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A Dream Come True in the Greek Islands

Our private sailing adventure with Greek Seas was a dream come true for our family. It began with... read more

Reviewed November 27, 2022
Wonderful Family Trip!

Our family had an amazing 7 day trip this October with Greek Seas! The trip, itinerary, and... read more

Reviewed November 1, 2022
Montauk, New York
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Reviewed June 12, 2019

This was our (married couple in early 60s) second sailing trip with Captain Kiriakos and Hostess Josie and it was even more delightful than the first. This time we graduated from the Saronic to Cyclades Islands and got to enjoy the 49 foot Narcissus, a real sailor's boat that could comfortably handle six to eight guests. Kiriakos might be hard for some to warm up to, but once you have his heart he goes out of his way to find the best adventures, to select the best restaurants and foods, to teach you the ropes, to make you comfortable boarding the boat (rigging a hand rail), to run a long extension cord so my wife could blow dry her hair, or to reserve two of our favorite scorpion fish for a final dinner. We had the pleasure of their company at all of our dinners with stimulating conversations throughout the day and evening that kept us in the moment of our adventure. Our first stop was Kea, where we ate dinner at Aristos restaurant, featuring Vlita, Grilled Octopus, fish carpaccio, fava bean, eggplant salad. Our first morning presented a sea turtle sighting and a vigorous 9 knot sail. At our lunch stop Josie prepared Greek salad, vegetable medley Briam, stuffed mushrooms, spicy feta cheese dip. Then we were on to Serafos.

In Sefaros we took the Bus ride up mountain for amazing views (photo) and then had dinner near the beach at Stamatis: Fried zucchini and eggplant with garlic sauce, fennel cakes, marinated anchovies, stuffed cabbage, and chicken and pork slouvaki, and a complimentary dessert of yogurt with berry sauce. Next morning we were off to Lunch in a breathtaking Polyaigos bay, where we were served (photo) Fricassee with mushrooms, orange sausage, fried cheese, colorful salad, stuffed grape leaves, and roasted peppers.

In Kimolos, we had Dinner right on beach at To Kyma (photo), feasting on Ladenia, zucchini pie, zucchini with capers, dentext with lemon sauce, fried red mullet, Greek salad with local goat cheese, and complimentary Fruit salad and liquor. Next stop was Sifnos, where we stopped at Vathi, a quaint inlet with beach, small resorts, and hiking trails. Then we sailed on to the bigger harbor in Sifnos for lunch with Almyra greens, tzatziki, stuffed peppers (photo) with bulgur, zucchini with capers, and olives.

We then had a nice hike above Sifnos port (photo), ice cream in town, boat juggling, and nice sunset (photo). The 10 min taxi to a late 10:30 Dinner in Apollonia was well worth it, with lovely narrow streets with high end shops, dinner outside of mezze, falafel, zucchini balls with spicy yogurt cream, papardelle ragout (Greek kavourma cooked shredded meat with noodles), lamb kebab with curried raisin tabouleh, mushrooms with grilled haloumi cheese, beef in pot with eggplant and mushrooms.

Josie spent the preceding evening cooking to make sure we were well cared for at lunch in Kythnos with moussaka, broccoli, feta with peppers and olive oil, zucchini balls, humus, salad, fresh bread, and a dessert surprise of orange pie and chocolate cake from Kimolos. We had a pre-dinner toast to the Captain and Josie with wine hand carried from Sanoma and then dinner at Ostria: Cheese balls, Greek salad with local Feta, Tomato cheese balls, almyra greens, local psarosyrico grape wine from Gonidakis family, scorpion fish (photo), complimentary cheese cake

Even our last day sail to Athens was memorable with a stop in a bay below the Temple of Poseidon (photo), a dingy ride, and vigorous hike to the temple.

Date of experience: June 2019
1  Thank williamkU3367RF
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Austin M, Owner at Greek Seas Charter Sailing, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2019

What a fantastic and detailed review! We really appreciate you sharing all this information (our mouth was watering just reading about the meals). We're going to add some of these details about the islands and food on our new site redesign.

