Best Sailing Destinations In Greece

Best Sailing Destinations In Greece | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

September 12, 2022

Greece is a beautiful location for anyone interested in visiting, especially sailing. In fact, there are some of the best sailing destinations in Greece.

The islands make Greece its own unique place in comparison to other parts of the world. So what locations are worth visiting?

With 6,000 islands and islets, Greece has beautiful scenery all around that makes it worth the trip. The Ionian, Sporades, Cyclades, and Dodecanese Islands are bucket list-worthy destinations that you have to sail. Crete, Thassos, and Evia are other locations you must see if you have the time.

There are roughly 227 out of the 6,000 islands that are inhabited. So if you want a mix of places that have been developed or untouched, you will have plenty of options.

According to sailing experts, there are certain times of the year that you should visit Greece. Some will vary based on tourism traffic and weather, but it is best to check it out in May, June, September, and October.


Table of contents

Where You Need to Sail in Greece

Greece has outstanding morphology and history that make it one of the best sailing destinations on the planet. With great weather and plenty of islands to visit, you cannot go wrong with any of them.

There are a handful of locations where you could begin depending on where you want to start. One of the most popular destinations to depart is Piraeus port on the southern coast of Athens.

Ionian Islands

The Ionian Islands have some of the best climate conditions with thick foliage covering them. They typically have less wind speeds than other parts of Greece, which might make it easier to cruise along and enjoy your time looking at the scenery.

Included in these islands is Ithaca, which was Odysseus’ home. This is one of the more popular destinations in Greece, so the crowds might be heavier. It is recommended that you check it out in May or September for the least amount of traffic.


Corfu has plenty of coves and bays, blanketed with tons of emerald trees across the land. Plenty of sandy beaches to park your boat and to go exploring.

Kalami is a fishing village not too far away on the northeast coast. If you visit Petriti Harbor, you can park your boat and check out the rich history museum.


Lefkada is an excellent entry or exit point when sailing the western side of Greece due to its central location. Here you will find Vasiliki Bay, which is known for wind surfing and potential sailboat races.

However, between there and Syvota there are some strong wind gusts. Consider getting a feel for things before you let loose of the sails.

The bay of Rouda/Mikros Gialo offers excellent anchoring points to stay a while and explore a handful of coves. Be mindful of strong gusts here too.


Ithaca is one of the most famous islands in Greece, thanks to the story of Odysseus. Despite being arguably one of the more famous Greece histories, it is a little quieter compared to other locations.

If you take a break from sailing, there are mountains and hiking trails to adventure through. There is even the Cave of the Nymph, which is rumored to have hidden gifts from Odysseus during his travels.

There are tons of opportunities to scuba dive and sea kayak if you want some time off of your boat. You will also notice plenty of different breeds of trees throughout the island.

Sporades Islands

You can find the Sporades Islands on the northwest coast of the Aegean Sea. There are 24 different islands, but four are inhabited.

Tons of topography and vegetation to make it one of Greece’s greener islands. In addition, it is also a little quieter throughout these areas if you are wanting some time to yourself without as much traffic.


Alonnisos offers a more rugged look with pine forests and is home to the National Marine Park of Northern Sporades. There you can see rare species of birds and other aquatic life.

This was also one of the first islands to be inhabited by the Aegeans. You will find Patitiri, as this is the location of the harbor and is the capital of the island.


Skopelos offers clear waters, a golden coast to sail around, and three ports to tie off at. These ports are Skopelos, Glossa, and Agnontas.

If you are in the mood for hitting up every type of beach, this is the spot to do it. Not one beach is one significant than the other, as each one is unique. Some have pebble coves, various sandy bays, and a handful of large rock cliffs.

The area does tend to get crowded during the summer months. Sailing could be tough to navigate if there are plenty of people hovering the smaller islands.

However, you should try the Tiropita (cheese pie) before leaving, which consists of local goat cheese and a crunchy spiral pastry combination that will make you want more. This would be a great location to stop and have a picnic after sailing.

Dodecanese Islands

The Dodecanese Islands are some of the top of everyone’s list to visit or sail. These groups of islands are fairly close together and are easy to see if you are in a rush.

Their location achieves the most sun out of the Greece islands and it makes for the popular tourist spots. There are plenty of marinas to choose from, so parking your boat for a while should be a breeze if you want to explore.


Karpathos is splattered with mountains, beautiful landscapes, historical villages, and turquoise water. In the villages, you can join in on the fun during festivities at certain times of the year.

After you park your boat, you can hike around the island and check out their protection sites for rare species of birds and other wildlife. You might even see seals or dolphins swimming near the coast.


Rhodes is an interesting location of where medieval and Greek history blended together. With that in mind, it has beauty like no other island with its archaeological and medieval monuments.

In the town, you can see how this location is a Unesco World Heritage Site. While hiking, you can see the Valley of the Butterflies just before you hit up the beach.

