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A Guide To Renting A Boat In Greece


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Orelia Vanpelt



Greece, with its stunning coastline, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque islands, is a dream destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. And what better way to explore Greece’s pristine beaches and hidden coves than by renting a boat?


Imagine cruising along the turquoise waters of the Aegean or Ionian Sea, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, and being surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Greek islands. Renting a boat in Greece offers a unique opportunity to discover secluded beaches, immerse yourself in the local culture, and create unforgettable memories.


Whether you’re an experienced sailor or a first-time boater, Greece has a wide range of options to suit every preference and budget. From small motorboats and sailing yachts to luxurious catamarans and crewed charters, there’s a boat rental option to make your dream vacation a reality.


But before you set sail, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the process of renting a boat in Greece. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your boating adventure.


In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything from choosing the right boat for your needs to understanding the rental process, costs and expenses, safety considerations, and essential packing list. We will also share some insider tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience.


So, whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a fun-filled family vacation, or an adventurous trip with friends, read on to discover how to rent a boat in Greece and embark on the journey of a lifetime.


Let’s dive in!


Choosing the Right Boat

When it comes to choosing the right boat for your Greek sailing adventure, there are several factors to consider. The type of boat, its size, and the amenities it offers can greatly impact your experience on the water.


Firstly, consider the size of your group. If you’re traveling with a large family or a group of friends, you may need a larger boat that can accommodate everyone comfortably. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, a smaller boat may be preferable.


Next, decide on the type of boat that suits your needs. Motorboats offer speed and maneuverability, making them an excellent choice for exploring multiple destinations in a short amount of time. Sailing yachts, on the other hand, provide a more leisurely experience and allow you to enjoy the serenity of sailing.


If you’re not an experienced sailor or prefer a hassle-free vacation, consider renting a boat with a skipper. A skippered charter allows you to relax and enjoy the journey while an experienced sailor takes care of navigation and maneuvering the boat.


Another option to consider is whether you want to rent a bareboat or a crewed charter. A bareboat allows you to be the captain of your own ship, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace. On the other hand, a crewed charter provides the ultimate luxury experience, with a professional crew taking care of all your needs.


It’s also important to consider the amenities and facilities offered on the boat. If you plan on spending a lot of time onboard, amenities such as a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable sleeping quarters, and spacious deck areas are essential.


Lastly, remember to take into account your budget. Boat rental prices in Greece can vary depending on the size, type, and amenities of the boat. It’s important to find a balance between the features you desire and what you’re willing to spend.


To make an informed decision, research different boat rental companies, read customer reviews, and consult with experienced sailors or travel agents who have first-hand knowledge of Greece’s boating scene. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your specific requirements.


Choosing the right boat is crucial for a memorable and enjoyable sailing experience. Take the time to consider your preferences, group size, and budget to find the perfect vessel that will make your Greek adventure truly unforgettable.


Planning Your Itinerary

Planning your itinerary is an exciting part of renting a boat in Greece. With so many islands, coastal towns, and hidden gems to explore, there’s no shortage of options for creating your perfect sailing adventure.


Before you start mapping out your itinerary, consider the duration of your trip. Greece offers countless possibilities for short trips, week-long excursions, or extended voyages. Keep in mind that the more time you have, the more you can explore and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Greek islands.


When planning your itinerary, take into account your interests and preferences. If you’re a history buff, consider visiting historical sites like the Acropolis in Athens or the ancient ruins in Delos. For nature enthusiasts, explore the pristine beaches and hiking trails of islands like Zakynthos and Santorini. And if you’re a food lover, don’t miss the opportunity to sample local delicacies at traditional tavernas and seafood restaurants.


Keep in mind that the frequency and duration of your stops will depend on the distances between the islands and the weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to have a flexible itinerary to account for unexpected changes in weather or last-minute discoveries.


Some popular sailing routes in Greece include the Cyclades Islands, which offer a mix of vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and traditional Greek villages. The Ionian Islands are known for their lush green landscapes, turquoise waters, and charming coastal towns. And the Dodecanese Islands boast a rich cultural heritage, with ancient monuments and picturesque villages.


While it’s tempting to visit as many islands as possible, it’s important to strike a balance between exploration and relaxation. Allow yourself time to fully appreciate the beauty of each destination and indulge in the laid-back Greek island lifestyle.


Don’t forget to research the ports and marinas in each destination to ensure there are facilities available for mooring your boat. Some islands may have limited mooring options, so it’s important to plan accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.


Lastly, familiarize yourself with the prevailing wind patterns in the area you plan to sail. The Meltemi winds in the Aegean Sea, for example, can be strong during the summer months and may affect your sailing plans. Stay updated with weather forecasts and consult with local experts to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.


By carefully planning your itinerary and considering your interests and preferences, you can create a personalized sailing adventure that captures the essence of Greece’s enchanting islands.


