Considering a Mediterranean sailing trip for your next Europe summer? There’s no better way to experience the Greek islands than by boat with the legends at MedSailors, and here’s all you need to know before booking your MedSailors Greece trip.
My first MedSailors experience was a week of island hopping in Croatia back in 2019, it was my first trip after quitting my desk job and it was the perfect celebration of my newfound freedom, independence and impending self-employment. Even all these years later I’d still say it was one of the greatest weeks of my life.
So when one of my friends asked me if I’d be interested in spending a week of my 2023 Euro summer sailing through Greece with her and a bunch of her friends, it was the easiest yes ever! As if I could say no to morning swims in untouched bays, daily gelato and gyros, ‘working’ with Ionian Sea views and making new friends with boatmates and fellow travellers in our flotilla.
Both Zoe and I had travelled with MedSailors before so we knew the first secret to having the best week ever: booking the best boat. More on that later, but if you’re impatient, the catamaran is totally worth it. Zoe and her hubby had me and five other friends wanting to join so we made up the 8 people it took to book a whole boat, and we set sail with our week’s Lead Skipper Steve and Guest Experience Leader Lucy. It was another adventure that has made its mark in my memories (and my camera roll).
If you’re considering a MedSailors trip, or want to sail Greece but aren’t sure how to go about it, this blog will tell you all you need to know to be prepared and aware of what’s to come. I’ll dive into some Greek sailing FAQs first to answer the questions you’re probably wondering about, then I’ll give you a quick run down of our itinerary for our week at sea.
As always, if you have any questions please pop them into the comments at the end of the post and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, or check out my Instagram @findingalexx for my story highlights and a bunch of Reels about our MedSailors Greece trip.
Let’s get started!
Disclosure: My week in Greece was sponsored by MedSailors, but all opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience. I truly love this company and I wouldn’t have sailed with them for a second time if I didn’t have the time of my life the first time, and now I’m planning a third trip with them!
How does MedSailors work?
MedSailors runs seven day sailing holidays in Greece and Croatia, where you can book a bed, cabin or boat and explore bays, beaches and islands for a week along with your boat crew and expert skipper.
Can I go solo?
You can absolutely go on a MedSailors sailing trip solo, it would be a great way to make new friends! You’ll be be paired with another solo traveller to share a bunk cabin with, or you can choose to upgrade to your own single cabin if you’d prefer not to share.
What does a MedSailors tour cost?
Prices depend on the route, the week and the boat you choose.
The cheapest boat option is the Premier Yacht, on the ends of the season (May/early June and late Sept) the tours start from €973 per person and in the high season (July/August) they are around €1160 per person.
The middle boats (Superior Yacht) start from €1250 in the less busy weeks, and are approx. €1500 for the mid-summer months.
The higher level boats (Premier Catamaran) are from €1450 early/late season and around €1750 in the middle of the season.
And for 2024 MedSailors has a brand new boat category, the Superior Catamaran, available on some of their routes. These epic boats start from €1920 per person in the cheaper months and around €2220-€2300 in the high season.
SALE ALERT: MedSailors are currently running their earlybird sale for 2024 departures, so you can save up to 15% on the prices you see above. I’m not sure how much longer that sale will be running for so get in quick.
What does the price include?
That price includes:
- 6 nights/7 days accommodation onboard your yacht
- A qualified skipper to get you from A to B
- Breakfast and lunch every day (cooked by your skipper)
- A Guest Experience Leader for each flotilla who helps with things like restaurant and activity recommendations, organising group activities and generally just taking the week to the next level
- A stand up paddle board, dinghy and snorkelling gear on each boat
- Linen and towels
- Tea, coffee and drinking water
And what’s not included:
- An additional local payment of €120 per person, this covers fuel, marina fees and so on.
- Alcohol, but unlike other yacht weeks you can bring your own on board without paying through the roof for it to be catered for you. Just stock up before you leave port and enjoy Aperols, Mythos’ and mojitos while sailing!
- Dinners, you can eat at local restaurants or keep it easy with supermarket snacks for a picnic dinner each night in port
What are the MedSailors boats like?
It depends on the boat you choose, but all boats are well-maintained, modern and great value for what you’re paying.
