Luxury Yacht Charter in the East Mediterranean
An East Mediterranean yacht charter is the quintessential experience in some of the world’s most spellbinding sailing destinations – the Greek coastline, the shores of Cyprus, Turkey’s lavish seaside resorts, and the Adriatic Sea routes famous for their turquoise blue waters and Dalmatian legacy.
The Perfect Yacht Charter Holiday
While the French Riviera, Amalfi Coast, and the Balearic Islands may grab the headlines more often, the East Mediterranean is a true gem where the West meets the East in a colorful mix of cultures, cuisines, and sailing traditions.
There’s something truly mesmerizing about sailing the East Mediterranean that evokes a sense of wonder as you explore the exotic seas of Greece, the Balkans, and the Levant.
Greece’s thousand islands, a touch of the Byzantine heritage in Turkey, the Croatian shoreline often compared to the stunning Amalfi Coast, and the breathtaking scenery of Cyprus make the East Med an iconic yacht charter destination for those seeking adventure, extravagant living and immersion in diverse cultures dating back thousands of years.
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Yachts in the East Mediterranean
Why Hire a Charter Yacht in the East Mediterranean?
Hiring a charter yacht in the East Mediterranean opens the gates to an exquisite world of sailing the crystal-clear waters, island hopping, exploring secluded coves and sheltered bays, and enjoying some of the most exclusive beach clubs on the planet, world-class marinas, and elite summer resorts.
National parks, diving sites, and unspoiled nature abound in the East Mediterranean while the region’s unique fabric of Western and Eastern cultures is guaranteed to inspire an eclectic experience of cuisine, traditions, and local ways of life.
All the Mediterranean regions are worthy of a trip, but the East Med stands out as a destination combining an entire array of sights, smells, and scenery so wild and varied it’s guaranteed to make for an unforgettable experience.
Think sun-kissed Greek beaches and islands, the otherworldly landscape of Croatia’s Kornati National Park, Turkey’s dramatic coastline and its world-famous open-air nightclubs in Bodrum and Marmaris, and the laidback atmosphere of Cyprus where Greek myths have it, Aphrodite herself was born.
Designing the ideal East Mediterranean charter yacht vacation itinerary can be a daunting task with so many excellent choices out there.
Below, you’ll find the best sailing destinations to pick from, depending on your personal preferences and expectations.
Prime Eastern Mediterranean Charter Yacht Destinations
There is a myriad of ways to enjoy luxury yacht charter vacations in the East Mediterranean: whether you choose a motor-powered superyacht, a traditional Greek or Turkish gulet, or a sailboat for a more romantic experience, each region in the East Med has its own unique charm.
The Ionian and Aegean Seas in Greece are famous for incredible beaches and islands, calm waters, dreamy coastal villages, and historic sites offering a glimpse of Antiquity and the Roman times combined with the luxury lifestyle of Santorini and Mykonos.
The Adriatic Sea is perfect for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those looking for fine dining experiences and culture effortlessly merging Italian and Croatian traditions.
Turkey, on the other hand, boasts the idyllic Turkish Riviera, the sophisticated town of Bodrum favored by jet setters and superyacht guests, and miles upon miles of rugged, unspoiled coastline dotted with paradise islands.
Finally, Cyprus is ideal for those seeking a blissful, sun-drenched holiday destination complete with exclusive access to beaches and secluded bays unreachable by land and free of the regular tourist crowds as well as great diving and snorkeling sites, ancient Roman ruins, and mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine.
Hiring a yacht charter in the Mediterranean is the best way to discover what the region has to offer, so here are some of our favorite East Mediterranean yacht charter itineraries to explore:
Any charter broker will tell you Greece is easily one of the best East Mediterranean sailing destinations boasting jaw-dropping scenery, unique culture and cuisine, pristine nature, and calm seas perfect for luxury yachting.
The Greek islands are among some of the most beautiful in the world – from the stunning Zakynthos and its famous Navagio Beach, the blue and white walls of Santorini, and the glitz and glamor of Mykonos to hundreds of remote paradise islands and islets offering fantastic anchorage under starry skies and privacy of sheltered bays, there’s something for every taste.
For cultural experiences and historical sites, Athens and Crete are a must, while the more remote Dodecanese and Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea are perfect for enjoying the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds.
Sharing the Aegean Sea with Greece, Turkey is an attractive playground for a Mediterranean sailing vacation boasting a long coastline, shallow blue waters, and plenty of cultural and historic sites to explore.
The Blue Lagoon just south of Fethiye is famous for its beautiful beaches; Bodrum and Marmaris are ideal for shopping, clubbing, and dining experiences because of their cosmopolitan vibe, whereas Dalyan offers a journey in back in time visiting the ruins and the spectacular Kings’ Tombs of Kaunos hewn into a cliffside.
The Turkish coast – unlike the Western Mediterranean – is not yet overwhelmed by yacht charters as much as Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the crowds.
