How to get rid of those winter blues – plan your dream Greek holiday

By Pippa Thompson

Greece or, more specifically, the Greek Islands are a popular holiday destination for good reason. The beauty of azure blue Mediterranean, the warmth of the high noon sun and the immersive culture and landscape, to name but a few valid excuses! Even the thought of it is powerful enough to give you a dose of Vitamin D, but why not turn your dream into a reality? Warm yourself up during the bitter months by making plans for a holiday of a lifetime, knowing that not long from now you’ll be away from the grey and basking under beautiful blue skies.

But, while any holiday to the Greek Islands can be a relaxing trip, there is nothing quite like taking to the water and sailing about these picturesque islands yourself. Resorts are nice, but they can become a bit routine after a while. For something new and exciting, that is guaranteed to send you to sleep dreaming of the summer sun, there is nothing finer than a holiday spent gliding above the shimmering Med, stopping at any island that tickles your fancy. Escape the dreary and go straight into the experience of a lifetime.

The winter blues are a well documented phenomenon, affecting millions of Brits every year. Unfortunately, there is little escape from this, but rather than simply enduring it, why not do something about it? Even now, the simple imagination of a summer spent touring the likes of the Crete, Corfu and Mykonos should be enough to escape the sunless, cloudy sky outside, if only for a moment. But, by now I’m sure you are wondering why you should ditch the comfort of a resort of a sailing expedition, and I have just the answer for that.

Obviously, when you stay at a resort you are very much limited by where you can travel. Stranded on one particular island. While a sailing trip, you are not tied down to one island, and you can experience the freedom the Med has to offer. Now there are numerous reasons for why this is a good thing, but here are what I believe to be the most enticing amongst them:

Secluded Beaches
Picture the scene: you are cruising round the coast of a beautiful island covered in dense forest life. You round the corner of a rocky peninsula and buried behind it is a sheltered cove, surrounded by cliff edges and grassy hills. You venture further into the cove, revealing a beautiful and deserted white sandy beach. Anchoring your boat off shore, you jump overboard into the warm, crystalline, Med and swim over to the beach. There you lie in the blazing summer sun, the only noise to be heard is crashing off the waves against the shore and the gentle twitter of birds nestling on the cliffs above. It is as if the beach is yours, and yours alone.

Archaeological Sites
Greece is famed for its ancient ruins and, be they Greek or Roman, the islands surrounding the country offer up some awe inspiring locations. There’s just one issue: they are spread out. You are pretty much guaranteed to find an interesting site on every inhabited island, but if you are only staying on one island that means there are hundreds of other spots you’ll never get to see. Sailing between islands like a jet-setter of the water, you jump off at the docks, go ashore to visit the marvellous ruins then head straight over to the next one. Can you think of an easier way to soak in the ancient culture?

When you hear the word adventuring, you might think arduous walks, long drives and overnight hostels. With a sailing boat, however, this is not the case. Relax and steer the boat about the sheltered and calm Greek waters, venturing into any town, beach or island that catches your eye. The modern holiday leaves all this excitement at the door in favour of repetitive trips to the same areas, discovery often ends on day one. Not with a sailing trip though. Fancy yourself as an explorer? Want to visit places few have? Then now is your chance!

Island Culture
Every island has grown its own traditions and traits over time, so why would you stay in just one place when theres so much to experience? Corfu, for example, is famed for its nightlife and party scene, perfect for a wild night out. Mykonos, on the other hand, is well known for its relaxed markets, pristine white architecture and luxurious beaches. Why enjoy one when you can have both?

To plan for a sailing trip across the Greek Mediterranean is not only to dream of the sun, but to experience a freedom not often found on a getaway. Remember, this holiday time is your time, don’t be limited, don’t stop yourself from enjoying certain things by saying, i’ll do it next time. Why do it next time when you can do it now?

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Author Bio: Cliff Blaylock, an experienced sailor and diver, owns and operates his own private yacht chartering business, Deep Blue Yachting, in the Greek Islands. If you like the sound sailing about the islands, but don’t have any sailing experience, then contact Cliff. Him and his crew can take you where you want to go, while you relax aboard his beautiful and vintage yacht, the Glaros.

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