You can see full details what to expect from each boat but here’s a quick rundown:
- Premier Yacht: 8-10 people, 2005-2008, 4-5 cabins with 2-3 bathrooms
- Superior Yacht: 10-11 people, 2018-2021, 5-6 cabins with 3-4 bathrooms, a bit more space in common areas
- Premier Catamaran: 8 people, 4 cabins with 2 bathrooms, nets on the front deck and a lot more space than the yachts
- Superior Catamaran (new for 2024 and only on selected routes): 8 people, 4 cabins with en-suites, a private host for your boat, air con and loads of space
Where do MedSailors sailing tours go?
MedSailors has sailing holidays in Greece and Croatia, with a couple of routes for each.
My Greece MedSailors trip was the Ionian Discovery, it starts and ends in Corfu and visits different ports in the Ionian Sea, including Gaios, Parga, Plataria, Iggy Beach and more.
There’s another Greece route called the Saronic Voyager (which is on my list for next year I think!) that starts and ends in Athens, visiting dreamy places like Perdika, Hydra, Poros and Ermioni.
There are also three MedSailors Croatia routes; one that starts in Dubrovnik and ends in Split (the Dubrovnik Voyager that I did last time), one that goes the other way on a similar itinerary, and one that starts and ends in Split.
How much spending money do you need?
It really depends on the type of traveller you are but a good, average amount to aim for is €50-60 per day. This will cover alcoholic drinks, a nice dinner, snack top up and an optional extra like watersports or bike hire.
If you’re on a tight budget then you could pull that right back by not drinking (or only sinking local beers which are cheeeap), or if you prefer to travel in style then you could spend more.
Do you need sailing experience?
Nope! One of the best things about MedSailors is that no sailing experience is necessary, your skipper can show you the ropes (literally) if you want to learn, or you can enjoy your holiday with no pressure.
Is there an age limit for MedSailors?
MedSailors is for 20 and 30-somethings.
What if I want something a bit fancier?
MedSailors has a sister company called Yacht Getaways that offer luxury skippered sailing trips that are a step above in terms of their boats and their inclusions. These aren’t flotilla-style (you won’t be sailing with other boats) but you can still book either a whole cabin or a whole boat if you have enough people.
Is MedSailors kid-friendly?
MedSailors isn’t kid-friendly due to their age limit, but you can book a Yacht Getaways private boat if you have kids under 18.
My MedSailors Greece review
We had the Premier Catamaran and it was brilliant, definitely worth the upgrade from the Superior Yacht I had last time.
Each boat will be slightly different in terms of make, model and layout, but our catamaran was a 2016 39ft Jeanneau Lagoon called ‘Salty Dog’, with four double cabins and an en-suite bathroom for each cabin. Our kitchen area was mainly used for storage but the back deck was a decent size for all 8 of us to eat meals, and there was plenty of space on the front with two nets.
The bow (front) cabins were slightly angled so the beds were smaller, whereas the stern (back) cabins had a full size double bed.
The cabins had small fans as well as windows to keep air flowing, there was luggage storage in a small cupboard and drawers under the bed, and we could charge small devices (like phones) at any time through USB and could charge big devices (like laptops) while on shore power.
Skipper Steve was our legendary captain for the week, he was the Lead Skipper for our flotilla of five boats so he was a busy bee a lot of the time, but he was a great addition to our little crew! He taught us oxo-knots, served up some epic spreads and kept us safe while sailing the Ionian Sea.
Each MedSailors flotilla also has a Guest Experience Leader who is in charge of non-sailing logistics, like group activities, food recommendations and so on. Lucy was the GEL for our week and she joined us on our boat, another brilliant addition! You have to be a special kind of person to be able to manage social events for 40-60 people while living on a yacht every week for three months but Lucy was an absolute natural.
We had some bad weather on the first day of our tour so the itinerary got switched around a little compared to the route on the website, and it ended up looking like this:
Day one: Arrive to the boat, stay in Gouvia Marina in Corfu as the seas were rough
Day two: Iggy Beach
Day three: Plataria
Day four: Parga
Day five: Gaios
Day six: Mongonissi
Day seven: Back to Corfu
My arrival into Greece
I flew into Greece from Los Angeles after a long cross-continental journey, with a short stop in Athens before continuing on to Corfu. I set aside a few days in Corfu before the sailing trip began so I had time to get some work done, get used to the timezone and enjoy some chill time on dry land before a very social week of sailing.
In Corfu I stayed at the beautiful Mathraki Resort, a top-rated family-owned hotel just a short drive from the Gouvia Marina where our MedSailors trip began.
Discount code: If you want to book a stay at Mathraki Resort you can get 10% off with the promocode ALEXX
Mathraki was the perfect place for me to stay pre-sail, they have a range of rooms but I stayed in their epic mill apartment, which had a full kitchen, dining area and spacious bedroom with a lovely balcony. The resort had a pool (a necessity in Greek summer) and a tavern serving up homemade traditional dishes straight from the family cookbook.
