Dreaming of sun, sand and turquoise waters? Greece’s myriad island clusters boast superyacht appeal in spades, home to world-class beaches, rich cultural history and beautiful year-round clement weather, not to mention it’s legendary hospitality. We take a look at some of the best islands this East Mediterranean region has to offer on a Greece yacht charter.
Whether you are after unbridled escapism, dramatic landscapes, world-class diving or beautiful cuisine, these island jewels promise to deliver on every front, making these our top picks for a truly memorable yacht vacation this summer.
With lush pine-clad mountains peppered with charming colorful villages, not to mention profusion of exotic beaches, medieval castles and mysterious caves, it's a small wonder Kefalonia has claimed the coveted title of Best Greek island in a recent Which? survey.
As the largest island in the Ionian archipelago, west of mainland Greece, Kefalonia has a mesmerizing beauty that is almost unparalleled. The high mountainous peaks and dreamy coves, that provided the iconic setting for Louis de Bernières’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, as well as its eponymous award-winning film, instantly captures the imagination.
It is also the only Greek island to boast a national park, rich in biodiversity, including an indigenous fir species that makes up two-thirds of the park’s abundant flora. Nature-loving charter guests will bask in the serenity of this emerald isle with its profusion of golden beaches, pastel-hued villages and winding forest trails.
- Melissani Cave - located on the island’s eastern flank, you’ll find a beautiful clear turquoise lake set within a magical cave, with an oculus in the roof that illuminates the cave’s interior providing a shimmering light show that has to be seen to be believed.
- Myrtos Beach - an idyllic, highly-instagramable bay bordered by limestone cliffs, where charter guests can dive into unbelievable turquoise-blue waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. As the light fades, the beach also presents a picturesque backdrop for cocktail sundowners.
- Assos - nestled in a sheltered cove, overlooked by the ruins of a medieval castle, lies the exquisite village of Assos, a curved amphitheater of pretty confectionery-colored Venetian houses set against a backdrop of lush hillsides and craggy distant mountains.
Visitors flock here from all over the globe, attracted by the scenic landscapes and myriad selection of beaches – over 60 in fact, with the best concentrated on the island’s southern flank. The most popular among these are Koukounaries and Banana beach, the latter being the most popular among the young and the beautiful.
Lalaria beach is another perennial favorite, featuring an iconic rock arch that, according to legend, offers those who swim under it the highly-prized gift of eternal youth. For something a little more secluded, the beach of Agia Eleni on the southwestern tip plays host to some of the most sensational sunsets in the Aegean.
The island itself offers plenty of activities, with the cosmopolitan capital of Skiathos Town (Chora) providing the main draw. Here, cafes, bars and restaurants spill onto the streets in a lively confluence set along the picturesque Old Harbor. There are also a number of waterfront open-air clubs promising balmy nights and legendary beach parties.
- Papadiamanti Street - stroll the narrow, cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses trimmed in bright blue, where you can indulge your inner Imelda Marcos among the designer stores and boutiques.
- Bourtzi peninsula - head to this tiny enclave in the port of Skiathos, which boasts a 13th Century Venetian Castle, along with beautiful views of the harbor.
- Skopelos - for film buffs among you, the nearby idyllic island of Skopelos offers the chance to experience the magical setting for the Abba hit musical Mamma Mia, which catapulted Greece’s hidden gem onto the world's stage.
Situated in the northern reaches of the Ionian archipelago, Corfu bears a timeless beauty defined by its verdant, rugged landscapes and idyllic coves and beaches, that has been a siren call for romantics and creatives over the centuries.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic era, Corfu has a long and fascinating history. Strategically positioned between Italy and its East Mediterranean cousins of Croatia and Montenegro, it has been variously conquered by a number of rulers, including the Venetians, French and British, resulting in a melting pot of cultural influences that can be seen in its beautiful architecture, noble palaces and unique local traditions.
The island’s charm was brought back into the spotlight with the successful TV biopic, The Durrells, where the charming dilapidated family dwelling and surrounding lush landscapes served to pique the interest of ardent travelers the world over.
On a Greece yacht charter, this Ionian jewel has a vast wealth of cultural pursuits on offer, from beautiful hiking trails leading to picturesque inland villages, age-old olive groves and imposing cliff-top Venetian castles to meandering wide Parisian-style promenades, with something to admire on every corner.
If history isn’t your thing, Corfu has countless comely beaches on which to spend your days, and is also a great dive spot, boasting beautiful clear waters teeming with reefs, intriguing underwater caves and old shipwrecks.