Kiriakos and Josie had another fantastic week sailing with you! Thank you so much for chartering with Greek Seas again! We, of course, would love to see you back out for a third time :)

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Reviewed June 5, 2019

Three couples, friends for 30 yrs plus, always looking for the next great adventure trip. This one will be hard to beat! The Lagoon 450 was like new. Comfortable cabins with spacious heads. As a blue water sailor with experience delivering many different types of sailboats, the Lagoon was exceptionally comfortable. Plenty of room for six guests plus crew. A pleasure to sail.

Captain and crew were outstanding. Captain gave us options as to routes and islands. He made sure we were able to visit the islands that were highest on our list. His boat boat handling skills were top notch. He and crew made it look easy. Captain allowed us to help with sailing duties as much or as little as we desired. Great fun sailing a 45 foot Cat!

Our 1st mate was an outstanding cook. The meals she turned out amazed us. She did a great job exposing us to a varitety of Greek cuisine. She would discuss possible meal plans then make it happen. At each port, she would buy fresh foods for the next great meal. The crew always had suggestions of activities to do ashore and fun places for food and drink.

When possible, our Captain would sail us to a quiet cove for a lunch stop and swim. The water is beautifully clear. Swimming a blast!

All of us agreed this was a trip of a lifetime. Greek Seas did an outstanding job from start to finish. We HIGHLY recommend the company.

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank bluewatercrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Austin M, Owner at Greek Seas Charter Sailing, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to write this fantastic review! We really appreciate you recommending our company. We pride ourselves on our well-maintained yachts as well as our mission to employ the knowledgable, talented, and friendly Greek Skippers and Hostesses.

We'd love to have you back our to sail with us in the future!

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Reviewed May 20, 2019

This was a three generation family vacation for six people. The staterooms were comfortable and clean with private toilet/shower.. We had the 450 Lagoon and everyone was quite comfortable. The itinerary was great and our captain, Kiriakos, was superb in monitoring our travel preferences, Mixing beautiful, quaint islands with uninhabited islands where we snorkeled and explores, spending some nights in coves rather than marinas. Anna provided great food worked tirelessly to please adults and kids. Anna and Kiriakos were really a big part of the trip, and it was really special to spend time with these wonderful people. The water was cold in May, but we all brought our wetsuits and enjoyed crystal clear waters every day. Everyone loved this vacation.

Our initial contacts with Austin Martin was also great, with information organized, responses to questions prompt and helpful. Do your research and let the captain know your interests and preferences, because we were certainly accommodated. The low point of the trip was a night in Spetses where one boat had an all night party, But we laughed about it later.

Simply a wonderful trip.

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank Taoist13
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Austin M, Owner at Greek Seas Charter Sailing, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2019

Thank you so much for the nice review! It's great to hear that you had such a wonderful experience with Kiriakos and Anna. They really enjoyed their week sailing with your family. We hope to see you and your family back out in Greece with us in the future!