I adore finding places that feel like a home away from home and Mathraki certainly delivered that!
During my few days of downtime I explored the Gouvia area and have some great food recs for you if you’re staying a while before or after your sail trip:
- Fresh: Delicious wraps and breakfasts
- BBQ-ART: Great for a hearty iron-heavy dinner
- TheBest: Aptly-named, they have the best gyros in town
- Bistro Boileau: Traditional Greek dishes
- Da Roberto e Fei: Incredible pasta
On day one of our sailing trip we checked in to the MedSailors departure area at Gouvia Marina, where we met Steve (our skipper) and learnt a bit about our plans for the week.
After dropping our bags we headed off to the supermarket and alcohol shop for a stock up of snacks, drinks and other essentials like a cooler bag (the fridge on the boat is small so best to get a chilly bin / esky / cool box / whatever you call them!).
When we got back to the marina the decision had been made to stay in Gouvia for the night because the sea wasn’t looking great, so we had a little welcome party to meet travellers on the other boats over some punch, and then all headed out for a big dinner at a lovely traditional restaurant not too far from the marina. The perfect start to the week despite not going to plan thanks to the weather conditions!
We hit the sea early to make up for the time that we’d missed, and we got right into sailing life with some magical swim stops in the Ionian Sea, the absolute dream.
I’m a late sleeper and late riser, so my typical schedule on the sailing trip was to wake up just in time for breakfast and the first swimming session! Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs on toast with a bunch of fruit, yoghurt and juice on offer too.
We floated around in our inflatable donuts, sailed by a super cute seaside village, and before we knew it it was time for lunch.
*Quick note: MedSailors is all about minimising the environmental impact of their tours and one of their awesome eco-friendly policies is the Floatie Recycle Programme, this is where you can purchase a floatie at check in for a small donation that goes to a marine conservation charity! It reduces the number of floaties bought and used by MedSailors guests so that’s less plastic wastage, and at the same time it raises money for an important cause and saves you from having to spend more on a brand new donut that you’ll only use for the week. Win win win!
Lunch was pesto pasta with a caprese salad (yum!) and the second swim stop didn’t disappoint either.
In the late afternoon we arrived at our home for the night, Iggy Beach. Iggy Beach is an off-grid watersports hub with the crazy couch (loads of fun but be prepared for bruises), jet skis, parasailing and more on offer. We rafted up with the other boats, made a DIY belay system to let us get between the boat and the beach without getting wet, and got a little dressed up for our first proper group dinner after the slight false start yesterday.
Dinner was a beach BBQ and it was heeeearty, with all you can eat meats, salads, traditional Greek pastries and more. After dinner we had a beach bonfire and bonded with our new flotilla friends.
One of my favourite days on tour (although I’ll probably say that a lot haha), day three began with one of my top three swimming locations of the week, an unspoilt bay called Blue Lagoon Beach that we had all to ourselves for about an hour before the day trippers arrived. That’s the benefit of sleeping at sea, you get first dibs on all the best swim spots!
The water here was SO BLUE, the name doesn’t lie. Name a better spot for breakfast, I’ll wait.
I also made friends with this little fox, who came over to say hello and sniff around my bag as I was flying the drone. I’m used to London foxes who are terrified of humans and only come out at night, so this guy really surprised me.
We continued sailing until our lunch stop just outside of a gorgeous little seaside town called Syvota. We nabbed a fantastic spot to raft up with the others and created our own protected swim area between the boats and the rocks, ideal for a famous MedSailors paddle board race!
Each boat chose four participants to represent them and the rest of us were on cheerleading duty. All four paddleboarders had to be touching the paddleboard at all times, no man left behind, and I’m proud to say that SALTY DOG took first place on the podium. Obviously thanks to my top-notch cheerleading skills.
The perfect day at sea ended with an overnight stop in a charming little port town called Plataria. There was a beach bar with cheap cocktails, a gorgeous little taverna that offers free hot showers to boat travellers who eat at their restaurant, and a fire sunset that we couldn’t stop taking photos of.
Some of our crew got up early to work off some gyros and spanikopita with a run around Plataria before we set sail, but I was still soundly asleep until breakfast at 9am out on the water.
After breakfast our Guest Experience Leader Lucy channelled her previous job as a physio and we did a group stretching session on the bow, with a view just slightly better than a dingy gym room or mirror-walled pilates studio. Highly recommend a morning stretch on the boat!
