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RYA courses Greece

RYA (Royal Yachting Association)
Sailing courses Greece

Gulf of Volos & the Sporades islands, from Volos

Have you ever wanted to charter a yacht but found that the cost of crewed holidays was too expensive? Then now's the time to consider doing a RYA sailing course so that you will be able to crew or skipper your own sailing yacht in future.

RYA sailing courses in Greece offer an exciting way to learn how to become a competent member of the yacht's crew, or a qualified skipper, or to improve your sailing skills or total miles, while enjoying the beauty and benefits of the Greek islands and sea.

Thessalia School of Sailing is a British-owned company, run by husband and wife team, Carl and Liz. We run RYA sailing courses from the Aegean port of Volos, with a maximum of four students to one instructor and our school yacht, El Nino, a Dufour 45 classic, has 4 large cabins. You will never be expected to share a bunk with a total stranger.

Our practical sailing courses, which run from March to October, follow the internationally-recognised RYA syllabus, from complete beginner to Yachtmaster. The theory courses are offered online through Navathome.com

Meet the Team

Our British RYA instructor, Carl Derham has 15 years experience, sailing in the area.

Instructor: Carl Derham

Base manager: Liz Haynes

Practical sailing courses

RYA Competent Crew

This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. Learn to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board.

We run the 5 day course from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday as a bonus day to practice your new skills. You will arrive in Volos on Saturday and spend the first night on the boat. We will arrive back in Volos on Friday lunchtime, leaving you free to travel home on Friday or Saturday.

RYA Day Skipper

If you already have basic knowledge of sailing and wish to move up to the next level, the RYA Day Skipper course will provide you with the experience required to skipper a yacht.

The RYA no longer distinguish between tidal and non-tidal sailing areas, so a certificate gained in Greece has the same value as one attained in the UK.

We run the 5 day course from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday as a bonus day to practice your new skills. You will arrive in Volos on Saturday and spend the first night on the boat. We will arrive back in Volos on Friday lunchtime, leaving you free to travel home on Friday or Saturday.

Before joining us for the practical course, you will need to complete the RYA Day Skipper shorebased navigation course.

Our Day Skipper Combined course, covers both the practical and theory sections of this qualification.

RYA Coastal Skipper

This course is for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake longer coastal passages by day and night.

The training moves away from the shorter passages of Day Skipper and starts looking at passages that require watch-keeping routines, crew management and the ability to pilot a vessel both day and night. With longer passages it is less likely that you will be familiar with the sailing area, so a higher level of overall navigational and pilotage skill needs to be developed.

The RYA no longer distinguish between tidal and non-tidal sailing areas, so a certificate gained in Greece has the same value as one attained in the UK.

We run the 5 day course from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday as a bonus day to practise your new skills. You will arrive in Volos on Saturday and spend the first night on the boat. We will arrive back in Volos on Friday lunchtime, leaving you free to travel home on Friday or Saturday.

Before joining us for the practical course, you will need to complete the RYA Coastal Skipper/ Yachtmaster™ Offshore shorebased course, delivered by Navathome.com, an RYA-recognised training centre specialising in online training.

You can complete the theory and practical with our Coastal Skipper Combined course.

Other courses

Mile builder

Build your experience, improve your confidence and advance your practical knowledge, whilst putting hundreds of miles in your log. We run the mile builders in Spring and Autumn and attempt to cover about 300 miles in 1 week.

Beginner to RYA Day Skipper

Go from absolute beginner to Day Skipper in 12 days, able to confidently skipper a yacht.
The course includes the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased online course, delivered by Navathome.com, an RYA-recognised training centre specialising in online training.
You have 6 months to complete the theory course, so you can begin learning the theory before coming to Greece, then after 2 weeks on the boat, you will have a wealth of experience, allowing you to complete the theory course and take the exam online.

You will arrive in Volos on Saturday and spend the first night on the boat in Volos harbour. We begin on Sunday, with the 6 day RYA Competent Crew course, followed by a day of rest to brush up on your chartwork in the stunning surroundings of Mount Pelion. Then it's back aboard for the RYA Day Skipper Practical course from Sunday to Friday. We will arrive back in Volos on Friday lunchtime, leaving you free to travel home on Friday or Saturday.

Summer Flotilla

For all new skippers and others who have more experience but are still lacking in the confidence to take that first step to freedom, the summer flotilla will allow you to take command of your own boat, fill it with friends and family and join us as we explore the stunning Sporades islands.
Each boat will be joined by our RYA Yachtmaster Instructor for at least 1 day, offering advice on brushing up those skills and help will be available for everyone as you enter bays and harbours.

Sailing Area

Our main sailing area encompasses Volos, the Gulf of Volos (Pagasitikos) and out to the Aegean Sea. Volos is a busy commercial port, supplying the area of Thessaly and the Sporades Islands. Volos and Mount Pelion remains a favourite holiday spot for Greek tourism and you will find very little evidence of foreign travel companies.

The gulf is about 14 nautical miles wide and is surrounded by idyllic anchorages, small harbours and picturesque islands.

Inside the gulf, you will experience near-perfect sailing conditions, with the regular sea breeze and calm waters, whilst out in the Aegean, the Meltemi usually blows force 3-4, funnelling down the channel between Evia and the Mainland. Any swell from the north is cut off by the archipelago that makes up the Sporades Islands and we rarely experience swell of more than 1-2 metres. These conditions are usually reserved for lake sailing, but here we have the open sea and countless coves and harbours to explore.

We are regularly visited by dolphins within the gulf and more often, outside in the channel.

During the low season (March-May and September-November), you will rarely see another sailing boat and even during the summer months, the gulf is surprisingly empty of pleasure craft.

This is one of the last remaining, undiscovered secrets of the Mediterranean and once you have your skipper’s certificate, you will want to come back and explore this paradise under your own command.

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Odyssey Sailing
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Odyssey Sailing is registered and bonded with the Greek National Tourist Organisation (GNTO - EOT) and is a member of the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA). © Odyssey Sailing

Antonopoulou 158D, Volos, 38221, Greece
Tel: +30 24280 94128 | Tel / fax: +30 24210 36676
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