Mediterranean charters exploring Cyprus will enjoy peaceful and quiet cruising grounds - warm, windless days here are a wonderful treat to savor. Cyprus sees 340 days of sunshine annually, making it a year-round sailing destination, and its beautiful beaches, coves, and rocky coastline provide a perfect backdrop for adventure.
Greek, Roman, Turkish, and Venetian influences in Cyprus create a unique blend of cultures and traditions, and Cypriote cuisine will win over any foodie.
Limassol, Paphos, and Larnaca are some of the best places to kickstart a yacht charter holiday in Cyprus.
When it comes to the best Eastern Mediterranean yacht destinations, most charter experts will agree Croatia is a true hidden gem in the Adriatic Sea.
Whether you prefer to island-hop between Croatia’s stunning islets, explore sleepy coastal fishing villages and bays, or discover some of Europe’s most charming medieval Old Towns in Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia is a jewel of the East Med offering rugged coastal scenery, crystal clear water, and sun-drenched beaches.
Gaining popularity among the super yacht charter crowd, the Dalmatian Coast boasts delicious Mediterranean cuisine, a lively social scene, the bohemian atmosphere of Sibenik, and plenty of upscale marinas and excellent anchorages to choose from.
One of the best-kept secrets of the East Mediterranean, Montenegro is famous for its Norwegian fjord-like bays, incredible mountain scenery, and beautiful coastline.
The Bay of Kotor is often called the southernmost fjord of Europe – this deep, closed bay resembles the Geiranger Fjord in Norway, and the surrounding towns are part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites worthy of a visit.
Don’t Miss These Hidden Gems: Yacht Charter Broker Advice
Sailing in the East Mediterranean is an experience filled with exotic, scenic, and cultural highlights, but exploring regions beyond the Adriatic and Aegean Seas can add even more flavor to your journey.
Venture further into the Levant and add the following destinations to your itinerary for more adventure:
Home to the perished Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the famed Great Library, Alexandria in Egypt is a gateway into Africa favored by Mediterranean yacht charters docking here to explore the city’s magnificent architecture and rich heritage.
All the way at the east end of the sea, Lebanon cities such as Byblos and Beirut are incredible stops for their deep history and cultural experiences.
Just south along the coast of Lebanon, Israel is another option if you'd like to immerse yourself in the powerful history of the region.
Find East Mediterranean Yacht Charters that Offer the Right Features
With everything that the Mediterranean offers, you'll likely spend more of your time looking outward from the yacht than paying attention to what's on board. However, for the best sailing experience, it’s worth making sure your charter fee has earned you comfortable accommodation and onboard entertainment for those days when you’d rather relax and unwind on deck.
Most luxury yacht charter options include all the latest bells and whistles, but there are several key features to keep in mind when you’re shopping for some of the best yachts to charter.
Here’s what should make it to your booking amenity list:
Sitting on the top deck of your chartered yacht while soaking in a jacuzzi and enjoying Mediterranean sunsets in blissful comfort is hard to top, so look for yachts that have an onboard deck jacuzzi or hot tub (some may even offer spa treatment rooms or sauna).
Water toys on a yacht are a must if you love sailing holidays jam-packed with action and adventure.
Yacht slides, floating trampolines, paddleboards, e-foils, and jet skis are all popular choices for fun experiences out on the water, especially if you’re chartering a yacht for a group of friends or family.
Those who like to keep up with an active workout routine at home could feel a little restricted on a yacht. To make sure you can get your blood flowing and keep your fitness up, look for charter yacht options that offer a gym onboard the boat.
After a day of exploring uninhabited islands and swimming in crystal clear waters, you’ll want to relax and refresh at the end of the day.
One of the best ways to enjoy your time on the yacht after the sun goes down is to relax in an inbuilt cinema theater and watch one of your favorite films as the sun sets over the Mediterranean.
Timing Your Luxury Yacht Charter Trip – Watch the Weather
In the early stages of planning a yacht charter trip in the East Mediterranean, you'll want to think about what time of year you are going to travel. Although great weather days are possible in the Mediterranean Sea throughout the year, the summer months are the best time to enjoy sailing.
Using Athens, Greece, as a good starting point of what weather conditions to expect, it’s easy to determine the best time to travel the East Med. The average high temperature in Athens during both July and August is 90* Fahrenheit. In the winter months, those averages drop significantly, with highs from December through February typically registering under 60*.
Additionally, shoulder seasons are a great time to enjoy a Mediterranean sailing holiday since the weather remains mild and sunny, but the high-season crowds have already subsided. Late September and October in the Mediterranean, see balmy, sunny weather and fewer tourists.
Finally, Cyprus is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round. Out here, yacht charter guests can enjoy the Mediterranean sun, cloudless skies, and warm weather for more than 340 days a year.
The Cost of a Yacht Charter Vacation
Budgeting is a big part of planning a vacation. If you are considering an East Mediterranean yacht charter, there are several factors to think about – the size of the boat and crew, the number of guests, and the seasons all play a role. With that said, what do Mediterranean yacht charter prices look like?