We continued our theme of physical activity with a paddle board surfing competition, where each of the guys had a go at balancing on the board being dragged behind the boat’s wake as we slowly cruised. There were some failures, there were some successes, and unfortunately none of us girls could try our luck because the paddle board strap snapped on the third go 🙁
The swim stops along the Ionian Coast the the Greece mainland are straight off a postcard, we had this stunning bay all to ourselves for a couple of hours over lunch.
Our overnight stop for day four was a buzzing beach resort town called Parga, and we were moored in the middle of their harbour so used the water taxi to get to and from town for a few euros.
Parga was my favourite ‘town’ of the trip, it had loads going on. The are some beaches there if you want to swim or sunbathe but honestly I’ve been ruined by sand-free, rock-free, people-free swim stops on the trip so I wasn’t going to try hustle for a deck chair or swimming area with hundreds of other people 🙃
We got giant gyros for €2.50, delicious gelato and some beachfront cocktails before meeting up with the rest of the MedSailors travellers and heading up to Parga’s Venetian Castle for the best sunset view in town. Well worth the short but steep walk up there.
Post-sunset we enjoyed (more) cocktails, indulged in Parga’s impressive food scene, and caught a late water taxi back to our floating home.
I woke up to a colourful spread for breakfast, we had traditional Greek sausage, a Greek salad, fresh bread, fruit and more while anchored at a picturesque bay complete with crystal clear water and caves to explore.
We came into port quite early on this day in order to get a good parking spot in Gaios, the main settlement on the Ionian island of Paxos. Skipper Steve succeeded in his quest, we docked literally steps away from the best gelato shop in town! It’s called Capriccio and oh my gosh, the banana/Nutella and peanut butter were two of the best gelato flavours I’ve ever had in my life.
We had lunch on the boat in port, gelato for lunch-dessert and then my boatmates headed down to a swimming beach a short walk from town, while I parked up at a cafe with high speed WiFi to get some work done (it was called Faros by the way).
Lucy let us know that morning that Gaios was typically a fun party destination for those of us looking to dance, so we kept the afternoon fairly chill in order to have the energy to go all out at night. We got dressed up, treated ourselves to a divine dinner at Taka Taka, and after a good start on Aperol Spritz’ we wandered down to Maneska, an infamous cocktail bar serving up potent concoctions and 90s/2000s bangers. The rest of the night is a little fuzzy but we all made it back to our beds safely!
We were treated to a late start this morning, at my usual wake up time of 9am we were still in port and I had time to grab a morning gelato before we started the journey to our morning swim spot. Breakfast of champions.
You’d think that after five days at sea the novelty of magical bays and swimming locations would’ve worn off, but that’s not the case. Today our first stop was the Blue Caves on the west coast of Paxos, an iconic tourist destination that hosts daytrippers from Gaios, Corfu or the mainland. Because we went there fairly early, around 10.30am, we were able to get right up close to the caves and enjoy an hour or so exploring before the tourist boats arrived.
Skipper Steve had to basically drag us out of the water here (we didn’t want to leave!) but he was right on the money, because our lunch stop had equally brilliant water conditions and far less incoming boats. It was a stunning bay at the very top of Paxos, called Lakka.
After an unbeatable day on the water, our overnight port for our final MedSailors night was a small, local village called Mongonissi Beach. Mongonissi had a shallow, protected beach perfect for lying in our donuts, as well as an area big enough for the MedSailors crew to set up five paddleboards connected end to end, ready to see who could make it the whole way across.
I was playing camerawoman so I didn’t partake myself, but there were a couple of people who managed to stay standing (or running) right to the last board!
Our last dinner was at the tavern on Mongonissi Beach as the sun went down, the ideal end to an unforgettable week on the water. Hearty Greek food, ice cold beer and some traditional dancing which involved fire on the ground as well as the old restaurant owner swinging his shirt off onto the roof and then inviting us all to dance through the kitchen. Wild!
Time to say goodbye! We made our way from Paxos back up to Corfu for our departure, with a few final hours of ocean downtime at a lovely spot right below the Old Fortress of Corfu.
We were served a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs, cured meats, cheese, pickles, bread and spreads, and enjoyed some swimming, lazing and boat life before getting dropped back at Gouvia Marina.
I hope this MedSailors Greece review has helped you figure out if it’s the right way for you to explore the Mediterranean coastline! If you have any further questions please pop them into the comments below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.