Some of Greece’s most famous tales have come from the sea, so why not get out on the water to create a story of your own? Choose between four different types of boats to embark on your own oversea island excursion.

Greece by Yacht

One of the best ways to explore Greece’s many island chains is, naturally, by boat. So while you’re choosing which islands to explore, choose your vessel as well. Motor yachts, catamarans, motor sailers, and monohull sailing yachts all offer different experiences, ranging from five-star luxury to family adventure, complete with full crew to see you safely over the waters.

If you want to go further inland on your journey, overland transfers are also available from many ports. Regardless of which you choose, skimming over the clear waters with your own crew will always feel like the right decision.

Motor Yachts: Large Cabins, Full Crew, Most Luxurious Option

Typical motor yacht

If you want to island-hop in luxury, board a motor yacht to experience a five-star hotel at sea. Motor yachts boast larger cabins, many complete with king-size beds, and the highest level of comfort on the seas. A crew is available at all times to meet passengers’ needs. You’ll also cover more ground—or water—with this selection, as motor yachts can travel more than double the speed of some other options. But that speed comes with a price. These are usually the most expensive choice and consume significantly more fuel than their counterparts, so the eco-conscious may want to look elsewhere.

Catamarans: Full Crew, Comfortable Cabins, Stable Sailing

Classic catamaran

For those who’d rather feel both the wind in their sails and a soft bed at their backs, opt for a crewed catamaran. These sailing yachts come with a full-time crew and are more luxurious than a monohull sailing yacht, with larger cabins, decks, and lounges. They also have the benefit of a more stable sail than a monohull yacht. The full-time crew can sail under just wind power if the conditions allow, and you can reach speeds of up to 10 knots per hour (approximately 12 miles, or 18 kilometers, per hour).

Motor Sailers: Great for Large Groups, Motor and Sail Capable

Out on the water

Board a traditional wooden gulet boat with the whole family or wedding party if you’re looking for a relaxing, large-group-friendly experience. These crafts travel via both motor and sail depending on the weather and can house up to nine cabins’ worth of sailors. Your party can live out their secret pirate dreams onboard, reaching speeds of up to 12 knots per hour (about 14 miles/22 km per hour) under the crew’s guidance.

Monohull Sailing Yacht: Affordable Seafaring with an Expert Skipper

Monohull from above

The monohull sailing yacht is similar to a catamaran but tends to be more affordable. It also offers a more distinctly seafaring ride, letting passengers experience the natural movement of the ocean and techniques of sailing. The narrower boat is more maneuverable and easier to moor than a catamaran, an issue that will be handled by your professional skipper.

Ready to set sail? Check out these yachting itineraries.

There are about 6,000 Greek islands total, so where do you begin? The Cycladic island group is the most famous, home to well-known stops like Mykonos and Santorini and easily accessible from Athens, but the Aegean offers plenty of islands to suit your every fancy. Head west from Athens into the Saronic Gulf for a visit to romantic Hydra and its coastal mainland neighbors, or set sail from Corfu and venture out into the Ionian Sea for some lesser-known spots.

Sailing Holiday in the Aegean - 9 Days. Channel the spirit of some of Greece's most famous tales as you sail through the Aegean on this nine-day itinerary. Start off by paying the proper tribute at the Temple of Poseidon before you start on your way to Kea, followed by the villages of Kythnos. Visit the capital of the Cyclades on Syros and the home of the Cyclops on Serifos, then search for the Venus de Milo's cousin on Milos before you end your trip on the double beach of Kolona.

Sailing Holiday in the Saronic Gulf - 9 Days. Spend nine days getting your sea legs with this sailing itinerary. Once believed to be one of six entrances to the Underworld, the Saronic Gulf is now one of the most popular yacht spots in Greece. You'll travel to a new destination each day, taking in harbor towns and historic temples and churches, sampling island specialties, and enjoying the sea breeze.

Luxury Cyclades Yacht Cruise - 9 Days. Cruise like a celebrity through the glittering waters of the Cyclades on this nine-day itinerary. The Cyclades are some of the most quintessential Greek islands, and you'll see seven of them from the decks of your yacht, along with plenty of time to explore onshore. From lesser-known spots like beach-lined Milos and petite Antiparos to favorites like bustling Naxos and cosmopolitan Mykonos, you'll scope out this island chain in style.

Sail the Ionian Sea from Corfu - 8 Days. If you love sunny days, turquoise waters, and relaxing beaches, this tour's for you. Sweep from coastal town to coastal town as you travel by yacht from Corfu to Syvota, Paxos, and more. Explore ancient ruins, sun yourself on Ionian beaches, and fall in love with everything Greece has to offer. 

Historic Greece By Land & Sea - 14 Days. See Greece's expansive history both archaeological and nautical with this two-week itinerary. You'll start off atop the Acropolis before you head down for a bike ride through the Athenian city streets. Then set sail across the Saronic Gulf for your own personal island experience, stopping on Aegina, Poros, and Moni. Get back on land to proceed through ancient Epidaurus, Mycenae, and Corinth before you return to Athens.