Top European destinations like Greece and Croatia have plenty to keep you busy on the mainland, however both nations boast an abundance of breathtaking islands begging to be explored. Ferries can take you to a number of popular islands, but if you want to see multiple islands in a short time period or crave secluded bays without the crowds, a yacht charter is the best way to maximize your holiday.
A Boataffair yacht charter allows you to create an individualized island-hopping itinerary that fits your schedule, budget, and must-see destinations. With the 2022 season well underway, and months of sunny weather in front of us, let’s look at the two best countries for island-hopping in Europe and how to plan your next adventure.
There are so many islands in Greece that they have to be broken down by the region! Between the Aegean, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Sporades, Saronic islands, you’ll never be faced with a shortage of breathtaking destinations. You will, however, be faced with the dilemma of where to start! Below is a brief breakdown of each island group to help pinpoint the place that works best for you – and a Boataffair charter to go with it!
The Cyclades are the most popular island grouping with recognizable names like Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros–all of which also happen to be jaw-droppingly beautiful. These islands cater to all types of travelers–couples, small groups, families–and offer both a cosmopolitan or remote holiday depending on where you go. This brand new Fountaine Pajot 67 can get you there in style.
The lesser-known Dodecanese islands hug the coast of southwest Turkey and are known for their quiet beaches and Medieval architecture. History buffs and beach bums can both get their fix on Kos and Rhodes. Those seeking a truly intimate holiday without the crowds should check out Simi, Karpathos, and Nisyros. Cruise the isles in ultimate luxury of this 95’ Azimut Superyacht.
The Aegean Islands reside in the Aegean Sea off the western coast of Turkey and offer a less touristic version of the Greek isles. Known for quaint towns and age-old architecture, islands like Samos, Chios, and Lesvos are family-friendly and totally unique. Explore the Dodecanese first, then head north from Kos or Rhodes to get the most bang for your buck.
With Venetian architecture and a landscape wash in lush greenery and spellbinding beaches, the Ionian islands are a popular choice for Greek travelers. Bask in the beauty of Corfu, Zakynthos, and Kefalonia from this San Lorenzo 76SX Motor Yacht, which boasts the largest Beach Club in its category.
The Sporades sit in the middle of the Aegean between Greece and Turkey. The island of Skopelos (filming location of Mamma Mia) is unspoiled by tourism and Alonissos offers some truly pristine beaches. Alternatively, the younger crowd is drawn to Skiathos’ famous nightlife. Experience each island’s unique vibe and hop between them.
As the closest group of islands to Athens, the Saronics are perfect for those who want the sailing experience without too much effort. Hire one of our Athens-based yachts like this 30 meter Trehard Sailing Yacht or this 20 meter Fountaine Pajot 67 Power Catamaran, and cruise over to the busy hubs of Aegina and Poros, or check out the hidden gem of Agistri.
Croatia is another dream destination for island-hoppers. With more than 1,000 islands scattered across the Adriatic Sea, a yacht charter is the best way to explore the far-flung corners of this country and soak up its incredible beauty. Split is the perfect jumping off point to explore the central and southern Dalmatian islands. The most popular islands in Croatia are conveniently located in close proximity to one another and are easily visited by jumping from one to the next. If you’re unsure on where to start, Boataffair will help you craft the trip of your dreams!
Brac is the closest island to Split and is a logical first stop on an island-hopping itinerary. The largest central Dalmatian island is just 7 nautical miles off the mainland and is home to a plethora of historical sites as well as one of Croatia’s most famous beaches, Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn Beach). Brac and the rest of the islands can be comfortably reached with this Lagoon 50 Catamaran.
Hvar is the next island in line and a quick jaunt from Brac. Hvar boasts many cute coastal towns that are perfect for exploring via private charter, as well as a bounty of beautiful beaches. Hvar is also world-renowned for its lively nightlife. This Sunseeker Manhattan 66 Motor Yacht is a great choice for hosting boat parties, sunbathing, and taking advantage of water sports equipment.
Korčula is a small, peaceful island that provides a welcome retreat after the bustle of Brac and Hvar. With a charming Old Town, short hiking options, and local wineries, Korčula is a destination to really soak up. If you’ve got a large group, consider arriving in style with this 14-person Custom-built Gulet.
Mljet is known as the greenest island in Croatia and is a true oasis for nature-lovers. The quiet island houses a stunning national park that will make your time here unforgettable. Take advantage of the agility and grace of this Azimut 68 S Motor Yacht and moor up in any one of the tucked-away bays around the island or discover the hidden beauty of Odyessus’ Cave.
Elafiti Islands are the perfect final destination on an island-hopping itinerary. Snorkel off Sipan and discover the Green Cave, lounge on one of Croatia’s only sandy beaches, Sunj Beach, and walk around on the car-free island of Lopud. Hugging Croatia’s southern coastline, the archipelago can also be easily accessed from Dubrovnik (which lies just southeast of the islands) on the Fountaine Pajot Alegria 67 Catamaran.
Island-hopping on a private charter is an unforgettable travel experience. Boataffair’s fleet of luxury yachts and catamarans ensure you travel in style, comfort, and ultimate luxury. Book your charter today, or get in touch for assistance planning your best trip yet!