Yacht charters are one of the best ways to explore the lovely Mediterranean countries.

From coastal France and lively Ibiza, to the idyllic islands in Greece, Croatia and Italy – all known for their beautiful landscape, friendly people, enchanting views and authentic culture – the vast Mediterranean is unlike any other place on earth. Boasting everything from golden sand beaches, rocky cliffs and sapphire blue waters, to traditional architecture, delicious fare and warm, welcoming people, the sunny coastal cities of the greater Mediterranean are some of the world’s best yacht charter destinations; one just waiting for you to come and dig it up.

Bear in mind, however that the Mediterranean is a summer destination and gets cold in winter. Best cruising months are from late May to September.  July and August gets pretty crowded when it seems like all of Europe is vacationing on the water.

Prime Locations

If we were to do a quick and dirty poll among our loyal clients and fellow yachting and sailing enthusiasts, I think you’d find that there are certain Mediterranean locations and itineraries that keep on coming up as the most popular. By popular, we don’t mean crowded (you ALWAYS have to choose your month for crowded or non-crowded) Here’s are the results of OUR unofficial popularity poll:

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Greek Islands >

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Spain >

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Corsica >

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Croatia >

1. The Greek Islands, especially the run from Athens to the Cyclades islands of Mykonos and Santorini, these are usually one way charters because the distances are greater than you think. Do NOT do this in July or August or you may get blown all the way to Egypt….. Plan B from Athens if the winds are blowing, include Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses in the Saronic Gulf.

2. Croatia, Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa. Many crewed yachts need to pick up in Montenegro which is next-door due to Croatian regulations. Hundreds of little islands and great people and great food are Croatia’s hallmarks.

3. Turkey, From Marmaris or Bodrum toward Gocek and maybe even Castellorizo. Bouncing back and forth between the Greek Islands of the Dodecanese and the actual Turkish coast. Marvelous little towns and villages and monuments above and below water, remnants of ancient civilizations and biblical connotations.

4. Sicily, is a larger island than you think and the seas can get a bit uncomfortable depending on the month and the wind direction. Two favorite itineraries: Trapani -Trapani on the West coast, and Milazzo North to the Aeolian Islands of Lipari, Panarea, and the volcano of Stromboli.

5. Corsica and Sardinia, offer some great sailing and cruising. The East coast of both islands is more inviting due to the prevailing winds.  Olbia is a great pick-up location in Sardinia and close to the famous Maddalena archipelago with stop-offs at Porto Redondo and Porto Cervo.  Corsica’s Macinaggio provides a good starting point for crossing over to Italy’s mainland via  Capraia and the island of Elba.

6. The Cinque Terre in Italy, is an amazing coastwise journey that can start in Liguria’s Genoa or Portofino and end in or close to La Spezia.

7. The French Riviera. What can you say? Smart impeccable, classy and very expensive even by European standards. Home of the Mega-Yachts and the rich and famous. If you’ve got the loot, go for it. Dock in Monaco for Grand Prix week….. for starters.

Let us Choose the Right Boat for You

If you’d like to relax in the lap of luxury and cover a lot of water and visit lots of places in a relatively short period of time, a motor-yacht is for you. The Med has some of the most extraordinary, well designed and modern yachts on the planet. Most, if not all of these large motor yachts are stabilized and can navigate choppy waters and provide a nice smooth ride for their guests. Look for one that is equipped with what is called “zero-speed stabilizers’ that keep an even keel even when the yacht is at anchor.

Yacht Selections:

We offer some of the finest powerboats and motor yachts in the world, please use our search engine to find the right one for you and your family or friends. If you do not find the right one here, call us at +1-(877) 759-8263 or fill out our contact form or email us at charters@americanyacht.net and we’ll be happy to put you on the right track.

The charter rate for these large motor yachts are of course, substantially higher than for sailing yachts and you have to think of a fuel consumption of 100 gallons or more per hour so the cost of these vessels is not for the faint-hearted. Nevertheless, this is yachting at it’s finest and budget permitting, they represent the best and most luxurious experience on the planet.

