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RYA sail training holidays in Aegina, Greece

Aegina is an unspoilt Greek island, less than an hour from Athens by hydrofoil, and the perfect place for you to get your RYA practical sailing certificates in the sun, whether you're a complete novice looking for RYA Competent Crew qualification or a crew member ready to achieve RYA Day Skipper. The good news is this sailing school is now open all year round.

Singles and couples can book onto the 5-day shared courses which run with up to 5 students sleeping onboard a tuition yacht. Couples and groups can also hire a private instructor and yacht for the week. Students may have different levels of experience, but different courses run on the same boat at the same time.

Private tuition is ideal for families who want to get a mixture of training. While adults complete the or RYA Day Skipper course, children over 8 can get their RYA Competent Crew, and younger kids can get involved looking out for wildlife and learning knots.

To ensure success in your RYA Day Skipper qualification you need to have previous experience of chart work, navigation, buoyage, and collision regulations. If you do not have theoretical knowledge you can take the popular 7 day RYA Essential Navigation + Day Skipper Theory & Practical Combined package. We ask you to complete the 10 hour online RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship course before arriving in Aegina. Once in Aegina, you take part in the classroom based theory tuition which covers the more advanced topics which you will need. The next five days is spent on the training yacht completing the practical section of the course.

The school is run by a team of highly experienced English-speaking instructors, chosen as much for their friendly personalities as their full RYA instructor qualifications.

The practical courses are 5 days long, Monday to Friday, with arrival on Sunday afternoon, the package course starts Saturday Morning.

Athens is well served with direct flights from multiple UK airports. From Athens airport, there is an airport bus to Piraeus ferry port where you can catch a hydrofoil ferry for a 40 minute boat trip straight to Aegina.

The sailing area includes picturesque islands and traditionally Greek ports in the Saronic Gulf which are relatively unspoiled by foreign tourism. Although close to Athens, once you set sail, you'll be well away from the crowds.

Learn to sail in Aegina in Greece

  • Overview
    RYA Competent Crew Course
    RYA Day Skipper Course
    RYA Essential Navigation Course
    RYA course Greece

    Overview

    • Learn from the experts to skipper your own yacht
    • Enjoy a holiday whilst gaining valuable new skills
    • Breakfasts and lunches included whilst onboard
    • Discounted rates for out of season courses
    • Courses for all abilities
    • Children can take part on the Competent Crew course
    • Individuals or couples/groups all welcome
  • Competent Crew Course

    RYA Competent Crew Course

    This is a 5 day course for beginners who want to become active crew members. By the end of the course, you will know how to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist with everyday tasks onboard.

    Suggested pre-course experience: None
    Assumed knowledge: None
    Minimum age: None
    Duration: 5 days
    Course content: Knowledge of terms & parts, sail handling, rope work, safety, basic meteorology, helmsmanship, general duties, keeping a log, sail with a dinghy.
    Ability after course: By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines on board.
    Number of students: Maximum 5.

    5 Days Liveaboard Practical Tuition

    Summer 2023 (May - October): £1250/person (single); £1070/person (shared cabin); from £5545 private yacht
    Low season 2023 (March, April & November): £1045/person (single); £865/person (shared cabin); from £4000 private yacht

    Includes: Accommodation Sun-Fri, all yacht expenses, RYA course books and certificates, linen & towels, loan of waterproof jackets in low season, breakfast & lunch (cabin charter only)
    Not included: flights to Athens and transfers by ferry to Aegina, evening meals.

    RYA courses are offered through RYA Recognised Training centre Aegean Sailing School.

  • Day Skipper Course

    RYA Day Skipper Course

    By the end of this 5 day course, you’ll be able to skipper your own small yacht in familiar waters. The course teaches pilotage, navigation, seamanship & boat handling. This is the minimum level for people who want to charter a sailboat.

    Suggested pre-course experience: 5 days sea time, including 100 miles and 4 night hours.
    Assumed knowledge: Day Skipper theory course knowledge is recommended.
    Duration: 5 days
    Course content: Pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation.
    Ability after course: Can skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.
    Number of students: Maximum 5.

    5 Days Liveaboard Practical Tuition

    Summer 2023 (May - October): £1250/person (single); £1070/person (shared cabin); from £5545 private yacht
    Low season 2023 (March, April & November): £1045/person (single); £865/person (shared cabin); from £4000 private yacht

    Includes: Accommodation Sun-Fri, all yacht expenses, RYA course books and certificates, linen & towels, loan of waterproof jackets in low season, breakfast & lunch (cabin charter only)
    Not included: flights to Athens and transfers by ferry to Aegina, evening meals.

    RYA courses are offered through RYA Recognised Training centre Aegean Sailing School.

