Why Greece is the most wanted destination for catamaran rentals worldwide?
The Islands of Greece
are magnificient and authentic
. You can cross the whole Aegean Archipelago
, Ionian Sea
, Sporades and Dodecanese Islands just by hopping from one island to another
. Distances between the main island ports are often less than 30 seamiles. Especially the Cyclades, with the renowned islands Santorini
are very popular for sailboat yacht charters.
The islands have often limited infrastructure
, which many sailors nowadays consider a paradise because this is the kind of escape and experience they were comming for. In such sailing destinations, it is a great decision to charter a catamaran yacht.
A multihull yacht has spacious cabins, which offer much more space and comfort
than a monohull. A "Cat" is just fantastic to spend the nights out, anchoring in bays. While mooring outside a port, a catamaran has more stability and bounces less when there is swell. Therefore, catamaran charters
are perfect to do Island-Hopping in Greece
. When you anyway have a "floating apartment
", like a multihull
is more or less, there is no need to squeeze into a tight marina. You just anchor in wonderful bays and enjoy the quite nights outside the packed harbour towns. If you still have to go ashore or to town, catamarans usually have a robust tender, which are easily floated from the davits.
To get some inspiration, just watch this amazing video about some couples enjoying a catamaran hire
in Ionian Islands during summer 2018. For these sailing holidays the bareboat yacht was chartered with our partner company Kavas Yachting
from their base in Lefkas
How much cost hiring a catamaran in Greece?
A vacation on a catamaran in Greece cost between 2,500 and 10,000 Euro per week
. If you want to hire a skipper, you have to add 1,200 Euro per week. For a hostess you have to calculate another 1,000 Euro weekly, if you want someone to cook and cleanup for you. The cheapest months for sailing holidays in Greece year are November until April
. The highest rental rates you pay from mid-July until mid-September
. This price seems high? Just divide the weekly catamaran rental price through the maximum number of guests and days. You will notice that you can rent a catamaran with a group of eight people from less than 50 Euro per day and person
. The costs for provisioning, fuel and mooring fees come on top of it. But those costs are variable and depend very much on your demands and habits. For hiring a brand-new 50 feet crewed catamaran you can to pay up to 2,000 Euro per day. However, this ranks already as a private luxury cruise and has therefore a higher level of expense.
Discovering the Ionian Islands with your family on a sailing catamaran
Which are the best Islands to sail to in the Greek Archipelagos?
The most popular Mediterranean islands among multihull sailors are definitely the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea.
No doubt - most Greece catamaran sailors are attracted by the well know islands like Mykonos, Santorin, Paros, Ios or Naxos. From the landside touristic infrastructure those are surely well developed. In addition, they have their own airports. You will find the pictures of those bare rocky islands scattered over with white tiny houses on the title page of every story about Greece. Nevertheless, those most famous Aegean Islands have some disadvantages for sailors, especially for bigger boats. Those islands have limited marina and harbour space. Often there is no shore power available. Water sometimes have to be ordered by phone and will be delivered by a tank truck. Do not expect mooring ropes - you will have to throw your own anchor. During summer season, the few berths are very much requested. You likely will have to enter the port before high noon to find a free berth, which is spacious enough for mooring your catamaran. Also, be aware of that Mykonos, Andros and Tinos are very badly situated when the Meltemi blows strongly, because there is a kind of jet effect between these islands. In such a period, the northerly wind can blow with more than 7 Beaufort and waves reach a height of 4 meter. You might be trapped in the harbour for some days. This could spoil your whole itinerary, especially if you have only chartered the boat only for a single week.
When sailing on a catamaran, we recommend visiting the Cyclades Archipelago that are less renowned. There are dozens of undiscovered islands. We just like to name some of them that we visited personally. Sail to Kea, Kythnos, Siros, Sifnos, Serifos and Milos on your "cat holiday". Those islands offer plenty of natural unspoiled bays with clear water. Those beaches are usually free of 'banana boat riders' and other noisy entertainment but still enough developed for you to find lovely beach taverns with authentic Greek food. In times when the Meltemi blows, you will always find on those islands secure anchorages with enough space to sway around at anchor.
Just to give you a teaser for your Cyclades Island Hopping: A visit of the port village of Serifos, called Livadi, is necessary on your catamaran holiday in Greece. Serifos lays in a well-protected natural bay. There is plenty of space for anchoring right in front of the village or its beach. It has a nice little port with a couple of dozen berths directly at the waterfront. The ferryboats from Pireus stop here on their itinerary through the Cycladic Islands. In Livadi you find little shops where you can complete your groceries. Some nice authentic taverns and cafes line up at the waterline, providing a fantastic place for your lunch or dinner. In the evening, you should take the shuttle bus ride up the winding road to the Chora (15 minutes). The Chora of Serifos is a picturesque town, positioned on a peak high above the sea level. From there you have an amazing view over the bay and the Aegean Islands while enjoying a sundowner.