Most have 5 star chefs and magnificent galleys (kitchens) capable of producing some of  the greatest culinary experiences in the world. A mega-yacht can cover 250 miles during a night run so you can go to sleep in Portofino Italy, for example and wake up in Rome. Or embark in Rome (Civitavecchia) and wake up in Napoli. The following night you can run all the way to Sicily.

Most motor-yachts have a great selection of water-toys including runabouts, or center-console fishing boats as tenders. They have professional crews that pamper their guests every inch of the way.  Pricing ranges from E50K per week + expenses to as much as E750K per week + expenses.

If you’re in this bracket, a Med motor yacht has to be on your bucket-list.

The Med is home to an incredible variety of sailing vessels, from classic schooners to fast racing mono-hulls, to nice wide roomy catamarans and, not least, the incredibly comfortable Turkish Gulets. By using the search engine on the American Yacht website, you can take a good look at the different types of yachts available.

Bareboaters also have an excellent choice of mono-hulls and cats. The most popular Med bare-boats are the Oceanis, Bavaria, Sun Odyssey, Jeanneau, Ocean Star, Cyclades, Lagoon and others.

Fully crewed options include, a huge variety of Motor Yachts, many of them designed and built in Italy and Greece and, of course, the Netherlands and the UK.  Most of the larger catamarans are designed and built in France, many by Privilege. 62′ to 70′ to 100′ foot catamarans are quite common.

Many Americans are unfamiliar with Turkish Gulets which are still made out of wood from the Turkish forests and are direct descendants of the vessels that dominated the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes for centuries. They are still made using traditional techniques in the shipyards of Bodrum in Turkey. Of course, today, in spite of their wooden hulls, they provide the adventurous charter enthusiast with all the most modern conveniences like electric toilets, state of the art navigation systems and above all, the warm hospitality of their Turkish crews. Not to mention chefs that are equally comfortable with Middle-Eastern delicacy’s as well as Western cuisine.

Taking a vacation on a very large motor yacht in the Mediterranean has to be one of the greatest vacations in the world. Mediterranean motor yacht charters will allow you to visit the maximum number of “must-see” hot-spots on one trip in comfort and luxury and in the limited time your busy schedule will allow. There are two main cruising areas, the Western Mediterranean (West Med) and the Eastern Mediterranean near Turkey (East Med).

The West Med includes the French Riviera from St. Tropez to Monaco and on to Genoa and Portofino in Italy. It includes The famous Italian Amalfi region around Naples and the beautiful island of Sicily.

Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy) are also in this area and provide a more rugged experience, although there are many new luxurious marinas and resorts available on both these islands. Included in the West Med, are the Spanish Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza that are stand alone destinations due to the distances.

The Eastern Med, includes Croatia and it’s wonderful Dalmatian coast, peppered with little islands, it includes the Greek Ionian islands on the West coast of Greece (think Corfu). And of course, it includes the wonderful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, think Mykonos, Santorini and many others, AND of course the fascinating and historic Turkish coast, starting in Bodrum, Marmaris and going as far south as Castellorizo (which is actually Greek).

There are marvelous itineraries that can include both the Greek Dodecanese islands of Samos, Kos and Rhodes as well as the highlights of the Turkish coast like Bodrum, Marmaris, the Gulf of Gokova and and other incredible locations.

On a large motor yacht however, traveling at 18 to 20 knots, it is possible to see many of these locations during a one week charter. If you have limited time for your vacation, a motor yacht is definitely the way to go.

We have a fine selection of the world’s finest motor motor yachts, with pricing from E40K to over E100K per week plus expenses. Use our automated search engine to find your perfect yacht and it’s availability.

If you don’t have time to do this, of if you are not seeing the exact yacht you are looking for, simply make one call to us at +1-(877) 759-8263 for our Miami Florida office or call +1-954-607-3782 which is the number of our Mediterranean office. OR, simply email us.

