Sailing in the Greek Islands 

One of the first and greatest stories ever published, The Odyssey, tells among other things of an epic sea journey as Odysseus made his way home from the Siege of Troy. He sailed through the Greek Islands of the Aegean to his home on Ithaca, in the Ionian Islands, a journey which took him ten years. But even if you don’t have ten years to spare, you can still enjoy what is one of the greatest Greek experiences - sailing around the islands. 

From the humble village fisherman to the great shipping dynasties like the Onassis family, the Greeks have always had a special affinity with the sea, and there’s no better way to understand the feeling than to get out on the water yourself, whether you rent a boat for a few hours, a few days, or spend your entire holiday afloat on a boat.

Kos

Kos

On Kos in the Dodecanese islands you can rent boats at the harbour in Kos Town or in any of the main resorts like Kardamaina. From Kos Town, it’s only 10 nautical miles to Bodrum in Turkey – just remember to take your passport. The same distance due south of Kardamaina is the volcanic island of Nisyros, and there’s nothing more exhilarating than sailing from one island and seeing the next appear on the horizon, a world different from the one you just left. 

In the Old Town of RhodesIn the Old Town of Rhodes

Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes is thought to have straddled the harbour entrance here in Rhodes Town on the island of Rhodes, also in the Dodecanese, but for us the harbour on the smaller island of Symi is the most beautiful in Greece. It’s almost 25 nautical miles away, and you’ll pass the Turkish coast on the way, but you sail into a gorgeous horseshoe harbour with pretty pastel-coloured houses filling the hilly slopes all around. It’s a sight you’ll never forget, especially if you arrive at night, sailing your own boat.

Corfu Evening SkyCorfu Evening Sky

Corfu

Corfu in the Ionian islands is the best choice of all. Several UK holiday companies such as Sunvil offer sailing holidays in the Ionian, where you can learn to sail even if you’ve never sailed before. You could also join a flotilla holiday and be as active or as inactive as you like. It’s got some of the best windsurfing spots in Greece too, and the winds here can really test your skills as they change throughout the day.

The Mountains of Crete

Crete

Crete is the largest Greek island and you’d have to sail a long way out to sea to lose sight of Crete’s magnificent mountains, but why sail away when it has over 600 miles of coastline just waiting to be explored? There’s a definite feeling of adventure if you sail south to the little island of Gavdos, the most southerly point in Europe. Don’t miss it – your next stop is 140 nautical miles away in Libya!

Our other more general pages about Greece...

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  • Ten Biggest Cities in Greece

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  • Six of the Best Beaches in Greece

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  • Top Ten Things to Do in Greece

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  • Which Greek Island?

    How to choose which Greek island from six of the most popular, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

  • Weddings in Greece

    Weddings in Greece and the Greek islands can be luxury or cheap, are easy to arrange from the UK or USA in Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

  • Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands

    The Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands, the largest in size, are listed by Greece Travel Secrets and include Crete, Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes.

  • The Nomads of Greece

    The nomads of Greece are the Vlachs, nomadic shepherds whose capital is Metsovo in the Pindus Mountains, and the Sarakatsani, shepherds in Macedonia and Thrace.

  • The Greek Gods

    The home of the Greek Gods was the top of Mount Olympus, and among the better-known Gods and Goddesses in the Greek pantheon were Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite.

  • Quick Guide to Greece: How to Choose the Best Destination for You

    This quick guide to Greece gives advice on choosing the best Greek destination for your holiday, whether in the Greek islands or the mainland.

  • Luxury Weddings in Greece

    Luxury Weddings in Greece, including venues such as a boutique hotel with deluxe spa on Santorini, can be booked through Ionian Weddings.

  • Life as a Waiter on Zakynthos

    Life as a waiter on Zakynthos tells what it was like for travel writer Mike Gerrard to work in a Greek restaurant, the Mantalena in Alykanas.

  • Greek Music

    Greek music is the sound of the bouzouki and tunes like Zorba the Greek and Never on Sunday are heard everywhere, while rembetika is called the blues of Greece.

  • Greek Ferry Guide

    Greece Travel Secrets Greek Ferry Guide page uses an extract from the Aferry Greece website with advice on island-hopping, buying tickets online and timetables.

  • Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • Greece for Beginners

    Greece for beginners is an introduction to Greece and the Greek islands by way of a memoir by travel writer Mike Gerrard about discovering Greek kindness.

  • Greece At A Glance: Currency, Weather and Other Useful Information

    Greece at a glance is a potted guide to the Greek currency, language, weather, health requirements and other information to help you plan a trip to Greece.

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