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Sailing the Peloponnese

Listed under Sailing in Saronic Islands, Greece.

  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
  • Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
Photo of Sailing the Peloponnese
Photo by flickr user Tambako the Jaguar
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When sailing the Peloponnese don't expect to be dodging other tourist yachts, rushing for its mooring spaces and dinner bookings, or claiming minimal towel space on its golden beaches. Cruising along this coastline visitors have a choice of authentic and friendly Greek villages or more exclusive and bustling towns, but with very few charter and flotilla companies touring South of Spetses Island sailors can indulge in as much remoteness as they wish.

Porto Heli is the main base from which Neilson charters and flotilla holidays set off and can be reached by a three hour bus from Athens via the magnificent Corinth Canal. A choice of shops dispense provisions and make the most of the ATM machines as few stops along the way accept cards. The port is located in a huge, well-sheltered bay and there are numerous options for hiring dinghies to brush up on your sailing basics and have some fun.

Once on your way there are a number of beautiful stops including Plaka, a tiny harbour where dramatic mountains sweep down to a pebbled beach. Astros is another fishing village with friendly locals and picturesque cafés by the harbour front. Lying above the village you will find a ruined Frankish Fort where there are spectacular views over the Argolic Gulf. In these tiny villages the locals are truly welcoming. Although dinner in the restaurants may take a while to come, proprietors are often keen to show you into the kitchen so you can peer into the pots of calamari and stew. Take some time to sit and watch the fishing boats come in, the women tenderising squid on the rocks, and the groups of boys fishing off the quayside.

A larger town that is well worth a visit is Nafplion. Once the capital of newly formed Greece in the late 19th Century, you will soon realise why as a dramatic entrance sees you sail past the Bourtzi Island fortress built in 1471. The town is a maze of tiny cobbled streets, squares and dozens of al fresco restaurants under canopies of flowers on the Ventian balconies.

Spetses Island, located across from Porto Heli, is a playground of the rich and famous and although you may have to squeeze into a mooring between gin palaces, the island has clearly benefited from its exclusive status. The streets are excellently preserved and authentic and the restaurants provide some of the best seafood in the area.

Weather conditions in the area are best around the summer months, which bring the reliable North-Westerly 'Meltemi' winds, between 5 and 15 knots, and most sailors of all abilities will cope happily. Wind tends to be lightest in the morning and picks up after lunch to a steady force 2-4. The heat can be intense however, up to 35 degrees and sometimes 40 in a heatwave, so go before June and after September if you struggle with hot weather.

Written by  Jane Ferguson.

Other expert and press reviews

“Greek Islands Cruising”

Greece has almost nine and a half thousand miles of coastline. That is a lot of sailing! Our research shows that the Ionian Sea is the most popular area to charter a yacht in Greece. Most companies operate out of the island of Corfu (or Kerkyra to the l… Read more...

Written by  Mike Poole.

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