Summer Superyacht Charter destination: The Dodecanese in Greece

May 31, 2017

Written by Rachael Steele

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The Mediterranean bursts into life in the summer months with festivals and events all but covering the calendar. Sitting on the boundary between Western and Eastern Europe, Greece is ideally situated for luxury charters determined to visit multiple destinations and countries, whether for cuisine, historical culture or adventure.

The Dodecanese are islands that enjoy a spectacular situation in the Aegean Sea and each one has its own individual character while also displaying the picturesque beauty so often zealously touted in adverts and holiday snaps. Whether starting or ending your superyacht charter in Grecian waters, the Dodecanese Islands are replete with ruins and world heritage that should not be missed.

Sailing yacht AQUIJO - Built by Oceanco and available for charter

Sailing yacht AQUIJO – Built by Oceanco and available for charter

Most charter yachts in the Mediterranean offer availability in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Mediterranean: AQuiJo, CHRISTINA O, CHAKRA and INDIAN EMPRESS are only sosme of the impressive selection of superyachts representing the brand new and historic, contemporary and classic living spaces that guests make their holiday homes. CharterWorld senior broker Nicolas Benazeth regularly organises charters to Eastern Mediterranean destinations and commented on the enduring appeal of the Dodecanese and the area as a whole:

“The Dodecanese is a great cruising area as it offers a huge diversity of islands all within easy reach of each other and it is also very easy to combine with the beautiful coast of southwest Turkey. Large and more developed islands such as Rhodes and Kos offer easy access with international flights and good amenities, while allowing you to explore smaller picturesque islands such as Simi, Kalymnos and the stunningly beautiful Patmos further north. There are also hidden gems more off the beaten track such as Kastellorizo, a small Greek islands right up against the Turkish coast, or Astypalea which can be visited on its own, or as a stop over when combining a cruise towards Santorini.

Discover Greece aboard AQuiJo - Photo by Stuart Pearce

Discover Greece aboard AQuiJo – Photo by Stuart Pearce

“The Dodecanese is also generally more protected from the strong meltemi winds which can be troublesome in summer in the Cyclades, and even when winds do pick up a little in the area there are many islands and sheltered bay and anchorages which you can ‘hide’ in so that it never affects your enjoyment of the area. Being the southernmost cruising area in the Mediterranean, the Dodecanese also has a very long charter season, with some of the best weather and sea conditions in September and October, as well as superb springtime cruising in May and June.”

Kos

A full week could be spent exploring Kos and there would still be enough to do for a future adventure: Paradisaical beaches, religious sites and culinary delights are everywhere along the coast, to mention nothing of the nightlife and the traditional music and dance still passed down the generations.

The dream of a holiday along a glittering sandy beach, lapped by glassy waters and sheltered from waves and strong tides is realised on Kos. On a luxury yacht charter, you can select a beach to meet your requirements and set up on the sands free from any other groups of tourists – perfect for a beach picnic or a candlelit dinner under the stars. Lagoons are the ideal environment for young children to practise their swimming and the undulating cliff faces along the coastline create hiding places for the area’s rich marine life. Snorkelling, scuba diving and wind surfing are popular activities for family and friends charter groups.

Historic superyacht and a classic beauty - Christina O for charter in Greece

Historic superyacht and a classic beauty – Christina O for charter in Greece

At the island capital of Chora Kos, visitors looking to discover the thousands of years of history upon which the world was built will marvel at the various states of preservation, from complete buildings to the outline of foundations surrounded by earthquake-induced rubble. View the ancient tree planted by Hippocrates and walk through the high-walled gardens where he once taught his students, listen to the clear acoustics of the odeon or be surprised by the level of sophistication and engineering at the ancient stone baths beside Casa Romana.

To preserve a great many of the statues and antiques from the weather (and light or clumsy fingers) even the most well preserved ruins are stripped back bare and take on a minimalist appearance, where the objects of daily life are notably absent. However, in the town centre there is a museum dedicated to local artefacts from the Roman and Hellenistic eras – the Golden Age of Greece.