Understanding the Rental Process

Understanding the rental process is essential when it comes to renting a boat in Greece. It involves several steps to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here’s a breakdown of the rental process:

  1. Research and Booking: Start by researching different boat rental companies and their offerings. Look for reputable companies with positive customer reviews and a wide selection of boats. Once you have found the perfect boat for your needs, contact the rental company and make a reservation. Be sure to check the availability and confirm the rental details, including the dates, duration, and any additional services you may require.
  2. Documentation: Before finalizing the rental, you’ll be required to provide certain documents. This typically includes a valid passport or ID, a sailing license if renting a bareboat, and proof of sufficient boating experience or certification if applicable. Make sure to inquire about the specific requirements with the rental company beforehand.
  3. Check-In and Briefing: On the day of your rental, you’ll need to go through a check-in process with the rental company. This usually involves completing paperwork, making any necessary payments, and receiving a briefing on the boat’s features and safety procedures. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have and familiarize yourself with the boat’s equipment.
  4. Boat Inspection: Before setting sail, thoroughly inspect the boat for any existing damage or issues. Note down any damages or concerns in the boat’s inventory list or take pictures as evidence. This will help avoid any disputes regarding damages upon returning the boat.
  5. Safety Instructions: Pay attention to the safety instructions provided during the briefing. Familiarize yourself with the location of safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and emergency flares. It’s also important to understand the rules and regulations for operating the boat, including speed limits and navigation guidelines.
  6. Returning the Boat: At the end of your rental period, you’ll need to return the boat to the designated marina or port. Ensure that you arrive on time and follow any specific instructions given by the rental company. The boat will be inspected upon return, and any damages or missing equipment may incur additional charges.
  7. Settling Payments: After the boat inspection, settle any outstanding payments, including fuel costs, port fees, and any additional services used during the rental period. Check the final invoice for accuracy and clarification on any charges.

It’s crucial to read and understand the terms and conditions of the rental agreement before signing it. Pay attention to the cancellation policy, liability coverage, and any restrictions imposed by the rental company. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to seek clarification from the rental company.


By familiarizing yourself with the rental process and following the guidelines provided by the rental company, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable boat rental experience in Greece.


Renting a Boat with a Skipper or Bareboat

When renting a boat in Greece, you have the option to choose between renting a boat with a skipper or opting for a bareboat rental. Each option offers a different experience, and your decision will depend on your sailing experience and personal preferences.


Renting with a Skipper: If you’re not an experienced sailor or simply prefer a more relaxed and carefree vacation, renting a boat with a skipper is a great choice. A skippered charter allows you to sit back and enjoy the journey while an experienced skipper takes care of navigation, maneuvering the boat, and ensuring your safety at sea.


The skipper can also serve as a local guide, providing insights into the best places to visit, hidden gems, and local culture. They have extensive knowledge of the Greek waters and can take you to idyllic spots that may be off the beaten path.


When renting with a skipper, you have the opportunity to learn from their expertise. If you’re interested in sailing, you can ask questions, observe their techniques, and even take the reins under their guidance. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enhance your sailing skills while enjoying a stress-free vacation.


Bareboat Charter: For those with sailing experience and a desire for more independence, a bareboat charter is a popular option. With a bareboat rental, you become the captain of your own ship, giving you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and follow your own itinerary.


When opting for a bareboat charter, it’s important to have the necessary sailing certifications and experience, as you will be responsible for the navigation, maneuvering, and overall operation of the boat. You’ll need to be familiar with sailing techniques, charts, and navigation systems.


While bareboating offers a sense of freedom and adventure, it also requires a higher level of responsibility. You’ll need to plan your route, monitor weather conditions, and ensure the safety of your crew and the boat. It’s important to be aware of local regulations, speed limits, and mooring restrictions in each destination.


Before embarking on a bareboat charter, some rental companies may request proof of competence, such as an internationally recognized sailing license or certification. It’s crucial to check the specific requirements with the rental company well in advance.


Whether you choose to rent with a skipper or opt for a bareboat charter, both options offer unique experiences and opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Greek islands. Consider your level of sailing experience, desire for independence, and preference for guidance when making your decision.


Costs and Expenses

When planning to rent a boat in Greece, it’s important to consider the various costs and expenses involved to ensure you stay within your budget. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:


Rental Price: The rental price of the boat will be the most significant expense. It can vary depending on factors such as boat type, size, age, and amenities. Luxury yachts or catamarans with crew tend to be more expensive compared to smaller motorboats or bareboat charters. It’s advisable to compare prices from different rental companies and consider any seasonal discounts or special offers.


Security Deposit: Most boat rental companies require a security deposit before you embark on your sailing adventure. The deposit acts as insurance against any damages or losses that may occur during the rental period. The amount of the security deposit varies depending on the size and type of the boat. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement regarding the security deposit.