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Reviewed November 18, 2018

Greek Seas blew away all my expectations for a Greek vacation. My wife and I typically take vacations to cities – we are not the kind of people who enjoy going to a beach and laying around doing nothing. However, after talking to some friends who has just gotten back from a Greek Seas trip, my wife became curious. She started doing research, and what I thought was going to be a passing idea ended up sticking with her. We booked our trip for September of 2018.
As the trip neared, I did some research on the different islands we might be going to. I was a bit disappointed honestly. I didn’t think any of the pictures of the Aegean or the islands themselves looked that pretty. Not only would this not be a typical City Vacation but I wasn’t too excited about the “beauty”, food, or Greek culture.
I was wrong. I am an idiot. My expectations were shattered on every front. This vacation will appeal to anyone, no matter their preferences.
There was down time.
My wife would sit and read, some people would play cards, I found myself staring off the back of the boat in awe of what has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. We would drop anchor and go for a swim. The crystal-clear water was something I only thought existed on movie sets. After the swim, we’d typically take a short sail to dock at an island by around 4:30 or so.
But there was also excitement.
Every island/city was different and had something to offer. We saw Hydra, Spetses, Poros, Tyros, Erminone, and Athens on the last night. After docking, we’d get ready to hit the town and have a drink with our Captain, Yiannis. I need to pause here - he deserves special mention in this review. We saw several other large, commercial tour boats motor in and out of some of the islands. We would see them rushing in with enough time to eat at a convenient restaurant, buy a cheap souvenir, and then get back on the boat. Yiannis made recommendations on what to do, where to go, where to eat and (perhaps most importantly) which tourist-traps to avoid. We invited him to come out to eat with us every night, and most nights he took us up on the offer. We gorged ourselves on tzatziki, Greek salads, fresh seafood, and delicious Greek wine! I had some of the best food I have ever had in my life on this trip, specifically a place in Spetses was one of the best meals I have ever had (Greek Chardonnay is really underrated) at Orloff. Our boat was spacious and clean, very comfortable for our group of six.
The only negative thing I would say about this trip was that I learned what land sickness is. I had never heard of it before but after spending a week on a boat, adjusting to land was a bit disorienting for both my wife and me. Next time we do this trip, we’ll try some Dramamine. I would highly recommend Greek Seas to anyone who wants a mind blowing vacation.

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank mkloss83
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed November 6, 2018

My husband, young adult son and I had excited expectations for a sailing trip on a small sailboat with a flexible itinerary. The islands of Greece were top of our bucket list. I think previous reviewers had better island experiences, better meals with their hostesses, more friendly, helpful & engaged skippers, and warmer weather, so we were not prepared for our trip, even though we are sailors.

The trip was a mix of a interesting experiences and some irritating problems. As much as I appreciate owner Austin and his pre-trip suggestions, and the awesome sailing abilities of our skipper, I'm writing this so potential guests on Greek Seas know that the trip on the Nany with our particular skipper had some real drawbacks for us. Not nearly like the reviews we read.

We had the smallest boat, Nany. A bit rundown (not exactly "beautiful and new") but seaworthy, a fun way to get from island to island with stops at small coves before docking, and very exciting during high winds. The write-up said two heads. One is only for the skipper. The paying customers share one very smelly head (hold your breath after the first day for as long as you can) with a combined shower that has to be pumped several times a day or you have a wet head floor.

We planned to make our own breakfast and lunches so didn't feel we needed a hostess. I just wish I had been warned that the oven had no temp controls so I could have figured out how to use it ahead of time. Get early to the island bakeries to make sure they are not out of croissants, and "high fiber" (whole wheat) bread. Delicious cookies. I think the skipper or someone should have accompanied us to the markets, as we couldn't read labels, so ended up with different items than we thought we had bought. Meals were an adventure. We learned to keep bluefin tuna on board for the visiting cats (we liked it, too).

With the wild weather the first night and day (the unusual Cyclone Zorba), our skipper decided to risk sailing to the closest island, 4 hours away. He supposedly couldn't find a berth at Aegina, so he wanted to sail another two hours to a different island, Poros. We were frozen and not at all enthused about more rough and wet sailing, so he tied up to a boat in Aegina that he said was tied at an unsafe berth (for that first boat), and then more boats tied up to us. No unfriendly neighbors, but the stretch between boats was not easy for my short-legged husband. We later found that this tying up to other boats at the dock and having to climb over them was usual on the Greek islands. The Nany also had a pretty narrow unsecured wood plank for boarding and unboarding which took some time to get comfortable on. No one walked into the water, thank goodness.

We did the Saronic route for our trip and had some nice days and some rainy, windy days. We kept a good attitude as we were excited about this adventure and know that no one can predict weather. Twice on the trip we decided the wind was OK for swimming at beautiful clear water coves, although I used my wetsuit so I could stay warm. Water was in the low 70's/high 60's.