Head out of town and into the mountains to visit Asklipion, an ancient hospital and sanctuary where sacrifices were made to the god of healing before stopping by at one of the islands many Orthodox churches for a truly unique worship experience so familiar yet so different from Italy or France.

 

Kalymnos

What differentiates Kalymnos from the other islands in the Dodecanese is the long-established sponge industry and the excellent range of rock climbing courses that would complement a water sports adventure holiday. Take advantage of the sheltered bays and learn to windsurf, water ski or even try out a flyboard in deeper water. The island has a long-established history of collecting sponges from the sea floor and the factories sell them to visitors as very practical souvenirs.

Motor yacht CHAKRA available for charter in Greece

Motor yacht CHAKRA available for charter in Greece

“One week is just about enough to take in the main highlights,” Nicolas Benazeth adds, “and 10 days to 2 weeks allows you to take a bit more time to enjoy the Greek islands, but also stopover on the Turkish coast to visit such scenic areas as the bay of Gocek and Gulf of Hisaronu, or combine the area with a cruise north via Patmos towards Mykonos.”

 

Rhodes

The largest of the Dodecanese Islands, this was once the location of the seventh wonder of the ancient world: the Colossus of Rhodes. Much of the colourful history still survives and in the island’s capital city of Chora Rodos, visitors are greeted with a variety of things to do. The impressive walled city openly exhibits its tumultuous past, torn between the nations of Turkey and Greece. Grecian bell towers were once converted into minarets and churches into mosques, and today Islam, Judaism and the predominantly Greek Orthodox religions form the community.

Superyacht INDIAN EMPRESS for charter in the Eastern Mediterranean

Superyacht INDIAN EMPRESS for charter in the Eastern Mediterranean

The old town is carefully preserved and the Medieval district is one of the most visited sites in Europe. For a break in your wanderings, the main square is filled with cafes with a variety of cuisines to suit all dietary requirements. For a memento of your visit, there are gift shops down the narrow alleys that are full of the atmosphere of a bygone age. At the very height of Chora Rodos stands the UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Palace of the Grand Master of Knights. To avoid the peak crowds, it is recommended to visit outside of July and August.

For a more thorough experience of Rhodes, head away from the coast towards the interior – The Monastery of Filarimos and the Valley of the Butterflies in Petaloudes make picturesque additions to any visit.

 

Lipsi

Escape from the modern world on the island of Lipsi, where the mountains meet the sea and visitors are rewarded at every turn by fantastic sights both natural and man made. Small beaches are scattered across the coastline and the remotest are easily accessible by luxury yacht for your party to use without interruption. There are 23 smaller islands surrounding Lipsi and your charter group will be able to pick from any of the beaches.

The main town of Lipsi is used to tourists and among the well established selection of quality restaurants and cafes, visitors are well received at the town hall and museum, which contains local artefacts of historic and folkloric importance. Although road access stretches out across the island it is possible to traverse the town on foot and pedestrian exploration is encouraged.

Throughout July and August the island holds culture nights filled with traditional dance, costume, song and cuisine. On the 22nd-23rd of August, Orthodox islanders celebrate the Assumption of Mary and the celebrations continue long into the night until the next day, when a procession heads to the church Panagia tou Harou (Virgin Mary of the Reaper) where a ceremony is held.

“One week is just about enough to take in the main highlights,” Nicolas Benazeth adds, “and 10 days to 2 weeks allows you to take a bit more time to enjoy the Greek islands, but also stopover on the Turkish coast to visit such scenic areas as the bay of Gocek and Gulf of Hisaronu, or combine the area with a cruise north via Patmos towards Mykonos.”

For a summer holiday that has something to satisfy all family members, head off on a luxury charter to the Dodecanese. Contact CharterWorld today for more information on the diverse island locations and find the perfect superyacht for your itinerary.

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