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Rich in history, culture, cuisine, scenery and hidden gems to explore, Athens is one of the most incredible destinations for a yacht charter. At The Moorings, we want to ensure your dreamy vacation is relaxing and smooth sailing which is why this page provides useful planning, pre-departure and travel information. From servicing airports to health and safety, we will tell you what to expect to make your vacation smooth and care free!
We suggest you read the following information carefully several weeks prior to departure and also print a copy to take with you.
General Travel Information for Athens
To help you prepare for your relaxing, blissful yacht charter in Athens, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions for you about this beautiful destination:
How big is Athens?
Athens is 38.96 km² and has a population of around 3.1 million people, making it the largest city in the whole of Greece – no wonder it’s the country’s capital city!
What language do people speak in Athens?
The only official language in Athens is Greek, although you will find many people also speaking English.
Officially, Greece is a secular state and the government is a Parliamentary Republic. In Athens, as with the rest of Greece, the main religion is Greek Orthodoxy.
What is the currency in Athens?
In Athens, the official currency is the Euro. Throughout your Athens yacht charter, you will be expected to pay in Euros as US Dollars will not be accepted anywhere.
Should you tip in Athens?
On the subject of money, tipping waiters, taxi drivers and other services is generally not expected but if you round up your bill it will always be appreciated.
What type of plugs are used in Athens?
When you start packing for your vacation, you’ll be wondering whether you need adapters for your chargers and electronic cables. In Athens, the electricity is 230V AC, 50 HZ and two-pin plugs are standard
How to get to Athens and Greece
Arrival by plane
Traveling by air is one of the most popular modes of transport to reach Athens. The nearest airport to our Athens Zea base is Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH).
Due to the number of flights we organize, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations in the Mediterranean and beyond. Please make sure you contact our in-house flight specialist at 866.649.2003 before you book your flights.
- Olympic Airways
- Air France
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Delta Airlines
- Lufthansa Airlines
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines
The distance from the “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport to the Athens Zea base is 31 miles. The transfer takes approximately 60 minutes, depending on how you plan on reaching the base.
The easiest way to reach Marina Zeas is to take a taxi from the airport. There are always plenty of taxis waiting just outside the airport and you’ll reach the base in about 60 minutes (depending on the traffic).
Our friendly base staff are more than happy to organize this for you. Please contact Athanasia at Athanasia.email@example.com.
Transfer by taxi (1-4pax)
Airport – Marina Zea :60.00€
Marina Zea- airport : 60,00€
Transfer by minibus (5-10pax)
Airport – Marina Zea :90.00€
Marina Zea- airport : 90,00€
You can either take the line X-96 from the airport to the port of Piraeus and then taxi to the marine that costs no more than 5 euros, or the bus 904 from the port of Piraeus to Freatida station where our base is.
The X-96 bus takes about 70 minutes from the airport to the port and then by taxi from the port to the marina is about 5 minutes, or by bus about 20 minutes.
Take the blue line from the airport and change to the green line towards Piraeus until you reach the station Monastiraki. After arrival at the port of Piraeus, the easiest choice is to take a taxi to the marina that costs about 5 euros or take the bus 904 to station Freatida.
The metro route takes about 70 minutes and costs 10 Euros per person and the bus from the port to the marina takes about 20 minutes, costing 1.20 Euros per person.
UTC/GMT +2 hours; Daylight Savings Time is +1 hour
Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information Center, Athens – 210-8707 000
Tourist Information Center, International Airport – 210-353 04 45
Area: 81,994 sq. mi
Capital city: Athens
People: population: Greek, other (foreign citizens)
Language: Greek (official), other (includes English and French)
Religion: Greek Orthodox, Muslim, other
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Major industries: Tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining, petroleum
Tipping: Tipping waiters, taxi drivers, etc. is generally not expected in Greece, but if you round up the bill it will be appreciated.
Electricity: 230V AC, 50 HZ, two-pin plugs are standard
Time: Local time is UTC/GMT +2 hours; Daylight Savings Time is +1 hour
Boarding Time Procedures
Charter Boarding Time: Charters start at 3:00 pm.
Briefing Times: A chart briefing will be provided on arrival day and then again the following day after arrival. This will cover the sailing area and provide some handy tips of local knowledge.
All skippers must attend a Chart Briefing which covers all you need to know about the cruising area, use of the VHF radio, how to call for assistance, and more. A Boat Briefing will also be provided onboard your yacht.
