Ports & places of interest in the Saronic Gulf
The Saronic gulf is full of places of interest and beauty;
This port is famous for its sulphur baths, important in days gone by.
A pleasant, sleepy town where time has slowed down, there is now a new ferry quay and it is possible to moor on the south side. There is also a small marina and several tavernas and bars, but take care with the depth in the marina!
A charming small fishing harbour, Vathi should be reached early in the afternoon to be sure of a place alongside. There are excellent fish tavernas and a visit to the extinct volcano caldera above the hamlet of Kratiras is worth the hike
The harbour at Paleo Epidauros has many good tavernas and bars with places to swim. This makes it a particularly pleasant destination. However, the most important aspect of Epidauros is the nearby Asklepion and the world famous theatre, an absolute wonder and world heritage site which should not be missed.
The theatre now over 3000 years old is still used to stage plays during the summer months.
A small intimate harbour with superb views. A good taverna and bars to reward an a good days sailing.
Korfos is a semi-landlocked bay and a useful anchorage before or after transiting the Corinth canal. It can provide good shelter in the event of other nearby harbours being full. There are some tavernas and provisions are available.
Aegina is a bustling little port surrounded by numerous small shops tucked away in narrow back streets with colourful tavernas and cafes along its waterfront. Traditional caiques with fruit and vegetables tie up along the quayside and sell their wares directly from the boat.
For lovers of ancient Greece, a short bus ride takes you to the temple of Aphaia, one of the better preserved Doric temples in Greece. The temple is located on the pine-clad Mesagro hill on the northeast end of the island from which there are stunning views of the Saronic Gulf and the surrounding area.
Aegina provides good shelter except to the south west.
Perdika on the south-west tip of Aegina is a charming fishing village with excellent seafront tavernas and bars. The sunset from here is not to be missed!
Angistri is a little-visited island west of Aegina. Limin Angistri on the north east offers reasonable shelter. The island is densely wooded and has attractive bays on the west coast sheltered by Dhonousa islet.
The Argolic Gulf
The Argolic Gulf lies to the east of the Peloponnese. The Argolic area includes some beautiful unspoilt isolated spots.
The Argolic Gulf sailing area is well protected from the summer ‘Meltemi’ wind that blows from the north/northeast. Instead the winds tend to curl up into the Argolic giving a south easterly sea breeze that will arrive midday most days. This gives a comfortable Force 4-5 which then quietens in the evening to leave you with a peaceful night.
Winds in the Hydra channel leading between Póros and the Argolic Gulf can be from the north east as the ‘Meltemi’ turns and follows the channel.
The short ‘reach’ caused by the protection of the Argolic Gulf makes for flatter seas even when the ‘Meltemi’ is blowing. This shelter makes the Argolic excellent for ‘family sailing’ where you can enjoy the (usually) reliable sea breeze while being protected from the effects of any stronger winds.
Ports & places of interest
The Argolic gulf is particularly full of places of interest and beauty;
Hydra is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. The harbour is very small and space is at a premium and so it is always important to get into harbour early.
There are countless restaurants and bars and there is the advantage of the absence of motorised transport.
It is really worthwhile finding the time to visit this beautiful village set on a pine-clad peninsula. Choose the north or south quay according to the wind direction and enjoy magnificent sunsets from the many fine tavernas.
While there are several beautiful anchorages in the approach to the main bay, Porto Heli itself is busy and crowded and is best kept as a reserve for safe anchorage in bad weather. It is also a good spot for provisioning from one of the many large shops.
Spetses is a beautiful historical island that should be visited so as to not miss its magnificent houses, traditional boatyards and the house of the Greek heroine of the War of Independence, Bouboulina. While it may not be easy to find a place in the old harbour, there are several delightful bays to choose from depending upon the prevailing wind direction and strength. Transport around the island by water taxi is available.
While Koiladhia is not a beautiful village, the bay affords totally safe anchoring. Eating out is for the fish lover as Koiladhia is a working fishing port.
On the eastern side of the bay, opposite the village, you can visit the Francithi cave which has been the source of numerous prehistoric remains including the skeleton of a stone-age inhabitant, believed to be the oldest human remains found in Greece.
This stunning landlocked inlet has the remains of a small Venetian fort on its Northern entrance.
You can moor at the head of the inlet and there are excellent tavernas on the shore. It’s also possible to take a taxi into Nafplion a few miles to the north.
This city should not be omitted and is worth staying for a day. The picturesque old town is a mixture of Venetian, Turkish and neo-classical buildings and a stroll through the narrow streets and open squares overhung with bougainvillea, clematis and jasmine is a delightful experience.
There are countless excellent tavernas and bars. Perched above the city is the huge Venetian citadel, and twenty minutes north by road are the remains of Mycanae, andTiryns, both of which are a world heritage sites.
The harbour is more commercial than many you may visit, but the town, Palamidi and general ambiance of the place more than makes up for it!
Astros harbour gives good shelter in the summer. A short walk above the town you can visit a ruined Venetian castle. There are numerous tavernas and bars and restaurants around the sandy bay and a few kilometres of beach.