Yacht charter prices range wildly based on several factors. Some luxury motor yachts are reasonably affordable, especially if they are smaller and a little older. On the other hand, a large luxury motor yacht with all of the modern bells and whistles is going to come with a serious price tag.
On the low end of the Mediterranean yacht charter range, you might be able to book a week-long trip for somewhere around €30,000. As for the high-end? The sky is the limit: you could easily spend up to or beyond €1 million a week for a Mediterranean superyacht charter. In other words, while a charter yacht around the Eastern end of the Mediterranean would make for an incredible trip, you shouldn't expect it to be cheap.
Timing will also play a role in the cost of your trip. Summer yacht charters are going to be more expensive just because of the high demand during the warmer months of the year. Of course, a yacht vacation in the summer will likely be more enjoyable, so paying the premium to book a Mediterranean yacht charter during July or August is likely more than worth it.
In addition to charter expenses, you'll need to budget for an advanced provisioning allowance - this is an extra fee to cover the day-to-day provisions like food and drinks, fuel, mooring fees, and the like.
Two Types of Mediterranean Yacht Charter Experiences
Destinations aside, you'll also need to determine what type of Mediterranean yacht you want to use on your trip. There are plenty of yachts for charter that will allow you to explore the sea in style, and those can be broken down into two categories: motor yacht and sailing yacht options.
You don't need to be a nautical expert to understand the difference between these two types of boats.
A motor yacht is going to use a powerful motor ( or motors) to propel your traveling party around the sea to various ports of call. This is the modern approach to luxury yacht charters, and there is certainly a lot to like about this option.
On the other hand, a sailing yacht charter offers a traditional, authentic experience that you might desire. Powered by the famous Mediterranean breezes, these charter yachts are directed around the sea by a talented and experienced crew that knows how to harness the wind to reach your desired destinations.
Sailing yachts for charter might not be as popular today as they were years ago, but that doesn't mean they should be left in the past. If you dream of a traditional, iconic Mediterranean yacht experience, one of the sailing yachts available should be given careful consideration.
One other important note here as you think about the different types of charter yachts is the size of your party. Generally speaking, most of the sailing yachts that you will find available are going to have a smaller capacity than a motor yacht. If you plan to bring a lot of people along, a motor yacht is the way to go.
Find a Mediterranean Yacht Charter Today
A private yacht charter in the Mediterranean makes for an unforgettable sailing adventure boasting scenic coastlines, sunny beaches, and some of Europe’s most famous seaside resorts and cities steeped in rich history and heritage.
More than that, a yacht charter vacation in the Eastern Mediterranean combines the eccentric melting pot of the West and East with unique cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, boutique shopping opportunities, and natural wonders of the Aegean and Adriatic Seas.
East Mediterranean yacht charters offer a fantastic way to go on a luxury sailing vacation, venturing into the lesser-known sea routes and ancient ports harking back to the Byzantine times.
Take a closer look at your yacht charter options today and start the process of booking one of the best vacations around the globe.
Alternative Mediterranean Yacht Charter Destinations
The French Riviera
The French Riviera is the pinnacle destination for luxury yacht charters. The old-world glamor and silver screen fame of Cote D'Azur is an experience not to be missed: whether you live it up at the Cannes Film Festival and the area's many classic casinos or laze around in the beach clubs, using Mediterranean yacht charters to explore the Riviera is the experience of a lifetime. To experience the life of the rich and famous, add the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show to your itinerary.
The Amalfi Coast
Another one of the premier destinations for yachting in the Mediterranean, Italian Riviera aside, is the Amalfi Coast. Its rugged coastline is dotted with scenic towns and pastel-colored villages, yet it retains the natural beauty and romantic charm of Italy at its best. Historic towns are worthy of exploration in this region includes Positano, Amalfi, and Sorrento. Additionally, the stunning island of Capri is just off the tip of the mainland in this part of the Mediterranean, and the vibrant city of Naples is only a short distance to the north.
The Balearic Islands
Yachting is best when it combines beautiful open waters and stunning scenery with colorful culture and local ways of life to experience. For this, look no further than the Balearic Islands: Ibiza is a world-famous vacation destination; the island of Mallorca contains endless natural beauty, while Menorca offers some peace and quiet away from the crowds. To make sure your chartered yacht experience has a distinctively Spanish flair, the Balearic Islands should make it to your itinerary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to charter a yacht in the East Mediterranean?
The cost of a private yacht charter in the East Mediterranean can vary greatly based on factors like the size of the yacht, the time of year, and the features included on the vessel. Weekly prices can start as low as around €30,000 and go up into the €100,000s and beyond.
How long is the yacht charter season in the Mediterranean?
The start of the yachting season in the Mediterranean is sometime around April or May, depending on the weather in a given year. Activity in this area will remain high until the fall months. Charter yachting is uncommon in the winter months, as cool temperatures make it less appealing than other global options such as the Caribbean.