Sailing the Gulfs of Hydra and Argolikos in Greece

By: Ken Jones

Sailing the Gulfs of Hydra & Argolikos in Greece
A look at all the sailing routes and ports in Greece. From Hydra to Mandraki, Spetsai, Ormos Zoyioryia and Port Kheli on the Peloponnisos. Including places on where to anchor

Nisidhes Tselevinia
 the islands of Spathi and Skilli lie of Cape Skillaion. There is a secluded anchorage at the SW tip of Spathi. Nisis Soupia lies 1.5 miles W of Spathi. Yachts can anchor where convenient, the bottom is covered in thick weed and holding is not good in places.

Ermioni is on the Peloponnisos.
When approaching it note the remains of the ancient mole on the northern side of the headland. Yachts can go bow or stern to on the inside of the outer mole. Alternatively anchor in the bay to the north. The bottom is mud and weed with some rocks with poor holding in places. There is a quay-ed area on the southern side of the peninsula that can be used with offshore winds. Water is available on the quay and there is fuel in the village. Most provisions can be obtained and there are plenty of tavernas. Ermioni remains comparatively undeveloped. Ormos Kapari is the large bay to the south of Ermioni. Yachts can anchor in the SW corner where there is shelter from the prevailing winds. The bottom is sand and weed with good shelter.

Hydra or Idhra
This is the long, narrow island lying parallel to the Peloponnisos coast. Not much is written about the island until around the 15th century. Around 1460 Albanian refugees who were later joined by settlers from Crete, Evia and Kythnos settled Hydra. Then in the 18th century Hydra welcomed a large number of refugees from the Peloponnisos during the war between Russia and Turkey. In 1792 the town was almost completely abandoned when the plague killed much of the population. But by the end of the 18th century Hydra had become quite prosperous because of its commercial fleet that was trading as far as France , Spain and even the Americas . When the war of independence broke out Hydra was in a position to contribute some 150 ships and supplies to fight against the Turks. However when Greece did finally achieve independence in 1821 Hydra was economically isolated and did not receive its fair share of assistance from the new state and a period of hardship and unemployment set in causing many of the inhabitants to abandon it leaving behind large mansions and beautiful residences that fell into ruin. Yachts can go bow or stern to the town quay or on the northern mole. The bottom is mud and weed and poor holding in places. Strong winds from the N – NW produce a dangerous surge in the harbour and the north mole is the only safe place. There is water on the quay. The town will provide most provisions. As far as eating out goes the waterfront tavernas are over priced and you will find much better value in the town.

Mandraki is a bay about 0.75 miles east of Hydra.
Yachts can anchor were convenient. The bottom is sand, mud and weed with good holding. There are tavernas ashore. Other anchorages on Hydra include Vlikhos, Ormos Molos, Petassi, Bisti and Ay Nikolaos.

Spetsai lies at the mouth of the Gulf of Argolikos.
Pine trees cover much of the island. Like Hydra, Spetsai played an important role during the Greek Revolution of 1821 committing her fleet which was commanded by the heroine Laskarina Bouboulina Spetsai has the same policy with cars as Hydra: they are not permitted on the island and transportation is, like in Hydra, effectuated by horse-drawn carriage, donkey or taxi-boat. Yachts can anchor in the bay with a line to the shore or go bows to in the inner harbour if there is room. In the outer harbour the bottom is sand and weed and poor holding in places. Shelter in the inner harbour is excellent but winds from the NW push swell into the outer harbour making it uncomfortable. There is water and fuel on the quay. There is good shopping with a supermarket close to the harbour. There are good taverns around the harbour and in the town. Look out for Spetsai's specialty, 'Fish a la Spetsiota' cooked in the oven with a lot of tomato and green peppers and covered in cheese. The town and harbour are attractive with many houses and mansions dating back some 200 years.

Ormos Zoyioryia is a large bay in the NW of Spetsai.
Yachts can anchor in the bay in depths of 5 – 8m. There is a small cove on the western side of the bay that offers shelter from all but winds from the NE – E. This is an attractive anchorage, clear water surrounded by wooded slopes and there is a single tavern ashore.

Port Kheli is on the Peloponnisos.
Yachts can go bow or stern to the quay or anchor off. The bottom is mud and excellent holding. Shelter is also excellent. Drinking water and fuel are delivered by tanker. Most provisions can be obtained in the village. There are good taverns in the village and on the waterfront. The bay is home to many water sports and in the summer has a busy feel to it. There are also anchorages on either side of the entrance channel.

Koiladhia is a large bay on the eastern side of the Gulf of Argolikos.
Yachts can anchor of the village in 2 – 3m, possessing excellent holding on mud and good all round shelter. There is water on the quay and most provisions are available. The tavernas on the waterfront are good and often have fresh fish available.

Khaidhari is set at the top of Ormis Dhrepanou.
Yachts can anchor in the bay or go bow to the outer end of the mole. Holding is good in mud and weed and there is good all round shelter. Tolo is a small harbour. Yachts can anchor of or go alongside, stern or bow to the mole. The bottom is sand and good holding. Water is limited. Most provisions can be obtained and there are plenty of waterfront taverns that often have fresh fish available. The village is now a bust tourist resort with its fine sandy beach.

Navplion lies at the head of the Gulf of Argolikos.
Yachts should berth on the quay in the inner basin. The bottom is mud and holding is difficult. Shelter is good with the exception of strong NW winds. If the swell becomes too bad yachts are better anchored off. There is water on the quay and fuel in the town. All provisions can be obtained and there are numerous taverns. The town is beautiful. Houses from the 18th and 19th centuries are covered with bougainvillea or clematis. Navplion was briefly the capital of Greece after the war of independence until Athens was chosen as the permanent capital. Astrous is on the western side of the gulf. Yachts can go bow or stern to either mole. The bottom is mud and weed and poor holding in places. Astrous is notorious for the strong katabatic winds that blow off the mountain at night time. There is water on the mole. Most provisions can be obtained but there is better shopping in the town some 2 miles away. There are good taverns on the waterfront and in the village.

Further to the south is Leonidhion.
Yachts can bow or stern to the mole. The bottom is hard sand and rock and poor holding in places. There is limited shelter from the prevailing winds. Water is available on the quay. Limited provisions can be obtained but there are good waterfront taverns.

Kiparissi is a large bay.
Yachts can anchor of the village of Paralia or go alongside the ferry quay. Alternatively go bow or stern to the quay in the SE corner of the bay. A third choice is to anchor in the north of the bay or lastly berth at the mole in the north of the bay. There are provisions and taverns in the village. The bay is completely unspoilt and is surrounded by high mountains. Ireaka lies at the head of a bay. Yachts can go bow to the quay. The bottom is mud weed and rock and reasonable holding in the main. There are taverns ashore and limited provisions are available.

Monemvasia is an island linked to the Peloponnisos by a causeway. Yachts can go bow or stern to the mole or anchor off. The bottom is sand, weed and rock with poor holding in places. Water and fuel can be delivered. All provisions can be obtained and there are several tavernas in the old village in a lovely setting.

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