- Corfu Town - flanked by two majestic Venetian fortresses, this cobblestone capital is an important UNESCO Heritage site awash with beautiful Italian-esque architecture, labyrinthine alleys and one of the largest esplanade squares in Europe, second only to Venice’s St Mark's Square.
- Angelokastro - forming the ruins of a beautiful Byzantine fortress set atop a precipitous rocky peak north of Paleokastritsa, the views alone are well-worth the climb.
- Mon Repos Villa - once the summer residence of the former Greek royal family, the small palace, built by renowned British Commissioner Fredrick Adams as a gift to his Corfiot wife Nina, lies within the forest of Palaeopolis and is a must-visit on your tour of the island.
Boasting serious jet-setter vibes, this achingly hip island attracts some of the world’s most elite personalities, who come to be wined, dined and entertained in pulsating night clubs and on beaches presided over by world-class DJs for the ultimate summer party atmosphere.
On a Mykonos yacht charter, most of the action usually centres around the famous beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise, where sugar sands play host to a tangle of bronzed limbs throughout the peak summer months.
For something a little more exclusive, there are a number of ultra-chic beach clubs – from the resplendent Nammos resort featuring its own designer shopping village, to the boho-glam Scorpios owned by London’s prestigious private members club Soho House – where entrance guarantees you’ll be rubbing shoulders with celebrities and VVIP clientele who flock to these swanky clubs during July and August.
Mykonos is not all about the parties, there are plenty of tourist gems to visit while you’re here, from its iconic windmills and labyrinthine whitewashed alleyways to idyllic isolated coves with gin-clear waters bathed in iridescent Aegean light, it is a private yacht charter paradise.
- Little Venice - With their footings firmly ensconced in the sea bed, these quaint 18th Century houses in Mykonos’ capital Hora have been converted into exclusive bars and restaurants, with balconies overlooking the sea offering prime seats to some of the most spectacular sunsets in the Mediterranean.
- Nammos - attracting an ever-revolving roster of celebrities, this ultra-exclusive beach club, fringed by the sugar-soft sands of Psarou Beach, offers patrons a glamorous see-and-be-seen party vibe. Expect flowing champagne, world-class DJ sets and all-out party action.
- Delos - considered the birthplace of Apollo, this tiny enclave is a mere champagne cork’s pop away from Mykonos and is one of the most renowned archaeological sites in Greece. Accorded with UNESCO Heritage status, the ancient Hellenistic ruins – dating back to 300 BC – are exquisitely framed against a backdrop of cerulean skies. Only accessible by boat, you can learn all about Delos’ rich history and the myths and legends that have shaped its landscapes over the centuries.
Known as the ‘Caribbean of Greece’, Lefkada is renowned for its lush mountainous interior, abundant wildlife and glorious bays and inlets. The island also plays host to some of the best beaches in Greece, including the remote Egremni Beach on the southwest coast that is a beach-lovers dream, and only accessible by boat, ideal for a superyacht charter.
Due to its position, some of these bays experience goldilocks wind conditions, making them a favorite haunt for elite kite surfers who come to enjoy the breaks, as much as the beautiful setting.
One of the few islands you can drive to, Lefkada is connected to the mainland by a causeway, with the imposing Frank-built castle of Agia Mavra guarding the entrance. The town itself offers an array of historical buildings, museums and other cultural activities, and is well-worth a visit.
The island is also home to a number of hidden gems that need to be seen to be believed. From aquamarine gorges to breathtaking beaches, this island will capture your imagination and leave you with a wealth of experiences guaranteed to linger long in the memory.
- Dimossari waterfalls - cascading off the high mountains that abound in Lefkada, there are a number of waterfalls on the island, but none so beautiful as Dimossari on the outskirts of Nidri, that culminates in a spellbinding blue-green oasis.
- Cape Ducato - with a lighthouse perched on its peninsula, Cape Ducato is pretty as a picture with views to match, but its ace card is the sublime scuba opportunities on offer. Experienced divers can enjoy 30 meters of visibility, up to 40 meters depth, where they'll discover a magical underwater world teeming with life, including numerous lobsters.
- Porto Katsiki - close your eyes and picture the most beautiful beach you can imagine, fringed by clear turquoise waters and golden sands set within a secluded cove against a backdrop of sheer white cliffs, and you may have an approximation of Porto Katsiki. One of the most instagrammed beaches in the world, frequented by the SuperyachtSet throughout summer.
To find out more about the islands mentioned in this article, check out our Greece yacht charter guide. For some inspiration, browse our selection of itineraries handpicked by experts with in-depth knowledge of the region.
If you would like to incorporate any of these beautiful islands into your itinerary, please speak with your prefered yacht charter broker.