Despite the country’s long-running economic woes, sailing in Greece remains among the best in the Mediterranean.
Changes in the paperwork for EU yachts in Greece means that owners of yachts greater than seven metres in length need to have a new style DEKRA document by late September, 2017. This costs Euro50 and is available from Port Police offices, although payments must be made at a tax office. Documents needed are the yacht’s registration, insurance and owner’s passport. For privately owned boats with more than one owner a notarised copy of the passport of owners that are not in attendance at the time of application appears to be acceptable. The document will subsequently need to be stamped on at least an annual basis by a Port Police office.
It’s widely believed that this measure is in preparation for the introduction of the long-proposed cruising tax that has been on the statute book for several years, but has yet to be implemented in Greece. Potential penalties for non-compliance with the requirement for the new DEKRA are severe and include fines of several thousand Euros.
Nevertheless, Greece remains one of the safest and most pleasant places to sail in the Mediterranean, as well as one of the most cost effective. Granted there are few full-service marinas, but for many boat owners the appeal of operating largely independently at a low cost base is a big draw. They are rewarded with amazing scenery on a truly majestic scale, a myriad of islands to visit and the option of predominately light airs summer sailing in the Ionian Sea or challenging breezes in the Aegean, particularly in the Cyclades region.
Wherever you go, if you avoid the tourist tavernas you’re never far from finding great food at surprisingly good prices. And for those who want an occasional touch of luxury there’s also an increasing sprinkling of top notch marinas, often with five star hotels attached – such as that at Port Sani near Thessaloniki – that equal any to be found elsewhere in the Mediterranean or Caribbean.