Greece is a country of crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and a cultural paradise offering numerous attractions. A royal blue archipelago enfolding thousands of sun-kissed islands, make the Greek islands to remain a perfectly secure yachting destination welcoming people in exotic places.
The itineraries revealed in this section, are supposed to be just suggestions for you upcoming sailing holidays. They are obviously subject to change according to your wishes and of course weather conditions choosing your type of holidays from intense Greek nightlife or peace and quiet in traditional seaside village.
SKIATHOS (Harbor) - SKOPELOS (Agnontas, go before for a swim in Limnonari beach) - PERISTERA (off shore overnight, go before for a swim in Chrisi Milia beach) – KIRA PANAGIA (Agios Petros off shore overnight, go before for a swim in Peristera Navagio beach in Vasiliko) - ALONNISOS (Patitiri, go before for a swim in Tzortzi beach) - SKOPELOS (Harbor, go before for a swim in Kokinokastro beach) – SKIATHOS (Harbor, go before for a swim in Panormos and Tsougrias beach Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
SKIATHOS (Harbor) - SKOPELOS (Agnontas, go before for a swim in Limnonari beach) - PERISTERA (off shore overnight, go before for a swim in Chrisi Milia beach) – KIRA PANAGIA (Agios Petros off shore overnight, go before for a swim in Peristera Navagio beach in Vasiliko) - ALONNISOS (Patitiri, go before for a swim in Tzortzi beach) – SKYROS (Linaria, go before for a swim in Skantzoura island) – KYMI (Paralia) – PSAROPOULI (Small port) – OREOI (Small port) – VOLOS (Marina) – PALEO TRIKERI – SKIATHOS (Koukounaries beach) – SKOPELOS (Neo Klima beach) – SKIATHOS (Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
- In Kokinokastro beach, you should pass by between the islet and the shore and not from the down side because there are reefs in this area.
- In Kira Panagia, the stern needs be on the north in order the ropes to steady the yacht and not anchor.
- In Tsougrias beach, there are shallow waters on the north-west side that you should mind.
- In Peristera island, you shouldn`t miss the shipwreck in Vasiliko.
- In Steni Vala, keep a distance of 2-2,5m from the shore due to very shallow waters.
- In Skantzoura, There numerous unmarked low lying islets and reefs at the entrance to Skantzoura bay. Entry to and exit from the bay after dark is dangerous.
ALONNISOS: Alonnisos or Khelidromi is part of the Sporades it has about 1,100 inhabitants and an area of 62 km2, and its tallest peak, Kavouli, is 470 m. It is a green island with many olive trees, fig trees, almond trees, etc. The main town in Alonnisos used to be Chora or Alonnisos until 1965 when it was destroyed by an earthquake.
KIRA PANAGIA: The island of Pelagos, sometimes referred to as Kyra-Panayia, is an uninhabited island. It has two very good anchorages: Planitis in the north-east and Kyra-Panayia in the south-west. Planitis is a large landlocked bay, surrounded by green vegetation. On the east side of the island there is an old, now abandoned, monastery. The whole island is the property of the Agia Lavra monastery in Mount Athos. It is also a sanctuary for marine mammals and birds, and fishing is prohibited. The organization for the preservation of the Mediterranean Seal, Monachus Monachus or as it is locally known, MOm operates out of Alonnisos. They operate an information pavilion in Patitiri, a seal rescue station in Gerakas, and a patrol boat that helps with the enforcement of the regulations of the marine sanctuary, also referred to as the Marine Park. The regulations prohibit any vessel to approach within 1 nM the islands of Piperi and Yura and allows anchorage only at Planitis and Kyra-Panayia in Pelagos and at Skantzoura.
KYMI: Kymi is a coastal town and a former municipality in the island of Euboea, Greece, named after an ancient Greek place of the same name. The ancient Euboean Kyme is mentioned as a harbor town related to the more prominent poleis of Chalkis and Eretria in antiquity. Together with these, it is sometimes named as the founding metropolis of the homonymous Kymē (Cumae) in Italy, an important early Euboean colony, which was probably named after it. There are few or no archaeological traces of ancient Euboean Kyme, and its exact location is not known. A Bronze Age settlement has been excavated in nearby Mourteri. Some modern authors believe that Kyme never existed as an independent polis in historical times but that it was a mere village dependent on either Chalkis or Eretria.
