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It All Looks Great on a Map

It All Looks Great on a Map

You’re all excited about your trip at sea on a beautiful wooden gulet charter holiday. The time of year is July and August and you’ll be exploring the Dodecanese and Cyclades islands with your family and friends. While the Meltemi winds feel great during those hot summer days in the Aegean.  You have planned your route and expect to experience an amazing itinerary visiting some of the most stunning islands in Greece.  However while all seems wonderful there are certain things that you will have to keep in mind – especially during July and August around the Greek islands.

It all looks great on a map. But what happens at sea is an altogether different possibility.  Some things to remember on your trip or even before you book your gulet charter:

  • All gulet routes that are already available to you have been tried and tested. There is a reason why a route is planned the way it is. Mainly because of time, cost, and weather conditions.  There is only so many destinations that can be included in a one week route.
  • Gulets will offer 4 hours maximum per day included in the charter price.  It has already been calculated into the cost and time frame. Going outside of these routes may cost you extra in money and also more may be needed in time.  But even if you were to travel 4 hours a day from one destination to the other, you’ll find that you are travelling all the time and not spending enough time enjoying the magnificent bays and coves, spending time in the water, doing water sports activities, and feel tired, etc.  Your captain and crew will also be tired.
  • Meltemi Winds are north winds that are highly active during the months of July and August (and we stress on this seriously). Not many gulet charters will even go into the Central Aegean because of this.  It can be dangerous, and damaging to the gulet itself.  There have been many stories lived where gulets have been stranded in a sheltered bay for days because the Meltemi winds are unpredictable reaching up to 8 beaufort which means 5.5–7.5 m (18–25 ft) waves or even 9 beaufort (perhaps more) – so the gulet cannot go anywhere.  So much for that pre-planned itinerary. It can even happen that you miss your flight from the end port because of this weather.  No one really knows how long, how many days the Meltemi will last. And when you are sheltered this takes away from your one week holiday time – not fun!

So when you think about travelling in the Cyclades, just remember, the route you have may not be the final route you do during your trip.  Also consider the potential chance of time loss so perhaps you might like to schedule your return flight for the next day instead of the day you disembark.  Besides it might be nice to stay on land for one night to explore, shop and dine. And you will be rested before you take your flight back home.

The ideal month for gulet sailing in the Cyclades is up to the 3rd week in May.

Reference: Beaufort scale, Etesian (Meltemi winds)

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