A family consisting of five adults and a teenager wanted to experience the colourful culture of the Greek Islands and learn about their rich history.
Having planned a generous budget, they were looking for the full luxury yacht charter experience, with everything taken care of so they could relax and enjoy their time in Greece together.
Quality and comfort were the most important factors for them, and so we set about finding the best options.
- Luxury 5* accommodation
- Relaxing experience with a full crew
- Ability to visit lots of islands: a motorboat was essential
- Experience of Greek culture
Where and When
The family weren’t restricted by the school holidays and could travel any time during the summer.
As they’d opted for the Cyclades islands, we recommended June for its long evenings, warm weather and calmer seas than in July and August.
£60000 - 80000
40m Superyacht – Serenity II
When it comes to 5* luxury, the 40m Serenity II leaves nothing to be desired. Each of its five king-size cabins benefits from an en-suite bathroom, the finest interior design and satellite entertainment system.
The main living space combines a bar and dining area, plus comfortable seating where guests can curl up with a book, or enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. The bow has a library and games room: a quiet spot to take in the view as you cruise to your next destination.
The sun deck features a bar area, as well as a table for alfresco dining, plenty of space for sunbathing and a hot tub. Fun outside the boat is offered by its large tender – for water skiing, wakeboarding and ringos – a jet ski, snorkelling equipment and mountain bikes for exploring while on shore.
With a full crew on hand to steer, clean, cook and mix the drinks, Serenity II is the ultimate luxury charter.
Discovering Greece in Ultimate Luxury
Champagne and Culture
Being met by the Captain at Athens airport was a wonderful start to our trip: he took us straight to Zea Marina and introduced us to the rest of the crew over a chilled glass of champagne.
We then set sail for Eigina, which is home to Aphaia – one of the most perfect classical temples in Greece.
After a couple of hours admiring the truly stunning architecture we carried on to Epidavros and anchored for the night.
A Step Back in Time
We awoke to a beautiful breakfast prepared by the crew, which we enjoyed out on the sun deck.
We then headed to the best-preserved classical theatre in Greece, where they say that rustling paper on the stage can be heard in all 14,000 seats!
After a fabulous seafood lunch we moved on to the small port of Limin Idhras, Hydra.
Remaining mostly unchanged since the 18th century, it was a fascinating insight into Greek tourism through the ages.
Our captain set sail overnight to the island of Siros, taking us to a remote bay called Ormos Grammata. Painted on the cliffs of the bay are dates and the names of sailors and their ships, marked there by seafarers sheltering from the strength of the meltemi winds.
We whiled away a few hours in this historic bay – swimming in the inviting blue waters and trying out the watersports equipment. The ringos are a firm family favourite!
Our destination for the evening was Ermoupolis, a bustling town and the capital of the South Aegean.
After an early evening wander through its atmospheric streets, we settled in a cosy taverna and enjoyed a traditional Greek meze.
One Night in Mykonos
This morning’s sail took us towards Mykonos. A midway stop off at Nisos Rinea gave us another chance to swim in the pristine waters and play with the water toys.
On arrival at Mykonos we moored in the main harbour and stepped ashore to explore this lively town – it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular islands in Greece.
The perfect balance to last night’s excitement was the sheltered anchorage we took this morning on the adjacent island of Rineia, just an hour’s sail away.
Spending the morning dipping in and out of the serene waters, this secluded spot gave us all the relaxation we needed – and provided a picturesque setting for a lunch of grilled fish served on deck.
With the sea breeze in our hair we set sail for Paroikia, a harbour town on the island of Paros. A short walk from the yacht took us to Katapoliani, which is said to be the finest church in the Aegean.
We then followed the narrow and winding streets back towards the harbour, stopping off in one of the town’s many restaurants to enjoy plates of steaming moussaka.
The Castle of Chora
After breakfast in the morning sun and another stroll around Paroikia, our captain lifted the anchor steered us towards Naxos: the largest and most fertile island of the Cyclades.
We passed plenty of small bays on the way, and picked a particularly beautiful cove to stop for a spot of swimming and snorkelling.
On reaching Naxos, we disembarked and walked up the hill to the castle, which was built when the settlement was a Venetian duchy.
From here we explored the town’s labyrinth of streets, before settling in a local bar for a evening of flowing drinks and lively conversation.
Our crew sailed through the night to have us in Santorini by early morning. We awoke moored in the caldera, where we ate a breakfast of fresh fruit and enjoyed views of the volcanic cliffs rising up around us.
Once a place of exile for political prisoners, the island of Santorini is now a destination of choice for artists, celebrities and holiday makers.
We caught the funicular railway up the cliffs to the town, an iconic huddle of whitewashed houses, their roofs and shutters adding flashes of blue.
Browsing cute boutiques, sipping cool drinks at small cafes and watching the sun set over the Aegean brought another beautiful day to a close.
Cruising to Crete
Another night sail brought us to Iraklion – the modern capital of Crete – by morning.
Here we saw evidence of Minoan art and architecture, an ancient civilization on Crete that was destroyed when the volcano of Santorini erupted around 1450BC.
After a final lunch on the yacht, we said goodbye to our crew and thanked them for what’s been a truly breathtaking week.
We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the magical islands of the Cyclades.
Yacht and crew: £57,000
Fuel used: £5,500
Moorings and customs fees: £4,500
Food and beverages: £4,500
Gratuity (discretional): £5,700