Marinas crowding up as more foreign visitors bring their vessels

Places at marinas have not kept pace with the number of new craft, particularly in Attica, where most boats are kept. There is a marked lack of docking space, even in the ports of popular islands such as Myconos. The grand total around the country amounts to only 7,500 places; in the high season, around 8,000 boats visit the island of Corfu alone. Less than 10 marinas can accommodate luxury cruisers (only five were awarded the Blue Flag this year) compared to Greece’s main competitors for the yachting market, Turkey and Croatia, which boast 25 and 22 first-class marinas respectively. According to Yiannis Koutsodontis, marketing director of K&G Mediterranean Marina Management, many people cruising the Aegean islands decide to dock in Turkey. «The decision to allow private interests to enter this sector was taken very late in the day, so we are way behind our competitors,» he said. Still, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of foreign boats docked permanently in Greece. For example, 700 of the 900 places at Corfu’s marina are filled by boats belonging to foreigners. A similar situation exists in Lefkada, the site of one of the country’s most modern marinas. «Nearly all (95 percent) of the places are taken by boats that are kept there throughout the winter,» said Koutsodontis. «There is a huge inflow of foreign boats. No matter how many places there are, they will all be filled.» The annual cost of docking a 12-meter boat (not including VAT) is 2,059 euros in Kalamata, 3,307 euros in Corfu, 3,461 euros in Lefkada and 4,836 in Marina Zea, Piraeus.