The yacht briefings will be carried out on a one to one basis on each individual yacht. This will entail all the technical aspects of the vessel and the team will answer any operational questions the customer may have.
The base personnel will wait for you until 9.00 pm. After 9.00 pm, you will find an information sign at our reception office with a message for you indicating your yacht’s berth. Your boat will be open and indicated by a sign with your name. The boat’s equipment will be ready for the night. The base personnel will be available the next day at 9.00 am
Check Out Procedures
Charter End Time: All charterers must return to base by 5:00 pm the night before disembarkation for debriefing and checks. Disembarkation is at 9:00 am the following morning.
A debriefing and final walkthrough will be done upon return so please allow enough time to complete this before the charter end time.
Moorings Care packages are included on every yacht. These packages contain some of the basics to get you started for your vacation. Additional items are available to be purchased and delivered directly to your yacht. Visit our Provisioning Page to learn more.
There are numerous supermarket in the nearby vicinity for all your provisioning needs. Supermarkets are open Monday to Saturday, 8.00am to 9:00pm.
The mobile network is well developed throughout Greece. You can generally use your own mobile after checking with your supplier to see if Greece is included in your contract.
While most of our newer boats have Bluetooth capability, we cannot guarantee all boats are outfitted with this equipment. For your convenience, we highly recommend you bring an AUX cord so you can listen to music from your mobile devices.Internet/Wi-Fi
All the moorings yacht (exclusive plus and Exclusive) Have 50 GB/week.
Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is offering Wi-Fi access. Wi-Fi in Greece is available in many coffee shops.
Electricity in Greece is 220 or 380 V electricity is provided at each berth. If you travel to Greece with a device that does not accept 220 Volts, you will need a voltage converter. There is a 12V cigarette lighter outlet by the chart table on all of our yachts.
Customs & Immigration
Entry, exit, and visa requirements depend on the locations you are departing from and traveling to. You are responsible for having the correct documents so make sure to check with the consulate of the countries you plan to visit before you travel.
A valid passport (for each passenger) and crew list is compulsory for clearance. Expiration date must be no earlier than 6 months after your planned return. A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.
Visit travel.state.gov for the latest information.
The Greek Maritime Authorities have recently changed their sailing license requirements for 2022 and 2023 and have confirmed that they will no longer accept the RYA Day Skipper qualification for Yacht Chartering in Greek waters.
All RYA Day Skipper Qualification holders are able to convert their current qualification to the ICC (International Certificate of Competence) qualification. This can be done online through the RYA website or via a paper form which can be downloaded from the website and printed. If you are a RYA member, an ICC can be issued free of charge, please visit the website and complete the application form.
The conversion period may take several weeks, therefore please plan ahead to ensure you receive the ICC certificate in time. The skipper must bring a physical copy of their sailing qualification – a photocopy or picture on a phone will not be accepted by the marine authorities.
Luggage & Packing List
Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are best, as luggage storage space on your yacht may be limited. We have no facilities for holding luggage at the base. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list for required and necessary items to bring.
- Pack essential prescription medicine and change of clothing in a carry-on bag*
- Passport and other travel documentation
- Tickets and paper confirmations for pre-planned activities
- Light-colored, light-weight clothing
- Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
- Swimwear and cover up
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sandals and flip-flops
- Athletic shoes and hiking boots
- Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
- Insect repellent and OTC pain relievers/ointments
- AUX cable for playing music through your device
- 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
- 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices
*We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
**All boats include a 12V DC outlet (a “car” outlet). Boats with generators have 110V outlets in the Caribbean and 220V in the Mediterranean and Exotic locations.
The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-greece/
Euro. Currency exchange can be done at the local banks.
Tipping waiters, taxi drivers, etc. is generally not expected in Greece, but if you round up the bill it will be appreciated.
Taxes & Fees
You might incur some costs while on charter such as mooring and docking fees or cruising taxes. We highly recommend bringing enough of the local currency to cover these costs as they are not always payable by USD, debit, and/or credit cards.Please see our Base Guide for additional information.
A security deposit must be paid at the base by Visa or Master Card and is refundable at the end of your charter subject to there being no loss or damage. To significantly decrease your security deposit, purchase our Yacht Damage Waiver insurance ahead of time.
Vaccination and Immunization Information
Greece is generally risk-free of contagious disease.
You are advised to be up-to-date with your Tetanus and Hepatitis B vaccines. An International Vaccination Certificate is not mandatory. Visit cdc.gov for the latest information.