OREI: Orei or Oreios is a pleasant little harbor on the North of the large island of Evia. Moor stern-to the mole or to the southern quay which has been extended. Yachts also go alongside the southern quay when it is not taken by fishing boats. It is also possible to anchor off. The harbor provides good protection from the meltemi but it is open to the W-NW.
PALEO TRIKERI: Paleo Trikeri is a small island with a delightful little harbor. If there is room, you can either moor side-to, stern-to, or anchor off. Warning: Be aware that you may have to move when either the ferry boat or the hydrofoil arrives. Ask when they are due.
PERISTERA: The island of Peristera or Peristeri or Xero is very lightly inhabited island just east of Alonnisos. There are three anchorages on the island and no facilities. Vasiliko: is a bay at the middle of the west side of the Peristera. The northern corner of the bay is well protected from the meltemi but is exposed to the south winds. The south corner offers some protection but you have to anchor at 15-20 m depth on weed. Bad holding. Vourlia: This cove, just south-west of Vasiliko, provides much better shelter from the south winds than Vasiliko. Anchor near the North coast and take a shore line to a rock on the south coast. Good holding on a mostly sand bottom. Here you will be totally isolated save for a large flock of seagulls that roost here. Peristera or Xero Bay - An isolated bay at the south of the island. Well protected from the meltemi but open to the south. This is maybe the most attractive anchorage in the region.
PSAROPOULI: Small part of north Evia.
SKANTZOURA: The South side of Skyropoula is nice place for a temporary anchorage. There is very good spearfishing. Skantzoura is a small uninhabited island. The only structure on it is an old hermitage, now abandoned. It is a very pleasant if isolated place. The island is within the Marine Park which was established a few years ago to protect marine life and particularly the highly endangered Mediterranean seal. All fishing is strictly forbidden. Yachts can stay for only one night. The organization for the preservation of the Mediterranean Seal, Monachus Monachus or as it is locally known, MOm, patrols the Marine Park and enforces its regulations. There are three anchorages at Skantzoura bay, on the West side of the island that afford some protection from the meltemi. All are exposed to the West. The bottom is sand and weed and provides reasonable holding. For an overnight, it is best to get near the shore and take a shore line to a rock, in addition to the anchor.
SKIATHOS: Skiathos is the most touristic island developed of the Sporades. By nature, Skiathos is a beautiful island, mountainous and very green, with large trees, and its reputed 62 beaches are of stunning beauty. Unfortunately very few have been left in their natural state. Most have been "developed" which translates into bars, blasting loudspeakers, umbrellas, cigarette buts, beach chairs, plastic wrappers and may other non-natural elements. The history of Skiathos is almost identical with the history of Skopelos. The small fort, Bourtzi, between the old and the new harbor was built by Venetian Gizzis.
SKOPELOS: Skopelos is a very green mountainous island. There are many natural springs and about a fifth of the island is cultivated with olive groves, plum trees, almond, and orange trees. Its capital Skopelos or Chora, is also its main harbor and it is located on the NE of the island. Today tourism, which has become the island's main industry, has brought it a new affluence.
SKYROS: Skyros is the most isolated island of the Sporades group, and as a result not too many yachts visit it. Today Skyros is renowned for its folk art and its Carnival. The largest town is Chora, or Skyros, which is built around the Venetian castle. It is about 10 km from the Linaria harbor. Native to Skyros is a rare species of small pony called Pikermic.
STENI VALA: Steni Vala is a small harbor, just across from Peristera Island. A flotilla operates from here during the summer months and the quay is crowded. It is an attractive place with a few tavernas. Go stern-to the quay. MOm has been operating their seal rescue center here but in 1999 they relocated it in Gerakas.
VOLOS: Located at the north of the gulf, Volos is a major regional center with a population of more than 100,000 people. The city is the marine transport hub for Thessaly, Greece’s largest agricultural region, and a key ferry port for the holiday islands of the Northern Sporades. Cruise ships use the port as a base for visiting the Meteora monasteries and other local attractions.