Another reviewer from 2016 mentioned a difference between our skipper, Kiriakos, who wasn't sharing hosting duties with a hostess cook, compared to the helpful other ones. He is a nice guy who knows the islands well and is an expert sailor, but he is self-contained and not talkative. After the first dinner we invited him to, it was obvious his chain smoking and needing to sit with the other smokers was not a good fit for our family, although we were friendly and asked him many questions. Besides showing us directions on where to explore, he was mostly off & on the boat without notice once we tied up, doing his own thing and meeting up with his own friends, until we saw him arise the next morning in time to go get cappuccino and baked goods for himself before we left the island. We took Austin's advice and bought him foods as well, so sharing lunches was a nice time to get to know him and hear about growing up in Greece .

Alert for those who have heard about the fun scootering on the islands: We had planned to scooter various smaller islands, like the no-car Spetses, but we couldn't get anyone who could rent us a scooter now that they have had a law in place for two years that no on can rent a scooter or ATV without a special scooter license. We wish someone had told us this before we left for Greece! And later, for driving, we found it's illegal to rent a car without an international license and that the cars will probably be stick shift (our son can't drive one). If you find a smaller rental place who will cautiously rent to you, be warned that you will be fined 200 euro if you don't have the internat'l license and are pulled over for a driving violation.

Also, when you dock on an island, you are often tied to another boat or two and are surrounded by other boats and many times have to walk across them to get on land. Sometimes that's a bit precarious and you need to watch your footing; my husband cut his foot on a cotter pin. Luckily our boat had a well-stocked First Aid Kit. Seeing all the different sailors from different countries was interesting but you could have people up late at night talking loudly when you want to sleep, or up early and leaving so you need to move your boat. Also on Spetses we were docked next to a dance club that played music until 2 in the morning. We chose to just enjoy it but did get very sleepy.

Experienced current small boat sailors may be used to all this but it took us by surprise. As was the poor cabin lighting so that we couldn't read or write for games in the evenings. Also would have thought the boat could provide simple basics like salt and clothes pins.

If no one's told you, on land be prepared for a lot of trash and graffiti even at special island sites in guidebooks.

One last unusual event we had: our skipper told us the marinas were safe so we shouldn't worry about leaving our things on board. We never felt personally unsafe anywhere, but in Ermioni, someone opened the unlocked hatch on our boat some time past midnight while were all asleep and stole one of our cell phones and two of our charger cords that were on the skipper's table. The Ermioni Harbor police were very concerned when we reported it so we spent a couple of hours in their offices while they discussed the situation in Greek. On the next island, Hydra, we got a ping on it that it was still in the harbor on Ermioni. It never was recovered, of course. We think most of the islands are safe but recommend being careful and keeping your phones locked.

Overall we are glad we took the trip but it wasn't all we had hoped. Others seem to have had better experiences. Earlier in the season might mean better weather and fresh food, but you also will have to deal with more crowded harbors. Austin, the owner, is very helpful so ask him a lot of questions if you decide to go Greek Seas.

Date of experience: October 2018
8  Thank Tumblinsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Austin M, Owner at Greek Seas Charter Sailing, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to write this review, we value all feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the experience our customers have.

We would like to sincerely apologize that your trip aboard our Oceanis 40 didn’t live up to your expectations. We’d also like to thank you for contacting us directly shortly after your trip. When we heard about the issues on your charter we immediately replaced the interior lighting and are in the process of upgrading the entire bathroom plumbing. While we do our best to keep the yachts in great shape, wear and tear can tend to be more apparent later in the season.

We also want to acknowledge the unusually high number of yachts you experienced at the ports and islands you visited. Due to the unfortunate (and extremely rare) rain and high winds, almost every yacht in the area was forced into the same route. It’s certainly less than ideal to have that many yachts in a fewer number of available ports, however keeping everyone safe had to take priority. We share your disappointment in the weather that week, and are glad you were still able to find some great coves and enjoy some sunny days.

You make a great point about scooters and car rentals, we’ve added that information to our website and pre-trip emails.

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