Sailing Around the Greek Islands

robynjones By robynjones, 10th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Greece>The Argo-Saronic

Sailing holidays in Saronic Gulf Islands include some absolutely fabulous coastline and a number of attractive islands. The nicest marinas along the Attica coast are the four different marinas at Gilfadha, three of which are private.

Overview

I have enjoyed some amazing sailing holidays and the position of Greece, with the Aegean Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea off its western coast is ideally situated for sailing holidays. with the Ionian Sea a particular favourite for flotilla sailing due to its light winds and less sea swell. The Aegean Sea offers more difficult sailing conditions due to the exigent north-westerly, known as the Meltemi that blows throughout the summer months.

Aegean Coastline

Although most areas of the Aegean make excellent sailing conditions, some parts are less sheltered and are less appropriate for flotilla sailing. Sailing in the Saronic Gulf Islands also includes sailing along the the Attica coastline on the mainland, and the Gulfs of Idhras and the Argolikos together with the eastern coast of the Peloponnisos. The mainland has some exquisite beaches such as the 550km of the Halkidiki coastline, innumerable coves and traditional fishing villages. South of Athens, along the Attica coast, is the area known as the Saronic Gulf.

Saronic Gulf

Sailing holidays in Saronic Gulf Islands include some absolutely fabulous coastline and a number of attractive islands. The Attica coast extends from around Athens, up to the Corinthian Canal and across to Ak Sounian: this area is highly industrialised and not particularly attractive. The islands, however, are delightful for sailing amongst. The best known islands included in this region include Aigina, Poros, Hydra , and Spetsai. The island coastlines have areas of outstanding beauty and every day sailing around these islands will bring new adventures.

Meltemi

While the Meltemi wind does blow from the NNE to NE during the summer months, these northern Aegean waters also benefit from a prevailing wind blowing from the SE, usually during the afternoon from midday onwards, and rarely exceeding a Force 5. This wind tends to have blown itself out by evening but it is still essential, when sailing in the Saronic Gulf Islands, to keep a close watch on the weather forecasts for the area: a katabatic wind from the high slopes of the Peloponnisos can develop quite quickly at night, altering calm conditions into a Force 7 gale that can blow for up to six hours at a time.

Mooring in a Marina

If you are sailing in the Saronic Gulf Islands and skippering your own bareboat charter, berths are usually available in the outer harbour of the Zea Marina: this marina is usually too full to find a space in the inner harbour. Piraeus is a busy commercial port lying just to Zea Marina’s north-east and shipping is heavy. However, to the east of Zea is Mounikhias which is run by the Royal Hellenic Yacht Club. If you want to try for a berth here it is best to contact them prior to arrival as, again, marinas in this area are heavily subscribed. Another marina you could try is Faliron, to the east of Mounikhias. There are plenty of pontoons, with basic utilities laid on. You will find plenty of tavernas in the nearby town, excellent shopping, with fuel available if required.

Attica Coastline

There are other marinas if you are sailing along the Attica coastline, with the town of Kalamaki to the south-east of Mounikhias, providing the well-sheltered Alimos Marina. Meanwhile, the town of Gilfadha provides four different marinas, three of which are private. They are renowned for being some of the nicest marinas along the coast – only detracted by their location directly beneath the main flight path from Athens airport. Vouliagmeni also hosts a marina, although the swell can be rather uncomfortable at times.

Inner Basin of Varkiza

Further south on the mainland is Varkiza where, if you are lucky enough to be moored in the inner basin, the shelter is excellent: the outer basin is less sheltered, though, and tends to be subject to the Meltemi when it is blowing. The harbour at Sounion also provides a little shelter from the Meltemi but, if you are sailing along the Attica coastline, is would probably be a good idea to arrange berths in advance due to the high volume of boats in the area all competing for limited space.

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author avatar robynjones
Specialty areas of knowledge are medical, legal, technical and scientific terminology. Anne writes under the pseudonym of ArticlesbyAnne

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author avatar Denise O
13th Dec 2010 (#)

I really enjoyed taking this trip with you, as I read along. Good read.
Please add some tags to this page, so others can enjoy it.
Heck, I bug the mess out of Mark by just me editing, again and again.LOL
Thank you for sharing.:)

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