Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Zakynthos
Yacht Charter Zakynthos
On a Zakynthos yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of the Ionian islands within an easy sail. Whatever you want from a Greece yacht charter, from its beautiful beaches to buzzing nightlife, a Zakynthos sailing holiday is going to be an unforgettable experience.
The third largest island in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos Island (Zante) was known by the Venetians as the 'Flower of the East' thanks to its lush greenery that makes the Ionian island so fertile and beautiful. Today, it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Greece thanks in part to the international airport that has links right across Europe but mostly due to its sheer beauty.
Though many tourists won't get much further than its beautiful beaches and renowned nightlife in Zakynthos Town, this jewel of an island has so much more to offer. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach), accessed from Porto Vromi beach by water taxi, is a sandy beach only accessible by sea and would be quite beautiful in its own right even without the wrecked cigarette smuggler's ship that lies in the middle.
Close to the main marina on Zante, Agios Nikolaos Beach is one of the best on the island with its range of water sports available, or just to chill out in the turquoise waters. Elsewhere on Zakynthos you will find protected Caretta Caretta sea turtles and a species of seal that only lives in the Ionian Sea. Diving and snorkelling is an absolute must as there is at least as much to take in under the water as there is above!
Explore Zakynthos By Renting A Yacht
So, on your bareboat charter or skippered yacht charter out of Zakynthos, where else would you like to go? On nearby mainland Greece, the historic town of Preveza has over 60km of beaches around the Ambracian Gulf, and ancient ruins dating back millennia too.
The other major Ionian islands of Kefalonia and Lefkada are worthy of long pauses too. Cephalonia was the setting for the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin thanks to its stunning scenery and beautiful fishing villages. Sandy beaches and a large cave system make this, the largest of the Ionian Islands, a destination you shouldn't miss on a Zakynthos yacht charter.
Between Cephalonia and mainland Greece lies Lefkada. Connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge, this is a fun filled tourist island with excellent facilities, whether you moor at Nydri or the largest marina on the Ionian, Lefkada Town Marina.
As well as the larger islands, the smaller islands of the Ionian are always worth a pause too. Often away from the main tourist track, islands such as Kastos, Meganisi and Arkoudi aren't a long sail from the main island, but will give you an authentic taste of Greek island life. On a longer run north you can hit Paxos and Antipaxos, both only accessible by sea and the latter largely a large olive grove.
A Zakynthos yacht charter will give you the opportunity to explore these islands over a week or two at your own pace, enjoying the placid and great sailing conditions of the Ionian Sea as you do.
How To Get To Zakynthos
During the summer season (May to October) there are flights to the airport on Zante from right across Europe and the UK. This is around a 50 minute shuttle ride from the main yacht charter hub at Agios Nikolaos.
Marinas In Zakynthos
There are two main marinas on Zante island.
Agios Nikolaos Marina:
On the northern end of Zakynthos Island, Agios Nikolaos Marina a mid sized marina. It is a yacht charter base with charter companies based here offering bareboat and skippered yacht charter of luxury yacht charter, catamaran charter, motorboat charter and monohull sailing yacht for a day charter or longer. Crewed superyacht charters are also available.
Max Length 51m (167 Feet)
Max Draught 3m (10 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, toilets, bar, restaurant, supermarket
In Zakynthos Town, Port Zakynthos has space for 30 large yachts. It has yacht charter companies offering offering bareboat and skippered yacht charter of luxury yacht, catamaran charter, motor yacht and monohull sailing yacht for a day charter or longer.
Max Length 60m (199 Feet)
Max Draught 8m (26 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, fuel, waste water collection, toilets, showers, bar, restaurant, ATM, rent-a-car, supermarket
Suggested Sailing Itinerary From Zante
On your Zakynthos charter yacht, whether bareboat or with a skipper you can access many of the islands of the IonianSea as well as larger ones like Kefalonia and Lefkada.
7 days - Paxos,Cephalonia and Lefkada: Heading north for your shakedown cruise, head for Lixouri on the Paliki Peninsula of Cephalonia. From here, south, then north around the top of the island to Vasiliki on Lefkada, and then the next day head north again to Gaios on Paxos. South to Lefkada, berthing in Nydri Marina to feel the vibe of this idiosyncratic tourist town, before going to the hideaway port of Vathy on Ithaca. Zakynthos Town will be your chance to party for the final time before returning to Agios Nikolaos Marina.
Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Zakynthos
The sailing season runs from late April to October with July and August being the busiest months for yacht charter. Unlike the Aegean, the Ionian Sea is dominated by the Bora - the same wind that affects nearby Croatia. In summer this is far more benign and far more sailing friendly than the often beefy Meltemi. Building to a fun F5-6 in the afternoon from a zephyr in the morning, you can almost time your daily sailing by it.
The sea is cooler - often quite chilly - at the beginning of the sailing season but there is rainfall in Spring. As the days lengthen you will still see green fields and flowers in May and the winds can be quite benign too. Combined with the crowds being smaller, this suggests that May to early June are the sweet spot for an Ionian boat rental.
Come September and October the seas are still like a warm bath. With the wetter climate than the Aegean this is less of a problem so with the warm seas could be at least as good as the earlier months of the year.
Sailing Weather In Zakynthos
April to mid June: There is rainfall and the temperatures build steadily from the mid-teens to the mid 20 degree C range. There are sometimes cooler northerly winds, though the southerly Bora kicks in in around early May. There is more rainfall here than on Aegean Greece but you will soon find that a blessed relief from the heat!
Late June-August: You'll be unlucky if you see any rain, though it could be welcome in the summer heat. Temperatures are from 30s with recent hot days exceeding 40 - often hotter than the Aegean. The Bora often adds to the heat with its tropical origins.
September-October: The seas remain warm, as does the air. These months can be the best time of year to sailas the temperatures are often in the comfortable low to mid 20s though can touch 30C from time to time.
What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
What are the Marinas on Zakynthos?
The main marina on Zakynthos is at Agios Nikolaos on the NE coast of the island. Taking 255 yachts, this is far bigger than the Port of Zakynthos in Zakynthos Town that only takes 30 vessels.
When are the best times to hire a boat in Zakynthos?
To avoid the summer heat and crowds, if you can get to Lefkas Island after autumn school term begins you will find the seas still warm, the air more comfortable and the marinas less crowded.
Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Zante?
You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Zakynthos?
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Bring warm weather and cool weather clothing if it looks like the weather can be cool as well as warm and remember at sea it can be cool on most evenings.
What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?
If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skippered on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.