Fuel Costs: Fuel costs can be a significant expense, especially for motorboats. The rental company usually provides the boat with a full tank of fuel, and it’s your responsibility to return the boat with a full tank as well. Keep in mind that fuel prices in Greece may vary depending on the region and the season.


Mooring Fees: When sailing in Greece, you may need to pay mooring fees at marinas or ports. The fees vary depending on the size of the boat, the duration of stay, and the location. It’s advisable to plan your itinerary and budget for mooring fees accordingly. Alternatively, you can also anchor in secluded bays or use mooring buoys in some areas, which are often free or have a minimal charge.


Provisioning: While on your boat, you’ll need to consider provisioning for food, drinks, and other supplies. You can opt to bring your own groceries or purchase them from local markets or supermarkets during your stops. Keep in mind that dining out at restaurants and cafes can add to your expenses, so it’s important to budget accordingly.


Additional Services and Equipment: Some rental companies offer additional services and equipment for an extra cost, such as water sports equipment, snorkeling gear, or paddleboards. If you’re interested in these activities, consider the added expense and ensure they are available with your chosen rental company.


Insurance: It’s highly recommended to have insurance coverage for your boat rental to protect yourself in case of accidents, damages, or unforeseen circumstances. Some rental companies may offer insurance as part of the rental package or allow you to purchase it separately. Read the terms and conditions of the insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered.


Keep in mind that costs can vary depending on the time of year you plan to rent a boat in Greece. Peak season, which typically runs from June to August, tends to have higher rental prices and mooring fees compared to the shoulder or off-peak seasons.


Budgeting and planning ahead will help you calculate the overall costs and ensure that you have a memorable and financially manageable boating experience in Greece.


Safety Considerations and Regulations

When renting a boat in Greece, safety should always be a top priority. Familiarizing yourself with safety considerations and adhering to regulations will ensure a secure and enjoyable boating experience. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:


Weather Conditions: Before setting sail, check the weather forecast and pay attention to any warnings or advisories. Greek waters can experience strong winds, especially during the summer months, such as the Meltemi winds in the Aegean Sea. It’s important to monitor the weather conditions throughout your trip and adjust your plans accordingly to ensure safe navigation.


Navigation and Charts: Ensure that you have up-to-date navigation charts and maps of the area you plan to navigate. Familiarize yourself with navigational aids, including buoys, markers, and lighthouses. Use GPS or other navigation systems to assist with route planning, but always rely on traditional navigation methods as a backup.


Safety Equipment: Make sure the boat is equipped with essential safety equipment, including life jackets for all passengers, a first aid kit, fire extinguishers, and distress signals like flares and an emergency whistle. Know the location of the safety equipment and how to use it in case of an emergency.


Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the boating rules and regulations in Greece. Each area may have specific rules regarding speed limits, navigation channels, and any restricted or protected areas. Pay attention to any local regulations regarding anchoring, environmental protection, and wildlife conservation.


Boating Licenses: If you plan to rent a bareboat, you’ll typically need a valid sailing license or certification to demonstrate your competence and knowledge of boating regulations. It’s essential to inquire about the specific requirements with the rental company before making a reservation.


Communication and Emergency Contacts: Have a reliable method of communication on board, such as a VHF radio or a mobile phone. Store emergency contact numbers for the local coast guard and the rental company in case you need assistance or encounter any issues while at sea.


Safe Mooring and Anchoring: When mooring or anchoring, be mindful of the surrounding environment and other boats. Follow proper procedures when approaching a marina or docking area. Use appropriate techniques and equipment to ensure the boat is securely moored or anchored to prevent drifting or damage.


Alcohol and Boating: It is advised to refrain from consuming alcohol while operating a boat. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents. Designate a sober skipper or take turns to ensure responsible and safe boating.


Emergency Preparedness: Take precautions for emergencies by educating yourself on basic first aid and CPR techniques. Have a plan in place in case of a medical emergency, equipment failure, or if someone falls overboard. Communicate and share the emergency plan with all passengers on board.


By following these safety considerations and regulations, you can enjoy your boating adventure in Greece with peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your crew, and your vessel.


