For the first time ever, Greece has risen to the top of the global market of superyacht chartering. Having risen in popularity as a yacht charter destination over the last few years, going from the third most popular destination for chartering yachts in 2019 to the second most popular last year, Greece now sits at the top of the international chart with a 23% market share. As of 25 June 2021, there were at least 194 superyachts moored off Greek shores, an increase of over 80 from the previous month! Certainly, at Swisspath Yachting we have seen a similar pattern, with the majority of our yacht charters being booked in Greece so far this year.
So why are we seeing this? Well, with tourism accounting for more than 25% of Greek jobs and around one-fifth of the economy, the country ensured it was ahead of the curve when it came to the easing of travel restrictions. Since 14 May 2021 Greece has been open, without quarantine, to travellers from the European Union, Schengen Area and the United Kingdom who have either been fully vaccinated or can provide a negative COVID-19 test. This, coupled with the fact that we are approaching the peak tourist season for Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic regions, has led to an all-time peak in Greek tourism.
Of course, Greece has always been a very popular destination to travel to, particularly with those who want to explore by yacht. Home to over 2,000 islands, there are endless white-sand beaches, crystal clear anchorages, and quaint fishing villages to discover. The Cyclades Islands are home to the classic, white-washed Greek buildings, which are a sight to behold against the backdrop of the blue Aegean Sea. Head to cosmopolitan Mykonos for lively nights and Santorini to enjoy the famous sunsets from one of the hill-side bars or restaurants.
For rich vegetation and miles of sandy beach with turquoise waters, head to the Ionian Islands, the most famous of which are probably Kefalonia and Corfu. Expect to encounter friendly locals, impressive architecture and historical delights as you explore these islands, with the Old Town of Corfu having been crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. In addition to the Cyclades and Ionian Islands, there any number of inhabited and uninhabited island in-between offering its own unique delights.
In general, yacht chartering and sales have seen a world-wide increase in 2021, which is not surprising when you consider the level of privacy and seclusion a yacht provides. Thanks to keeping outbreaks of COVID-19 at bay and focusing on easing of restrictions as quickly and safely as possible, Greece has become the leading destination for superyacht travel.
If you’re considering heading to Greece this summer, take a look at a few of the yachts based in this beautiful part of the world: