Chartering in Greece
My personal experience – Greece
We sailed in Corfu in 2014, the year we took on the word “Flotilla”. It was my family’s first time sailing with other boats. In total, we were four boats – 12 South Africans.
Four Boats. Twelve South AFricans. Two Weeks of insane memories.
This sailing trip was my idea of fun. The Greek waters are just incredibly beautiful, the old town of Corfu (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was the greatest experience, the locals’ hospitality is top-class and the food was the best I have ever eaten.
The Old Town in Corfu
We were so blessed to stay at the Hotel Telesilla in Kontikali, Corfu. It was a family-run business in which the women ran the restaurant, the father ran the hotel and the son the entertainment. I maintain that the meal I ate there is the best meal I have ever eaten. Upon wanting to order dinner, we were called into the kitchen to look at their menu (which was the food in the pots). We were each given a spoonful of the food and asked to choose our meal. I ate a Moussaka whilst others ate food such as Souvlaki and Stifado, all being traditional Greek cuisine.
That night we were entertained by traditional Greek dancers. The whole restaurant was called on to learn some of their dances and we ended off the evening with the breaking of the plates. The family explained to us the meaning behind the breaking of the plates tradition as well as a few other traditions be-known to the Greeks. Our sailing crew actually altered our trip home so that we could spend an extra night at this hotel.
Corinne – our Sun Odyssey 40.9 ft
Our sailing trip lasted two weeks. I particularly enjoy sailing for two weeks as one really gets a feel for the area you’re sailing. Coming from South Africa, a week’s sailing is very short in comparison to the time spent in transit, so you definitely need more time to enjoy it. On a two week sailing trip, you do find your “sea-legs”. After just a few days you find you will be able to sail further and feel confident planning longer passages taking in further destinations.
For a family of four bareboat sailing we like to use a monohull ranging from 39 ft to 46ft in length. There’s plenty of deck space which is great when our fellow members of the flotilla come over for drinks and a “sundowner” before going out to dinner. The rooms are a decent size and depending on the type of boat you charter you may even get a second bathroom on board.
Yacht Corinne served us particularly well and I would recommend a Sun Odyssey 40.9 ft to a family ranging from 3 to 5 members as it will accommodate you all very well.
This was definitely our most eventful trip. One particular day in our two-week trip, we had considerably strong winds for the Mediterranean sailing I’ve become accustomed to. All four boats were sailing close to a cliff to catch glimpses of the caves. We noticed that one of our boats, Nomad, had dropped back and put up their sails. But being the friends we were, we didn’t bother to check whether or not their engine had packed up or if they were merely enjoying the wind. Needless to say hours later, Nomad sailed into the harbour with our friends looking a darker shade of green. Their engine had failed and all three boats had sailed away with our Volvo sails.
Yes, we’re African, How’d you know?
For those of you who have never been to South Africa, it is a country with 11 official languages and a concoction of cultures. We are very proud of where we come from. Hence all our boats, we charter, always have South African branding all over them. One thing we also always do before we set sail is we buy lilo’s and noodles so we can float whenever we’re anchored.
I mention these two points between ports one day we anchored in the most incredible alcove I’ve ever seen. We ate lunch and hopped in the water. We then came up with an idea to tie a rope to the dingy and we each would float on our lilo whilst holding onto that rope all the while someone was rowing the dingy. The boats around us laughed at these middle-aged men, their wives and kids being pulled on a lilo through the water. We clearly forgot to pack our “maturity” upon leaving South Africa.
I remember this day as being one of the best days of my life. I was sailing, I had my friends and family all being silly around me and I was surrounded by such beauty. I was so very content.
Nearly our most expensive holiday, Ever!!
It was our last day of our two week holiday. We had anchored by the old town of Corfu before heading into port that afternoon. My family and I had rowed (due to our engine not working so well) to shore and were out shopping. The rest of our friends were all sitting on one boat drinking up the remainder of the alcohol we had brought all the way from home.
We were using the remainder of the power in our little dingy motor to get back to our yacht. But our yacht had moved… and our yacht was continuing to move…towards the 140 metre, seven-story, Ocean Victory super yacht!! Needless to say, I have never seen my dad row so fast in his life. Our yacht, Corinne, had come lose off her anchor and was heading straight for this multimillion dollar boat. Ocean Victory’s crew were shouting and attempting to prepare for the impact.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to visit Greece numerous times. I will not fail to jump at the opportunity to go back there. I regard this country as one that always gives its visitors a 5-star treatment. Whether you’re interested in visiting the mainland or sailing around one of the islands, go for it! You won’t ever regret it.
If you are interested in having an experience similar to mine – please contact us below for more information.