You could look into Faliraki if you are interested in some water sports or bungee jumping. The island life, along with the historical monuments, makes this a popular sailing location.


Symi is just as you would expect if someone were to paint you a picture with words about Greece. You will likely see expensive yachts and beautiful marinas around here.

Symi has three popular beaches to check out, which are Ai-Giorgi, Dysalona or Fokospilia. Each one has a beautiful coast to sail near to see aquatic life and to scuba dive.

If you are near Rhodes, you do not have to travel far to get here. This is just short of a two-hour trip if you were to cruise along.

Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades are arguably the most famous groups of islands in Greece. They have some of the most beautiful islands in the world, and listing only a few does not do it justice.


Mykonos is the heart of the Cyclades Islands and makes for a luxurious retreat to sail to. This might be one of the more lively spots to visit without being too rowdy.

It has been rated as one of the best tourist destinations in Greece. They are known for their outstanding beaches and great restaurants. This place will make you feel like a celebrity.

Check out Kalafatis and Paradise Beach if you want some time walking around the coast. If you can park your boat just right, you might be able to catch one of the best sunset pictures of your life.


While this used to be a lesser-known area, tourists have flooded to Paros for a good reason. This is the most loved holiday location for tourists to visit.

Parikia is the capital and is one of the busier spots on the island. You will see many great restaurants and historic buildings.

You should take the time to see Kolymbithres Beach, as this has seawater sculptures of golden sand developed on granite rocks. These make for great pictures, as they are unique.


Naxos is another top sailing destination filled with everything you could hope for along your travels. As you enter the harbor of Paros and make your way to Naxos, you can see Portara which is a huge marble gateway.

Once you have made it, you could check out kouri. These are mostly unfinished statues of young men that are found in the gardens of Melanes.

You also need to spend some time windsurfing or racing along Mikri Vigla beach. The wind can get up quickly, so be cautious for sudden gusts.


Santorini offers a little something that most areas in Greece, or the world, can offer. That would be the volcano, which erupted back in 1646 BC when the area was called Thira.

When you do take time away from your boat, you can visit one or three of the colorful beaches. These are Kokkini Paralia (red colored wall beach), Aspri Paralia (white cliffs), Perivolos (black sand).

Scuba diving in the volcanic waters is a beauty, especially if you can check out the shipwreck at Taxiarchis. You should also consider looking at the lighthouse in Akrotiri.


Milos is the southernmost island in Cyclades that has many breathtaking features from volcanic activity. They have various coloured soil, interesting rock formations, and classic beaches.

They also are home to many hot springs such as Pikropigis springs. You can always find something to do here, as they even have early Christian catacombs to check out.


If you want to see the largest and most populated island in all of Greece, look no further than Crete. This one is much less popular for tourists in comparison to other islands, so sailing through here might be beneficial if you want less traffic on the water.

This was home to the Minoans who are some of the oldest civilizations in the world. King Minos was once believed to have lived in Knossos.

You likely want to avoid sailing around July and August since the meltemi winds are the strongest. Try in May or September for best results.


Thassos is another island you cannot afford to miss out on in Greece. They are home to many aquatic life and plenty of dolphins. Panagia happens to be a protected marine ecosystem, but you can still see the beauty.

You can sail up the coast and anchor at the harbour once you have tried all of the amazing food. This area is a little more intimate, with a casual feel and is not as busy with tourists.


Evia is another huge destination in Greece, as the second largest island. With that being said, it is nowhere near as busy in comparison to other beautiful islands of Greece.

If you are wanting a lot more relaxed time without a lot of people bothering you, this is the place to be. You can still see a lot of natural beauty, but make this last on your list or just a stop to pass through.

When to Sail in Greece

Sailing to Greece is an adventure of a lifetime that you will never forget. While the journey there might not be as memorable along the way, it is the locations of the islands themselves that will make you never want to leave.

Most of the islands are untouched, leaving you freedom to explore what nature intended. As long as you do not disturb marine life, you should be fine.

Months to Sail

If you cannot wait to sail in Greece, then you can aim to travel around May to October. The weather is not as aggressive, consistently, throughout those months.

There are some examples of islands in Greece that have more wind than others. It is important to check this out before heading to a unique area in case winds are the worst for the season.

The best time in most of Greece is to sail between July and August. They have hot but dry summers with light changes in wind and few storms.

Changes in Colors

Depending on when you are sailing, you will likely notice the change in colors on land. The trees and plants will change according to the season.

This could be a big difference between going in the spring or fall months. The only major problem you have here is trying to decide what color you would want in your photos.

Tourist Destinations

The time of the year also makes a difference in the number of tourists. If you want a little fewer people around, you can try to aim for the fall months or early spring.

The summer months are going to bring the largest crowds into Greece. Even though traffic will never stop at beautiful destinations like these, it might not be as bad as trying to sail in the summer.

Best Sailing Destinations In Greece
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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