Numerous small islands, picturesque bays, long sandy beaches, crystal clear water and thousands of kilometres of coastline make Greece an attractive destination for water sports enthusiasts. Sailing and motorboat cruising in the Land of the Gods. The Ionian Sea is the place to go for a laid-back cruise amidst bays that offer a stunning mix of turquoise water and Caribbean flair. A predictable strong breeze in the midsummer months makes the Aegean Sea a paradise for seasoned heavy-air enthusiasts.
Greece has relatively few commercial marinas, but unfinished marina projects are quite common. While breakwaters have been installed for protection, there are neither shops nor restaurants at the latter. Most facilities are local ports or commercial or fishing harbours which are also approached by pleasure craft. Mooring a boat there is usually free of charge or inexpensive. As is typical for most Mediterranean countries, fore/aft moorings are available to tie up your boat at the harbour. Berths, which are assigned by the marina’s staff, usually have mooring lines.
In the Ionian Sea, thermal effects usually produce winds in the afternoon that reach 3-4 Beaufort in the midsummer months. Thunderstorms are very rare. Experienced crews and seaworthy yachts are prerequisites for cruising the Aegean Sea in the summer because of the Meltemi, a strong northerly breeze.
A transit log known as a Deltio Kinisis or DEKPA (private pleasure yacht maritime traffic document) is required for private pleasure craft whose overall length exceeds 7m. The document is issued by the port authority at the Greek port of first entry.
The DEKPA is available at €50 for an unlimited period of time, and you need to have it confirmed by a port authority before the end of any one year. You are required to present the following documents: ID card or passport, proof of insurance and boat registration.
Entry and exit fee
An extra €15 fee is charged by the port authority on arrival in Greece for pleasure craft longer than 7m. The sum must be paid into an account of the port police. Before leaving Greece to proceed to a port in another country, you are required to pay a €5 fee.
Under the 2013 law on charges for ships (Telos Paramonis ke Ploon) adopted by the Greek Ministry for Financial and Maritime Affairs, boat owners are charged an annual tax TE.P.A.I. for pleasure craft on the basis of the overall boat length as from 2 April 2019:
|Total boat length||Monthly rate||Per year|
|7 - 8 meter||16 Euro||192 Euro|
|> 8 und ≤ 10 meter||25 Euro||300 Euro|
|> 10 und ≤ 12 meter||33 Euro||396 Euro|
|≥ 12 meter||8 Euro per meter and fractions thereof|
The fee is subject to discounts on payment in advance. The TE.P.A.I. receipt should be kept with the boat’s papers to be presented on demand.
Non-payment of the fee is subject to fines between €190 and max. €1,100 depending on the boat’s length.
The introduction of the new TEPAI tax was delayed until 9 May 2019. It is now possible to pay eTEPAI on-line. Up to now it could only be payed at offices of financial or port and customs authorities. For further information check with the Cruising Assosciation (CA). The competent Greek authority, the AADE, has published a list of FAQs
Many local ports provide yacht service stations – recognisable by quay walls hatched with blue and yellow lines – where you can get fuel and water. Diesel fuel is usually less expensive in Greece than in Turkey.
Under their duty of care, skippers are required to carry on board rescue equipment in quantities commensurate with the vessel’s size. For valuable information on the adequate safety equipment, please refer to the recommended minimum equipment for pleasure boats and yachts.
Non-domestic pleasure craft of under 300 GRT are required to have boat liability insurance cover and carry proof or such insurance in Greek or English. Minimum insurance cover is €500,000 for personal injury, €150,000 for property damage and €150,000 for environmental damage.
Rules for Turkish nationals in transit
Turkish nationals in transit presenting a valid passport and residence title from a Schengen country (e.g. Germany) do not need a visa. In compliance with the applicable EU Regulation of 19 July 2013, the passport must not be older than 10 years and be valid at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from Greece.
Proof of VAT payment (EU)
You may need to produce such proof upon request for any vessel within the EU (e.g. original invoice with VAT shown, confirmation by an authority).
Pleasure craft operators’ certificates or the corresponding documentation from the skipper’s home country.
The Greek authorities accept the international certificate for pleasure craft issued by ADAC (IBS) as a proof of registration and ownership. Entering Greece by sea, you must approach the nearest port of entry. When entering, hoist the Greek and Q international signal flags.
The authorities may require a current crew list which also lists the passport or ID card numbers.
Driving licence and vehicle registration papers. International Green Card recommended.
For vehicle-trailer combinations: 50 kph in built-up areas, 80 kph outside built-up areas and on motorways.
Car plus trailer must not exceed 2.55m in width and 18m in length. Drawbar trailers: 2.55x12m.
Vehicle-trailer combinations whose dimensions exceed the allowed limits require special authorisation. Such special authorisation is available from the
Turn on your low beams during daytime only if visibility is poor. At roundabouts, circulating vehicles must yield to entering vehicles. No stopping signs showing one vertical line are valid on odd dates, signs showing two vertical lines are valid on even dates. Kerbside yellow markings indicate no parking zones.
0.2‰ for novice drivers, i.e. holding a licence for less than 2 years, and motorcyclists.
ELPA, the Greek automobile club provides breakdown assistance 24/7. Any assistance provided will be at your charge.
European emergency phone number 112
Sea rescue: VHF channels 16 / 70
For help in an emergency, Olympia Radio (coastal radio station) and the Hellenic Coast Guard maintain a listening watch on the usual frequencies.
- Hellenic Coast Guard
- Olympia Radio
Emergency call numbers:
- Olympia Radio +30 21 06 00 17 99
- Piraeus Coast Guard JRCC +30 21 04 11 25 00
- Hellenic Coast Guard, speed-dial 108 or 112
- Olympia Radio 00237 1000
- Piraeus Coastguard JRCC 237 673 000
For marine weather forecasts, please refer to the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research at www.poseidon.hcmr.gr/ or the Hellenic National Meteorological Service at www.hnms.gr/hnms/english/.
VAT is 23%.