We are subscribed to all the major charter yacht listings and we attend the Genoa, Poros and Marmaris yacht shows every year. You can be assured that we are familiar with the latest crew changes, upgrades and new boats available

We have English, French, Spanish and Greek language capabilities in-house. So feel free……. we look forward to hearing from you so we can book your Mediterranean motor yacht charters with us.  You are in good hands, our associates are all members of  recognized charter yacht brokers and agents associations such as CYBA, AYCA, HYBA and the MYBA-NET database.  We look forward to helping you plan your vacation of a lifetime.

If you are planning a charter in unfamiliar waters, it may be useful to book a captain only charter the first time around. You can use a skipper just to check you out on an unfamiliar boat or yacht for a few hours or even a day, or you can make good use of a skipper for the duration.  This will undoubtedly put your own mind at rest so you can enjoy your vacation with less worry; sleeping with one ear cocked for strange noises and getting up a few times at night to check for anchor drift. Been there done that.

The down -side is that you will have a stranger on board that needs a cabin and a head and will need to be cooked for and fed. The upside is that most professional skippers are professionals who are easy to get along with and can provide valuable insights on local conditions, customs and locations along the way.

Skipper-only options are also available on some fully crewed yachts at certain times of year. This is not a bad way to save some money although you will have the responsibility of  feeding yourselves AND the captain.  There can be some hiccups here though. Some fully crewed yachts, especially the larger sailing catamarans that have a full time permanent crew that lives on board. These types of yachts are less likely to offer a captain-only experience.

Consult with your charter broker to help you with the options. s/he probably knows which boat will offer a discounted captain only charter.

+ Power & Motor Yachts

We offer some of the finest powerboats and motor yachts in the world, please use our search engine to find the right one for you and your family or friends. If you do not find the right one here, call us at +1-(877) 759-8263 or fill out our contact form or email us at charters@americanyacht.net and we’ll be happy to put you on the right track.

The charter rate for these large motor yachts are of course, substantially higher than for sailing yachts and you have to think of a fuel consumption of 100 gallons or more per hour so the cost of these vessels is not for the faint-hearted. Nevertheless, this is yachting at it’s finest and budget permitting, they represent the best and most luxurious experience on the planet.

Most have 5 star chefs and magnificent galleys (kitchens) capable of producing some of  the greatest culinary experiences in the world. A mega-yacht can cover 250 miles during a night run so you can go to sleep in Portofino Italy, for example and wake up in Rome. Or embark in Rome (Civitavecchia) and wake up in Napoli. The following night you can run all the way to Sicily.

Most motor-yachts have a great selection of water-toys including runabouts, or center-console fishing boats as tenders. They have professional crews that pamper their guests every inch of the way.  Pricing ranges from E50K per week + expenses to as much as E750K per week + expenses.

If you’re in this bracket, a Med motor yacht has to be on your bucket-list.

+ Sailboats

The Med is home to an incredible variety of sailing vessels, from classic schooners to fast racing mono-hulls, to nice wide roomy catamarans and, not least, the incredibly comfortable Turkish Gulets. By using the search engine on the American Yacht website, you can take a good look at the different types of yachts available.

Bareboaters also have an excellent choice of mono-hulls and cats. The most popular Med bare-boats are the Oceanis, Bavaria, Sun Odyssey, Jeanneau, Ocean Star, Cyclades, Lagoon and others.

Fully crewed options include, a huge variety of Motor Yachts, many of them designed and built in Italy and Greece and, of course, the Netherlands and the UK.  Most of the larger catamarans are designed and built in France, many by Privilege. 62′ to 70′ to 100′ foot catamarans are quite common.

Many Americans are unfamiliar with Turkish Gulets which are still made out of wood from the Turkish forests and are direct descendants of the vessels that dominated the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes for centuries. They are still made using traditional techniques in the shipyards of Bodrum in Turkey. Of course, today, in spite of their wooden hulls, they provide the adventurous charter enthusiast with all the most modern conveniences like electric toilets, state of the art navigation systems and above all, the warm hospitality of their Turkish crews. Not to mention chefs that are equally comfortable with Middle-Eastern delicacy’s as well as Western cuisine.