Your health and safety are important to us. For advice on how to stay safe while on charter, please review our Travel Advice Information. Current travel and safety information can be obtained by visiting travel.state.gov
Swimming is often a fun and important part of a vacation. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board.
- Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
- Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
- Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended.
- Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Floatation devices are highly recommended for children but are not a substitute for supervision.
Be aware of your surroundings
- Check warning flags and signage on the beach and only swim where it is permitted.
- Beware of dangerous currents, these can be very powerful. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
- Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
- Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
- Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.
Look out for others
- Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party and use the snorkel vests provided.
- Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.
Do not overestimate your ability
- Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
- Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different.
All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing.
We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.
Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck.
Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.
The Moorings offers comprehensive travel insurance for your peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, verify that it covers the destinations and activities of your Moorings vacation.
Tzaneio General Hospital in Piraeus: 0030 213 2081000
Athens Metropolitan Hospital: 0030 210 4809000
Whether this is your fifth trip or the first of many, we want you to feel at home when you’re at a Moorings base.
About the Moorings Athens Base
Freatida 185 36 – Piraeus
Tel: +30 210 4530911 Fax: +30 210 4559031
The What3Words code for the reception at our Athens Zea base is ///announce.good.sifts.
UTC/GMT +2 hours; Daylight Savings Time is +1 hour
Monday to Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday and Saturday: 9am-8:30pm
Please note: Our Athens Zea base is closed from mid November to the end of March.
Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information Center, Athens – 210-8707 000
Tourist Information Center, International Airport – 210-353 04 45
- Marina Berth Capacity: 670 yachts up to 120m
- 24 Hour Dock Assistance, CCTV, 24 Hour Security Guard
- Electricity and Water
- Shower and W.C facilities
- Swimming Pool – If you’re planning on using our swimming pool, a ticket will cost 5 Euros per person. Please note that children under 14 years old are not allowed in the swimming pool
- Restaurants, bars and coffee shops
- Greek Naval Museum within the Marina
- Free parking
Our Athens Zea base is 45 km from Athens International Airport and 15 km from Athens City Center. We are also walking Distance from Piraeus City Centre.
It is not possible to make reservations at Greek ports, however passing through berth is generally available for the night. Your passage is not always recorded when passing through small ports.
Port authorities will sometimes request the boat’s papers and your charter contract, but do not forget to retrieve your documents before leaving. The average price for a night for a 40 footer: 7 Euros in small harbors and in private marinas, 40-50 Euros.
Greece does levy mooring fees in some harbors, and these are not included in the price of the charter.
Most overnight stops in this area will be ‘stern to’ Mediterranean mooring on town quays. This will cost approximately 10 Euros per night to be paid at each town locally. Marina prices are considerably higher, depending on the size of your yacht.
If you stop free of charge at a private jetty it is expected that you will eat at that tavern. Shower facilities are available at most restaurants for a small charge.
As you prepare to set sail and explore the wonders of Athens and beyond, it’s important to understand the cruising area to ensure a smooth sailing vacation! When you embark on your idyllic yacht charter in Greece, navigation is only permitted in Greek territorial waters. Under no circumstances should you approach the Albanian coast.
You are also not allowed to sail/stay in the Island Dilos in Cyclades area (it is about 6 miles from Mykonos island) after sunset.
It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require two persons minimum on board. Whether you enjoy a romantic couples yacht charter or the family vacation of a lifetime, we know you’ll love every second!
For more information, download The Moorings Athens eGuide.
Charts & Pilot Books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are issued at your chart briefing.
Night time Sailing
When it comes to sailing at night, we have a few rules that you need to follow:
- You must be moored at least one hour before sunset
- Night Sailing is not allowed without permission from the base manager
- The decision to allow night sailing is based on your skill level and can be requested in advance
Get in touch with us today with any questions about night time sailing.
Cruising Permits & Taxes
In Greece it is essential that we have all of the following details in advance for every member of your crew so that your boat papers can be prepared. You will not be able to sail without these papers, and failure to supply information in advance could delay your departure from the base:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Passport number
Moorings Fees & Taxes
There is no departure tax for Athens.
Around the Base
There are three hotels in Piraeus, local to our Athens base:
Theoxenia hotel: email: firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) Tel: +30 2104112550
Savoy hotel: email email@example.com(link sends e-mail) Tel: +30 2104284520
Phidias Hotel: email firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) Tel: +30 2104296480
It is best to exchange your money when you arrive at the airport.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 08:00 am to 2:30 pm; Friday, 08.00 am to 2:00pm.
There are three different ATM machines within five minutes walking distance from The Moorings office.
