Hiring a boat in the Dodecanese is the ideal way to explore the islands that are quite hard to reach without an excursion by the sea. The islands stand out for their endless beaches and medieval architectures in a cosmopolitan and peaceful atmosphere. From a sailing point of view, the islands are perfect for advanced sailors due to the complex rock formations, coves and numerous islets. You can pick the ideal sailboat, catamaran or motor yacht of your choice from the various marinas and ports of the Dodecanese islands. You can directly contact the owners for the ideal boat you desire or allow a BednBlue travel expert to guide you with some suggestions.
You have plenty of available options:
You can book and hire a sailboat with a skipper or without if you own a license, and enjoy a one-day cruise to Nysiros, Halki or Leros and Lipsi. The greek islands of Rhodes and Kos are also close to the coasts of Turkey, so you can organize day excursions to Marmaris, Fethiye or bodrum with a motor yacht which has the fastest cruising speed of all vessels. You also have the option to hire a catamaran to throw a party, celebrate a promotional business event or for team-building exercises too. Finally, you can hire a gulet and combine your itinerary with the Cyclades islands in Greece to create lifetime memories.
The Dodecanese is derived from the greek number “Dodeka '' which implies that there are a dozen islands (‘Dodekanisa’) mainly forming the archipelago. Although there are 200 different islets, the main 12 ones include Rhodes, Kos, Astypalea, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kastellorizo, Chalki, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Symi and Tilos. Literally being situated in the middle of Europe, Asia and Africa, the islands can make an interesting sailing holiday as you can hop off your yacht to visit traditional villages and absorb different cultural vibes including Ionians, Venetians, Byzantine, Ottomans and Romans. Today you can visit multiple sights and attractions that were significant throughout history. A temple of healing built in the 4th century B.C known as the Asclepeion in Kos has views of the Turkish coast and is where Hippocrates laid the foundation of medicine. You can also visit top sites including the folklore museum and the ruins of Agios Stefanos- a Christian Basilica. In Rhodes you can visit the winding streets of the Knights in the old town and the Palace of the Grand Master. Between Kos and Rhodes, we have Symi which was famous for shipbuilding and sponge-diving and you can get to visit the maritime museum. The Monastery of Panormitis and the remains of the Castle of the Knights of St.John are also worth visiting. This is just a glimpse of what you can do in-between your sailing trips, other great sights include the volcanic museum of Nisyros, the ancient Vroukounda and Arkesia in Karpathos and the monastery of St. Johns in Patmos which is known as the ‘Jerusalem of the Aegean’. The first maritime law in world history began when Rhodes forced the Romans to come in terms to initiate the law. Many of the routes that were historically important in the Aegean Sea can also be enjoyed today with an aristocratic island tour, and, by simply hiring a boat with a skipper you can pick the same routes of ancient Romans and Greeks to create your own worth-telling story.
Kos and Rhodes are excellent embarkation points for a yacht charter in Greece. The proximity of the islands from Kos and Rhodes makes it possible to go for many day excursions in the islands around, or you can spend time sailing in a different place every day. You can book a full day cruise to Symi from Rhodes with a stop at St. Georges Bay where you can get to jump in the refreshing waters in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Symi has an impressive natural harbor and is filled with colorful buildings in a picturesque setting. On your first visit to Gialos you can eat in the finest section of restaurants by the port and purchase some unique handmade jewelry from little corner shops, you can also go for a walk up the hill and see the entire view of the bay under a romantic sunset. From Symi you can head to Nisyros where you can swim and relax, Kalymnos is also within your reach, there are some famous sheltered anchorages such as Vathy and Emborios here which are great for an overnight. On your way back you can visit Tilos where you can drop anchor in the harbour at Livadia and wander around the streets in search of souvenirs in the bustling area. A good stopover from Rhodes are also the islands of Karpathos and kassos which are secluded and have many beautiful beaches and villages.
