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Our Cyclades (Note: Greeks pronounce it 'Kick-lah-thez'; none of this 'sick-le-dees' stuff) cruising region stretches from Cap Sounion to The Dodecanese.  This is exciting sailing, and summer winds may sometimes force you to hole up for a day or three. There is an enormous variety of harbours and anchorages, but no full service marinas. Places to visit include some of the great sights (and sites) of Europe, and many good circular cruises.  The effects of tourism are mostly smart. The region is not overcrowded, and most sailboats are over 34ft. Night trips are not needed. Your summer cruise plans will be dominated by the meltemi, a persistent strong northerly wind. It'll take at least 4 weeks to see the highlights; add another 4 weeks if you really want to do a thorough job. Even that leaves something for next year.

South Peloponnese

Between Navarino bay (the SW corner) and Cap Malea (opposite Kythera) the Peloponnese has some of the best sand beaches in Greece. Many are suitable settled weather anchorages. The towns (Pylos, Methoni, Koroni, Kalamata, Gythion) have lots of character and are favourite holiday resorts for Greeks, sometimes noisy on feast days. Free WiFi is common in cafés. "Must sees" include Navarino bay, ancient Mistras, and the Diros caves.

Free of charter yachts, this is cheap and uncrowded cruising in real Greece.Take this coast slowly and hire a car to explore inland. It's worth it.

Sailing in Greece

This page describes the more general aspects of sailboat cruising in Greece; weather, when to go, yacht support, and travel. The right hand menu leads to  pages describing each region in far more detail.

The law outlining what is required of leisure boats, written in Greek of course, is not published to visitors. You will get conflicting instructions from officials about what is required. Unexpected expenses are sometimes incurred if you don't read the small print. Keep smiling; sanctions for "breaking the rules" are very rare indeed.

See Greek Culture, Rules and Regulation for Yachts for more detail.

North Ionian

The North Ionian (Corfu to Preveza) offers easy sailing, so it's a popular area for inexperienced cruisers. Morning winds are light, and afternoon winds rarely exceed F5. There are several exceptionally pretty villages, and (with a few exceptions) the effect of mass tourism is light. Well sheltered harbours and anchorages are never too far away, but in peak season these become very crowded. A thorough exploration can take two or three weeks. The passages across to Parga, or south to Preveza, are exposed to occasional swell, especially in the afternoons.

Yacht services are very good - centered around Corfu town/Gouvia, and Preveza/Levkas town. There are good layup and live-aboard possibilities. Seasonal flights from Corfu and Preveza/Action are very convenient. Out of season air travel via Athens is a pain - best if you take an overnight break in Athens.

Athens & E Peloponnese

This area stretches from Cap Malea (SE corner of the Peloponnese) all the way to the coastline east of  Athens, with a host of islands between.These are sheltered waters with generally light winds, a lot of charter vessels, very good yacht support. Cruising is crowded in season NE of Spetsai and Hydra, favourite destinations for large Athens-based boats. Athens international airport has frequent daily flights year round to many countries. Athens/Piraeus is the transport hub of Greece, with a good rail, bus and tram services to ferry terminals and airport.


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