Sailing and Boating in Greece

Information on the rules on boat licences and sailing permits, the sea safety recommendations, maritime weather and more...

Greece has a coastline of around 15,000 Km and there are approximately 220 inhabited islands. Many of these islands are near to Athens and Attica and are popular sailing destinations.

Weather Conditions

Greek summers are hot and dry. Winters are mild, with February being the coldest month. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons of the year.

Summer winds, also known as Meltemi, are present from May until October. July and August are the windiest months in the Aegean Sea.

Early morning fog and reduced visibility due to the heat haze can be a hazard to sailors; however, the sea waters are generally clear and rocks can easily be seen.

Maritime weather forecasts are available in Greek and/or English on the following websites:

Sailing Licences

Sailing licences issued by European Union countries are automatically valid and accepted in Greece. Non-EU licences are accepted if they meet EU standards. Licences in languages other than English or Greek must be translated.

Most yacht clubs hold sailing courses (both theory and practical) and many organise intensive courses, or classes in the evenings or weekends. Sailing licences are awarded after passing an exam.

When chartering a boat, it is obligatory that at least one crew member has a sailing licence or sailing course certificate, or a signed declaration by them stating their sailing abilities.

Regulations and Taxes

Sailing regulations fall under the authority of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine and Island Policy (???????? ????????? ????????? ??? ?????????? ????????? / Ypourgos Eborikis Naftilias kai Nisootikis Politikis) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (????????? ?????????? ??? ??????????? / Ypourgeio Oikonomias kai Oikonomikon).

  • For comprehensive information on sailing legislation in Greece: Click here (PDF)

When sailing in Greece, the following documents are required on board:

  • Original registration document of the boat
  • Ship's radio licence
  • Original insurance document (with translation in Greek if applicable)
  • Radio operator's certificate of competence
  • Proof of VAT status for boats from the EU
  • Foreign boats should fly a courtesy Greek flag

Greek Port authorities must be given a passenger and crew list.

Non-EU private recreational vessels are subject to a Reciprocal Tax charge for each three months spent in Greek waters. This is charged per metre and is only payable at the end of every three months. There is no charge for boats that stay for less than three months. Coast guards can prohibit the departure of a boat that has not paid this fee.

Greek-flagged recreational boats, longer than 10m, need a Private Pleasure Maritime Traffic Document (DEKPA), which can be bought from the Port Police. It is valid for all ports and must be stamped when entering or leaving a port. There is space for 50 stamps in the booklet. This is not required for foreign-registered recreational vessels.