Alternatively, Kos day trips to Nisyros are accessible from Kardamena and on your way you will cross the satellite island of Nisyros known as Gyali known for its pumice stones. Do not miss the chance to visit the dormant volcano in Nisyros and the Spa of Loutra where you can take a dip in the hot spring waters. Just an hour away from Kos you can also reach the island of Pserimos and complete your three island tour to Platy where you can swim and snorkel in turquoise waters. If you are considering boat hire from Kalymnos then you must tour Telendos which is roughly half an hour away and is ideal for a relaxing day. South of the island,the village of Vathy has beautiful little bays making it great for catamarans and sailboats to set anchor. Finally, for an alternative day cruise you have the opportunity to take a boat trip from Kos to Bodrum where you will be welcomed in one of the most famous tourist destinations in Turkey.
Away from the tourist hubs of Kos and Rhodes you can go for a 4-day or 5-day cruise to islands such as Astypalaia, Patmos and the islands in between which are less busy and much quieter. Heading north from Pserimos you can reach the island of Leros and Lipsi which have lovely little villages including the fishing village of Pandeli where you can spend a great evening. From Leros, a great sailing trip is to visit Astypalaia and the main town of the island Chora. If you want to extend your cruise you can reach the island of Patmos which is home to the monastery of St. Johns. After you’ve had your history filled in Patmos and Astypalaia, you have the option to visit the central Cyclades including Amorgos, Naxos and Mykonos.
Dodecanese sailing itineraries are in fact more popular for extended cruises, you can also take your chance to visit Samos and Ikaria. We recommend you to hire a sailboat when island hopping this complex since the winds can blow stronger than the Ionian during the high season. The stronger winds make it great for wind and kite surfing fans and some of the beaches that are ideal for these kind of activities include: Afartis beach in Karpathos island, Prasonisi beach in Rhodes and Psalidi and Kefalos in Kos. Even further north of Patmos and closer to Turkey, the island of Samos has a dominant port with a renowned fleet that sailed the seas of multiple continents. If you arrive at Ikaria, you can swim in many unspoiled beaches that are surrounded by characteristic villages. Aside from sailboats, gulet charters in Greece allow one to enjoy an exhilarating experience on board and these vessels are more common in the Dodecanese island-chain since they are relatively close to Turkey which takes pride in its flotilla of traditional sailing yachts.
Rhodes Marina: Has a berthing capacity of 382 yachts and perfect provisioning for all types of vessels. Super friendly-staff and a safe environment for mooring.
Lakki Marina, Leros: The Marina can occupy up to 45 berths for yachts up to 36 meters in length. Offers perfect shelter for all weather conditions and permanent mooring lines with electricity and water.
Marina Kos: The marina offers 250 berths with a range of services for yachts ranging from 7 to 80 meters. One of the best marinas in the Aegean to depart for during sailing holidays because of its great position and ambitious program to keep updating the marina.
Panormitis Port, Symi: has a couple of yachts anchoring in the sheltered bay and a few fishing boats too. A peaceful harbor with good shelter and the only way to reach here is through an excursion by boat.
Port Mandraki, Nisyros: Has a berthing capacity for 60 yachts and can accept vessels up to 70m. The area has quality services with great facilities.
Vathy Marina, Kalymnos: a great harbor at the end of a deep bay which has a marvelous view and is perfect for swimming. The marina is great for an overnight stay when sailing the Aegean Sea.
Airports: Rhodes, Kos, Karpathos and Kalymnos have airports that receive charter flights from abroad during the summer months as well Astypalaia, Kasos, Kasetlorizo and Leros also have national airports.
The Dodecanese islands can be reached from the Greek mainland port of Piraeus, Turkey, the island of Crete and the Cyclades Islands.
There are also ferry routes from Piraeus to Astypalea and to Patmos.
Weather: Rhodes has around 300 days of sunshine per year but the other islands may somehow be unpredictable with rain and low temperatures in winter. Rain becomes more likely after October so the best time to consider chartering a yacht is April to September.
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