Currencies / money exchange
The currency in Greece is the Euro (EUR). Money changing facilities are present in most of the islands. Money changing should be done either with cash or by travelers’ checks, euro checks. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
American Express may only be accepted at limited locations and most local tavernas only accept cash.
Please Note: The base cannot accept cash or personal checks.
Inside the marina, there is a wide range of delicious food options for you to enjoy before setting sail on the adventure of a lifetime. Some of the dining options include:
- Fish tavern
- Greek souvlaki
- Mexican food
- Asian food
- Coffee shops
- Beer house
Car rental is available at “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport.
Close to our base, you will find:
Hertz: +30 21 0452 6600
Thrifty car rental: +30 21 0452 6600
Rac-sa.gr: +30 21 0408 0300
Six Rent: +30 21 0922 0171
There are numerous supermarkets in the vicinity of the base if you want to purchase provisions on arrival.
Please note the opening hours of supermarket:
MON-FRI: 9:00- 21:00
There is only one small supermarket which is open on Sunday and it is 10 minutes walk from The Moorings office. Opening hours are 9:00-23:00.
What is the weather like in Athens?
Climbing aboard one of our world class yachts and setting sail on an Athens yacht charter will open your eyes to stunning views, incredible food and…hot weather!
In the Summer months, the warm temperatures range from 68°F to 89.6°F with very little chance of rain. Temperatures in fall tend to drop slightly with more wind, but as long as you book during the Athens sailing season, you know you’re in for a good time!
When is the best time to sail in Athens?
The sailing season in Athens runs from April-November, with the best time to set sail generally being May-September. If you want to avoid densely populated areas, filled with tourists then we’d suggest booking outside of Summer vacation periods, particularly July and August.
Contact us today to talk about the best for your incredible Athens yacht charter.
What are the dominant winds in Athens?
There are two dominant winds in Athens, and these can occasionally produce conditions that require sailing experience. July through August brings stronger winds which is why Marina Zea cruising conditions are best suited for more experienced captains.
- The Meltemi – can occur anytime between May and October but is most frequent in Summer, June through September. Its maximum strength and duration is during July and August. It may blow for a single day or up to a week, although 3 to 4 days is most common. Don’t worry though, this wind can offer welcome relief on a hot Summer’s day when temperatures in and around Athens can be sizzling!
- The Sirocco – More frequent in the Winter, it corresponds to the passage of a depression. It can occasionally blow in April but is more common at the end of October.
As you glide across the beautiful waters surrounding Athens and explore nearby islands, it’s important to know that the waters of the Saronic Gulf are well-protected and flat, while the Aegean and the seas around the Cyclades generally have more wind.
Historical Weather (Averages by month):
|°F Max||°F Min||°C Max||°C Min||Ave Precip (in)||Ave Precip (mm)||Ave Water Temp (°F)||Ave Water Temp (°C)||Ave Wind Speed|
What are the tides like in Athens?
Athens is in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the tide range is 30 cm to 60 cm (one to two feet), including the variation of levels due to atmospheric
pressure and dominant winds. The Aegean Sea is one of the beautiful bodies of water with very little tidal range, making Athens the perfect place to kick off your fantastic yacht charter.
Whether this is your first time skippering your own yacht, or you want a super relaxing vacation, the small tidal range around Athens will make sailing on the open waters a dream come true!
Where can I find the weather forecast for Athens?
When you arrive at Marina Zeas, we will provide you with a weather forecast for the next 24 hours. The weather forecast during your cruise can be seen on all television channels; Tavernas and restaurants also show weather programs just after the news at 8.50 pm.
On your radio receiver, the Greek national station forecasts a broadcast in Greek and English.
Time Station Frequency Radio wave:
6.30 am Athens 729 kHz 412 m
1.10 pm Corfu 1008 kHz 298 m
1.30 pm Rhodes 1494 kHz 200 m
12.00 pm Patras 1485 kHz 202 m
If you’re planning on island hopping around Greece, you may want to explore an island located in the Ionian Sea. The Italian station, Radio One, announces forecasts for the Ionian Sea at approximately 7.40 am and 11.45 pm on 567, 657, 666, 675, 1032, and 1332 kHz frequencies.
East of the Greek archipelago, the forecast is in German at approximately 9.45 am and 2.00 pm on short wave on 6150 MHz/49 m frequency. On your VHF: It is possible to call HELLAS RADIO on channel 16 in English. You will be given the weather forecast for your zone, after you give them your VHF code signal and the name of your boat.
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