Climb up the way to the Church of Agios Konstantinos. From there you might walk down the narrow alleys back to Livadi in less than an hour. Just follow the stairways leading down on the south side of the Chora. You will pass through traditional white Greek houses and small porches and backyards greened with flowers and trees.
Tipp for the day on Serifos: Just 300 meter south of Livadi port, there is a wonderful half-moon shaped bay with sand and fine gravel. This is a perfect place to go for a swim or spend the day just anchoring and relaxing.
A charter catamaran anchoring in a bay of a Greek Island
What is the difference between a catamaran vacation in Greece and Croatia?
When sailing on a catamaran in the Greek Islands you will notice, that the most islands have a distance of around 10 to 30 sea miles. In Croatia, the islands are much closer. The distance is often below 10 sea miles. Besides, the shape of the Greek islands is rather round while the majority of Croatian Islands stretched long, parallel to the coastline. This costal geography leads to the fact that sailing between the Aegean Archipelago can be quite challenging, because there can be rough sea when the wind blows strong. In Croatia, almost everywhere you can hide leeward behind the long islands. The conditions in the Sporades, Saronic Gulf and the Ionian Islands are comparatively moderate. In these regions, there is no Meltemi, therefore those are well suited for new-comers and families, like the Croatian Archipelago.
The winds you should have heard about when sailing in Greece or Croatia, are the "Meltemi" and the "Bora". The Meltemi can blow strongly until galeforce in the Aegean Sea from Northeast to Southwest during summertime. The Bora is a cold wind that falls down from the costal ridges towards the Croatian coast. It blows mostly in winter months up to multiple days. In summer, the Bora is rare in often blows only for one day.
A significant difference between Greek and Croatian Coast are the beaches. In Greece, you have many shallow bays with white sands. In Croatia, there are almost no sandy beaches. The beach substrate is fine to coarse gravel.
Besides geography and winds, the popular sailing destinations Croatia and Greece differ by their marine infrastructure and service culture. While in Greece most harbours are traditional, offering often not much more than a few berths, the Croatian Marinas are modern, spacious and provide all kind of services for boaters.
From which ports in Greece I can rent a sailing catamaran?
You can rent boats for your catamaran sailing holiday in Greece
from seven different ports
The favourite harbours to begin a catamaran vacation in the Cyclades
are the Marina Alimos in Kalamaki
, a coastal town of Athens, or the port of Lavrion
next to Cap Sounion. Both ports are easy to reach from the airport of Athens (ATH) by express bus or even better by taxi. If you want to go on a crewed catamaran charter Greece, Kalamaki offers many options for your sailing vacation.
If you want to explore the Ionian Islands
, you should search for catamaran rentals
in Lefkas or Preveza
if you fly to Preveza airport. The Marina Gouvia, some miles north of Corfu town
, is another hotspot for boat rentals. The international airport of Corfu is only a 15 minutes ride from the Marina. A real pearl in the Ionian is the little island Antipaxos
. If you want to know what it means to sail with friends on a multihull to this island, just watch this video.
You can reach Antipaxos by renting a catamaran from Corfu
, Preveza or Lefkas. The sailing trip there will take half a day from these ports.
For catamaran cruises
in the Dodecanese Archipelago
, you should charter from the Marina in Kos
Island or Rhodes Marina
. Both islands are easy to reach via their own airports. National and international low cost airlines serve them frequently.
Young sailors enjoying their catamaran holiday in Greece
Which companies in Greece offer Catamaran yacht charters?
There are more than 30 charter companies offering catamaran rentals in Greece
. However, not all Greek companies have catamarans in every port. Most rental brands operate only from specific homeports. Therefore, we recommend to navigate to our Greece Page
from where you can select the wanted departure port. There, select the relevant port page you can filter for catamaran boats.
The Greek Ports, like here Lindos, are perfect to visit with a rented yacht
Do I need a license to skipper a catamaran in Greek Waters?
If you intend to rent a bareboat catamaran in Greece and steer it on your own, you need a license as Coastal skipper, Yachtmaster, ICC or Sportbootführerschein See
. An expeption might be for sailors that have the nationality of a country where there is by law no license required skippering such a boat. Nevertheless, even in such cases be prepared, you definitely have to prove your knowledge of seamanship with a skipper CV
. It can also happen that you will also have to demonstrate your skills during a kind of extended check-in procedure.
Additionally, in Greece it is mandatory that one of the guests will be named in the crew-list as the "Co-Skipper
". Such a co-skipper has to confirm that he is able to steer the boat in case the skipper is not able to do his job. Usually there are no papers requested from the Co-Skipper.
In case, you are a licensed skipper but you are new into catamaran sailing: We recommend to hire a professional skipper for the first one or two days. During this time, the pro-skipper can instruct you about manoeuvring a cat. You will feel safer and you get faster into catamaran sailing, avoiding mistakes.