  • Essential Navigation + Day Skipper Course

    7 Day RYA Essential Navigation + Day Skipper Theory and Practical Combined

    If you are already a competent crew member, this is a popular combination of courses to take your sailing to the next level. You study navigation & chart-work over the weekend immediately before taking your RYA Day Skipper Practical.

    Previous experience: RYA Competent Crew or equivalent experience. Completion of the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship online theory course is compulsory before arriving in Aegina.
    Duration: 7 days
    Course content: Navigation & chart work. Pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation.
    Ability after course: Can skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.
    Number of students: Maximum 5.

    2 Days Shorebased Tuition + 5 Days Liveaboard Practical Tuition

    Summer 2023 (May - October): £1660/person (single); £1480/person (shared cabin); from £5955 private yacht
    Low season 2023 (March, April & November): £1455/person (single); £1275/person (shared cabin); from £4410 private yacht

    Includes: Accommodation onboard Sun-Fri, all yacht expenses, RYA course books and certificates, linen & towels, loan of waterproof jackets in low season, breakfast & lunch (cabin charter only)
    Not included: Accommodation onshore Friday & Saturday, flights to Athens and transfers by ferry to Aegina, evening meals.

    RYA courses are offered through RYA Recognised Training centre Aegean Sailing School.

  • Sailing Journal

    Supplied by Kali, Nautilus Yachting

    Keen to complete the Day Skipper I enrolled in the Aegean Learn to Sail programme.

    I am by no means a great sailor, having simply sailed dinghies at school many years ago, I prepared for the course with two weeks on the water being ship's first mate/lacky. Plus in the lead-up to my course studied day skipper theory for about 40 hours online.

    Arriving in Aegina, and was impressed by the vibrant feel of the town. A long road stretched from one end of the town to the other. Each side of the road was lined with restaurants, shops and fishermen selling the morning's catch. I made my way to the Schools' Office, and let the team know I had arrived. The team confirmed the plans for the next few days, and left me to my own devices. Having signed up for the essential navigation class, my first two days were all theory lessons in a classroom and from Sunday night, that I was due to head onboard the boat.

    All set I headed to my hotel ready for the following morning classes.

    Day 1

    Saturday - Essential Navigation

    We met at 9 am in the school's classroom just a five-minute walk from the main strip. There were three in our class plus the teacher 'Dominique'. Dominique was also one of the Day Skipper instructors and she was brilliant at converting so much of the nautical jargon, into English. All the topics that I had spent hours pouring over late into the night, now made more sense than ever and there was a massive realisation that nothing beats face-to-face tuition. By the end of the day we were a little frazzled but nothing that couldn't be fixed with a great meal in Babis, the local restaurant of choice, and a decent night's sleep.
    Day 2

    Sunday - Essential Navigation, Embarkation

    The following morning I received a Whatsapp notification with our boat name and the details of the others on our boat. Included in my yacht was one of the other students in my class, which worked really well as I then knew there would be at least one familiar face on board. Our yacht contained a group of five students plus Alex our instructor but as much as I wanted to get involved with the friendly Whatsapp messages popping up, I had another day of studying the in and outs of passage planning and all the final theory elements required for the week on the water.

    Now at the end of my second day in the class, I felt prepped "in theory" to get going and at 5.00pm we met the crew and boarded our yacht 'Portokali'. After our introductions, all the week's students met up for an €15 "All you can eat" meal but I think I was the only person that took this challenge literally. A Great First Day.

    Day 3

    Monday, Aegina - Old Epidavros

    The Day Skipper Certification is made up of days where you were the skipper of the boat, and days, practicing and learning from others. With the weekends' classroom tuition fresh in my mind, I opted to be the skipper for the first day. Planning the days itinerary, taking the yacht in and out of the Marina, selecting our headings and route and leading the crew. My destination was 'Old Epidavros' 20 nm away. I checked my plan with another member of the crew for moral support, and then briefed my crew.

    I then discovered once the instructor steps in with additional drills and tasks your passage plan goes out the window and the day is spent thinking on the fly, positioning, taking readings, and adjusting headings. Four hours later we safely arrived into Old Epidavros and my first day as skipper was complete.

    Day 4

    Tuesday - Old Epidavros - Methana - Poros

    Today as per the course we had a change of skipper, however, before we left Epidavros we had to visit the local Roman Amphitheater which makes this town an almost essential place to visit. I have seen a few Roman structures in my time but this was breathtaking. A definite highlight and a recommendation to anyone sailing the Aegean Sea.

    Back on the ship we set sail to Methanos, light winds meant we swapped between sailing and motor sailing, our skipper for the day provided our passage plan, but keen to get involved and have the additional practice, I watched and made notes alongside the days' skipper. As crew today, we simply refreshed our skills by tacking and setting the sails. We also practiced manually fixing our positions and setting our position using Triangulation, finally putting into practice some maths from thirty years ago.

