If you are tired of city breaks, beach holidays and being confined to a hotel then a sailing holiday could be the perfect getaway for you. And with the stunning Greek islands being billed as one of the best places to sail in the world, there's no wonder that the popularity of Greek sailing holidays is steadily rising. A sailing trip gives you the opportunity to visit several different places at your own pace and via your own route. It will enhance your sailing skills, making the travelling process educational and enjoyable and even give you the chance to make new friends - sailing holidays are notoriously sociable. But whether you are a seasoned sailor on charter vessels or a novice in nautical getaways, there are some preparation tips you should always follow to ensure that your trip goes smoothly.



Choosing the right sailing holiday

There are a few different types of sailing holidays and which one you choose will depend on your skills, requirements and budget. A crewed chartered sailing trip means that there will be a crew aboard your vessel to sail the boat for you. Those with sailing skills (and the qualifications to prove it) can opt for a self-sail holiday which means they are responsible for sailing the boat and choosing the route. Flotilla holidays include several vessels within the same group that follow the same route led by a 'lead yacht'. Learn-to-sail trips also exist for those wanting to combine a holiday with some skill development. Think about what you want from your holiday before booking any of these options.

Flights and accommodation

Usually flights and accommodation are not included in the cost of the sailing holiday itself although some charter firms may be able to offer special rates in conjunction with using certain airlines and hotels. Think about your travel times and whether or not you'll need to arrange any additional accommodation at either end of the holiday.

Provisions and packing

If you have opted for a self-sail holiday then you will need to spend some time arranging provisions for the trip so leave plenty of time to visit supermarkets before you're due to set sail. Don't be too tempted to over-buy or over-pack though. Deck space and storage space is usually quite limited even on larger yachts so pack sensibly, including waterproofs, deck shoes and sun protection, but don't go overboard.

Plan your route

It goes without saying that you should plan your route in advance. The chartering firm can usually help with this by providing maps and advising of any dangerous points such as shallow waters, reefs and unchartered waters. Have a vague idea of what to expect in each area (for example, the Aegean Sea close to the Cyclades Islands is notoriously challenging and should only be sailed by experienced sailors). Bear in mind that Greek ports on the smaller islands can be chaotic so take care when mooring.