+ Mediterranean Motor Yachts

Taking a vacation on a very large motor yacht in the Mediterranean has to be one of the greatest vacations in the world. Mediterranean motor yacht charters will allow you to visit the maximum number of “must-see” hot-spots on one trip in comfort and luxury and in the limited time your busy schedule will allow. There are two main cruising areas, the Western Mediterranean (West Med) and the Eastern Mediterranean near Turkey (East Med).

The West Med includes the French Riviera from St. Tropez to Monaco and on to Genoa and Portofino in Italy. It includes The famous Italian Amalfi region around Naples and the beautiful island of Sicily.

Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy) are also in this area and provide a more rugged experience, although there are many new luxurious marinas and resorts available on both these islands. Included in the West Med, are the Spanish Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza that are stand alone destinations due to the distances.

The Eastern Med, includes Croatia and it’s wonderful Dalmatian coast, peppered with little islands, it includes the Greek Ionian islands on the West coast of Greece (think Corfu). And of course, it includes the wonderful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, think Mykonos, Santorini and many others, AND of course the fascinating and historic Turkish coast, starting in Bodrum, Marmaris and going as far south as Castellorizo (which is actually Greek).

There are marvelous itineraries that can include both the Greek Dodecanese islands of Samos, Kos and Rhodes as well as the highlights of the Turkish coast like Bodrum, Marmaris, the Gulf of Gokova and and other incredible locations.

On a large motor yacht however, traveling at 18 to 20 knots, it is possible to see many of these locations during a one week charter. If you have limited time for your vacation, a motor yacht is definitely the way to go.

We have a fine selection of the world’s finest motor motor yachts, with pricing from E40K to over E100K per week plus expenses. Use our automated search engine to find your perfect yacht and it’s availability.

If you don’t have time to do this, of if you are not seeing the exact yacht you are looking for, simply make one call to us at +1-(877) 759-8263 for our Miami Florida office or call +1-954-607-3782 which is the number of our Mediterranean office. OR, simply email us.

We are subscribed to all the major charter yacht listings and we attend the Genoa, Poros and Marmaris yacht shows every year. You can be assured that we are familiar with the latest crew changes, upgrades and new boats available

We have English, French, Spanish and Greek language capabilities in-house. So feel free……. we look forward to hearing from you so we can book your Mediterranean motor yacht charters with us.  You are in good hands, our associates are all members of  recognized charter yacht brokers and agents associations such as CYBA, AYCA, HYBA and the MYBA-NET database.  We look forward to helping you plan your vacation of a lifetime.

+ Captain-only

If you are planning a charter in unfamiliar waters, it may be useful to book a captain only charter the first time around. You can use a skipper just to check you out on an unfamiliar boat or yacht for a few hours or even a day, or you can make good use of a skipper for the duration.  This will undoubtedly put your own mind at rest so you can enjoy your vacation with less worry; sleeping with one ear cocked for strange noises and getting up a few times at night to check for anchor drift. Been there done that.

The down -side is that you will have a stranger on board that needs a cabin and a head and will need to be cooked for and fed. The upside is that most professional skippers are professionals who are easy to get along with and can provide valuable insights on local conditions, customs and locations along the way.

Skipper-only options are also available on some fully crewed yachts at certain times of year. This is not a bad way to save some money although you will have the responsibility of  feeding yourselves AND the captain.  There can be some hiccups here though. Some fully crewed yachts, especially the larger sailing catamarans that have a full time permanent crew that lives on board. These types of yachts are less likely to offer a captain-only experience.

Consult with your charter broker to help you with the options. s/he probably knows which boat will offer a discounted captain only charter.

Guide

Mediterranean yacht charters have many cruising options. The most popular destinations include those with the following universal characteristics: Protected Waters, interesting little islands to visit, small villages with ports and anchorages or docks large enough to accommodate a yacht, Interesting things to see, do and EAT while ashore, visitor-friendly locals.

