best way to visit greek islandsThe best way to see Greek islands; this year, Greece saw record numbers of tourists visiting the country. The European peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean is matched with an archipelago of thousands of islands that attract myriads of visitors. Some tens of these islands are large, about a hundred are smaller, and a couple of thousands are uninhabited landmarks scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas.

Greece is an ideal place to visit by all means and has been a well-known destination since the early sixties. At the time, Frederica of Hanover, the Queen consort of Hellenes, being the wife of King Paul of Greece, was inviting each summer other members of the royalty on a cruise visiting the Greek islands.

The country offers rich heritage spanning some dozens of centuries in the past but what the hordes of visitors seem to praise and enjoy the most are the sunny skies, the crystal-clear waters, the excellent food choices and the friendly and outgoing nature of the Greek people. The best possible way to visit the Greek islands, if you do not make part of the Royals, of course, is by chartering a sailboat.

At no surprise, in the last decade, an increasing number of tourists fly over to charter sailboats instead of booking a hotel. The country has invested a great deal in infrastructure and marinas. Furthermore, a number of very experienced people are put at the helm of local organizations and private companies in the field.

Be that as it may, sailing in the Greek islands usually means cruising just a few miles from one island to the other – or around one island only – finding the right spots to swim and have a good time on your day, while spending the night at the harbor when you can enjoy the nightlife.

Sailing in the Greek islands is always rewarding, not withstanding if you are a licensed skipper of an open-sea sailboat or just an amateur of the seas who wants to hone their skills.

In the past, the local tourism organization that supports and promotes the main industry of the country used slogans such as “live your myth in Greece”, “the true experience”, “welcome home” and “all time classic”, to describe what visiting Greece is all about. But words cannot be used to recount the unique feelings when you jump into the water from a sailboat or just lie ashore on the hot sand under the sun, or when you socialize with people from all around the world and have fun.

In fact, sailing in the Greek islands is more like discovering land and people than crossing the seas. You could either join a group of fellow explorers and be near the crowd or set sail to privacy and get to know the people you came with in the most memorable way.

Drop your anchor when you see fit. Apart from the strong northern winds of the “meltemia” appearing in August, Greek seas do not constitute a real challenge to the average sail crew. Furthermore, underwater life is safe as it is exciting. It is not unusual to be headed by dolphins at the bow or meet a sea turtle of the Caretta-Caretta species.

Prices may vary considerably from one island to the other but are quite affordable by any international standards. In most cases, mooring costs about €5. However, you may end up being a free rider as local authorities silently often let the sailboats dock for free at a dedicated space near the main entrance of the harbor. Fresh water, which was always scarce on the dried Greek islands flooded by tourists in summer time seem abundant today since Greeks take all the necessary measures and prepare on time to deal with high demand.

However, you’d better plan your trip early. Best time to visit in the summer is June, July or even September, avoiding the frenzy of August. The season officially starts in April and ends in October. Nevertheless, some destinations are offering sailboats for charter all year round.

Check online, ask lots of questions and book when you are ready. When you finally get home from your trip, you will find out that a private sailing cruise is the best way to getting around the Greek isles.

Best way to visit Greek islands by Anastasia.

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