The best way to make the most of a cruise through these beautiful regions of the Eastern Mediterranean is to do so aboard a luxury yacht charter in Croatia, Greece, Turkey or Montenegro, sailing from island to island, stopping to admire the magical scenery and take a dip in the crystal blue waters. Sip a drink at sunset and stroll among the many shops of antique dealers during the cool evening, finally stopping for that last drink in one of the many small candlelit bars or aboard your vessel, where you can be pampered by the crew, who will satisfy your every need.
Greece and its islands with their many nuances, is always a perfect place for a cruise in the Mediterranean. This area consists of a myriad of the most important and well-known islands with picturesque villages, white beaches and secluded bays, even in the busiest months. The climate is mild from May to October and the rain is very rare. Navigation is not too difficult if you exclude the Aegean where the Meltemi winds that start up in the afternoon and die down by sunset, are stronger in the summer months. This area is rather appreciated by experienced sailors and tranquil navigation is possible in larger displacement boats.
In the Ionian, it is ideal is to rent a crewed yacht in Corfu, the largest and greenest island, where you can still see monasteries and goats by the seaside. From here, head south towards Lefkada, full of beautiful beaches, a high and rugged coastline and harbours suitable for all types of boats; sail on towards Kefalonia, mooring in the bays of the trendy Fiskardo, Skorpios or Meganissi. Do not miss sailing to Ithaca that is rich in history and finally to Zakynthos, famous for its beach, Caretta Caretta, the only place in Europe where sea turtles still go to lay their eggs, where it gets its name from.
Towards the South East, you will find the mythical Cyclades, a cluster of windswept islands like the sophisticated Mykonos and the legendary Santorini, also famous for its intense nightlife. Folegandros in the southern Aegean is chic yet natural, where mass tourism has not yet taken root. Then there is Milos, Syros, Amorgos, Delos and many more.
Towards the North East, you will find the Sporades, tranquil and with crystal-clear water. Finally, there are the Dodecanese with the historic and fascinating Rhodes; Kos, is famous for its many archaeological findings, and a few miles away there is Turkey; Samos is green and full of forests but also a paradise for surfers who will find here the most suitable winds.
CROATIA has earned over the years, with good reason, a considerable reputation as a superb navigation area with its myriad of islands, islets and rocks. The navigation possibilities and therefore the choice of yacht charter in Croatia grows from year to year. Here white pebble beaches have an almost silvery color, contrasting with the deep blue and green hues. The coast is rich in vegetation and marine life and private mooring is possible with great ease. In the northern area, you cannot miss a swim with the dolphins near Mali Lusinj and Cres; further south in front of Zadar, you will find Kornati, a wonder of nature that you must include in your sailing cruise within the islets. Stop and eat at one of the many "taverns" that prepare simple, wholesome and tasty meals. Hvar is also historic and elegant with its Venetian-like atmosphere, where nightlife is at its peak. It is not far from Split and the ancient and sophisticated Trogir, part of UNESCO since 1997. The best starting points are Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik, all well connected with Italy, both by air and by sea. Great for welcoming large vessels is also Cavtat, just a few miles from Dubrovnik.
MONTENEGRO has also been a top choice in recent years, with its high coasts, pristine landscapes, calm and clear waters and small villages. In the Bay of Kotor, where a series of deep basins sheltered from the open sea have created the largest natural harbour in the Adriatic, one of the loveliest harbours was also built. This is Port Montenegro where you can dock safely in winter and depart from spring to autumn for cruises in Croatia and Greece. It is in fact one of the most magnificent Mediterranean ports, which can accommodate superyachts up to 100 meters. (Link: http://www.portomontenegro.com/). Located in the wonderful UNESCO protected Bay of Kotor, Porto Montenegro combines a spectacular destination with a world-class marina and services.
Finally, there is TURKEY and the enchanted colors of its sea furrowed by Caiques, typical local fishing boats. With their slow and majestic sailing together with their cordial crews, they welcome you to this country, rich in history, culture and ancient traditions suitable for lovers of nature and archaeology. A classic Turkish route that you can take is the one that boards in Bodrum, where you will find quite the party atmosphere along with bohemian artists, intellectuals and lovers of the good life. Sailing along the Datça Peninsula, which can even be reached from nearby Kos in Greece, you will find it is a very charming place, with two twin bays and the ruins of Knidos, with traces of every era from the Doric columns of the Temple of Apollo to the Roman theaters, and the Temple of Aphrodite.
When your hired gulet arrives in Marmaris, do not deprive yourself of the delicious Turkish cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the characteristic Marina, drinking "raki", a traditional Turkish drink, mixed with water and ice.
The next day you can head south, along the coast of Lycia, where you can follow a route that the Turks call the "Blue Voyage". Your commander will take you to Gocek an anchor in the bay of Fethiye, where you can dive into its magical and historical waters. The secrets of the ancient gods of mythology remain buried in the dens and in the bays around the Gulf. It is a paradise for those who want to surf surrounded by history. Further south, in the area of Kaş, be sure to visit the island of Kekova and immerse yourself in the transparent waters, which protect the ruins of this submerged city.