

All advice here welcome.  Thank you.

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 8:17 AM, HFC Hunter said:

Tap your bucketlist if you must with the big islands then get the hell away and try not to drink or eat there.

The smaller Islands like Sifnos are gems. Almost off the tourist trail except for Athenian holiday homes, otherwise you’ll get just locals and their culture. Lovely bays in the south where the ferry wash and wind ain’t. Clean water without plastics and sewerage. Dine near midnight on whatever the fishermen catch, or slow roasted goat shoulder with some vineleaf parcels and washed down with unbottled wine. Apperitif ouzo/water. Superb!

You’ll end up visiting the euro-trash cesspits no doubt if it’s your first time, but do them first and quickly leave. Don’t look back or your wife will turn into a piller of salt. :(

I think the USA version of this is trying to get people doing the Bahamas not to hang around Freeport and Nassau and then complain the place is a mess.

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On 6/28/2018 at 11:31 AM, jewingiv said:

A friend is looking for a skipper charter in Greece.  He needs a skipper and thinks a catamaran might be preferable for his wife and daughters.

He is not particularly interested in going to Mykonos or Santorini - is it worth staying in the Cyclades, or should he just bail and go over to Corfu and the Ionian Sea? (or east towards Turkey?)

He is looking at this company: http://yachtsailing.gr/  Does anyone know it?

I have also suggested Kiriacoulis.  And it sounds like Fast Sailing might be good too.

All advice here welcome.  Thank you.

Bumping this, in case anyone with decent answers might have missed it...

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On 6/28/2018 at 8:31 AM, jewingiv said:

A friend is looking for a skipper charter in Greece.  He needs a skipper and thinks a catamaran might be preferable for his wife and daughters.

He is not particularly interested in going to Mykonos or Santorini - is it worth staying in the Cyclades, or should he just bail and go over to Corfu and the Ionian Sea? (or east towards Turkey?)

He is looking at this company: http://yachtsailing.gr/  Does anyone know it?

I have also suggested Kiriacoulis.  And it sounds like Fast Sailing might be good too.

All advice here welcome.  Thank you.

Yes, it would be 100% worth it.  In my opinion, both the smaller islands and bigger but less touristic islands were absolutely beautiful and more fun to visit than Mykonos and Santorini (not that they were terrible either, you can always shape your experience by where you make land).  I think you can probably visit the cyclades multiple times without being repetitive.

 I can't help you with captain but I had a decently pleasant experience with Kiriacoulis.

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