Within these general principals, the following destinations meet the requirements from West to East:

Yacht Charters in The French Riviera and Monaco

There is a great selection of both sailing and motor yachts in the Caribbean, but not all are created equal. We represent and recommend only crewed yachts and bareboat companies that have developed a reputation for reliability and good service and, especially in the case of bareboats, that offer newer models and good support and that are reasonably priced.

Although the Caribbean is great any time of year, there are distinct seasons: In Summer, it get’s really, hot and often rains. In winter the temperatures are more reasonable still warm by most people’s standards and it’s drier. The most protected waters for great sailing and exploring are the British Virgin Islands (BVI) The Leeward Islands and the Windward’s are better in summer since the Atlantic waters are largely settled and you don’t get the big rollers coming in from the East.

Med Yacht Charters in The Northern Italian Coast

This charter destination can start in San Remo, Genoa or Portofino, Santa Margharita Ligure or La Spezia. This itinerary would include the Cinque-Terre region and all the little ports and villages on the coast. You can choose to disembark in Civittavecchia (Rome) or Naples (Napoli).

Med Yacht Charters in The Southern Italian Coast

This is a favorite spot for charterers, yachts generally pick up in Napoli and cruise the Amalfi and the islands of Ischia and Capri all the way to Salerno. If it is a larger faster yacht you can include Sicily in this equation although this is usually a stand-alone charter destination.

Yacht Charters in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

These Mediterranean destinations are another favorite for yachting. Your yacht will usually pick up in either Napoli, or Reggio di Calabria which has an airport close by and of course on Sicily proper in Palermo. Sicily is delightful with quaint little villages scattered all around the coast. Good food, nice people. The Aeolian Islands include Stromboli with its famous volcano, other than that the Aeolian is quite dry and uninteresting except for Lipari.

Mediterranean Yacht Charters in Croatia

This relatively new destination for charter yachts, has the most beautiful islands along the Dalmatian Coast and of course the historic city of Dubrovnik. Very popular with the “bareboat” crowd. You can board in Split and disembark in Dubrovnik, both of which have good airports.

Mediterranean Yacht Charters in Greece and Turkey

This will take a little longer so bear with me here: Greece and Turkey are some of our favorite places and we offer the following tips for first time charterers. Most people relate Greek Islands cruising to the classic destinations of Mykonos and Santorini.  The truth is that there are more than 700 islands in Greece and every one offers a fantastic and different cultural and gastronomical experience. The easiest way to think about the Greek islands is to classify them into groups:

  • The Cyclades (keek-lah-dess) that include Mykonos, Santorini, Syros and others. Not good in July/August due to possibility of Meltemi Wind
  • The Saronic (Sah-ron-ik) Gulf and Peloponnese Islands that include Aegina, Poros, Spetses and Hydra.
  • The Ionian (Eye-ohn-yan) Group of Islands, on the West coast of the Greek mainland that include Corfu and Cephalonia (home of “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” fame).
  • The Dodecanese (Doh-dek-ahn-ease) Group, is in the far Eastern waters of the Greek Archipielago that border with Turkey. These include Samos, Kos, Kalimnos and Rhodes. Cruising these waters can give you a wonderful experience of both Greek and Turkish cultures and foods and include a visit to Ephesus, famous for its ancient Biblical history, architecture and monuments
  • The Sporades (Spor-ah-des) Group, North of Athens are quite different and very green and agricultural. Generally calmer waters and less wind, a favorite for fair weather sailors
  • You can also add the island of Crete to these Groups, Crete is a unique place and a bit off the beaten track and should be a “stand-alone” destination.

When you fly into Athens, you can start your Mediterranean yacht charter at the Port closest to Athens which is Piraeus or Alimos. From Piraeus you have three choices: East to the Cyclades, South to the Saronic and the islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses OR West, through the Corinth canal to the Gulf of Corinth and to the Ionian islands of Cephalonia and Corfu. This latter is a longer trip more suitable for 2 week charters.