Essential Packing List

When preparing for a boat rental in Greece, it’s essential to pack wisely to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience on the water. Here’s a list of essential items to consider packing:

  • Sun Protection: Pack sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the strong Greek sun.
  • Swimwear and Towels: Bring plenty of swimwear and lightweight towels for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Appropriate Clothing: Pack light and breathable clothing, including t-shirts, shorts, and dresses. Also include a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Non-Slip Shoes: Opt for comfortable, non-slip shoes suitable for walking on boat decks and exploring on land.
  • Boat Shoes or Deck Shoes: Consider bringing boat shoes or deck shoes with non-marking soles for better grip on wet surfaces.
  • Waterproof Phone Case: Keep your phone protected from water damage with a waterproof case or pouch.
  • Luggage with Soft Sides: Choose soft-sided luggage or duffel bags that can be easily stored on the boat.
  • Travel Adapter: Bring a travel adapter to ensure you can charge your electronic devices onboard.
  • Medications and First Aid Kit: Pack any necessary medications and a basic first aid kit to handle minor injuries or illnesses.
  • Snorkeling Gear: If you enjoy snorkeling, bring your own equipment for exploring the underwater world.
  • Entertainment and Electronics: Consider bringing books, games, or portable electronics for entertainment during downtime.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle to refill throughout your journey.
  • Camera and Waterproof Bag: Capture memories of your trip with a waterproof camera or a camera in a waterproof bag.
  • Travel Documents: Carry your passport or identification, boat rental agreement, and any necessary licenses or certifications.
  • Cash and Credit Cards: Have some cash on hand for small purchases at local establishments, plus credit cards for larger expenses.
  • Travel Insurance: Carry your travel insurance information and emergency contact numbers in case of unexpected situations.

Remember to pack efficiently and avoid overpacking, as storage space on boats can be limited. Opt for lightweight and multi-purpose items whenever possible to maximize your available space.


It’s also important to bring a positive attitude, a sense of adventure, and an openness to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Greek islands. With the right essentials packed, you’re ready for an unforgettable journey along Greece’s stunning coastlines.


Tips for a Smooth Sailing Experience

Renting a boat in Greece offers a unique opportunity to explore the stunning coastlines and picturesque islands. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience, consider the following tips:

  • Plan Ahead: Research and plan your itinerary in advance, taking into account the distance between destinations and any specific attractions or activities you want to experience.
  • Be Flexible: Weather conditions can impact your sailing plans. Remain flexible and be prepared to adjust your itinerary if necessary to ensure your safety and comfort.
  • Practice Safety: Familiarize yourself with safety procedures, know the location of safety equipment, and follow navigation rules. Always wear life jackets when appropriate and avoid risky behaviors.
  • Learn Local Customs: Take the time to learn about the local customs and traditions of the Greek islands. Respect the local culture, be mindful of noise levels, and dispose of trash responsibly.
  • Enjoy Local Cuisine: Indulge in the culinary delights of Greece by trying local dishes and visiting traditional tavernas. Fresh seafood, Greek salads, and moussaka are just a few of the must-try delicacies.
  • Take Breaks: Sailing can be tiring, so make sure to take regular breaks to relax, swim, and explore the islands. Don’t forget to hydrate and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Respect Nature: Greece is home to stunning marine ecosystems. Take care not to disturb or damage coral reefs and marine life while snorkeling or diving. Follow the principle of “leave no trace.”
  • Connect with Locals: Engage with the locals and fellow sailors along your journey. They can offer valuable insights into hidden gems, recommend the best spots, and enrich your overall experience.
  • Practice Sustainability: Help preserve the pristine beauty of the Greek islands by practicing sustainable tourism. Minimize waste, conserve water, and opt for eco-friendly activities whenever possible.
  • Embrace Adventure: Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the sense of adventure that comes with sailing. Swim in secluded bays, explore ancient ruins, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Greece.

Remember, a smooth sailing experience in Greece is not just about the destination but also about the journey itself. Relax, enjoy the breathtaking scenery, and embrace the freedom that comes with setting sail along the mesmerizing Greek coastlines.



Renting a boat in Greece provides an incredible opportunity to explore the diverse and captivating beauty of the Greek islands and coastlines. By choosing the right boat, planning your itinerary, understanding the rental process, and following safety considerations and regulations, you can embark on a memorable and enjoyable adventure.


Remember to choose a boat that suits your group size and preferences, whether it be a motorboat, sailing yacht, or luxurious catamaran. Consider the option of renting with a skipper for a more relaxed experience or opting for a bareboat charter if you have sailing experience and prefer more freedom.


When planning your itinerary, take into account your interests and the prevailing weather conditions. Greece offers a plethora of destinations, from vibrant islands with bustling nightlife to tranquil and picturesque coastal towns.


As you navigate through the rental process, be sure to review and understand all the terms and conditions, including the rental price, security deposit, and insurance coverage. Take note of essential documents, such as your boat rental agreement and necessary licenses or certifications.


While on your sailing adventure, prioritize safety by checking weather conditions, familiarizing yourself with navigation aids and safety equipment, and adhering to local regulations. Respect the Greek culture, environment, and local customs, and embrace the culinary delights and hospitality of the islands.


By packing essential items, staying flexible, and following the provided tips, you can optimize your sailing experience in Greece. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders, connect with the locals, and create lifelong memories as you explore the enchanting Greek coastlines.


So set sail, feel the wind in your hair, and let the beauty of the Greek islands take your breath away. Your boating adventure in Greece awaits!