Useful tips combined with the great advantages of a bareboat charter in Greece motivate you to explore the islands under your own steam. If you are used to crewed charters though, you will notice that there are a few more things to be aware of. If you are sailing on your own for the first time, these tips will help you making it an unforgettable holiday in the Greek islands.
Bareboat & Crewed Charter Tips:
- Have important documents at hand
As for any holiday abroad, your passport and health insurance (e.g. EHIC) should always be at hand in case you need them. For bareboat charters, you also need to provide proof of the skipper’s sailing qualifications at any time. You will be asked for it when you charter the boat and the port authorities on the islands might request it too. Store these important documents in a place on the boat where you can easily find them, but where they are also save during adventurous days at sea.
- Be aware of additional expenses
The fee for bareboat charter is the payment for the boat and it usually includes cleaning and handling fees. Not included are additional costs like mooring fees. Those vary in each port and are often to be paid in cash. Other expenses for food and drinks or a coin laundry at the marina should also be in your budget calculation for the sailing holiday.
- Always have some cash
Not only mooring fees are often required in cash, but you might also set anchor in more secluded bays and towns where you can’t pay by card for your coffee or a beer after a day of sailing. To avoid any disappointment, it is recommended to always have cash in Euro (local currency in Greece) with you.
- Stay in touch with the base manager
The base manager should always be your first point of contact if you require any assistance with the boat. If you need to reach out, you should have the number at hand.
- Reserve mooring or show up early at the marina
When planning your itinerary, you should also check whether the island where you want to anchor requires a reservation at the marina. Make this reservation as early as possible to secure your spot, especially during high season. Some marinas operate on a first come, first serve basis in which case it is recommended to plan for an early arrival. The beauty of the Greek islands is certainly worth getting up a bit earlier in the morning!
- Keep an eye on the weather conditions
Your skipper has been trained for this, but it is always advisable to monitor wind and weather information for your entire route for the day. It might be necessary from time to time to change your route or to even stay another day in one bay. We know that you don’t want to think about bad weather on your summer holiday, but it can save you a disappointing experience.
- Plan your transfer to and from the boat
No matter where you are going on board, you need to get there first. In most cases, you will have booked a flight and need to get from the airport to the harbor. In Athens, you can take public transport or a taxi, for some of the islands you might take one of the bigger ferries from Athens or fly directly to the islands. Either way, you should arrange your transfer to the boat. If you need any help or advice, please get in touch.
- Travel light
When it comes to packing, there are two things to keep in mind: You won’t need much, and space is limited on a yacht. A soft bag is generally recommended as you can easily store it in your cabin. For safety, all items should be stored in the drawers and wardrobes on the boat. The shape of those can vary and it might be difficult to fit a hard-case suitcase. A soft bag is the best solution and easier to carry on and off the boat.
- Coffee and food
If your holiday is a crewed charter, it often includes meals and service on board. During a bareboat charter, you need to provide for yourself (and your family and friends that you travel with.) When you plan your trip, you should also get information about the shops available at the marina. Sometimes, it is better to buy groceries for two days in advance. In some marinas, you also find a great selection of restaurants if you prefer to eat out. It is recommended to gather this information before you start because you don’t want to run out of water (!!!) or food. Some of your friends on the boat might also enjoy a coffee on deck in the mornings.
- Don’t run out of essentials
We already mentioned the most important items to have on board: water and food. Furthermore, there are some cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to keep with you when you set the sails: sunscreen and sea sickness tablets. Not having those with you can cause a lot of disappointment on your holiday.
- Charge your devices
You probably don’t need your laptop on your holiday, but a mobile and a camera are most likely with you and you want to use them. If you are sailing it might not always be possible to charge these devices on the boat, so you want to make sure to get everything charged when you’re at anchor in the marina.
- Familiarize yourself with the area
Before you start planning your route, have a look at all the options. The Greek Islands are an archipelago of thousands of islands of different sizes, and they all hold something special to discover. You wouldn’t want to find out after your holiday that you were passing a gem without knowing about the treasures it holds. Everybody has heard of Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini, but you might want to check out smaller islands like Skiathos or Volos. Also Milos or the Cyclades are always worth a stop. We have prepared a map of all islands and marinas in Greece that provides all the information you need to plan your itinerary.
- Plan additional activities ahead
Whilst you’re already planning where you set anchor, you might want to book additional activities in advance. You could do guided tours through historic villages and archeological sites, take diving lessons or try paddle boarding. Some islands offer tours further inland in a 4x4 – whatever it is you’d like to experience, check what the islands have on offer and book your spot early.
- Indulge in culture and landscapes
With additional activities also come local culture and landscapes. You don’t necessarily need a guided tour to explore olive groves or little chapels on hills. If you want traditional cuisine, ask the locals for recommendations. In most cases, authentic cuisine is found a bit further away from tourist hotspots in busy marinas. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel and goggles to also explore the underwater world.
- Make memories
Probably the most important tip for your bareboat charter in Greece: Enjoy your time and make memories with loved ones that last a lifetime!
PS: You might also want to capture those moments in pictures!