From rustic villages, unadorned white houses trimmed and roofed in bright blue clinging to sheer cliffs, and islands covered in olive groves and ancient ruins; from sophisticated resorts where the highest standards of food and wine are served to traditional tavernas where the Ouzo and Retsina flow; from Corfu in the northern Ionian to Santorini in the southern Cyclades and Symi in the western Dodecanese, there are so many reasons to visit the islands by luxury charter yacht.
1. The History
For an incredible fifty centuries, the Greek islands have been the crossroads between North Africa, Asia Minor and Europe. Some of the oldest and the most impressive European civilizations have either called the Greek islands home or fought to call them home. The ancient Minoans, Egyptians, Romans and Greek civilisations have all left their mark on these beautiful islands.
Greece is home to more than 100 absolutely spectacular archaeological sites. From the major sites such as the sacred ruins of Delos to the quieter, sometimes overgrown, remains spread across most of the islands, you will get the chance to step back in time when you step ashore from your luxury charter yacht. Depending on your itinerary you have the chance to visit the huge marble statues Naxos or see the colourful 2nd century mosaics in Kos. Greek ruins are as impressive as they are numerous. Almost as numerous as the fabulous tavernas that line the town quays!
2. The Beaches
But Greece is not just about history it is probably better known as a holiday destination for its deep blue seas and the beautiful beaches that line the coasts of these stunning islands. We've all seen the photos: the aqua blue-green waters gently lapping golden sand or impressive volcanic rock formations. With the eleventh longest coastline in the world there are countless superb, gorgeous beaches for your luxury yacht to anchor off.
Greek beaches are plentiful and range from the powder-soft sand that you can sink your toes in to those offering jaw-dropping wave-sculpted rock. The beaches in Greece are some of the most unique on the planet and are stunning to behold. Greece is also renowned for the quality of its beaches with some of Europe's cleanest beaches and an impressive list of those that are consistently awarded the international Blue Flag for eco-quality.
3. The Food
In the Greek Islands, you could eat something different every day and be sampling for years, such is the bounty on offer. As your luxury charter yacht takes you on your island hopping adventure you will discover that each island's local cheese is unique, and its wild greens and honey distinctive. And of course there is the freshest seafood everywhere. On many islands, you'll encounter the Italian heritage of pasta with a Greek influence, like rich sauces with mussels steamed in ouzo. On others, the Ottoman legacy can be seen in the spiced sweets and pastries.
Greek people are passionate about food and very proud of their culinary traditions. Food preparation, then celebrating with food is a social experience for family, friends and visitors. From fresh seafood to expertly barbequed meats, myriad salads and vegetable options, soups, appetizers known as meze, special occasion delicacies and desserts, there are thousands of recipes, regional variations and family recipes passed down through the generations, all based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, plenty of seasoning and olive oil.
4. The Nightlife
Whether you are young in age or young in heart Greece is fun wherever you go. Whether you want to dance the night away to the latest pumped-up party music or chill-out at a luxury hotel posh pool bar there are many faces to the Greek nightlife.
There are world renowned international clubs such as Laganas on Zakynthos or Kavos on Corfu featuring famous DJs or party at beach bars on some of the world's most picturesque beaches with moonlight lighting up the crystalline sea. Mykonos has to be the ultimate of Greek party islands with a huge variety of venues on offer with daytime having just as many party options as the night, from beach clubs to rock-cafes, and charming atmospheric bars to clubs in which global guest DJs play music until the early morning.
Enjoy cocktails in retro bars overlooking charming harbours watching stunning sunsets or join the locals at a village square taking part in traditional dances. The choices are endless and on your luxury charter yacht you have the chance to enjoy many of them.
5. The Climate
The Greek islands enjoy a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate. Everywhere the summers are hot and dry with brilliant "wall-to-wall" blue clear skies. With long summer sunshine hours and very little rainfall this is the perfect climate for a successful summer luxury yacht charter.
Greece is quite a diverse country and there are regional differences. Most noticeable is the presence of the Meltemi, a summer wind which blows up to gale force at times during July and August in the Aegean home to the Cyclades. Fortunately at this time of year the Ionian still offers wonderful cruising with protected bays and calm passages.
Greece is a country spread over hundreds of islands. Some of them are celebrated for their natural beauty and beaches, while others have a pumped-up party scene or strong cultural traditions. Whatever you interests you can easily spend many weeks island hopping on your luxury charter yacht. Why not do the Ionian this year and the Cyclades next. What's not to love about Greece.
For further details about cruising the Greek Islands
For information about the sensational superyachts available for charter in the Greek Islands please contact the Mediterranean luxury charter yacht specialists at Luxury Charter Group.