If you do not have a skipper license,
you can still rent a bareboat catamaran and hire a professional skipper. Such skippers are provides by the local charter company. Most of the catamarans with 50 feet length and more can anyway only be chartered as crewed yachts.
Relaxing on the net of a catamaran while hopping the Greek Cyclades
Which is the best period for a catamaran rental in Greece?
The best months for catamaran hire Greece are April to October
. If you require warm water, you better not start before June. The best cost/experience relation for a cat rental on the Greek Islands are June to Mid-July and September to Mid-October. Why not August? The August weeks are very hot. The moorings in the little harbours are crowded. The rental prices are the highest. This is why we recommend avoiding the highest season weeks.
Moored catamaran sailboats at the south coast of Milos
How can I find the Best Deals for renting a catamaran in the Ionian or Aegean Sea?
The Best Deals for catamaran rentals
you will get when booking at least 6 months in advance. You will still find the favourite cat models in booking engines like our YachtFinder
. In Greece, Early Booking Discounts range between 10 - 25%. On Special Listings
you will see already selected Top-Deals for cat charters in the Greek Islands. If you are lucky, there might be still multihull offers left as Last-Minute Discounts - usually less than 4 weeks before the travel date.
Is it possible to charter a luxury catamaran with crew?
Yes, crewed catamarans can be rented from all major departure ports in Greece. Bigger multihulls from 50 feet lenght upward usually have a fixed skipper and hostess
that are always on the boat. For the summer months, those crewed charters are best to book at least a couple of months in advance
. However, if you have to take a last-minute decision, you could still hope to find an available bareboat catamaran and hire a skipper
as additional service extra.
Can I rent a catamaran in Greece only for a day?
Yes, you can rent catamarans for only one day. However, daily rentals are only possible if it is a crewed boat with a skipper. What you are looking for is called a "Crewed Catamaran Charter". For example, local operators on the Greek Islands offer catamaran day charters
. Often these skippers living on their own boats and offer daily excursions for tourists that are already on the spot. In addition, you have to consider that it is difficult to charter catamarans on a daily base for high season months because those periods are often booked out in advance for weekly charters.
Why there are almost no catamaran charters departing from the Cyclades Islands?
The leading bareboat yacht fleets that provide rentals into the Cyclades have their homeports in Kalamaki (Athens) or Lavrion
. The Cyclades Islands themselves have a genereally a weak marine infrastructure. There are only few berths in their little ports for leisure boats. Those circumstances make it hard for big boat rental companies to guarantee perfect charter services and professional maintenance. Boat rental operators, which operate on the islands, might have smaller boats in day charter. You can also find skippers living on the boats they offer for crewed charters. Companies, which offer bit sailboats for weekly charters, do not have their bases on the Cyclades Islands. Better charter from Kalamaki or Lavrion if you want to have a sailing holiday in the Aegean Sea.
Which skills do I need to steer a catamaran by myself?
You need the same skills for steering a catamaran as you would need for sailing a monohull. The two catamaran engines that work separately
is not only a plus for safety but also is an advantage when manoeuvring a boat in a small port, like those on the Greek Islands.
When steering a catamaran for the first time, you will quickly notice that tacking against the wind is a hard job for a multihull sailboat. Calculate your itinerary wise when returning from the Cyclades or Dodecanese to the charter bases in Kalamaki or Lavrion. If you can expect Meltemi with high waves from the North, you will might have to give up sailing back your catamaran. It might require switching on the engines to make any significant speed forward.
On multihulls, you have relatively big battened main sails
. So not a roller-reefing system. This means you should be familiar with setting the main sail properly and be able to reef it. This is a more complex job than just rolling in the main sail into the mast when the wind gets a bit too rough. On some catamaran boats, you will even need a person on the fore deck to assist. Another aspect is that a cat has no keel
. Therefore, it tends to have a bigger lateral drift than a keelboat.
Where should I sail to in the Aegean Islands if I prefer moderate seas and low winds?
The Saronic Gulf is very suited for yacht charter crews that prefer less wind and protected waters. This is especially recommendable for families with small kids or skipper newcomers. In the Saronic Gulf, you can sail within one week an itinerary over the islands Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses and the port of Epidauros. The following video shows 9 friends cruising with their rented cat through the Saronic Gulf
having a lot of fun. The footage also captured some nice land-based activities and experiences.
The catamaran, a Lagoon 450
model, was chartered from the YachtBooker partner Kavas Yachting in Marina Alimos, Kalamaki (Athens).
We hope that this article could answer some of your questions you had about sailing a catamaran in Greece. If you got inspired and want to get more information, just contact our catamaran expert with the red contact button in the banner below. Else just check for Greece catamaran offers
via the YachtFinder