    Two hours into our journey, our steady sailing and manual positioning exercises were rudely interrupted by a dolphin pod. Again the passage plan went out of the window as we ditched our heading and just sailed in circles with ten or so Dolphin playing in our bow wave. The experience was only ten minutes but it was certainly an unforgettable experience.

    Stopping in Methana for the afternoon we prepared for our night sail, a chance to put into practice all the theory we have learned about warning and shipping lights. Four hours of sailing through the night with five sets of eyes desperately looking for shipping lights, warning beacons, and as many things as we could identify was testing work however the reward of heading into Poros and sleeping on anchor, with the lights of Poros in the background was well worth it.

    Day 5

    Wednesday, Poros Loop of the Island

    A morning coffee, and an easy sail around the island today. With the crew feeling confident about passage planning, today we took things started on the emergency drills. Man Over Board drill was well and truly drilled into us. Under sail, on the motor lots of practicing. Alex's phase "okay again" with everyone switching roles seemed to be the phrase of the day but thankfully, you can understand why this was one of the most important activities on the course. Sailing around the island we had lunch at sea, we spent time swimming from the rear of the boat, using the boat as a huge rib towing us around and generally blowing off some steam, after the morning's mental workout. Then after arguably the best meal I have ever had aboard a boat we continued around Poros. On return to the town of Poros we practiced some stern-to 'med mooring', the item that frightens so many and we had a feedback session with our Instructor and the chance to request additional training (things seemed to be going well so far).

    Day 6

    Thursday Poros - Korfos

    On the run-in now to get the Day Skipper certificate.

    Today was the best day for sailing, with 10-12 knots of wind, 20+nm to the evenings mooring and a temperature of 28C. It almost begs the question to why more people don't sail in May. With the crew settled into various roles and everyone working really well together it was a great day. I spent the day plotting our position using transits, running fixes and working on tasks that meant nothing to me just a few short weeks ago. While even though it was a long day, but being a glutton for punishment the highlight for the day was performing the drill where we sailed onto a mooring buoy. I was really nervous at the beginning as Alex talked to us about the drill, but this time it was me saying "Okay Again" until it was perfect. The physical and mental challenges of feeling for the wind, adjusting the sails, and getting the crew to perform just at the right time to pick up the buoy was far more fun than it sounds.

    In the evening we met up in "Georges" with two of the other tuition boats and the evening was filled with fifteen trainee day skippers swapping stories of the last few days.

    Day 7

    Friday, Korfos - Aegina

    Friday with the sailing and drills all completed, the morning was mainly theory, note-taking, and any other business. We spent time talking through potential emergency situations, the use of equipment, asking questions, and what to do in different scenarios. The day's wind was again fantastic, cruising along at 6 knots, with the group reflecting on things they had picked up over the last few days. Just after lunch, I received an ominous call from Alex below deck, to which he then presented me with a fresh new Day Skipper Certificate with my name on it! To be honest, the rest of the day was just a blur as I and all of my crew mates successfully completed the course and the afternoon was all about where we would like to sail next and what we could get up to with our newfound qualifications. Two of the crew were looking to start new careers in the sailing industry, while I had a family holiday in Croatia on the cards.

    Now to book my first trip and sign up a willing crew.

"Just to say that we had a really good holiday in the Ionian sailing with Odyseuss Sailing flotilla. They were up to the usual high standard of boat, customer service - our friends that we went with were very impressed for their first time sailing. Hope to go again next year."

Ionian Flotilla 2019 - J.D.

Sailing Qualifications

To skipper a bareboat charter or flotilla yacht, you need to hold a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC). For charters in Greece, you must now have the ICC certificate. You must also be assisted by at least one competent crew member over the age of 18.

For charters in Croatia, Malta and the Canaries, at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a VHF licence.

RYA qualifications can be obtained by RYA sailing schools in the UK or alternatively choose from one of our overseas centres in Gibraltar, Greece or Turkey.

For Seychelles the local authorities require an ICC for the skipper of a bareboat or flotilla yacht charter.

For Caribbean and Tropical charters, formal qualifications are not compulsory, however, you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew. A brief sailing resume should be provided to outline your experience.

If you don't hold the relevant qualifications then why not add a skipper?

Sailing Levels

Level 1

Winds force 2-3 (4-11 Knots)combined with generally shorter distances. Good for beginner or intermediate sailors. Line-of-sight navigation but basic knowledge of charts and ability to plot your position required.

Level 2

Winds force 3-5 (7-21 Knots) with approximately 15-20nm per day. Intermediate experience required. Predominately line of sight navigation but an understanding of how to sail in open water.

Level 3

Winds force 4-6 (11-27 Knots) with mileage of approximately 20nm+ per day. Ideal for experienced skippers looking to venture out to new destinations. Day skipper standard but with experienced crew would be recommended.