- Build year:2023
- Length:54 ft
- Boat type:Catamaran
Considered the 'Monte Carlo of Greece', Kavala is the jewel of the northern Aegean. Blessed by its location, the town is a year-round tourist destination - whether for its history and archaeology, its mountains or of course its summer season, you will always find something to enjoy in Kavala.
Both Ancient Greek and Ottoman empires have left their mark on Kavala. The Philippi amphitheatre was built close to the modern town in 356 BC by a conquering emperor called Phillip II and is a major draw to those who have an interest in Greek archaeology today.
Close to modern-day Turkey it is inevitable that the Ottoman Empire has left its mark too. A large aqueduct was built by Mehmet Ali in the 19th Century to supply waters to the residents of the modern-day old town of Kavala, Panagia. This is largely intact and is a major feature of Kavala today.
Mehmet Ali was born in Panagia, and in his own honour, he built the Imaret, a theological college that has now been turned into a luxury hotel. This too lies in Panagia, which is a part of Kavala worthy of getting lost in for several hours to explore and enjoy one of the most beautiful towns on the Aegean.
Kavala hasn't always been a holiday resort. It was a major tobacco trading centre for many years and you can explore this history in the Tobacco Museum as well as see warehouses built for such trading in the town.
That said, Kavala isn't just for those who appreciate culture. There are miles of sandy beaches nearby, all well served with amenities and that have coral-blue waters. The nightlife is retrained but enjoyable and you can enjoy some of the best restaurants for miles.
All together this makes Kavala a yacht charter embarkation point and a destination in its own right.
A Kavala yacht charter is an opportunity to explore the beautiful Northern Aegean islands and coastline. Just five miles off the coast is the uninhabited, forested island of Fidonisi. 'Snake Island' as it is known locally is very popular among sailors looking for an escape.
Further out to sea is the island of Thassos. Only accessible by sea, Thassos is an island popular among those into hiking with its tough terrain and beautiful forests. Near perfect beaches and seaside tavernas serving local delicacies round this off to be a sailing destination worthy of a couple of days in port.
Beyond Thassos are the Northeastern Aegean Islands, which are closer to Turkey than the Greek mainland. Ottoman culture runs thick in the veins of this Greek region, and you will enjoy the tastes and smells of the orient on major islands like Limnos, Ikaria and Lesvos. Limnos, the closest to Kavala is noted for its volcanic geology, lakes, and of course its excellent food.
Out to the west of Kavala is the Halkidiki Peninsula with its three 'legs'. From east to west the three legs of Athos, Sithonia and Kassandra are progressively more developed. The site of Mount Athos, Athos is the leg where you will mostly find Greek domestic tourists and is known for its natural wonders. Sithonia is birthplace of the famous philosopher Aristotle (in Stageira), while Ancient Olympos is a draw in its own right. Kassandra is like a huge beach resort with hotels, clubs and wonderful sandy beaches.
On a longer trip, you can reach the Sporades islands such as Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos. On a Kavala yacht charter, the choice is yours!
Kavala Airport (Megas Alexandros)
Around 25km from Kavala itself, Kavala Airport is a busy regional airport with airlines from much of Europe serving it. You can take a bus or taxi to get into the town itself. There are regular flights from Athens if you are travelling from farther afield.
As an alternative, you can fly into Thessaloniki and take a long-distance bus or taxi to Kavala.
There are three broad areas you can sail to on a Kavala yacht charter. The Halkidiki Peninsula is generally seen as the easiest sailing thanks to shelter from the Meltemi. You have to deal with the Meltemi more on trips to the Sporades or Northern Aegean islands.
7 days - Halkidiki Peninsula: Over seven days you can explore the three legs of the Chalkidiki Peninsula, taking in the beaches, scenery and ancient relics as you go. There are good marinas and anchorages on the two gulfs and you can use these to explore inland.
7 days - Northern Aegean Islands: Thanks to exposure to the Meltemi on much of the journey, this is a route that is more suited to the more experienced skipper and crew. That said it is a rewarding sail with the opportunity to island-hop to the volcanic island of Limnos, and explore Thassos, Lesvos and Alonnisos.
14 days - Dodecanese and Sporades: This is an opportunity to get to the holiday islands of the Sporades and the Pagesetic Gulf. The Sporades are world-renowned for their beauty and excellent tourism industry. The Pagasetic Gulf with Mount Pelion in the background is famous among Greeks for its mythos but isn't so much frequented by the charter holiday crowd.
The sailing season runs from late April to October with July and August being the busiest months for yacht charter. This is ironic as July and August as the Meltemi winds can make for exciting sailing when you honestly just want to hide from the heat.
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 a Kavala yacht charter.
Come September and October the seas are still like a warm bath.
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 gentle southerly winds, through these are replaced by ever stronger N-NW Meltemi winds that are rarely hazardous but make for exciting sailing at times.
Late June-August: You'll be unlucky if you see any rain, though it could be welcome in the summer heat! Temperatures are well into the 30s some days so make sure you have the suncream packed.
September-October: The seas remain warm and the Meltemi eases. These months can be the best time of year to sail as the temperatures are often in the comfortable low to mid-20s.
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.
Being the Northern Aegean this has a relatively short sailing season. July and August are the busiest times but in September the weather is still comfortably warm - as are the seas. This would make September during school term time the optimum time to sail out of Kavala.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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