When planning your sailing trip to Greece, you are strongly advised to consider the sailing conditions, which are quite diverse depending on the location.
Ionian Islands (Ionian Sea)
If you are a fan of calm seas, protected waters and mostly light winds, you should plan a trip to the Ionian Islands. In the summer period, the wind usually comes from the Northwest with a force between 2 - 5 beaufort, picking up at noon and easing down gradually until the sunset. The weather conditions in the Ionian Sea are ideal for a relaxing family sailing vacation and less experienced sailors. However, occasionally you can experience rough weather conditions, with high seas.
Cyclades and Dodecanese Islands (Aegean Sea)
If you are up for a more exciting trip, you should try the Cyclades or Dodecanese Islands. From April to October the wind blows with a force between 4 - 7 beaufort. In the summer, particularly in July and August, the wind can suddenly become very strong (up to 8 beaufort on occasions) and preserve its force for several days. This wind is called “Meltemi” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etesian) and its direction varies through the Cyclades and Dodecanese island complexes, with a prevailing Northeast direction. Sailing in such conditions could be quite uncomfortable, with high and short waves.
Saronic Gulf and Eastern Peloponnese
In this geographical area the winds are a bit stronger than the Ionian Sea but not as strong as in the Aegean Sea. The “Meltemi” wind also blows in the Saronic Gulf, usually with a force between 4-6 beaufort, but not as regularly as in the Cyclades or the Dodecanese islands. Usually, the wind in this area blows from the South with a force of 2-4 beaufort, picking up at noon and easing down gradually until the sunset.
Planning your trip
Following, a set of recommended websites is provided, to help you with the safe planning of your trip:
- Hellenic National Meteorological Service
- Greek Weather site including detailed sailing forecast/weather maps
- Poseidon System for the Greek Seas
- University of Athens Wave Forecast