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Greece

Greek Wine

For those who like to drink better wines . . .

Quality

The mass market produces plenty of plastic bottled reds and whites from €2.50 a litre upwards. Avoid.

Greek quality wines have successfully emerged over the last two decades, strongly helped by Greeks returning from Australia who have learned modern vinification practice. My threshold for decent tasting wine is €5 or more a bottle. But that's not a guarantee of decent wine for a couple of reasons:

Greek Municipal Berthing Fees

Greek Municipal Berthing Fee Rates

newRequests to pay will always be acknowledged with printed receipts. No receipt . . . check with nearby shop owners or port police

1. Berth-mooring dues (stern to or bows to the quay)

  a. Private “small” boats, i.e. boats of LOA up to 7m = 0,03 euro per day per metre

  b. Private pleasure boats/yachts:

Greek Insurance Certificates for Boats

Insurance Certificates Required for Greece

newInsurance certificates in Greek language will be issued by your insurer. They should cover the amounts listed below:

a.  Ships of total tonnage smaller than 300 gt are obliged to have insurance for:

Greece

Major relaxations to Greek boating regulations were made during 2014, and provisions were made to introduce a boating tax. The boating tax has not yet been introduced. New Boating Regulations

Inland Ionian; Preveza to Kefallinia and Mainland

The Inland Ionian, enclosed by Levkada (Levkas) and Kefallinia (Cefalonia), is a sheltered and attractive sailing region with lovely scenery, suitable for novice sailors and families not keen on rough seas. 

A host of islands creates an enormous number of anchorages, all within a few miles of wherever you may be. Many are suitable for night stops. Popular anchorages quickly become crowded in peak season; novice charter skippers add chaos with first attempts at 'being in charge'. Luckily, there's always some mooring spot available to escape the crowds.

Yacht support in the area is very good, with sailmakers, stainless steel fabricators, engineers, good chandlers and many layup sites, ashore and afloat. Many services are provided by British ex-pats (often ex flotilla staff) who have taken root in the area. Easy access in summer season through Aktion airport.

Read on for detail . . .

Crete

Largest of the Greek islands, and one of  most southerly places in Europe, Crete has little unsettled weather in summer and a relatively sunny winter. Few boats cruise the 560nm of coastline, and often you'll be the only boat at anchor. The north coast plain is the most densely populated, and rises steadily to the massive ridge of mountains that forms the bulk of Crete, with many peaks over 2000m, and sliced by over 30 gorges, including the Samaria Gorge, reputedly the longest in Europe.  Major port towns of Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia are spaced fairly evenly along this coast, some 40nm apart, but with few anchorages between compared to other Greek cruising areas. The south coast is very steep to, only accessible by boat in most parts, is much less developed than the north.

North Aegean; Evia, Sporades and Halkidiki

Apart from the N Sporades, frequented by charter yachts and flotillas, this area, including the passage inside Evia, is a quiet cruising ground. Some restaurants and cafés only open for the peak season, July and August, when the population of Thessalonika comes out to play on the beaches. N Greece otherwise sees mainly local boats cruising around the three peninsulae of  Khalkidiki, plus a few foreign flag yachts in transit to and from Turkey or the Dodecanese. These seem bent on avoiding the stronger winds of the S Aegean, although the meltemi blows strongly through the spaced out islands of the East Sporades.

Dodecanese

This very attractive chain of islands can easily occupy 3 weeks of cruising, but 5 weeks give you more leeway. We included Samos and Ikaria, though they're not Dodecanese, since they form a natural extension to the cruising region. The region has two characters: south of Kos has longer passages, fewer anchorages and the most unusual sights; north of Kos there are many small anchorages, pretty harbours and lots more charm. 


Regular summer winds are northerly (the meltemi, brisk at times) but compared with the Cyclades, lighter, with reasonably flat waters. Yacht support is adequate, with good wintering facilities. Seasonal flights to UK from Kos, Rhodes and Samos connect to other islands through the inter-island ferries. Out of season travel to UK is cumbersome, via Athens by ferry or small aircraft.

Gulfs of Corinth & Patras

This is a passage route, rather than a cruising ground.  If your cruise plan is to circumnavigate the Peloponnese (a rewarding six to eight-week cruise, depending on your natural pace) it's best done anti-clockwise to use favourable winds for 75% of the journey. So carry on south.


Gulf winds are predominantly westerly in summer, stronger in the afternoons, up to F5. For a westerly trip, either do it out of season, or make early morning departures, motoring as necessary, and keep to the north shore, where the wind sets in later. There are enough ports and anchorages en route to remove the need for night sailing.


West Peloponnese - Heading south

From Zakinthos (Zante) down the west coast of the Peloponnese to the Gulf of Navarino, is very much a coast of passage. It could be bypassed in one long day's sail with the prevailing brisk summer NW winds from Kefallinia to Navarino bay, but you would then miss the turtles of Zakinthos, and Olympia, the spectacular site of the original Olympic games. Passages north in summer are harder work.  Safe harbours are close enough for day passages against the wind, especially if you set off early in the morning before the winds reach full strength.

Navarino Bay is the reward for the journey.

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