If you choose the Dodecanese, you should fly on a local airline (Aegean Air is very good) to either Samos or to Rhodes and pick up your yacht in either location. In June July and August which are “Meltemi” wind months, the Meltemi blows from the North West, It’s better to fly in to Samos, pick up the yacht there, and travel South East with the wind behind you making for a smoother ride and a more pleasant trip. Here is a great Turkish / Greek sample charter itinerary that you should look at.

Another thing to bear in mind is that you can use aTurkish yacht, maybe even a Turkish Gulet which are marvelous, comfortable and well-maintained boats, made entirely by hand out of wood grown in the Turkish highlands,  that can be chartered from Samos, Rhodes or even better, from Bodrum or Marmaris on the Turkish side. The Turkish Lira has a much more favorable exchange rate with the US$ than the Euro so everything, including hotels and restaurants, is relatively less expensive.

Mediterranean Yacht Charters in Spain and the Balearics

Pros

  • good food and friendly locals

Cons

  • Yachts need a special Spanish cruising license to pick up and drop-off paying guests thus making it difficuly for non-Spanish yachts to do business there
  • Some of the commercially licensed vessels are exempt from this requirement but most part-time charter vessels do not have this certificate and this drives the price up
  • The distance between the Balearic Islands of Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza and the mainland is quite large and that takes time and fuel
  • This destination would normally be a “stand-alone” destination since it is pretty far away from the French Riviera

Menu/Dining

The Mediterranean menus dining culture and diet is generally healthy with fresh ingredients and plenty of seafood and olive oil.  Charterers in this area have two major and very difficult choices – they can be described succinctly as follows: do I eat incredibly great food aboard my charter yacht or do I eat incredibly great food ashore?

For Bareboaters, the choice is clear, since they will be doing their own meal prep.  Most of our bareboat clients opt to have their breakfasts and lunches on board and take their evening meals ashore at the myriad little restaurants, trattorias and tavernas that dot the coastal villages along their chosen route. In this way they only have to provision for breakfasts, lunches (sandwiches) and snacks to munch along with a healthy supply of their favorite beverage. Watch out for the Greek Ouso and Retsina that can cause serious “morning-after” brain damage.

For crewed yacht aficionados, whether these be motor yachts or sailing boats and catamarans, the choice is not so clear. The chefs on board many of these lovely fully crewed yachts are usually 5 star gourmet chefs that are capable of producing incredible culinary experiences right on board the yacht. What a trade off…!!  Maybe the best idea is to split the experience – eat some evening meals on the yacht and others ashore.  Depending on your route or itinerary, you can discuss this matter of high importance with your captain before you embark.

Mediterranean food reflects the climate and therefore the crops that are grown. If you add the great seafood, add some lamb, and you have a really healthy diet

Your yacht charter broker is or should be a wealth of experience on this topic. Talk to the broker, s/he’s probably been there and done that..!!

Booking Your Airfare

For the Virgin Islands it’s usually best to fly into St. Thomas (STT) in the US Virgin Islands that has an international airport that is serviced by many of the major US carriers like American Airlines, Delta, Spirit Air and others. There is also a small airport in Tortola in the BVI called Beef Island airport (EIS) that is serviced by SeaBourne airlines and Cape Air out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For the Leeward Islands, you should fly in to St. Martin (SXM) that has a large international airport that is serviced by both US and European carriers.  Antigua is a possibility for the Leeward Islands but it’s a little out of the way.

If your charter includes the Grenadines, you should plan to fly into St. Lucia (SLU) that has an International airport  and then onward to St. Vincent although some Grenadines charters can start directly from St. Lucia.

Get Started on your Yacht Charters Today!

Use our advanced search engines to find the perfect crewed yacht or bareboat in the perfect location at the best price.

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If you have any questions about our Mediterranean Yacht Charter offerings call us at (877) 759-8263 or contact us by email today.

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