LEFKAS (Marina) - MEGANISI (Spartochori or Vathy marina) – ITHAKA (Frikes or Vathy harbor, go for a swim before in Gidaki beach) – KEFALONIA (Fiscardo port or Agia Effimia marina or Poros marina which is a picturesque place) – KASTOS (Harbor, go for a swim before in Arkoudi or Atokos islet) – KALAMOS (Harbor, go for a swim in Porto Leone/Gerolimionas port) – LEFKAS (Marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight)
North side of Ionian islands
LEFKAS (Marina) – PARGA (Port) – SIVOTA (Port) – CORFU (Mpenitses port) - PAXOS (Gaios harbor, go before for a swim in Lakka beach) – LEFKAS (Vasiliki port) - ITHAKA (Frikes or Vathy harbor, go for a swim before in Gidaki beach) – KEFALONIA (Fiscardo port or Agia Effimia marina or Poros marina which is a picturesque place) – KASTOS (Harbor, go for a swim before in Arkoudi or Atokos islet) – KALAMOS (Harbor, go for a swim in Porto Leone/Gerolimionas port) – LEFKAS (Marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight)
South side of Ionian islands
LEFKAS (Marina) - MEGANISI (Spartochori or Vathy marina) – ITHAKA (Frikes or Vathy harbor, go for a swim before in Gidaki beach) – KEFALONIA (Asos) - KEFALONIA (Lixouri or Argostoli port, go before for a swim in Myrtos beach) – ZAKYNTHOS (Harbor) – KEFALONIA (Sami port) – KEFALONIA (Fiscardo port or Agia Effimia marina) – ASTAKOS (Port, go for a swim before in Arkoudi or Atokos islet) - KASTOS (Harbor) – KALAMOS (Harbor, go for a swim in Porto Leone/Gerolimionas port) – LEFKAS (Marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight)
CORFU (Gouvia marina) – PAXOS (Gaios harbor, go before for a swim in Lakka beach) – ANTIPAXOS - PARGA (Port) – SIVOTA (Port) – PLATARIA (Small port) - CORFU (Gouvia marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
CORFU (Gouvia marina) – PAXOS (Gaios harbor, go before for a swim in Lakka beach) – ANTIPAXOS – LEFKAS (Marina) - MEGANISI (Spartochori or Vathy marina) - KEFALONIA (Fiscardo port or Agia Effimia marina) - ITHAKA (Frikes or Vathy harbor, go for a swim before in Gidaki beach) - LEFKAS (Nidri port) – PARGA (Port) – SIVOTA (Port) – SAGIADA (Port) – EREIKOUSSA (Port) – KASSIOPI (Harbor) - CORFU (Gouvia marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
• In Ithaka – Frikes be careful of the wind bursts.
• In Kefalonia – Fiscardo port there are a lot of yachts chartering in this area, so in order to moor inside the marinas or harbors you need to start very early in the morning.
• In Kefalonia – Agia Effimia is an organized marina with complete services.
• In kalamos and Kastos islands you should be arriving early in order to easily find a place to moor.
• In Paxos – Gaios, the port is a very small one so you should be arriving early in order to easily find a place to moor.
ASTAKOS: Astakos (meaning "lobster") is a town and a former municipality in Aetolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Xiromero, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located on a bay on the eastern shore of the Ionian Sea, near the southern end of the Acarnanian Mountains. It takes its name from the ancient Acarnaniantown Astacus and was named Dragamesti in the Middle Ages.
CORFU: Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwestern most part of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its history is full of battles and conquests. Castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of these struggles. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis ("castle city") by the Greek government. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. The fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic. Corfu repulsed several Ottoman sieges, before falling under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was eventually ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London. In 2007, the city's old quarter was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS. Corfu is a very popular tourist destination.
EREIKOUSSA: Ereikoussa is an island and a former community of the Ionian Islands, Greece. It is one of the Diapontia Islands, an island complex to the northwest of Corfu. It is located off the northwestern coast of the island of Corfu, and is almost equidistant from Corfu to the southeast, Mathraki to the southwest, and Othonoi to the west. There is only one town on the island, also named Ereikoússa. The island is rich in green forests, filled with cypress, and olive trees. It has two beaches, Porto and Braghini; the names are of Italian origin, and date back to the period of Venetian rule. Braghini is rarely visited because it is further away from the main part of the island.
ITHAKA: Ithaka is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and to the west of continental Greece. It is the second-smallest of seven main Ionian Islands, after Paxi. Ithaka is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The capital is Vathy or Ithaki Modern Ithaca is generally identified with Homer's Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is the Odyssey's plot.
KALAMOS: Kálamos is a mountainous island and a former community in the Ionian Islands, Greece. It lies east of Lefkada, near the Greek mainland. It has an overwintering population of around 500 people, which is swelled substantially in the summer by tourists. The name Kalamos means reed in Greek. The main settlement on the island is the port town of Kálamos, on the east coast of the island.
KASSIOPI: Kassiopi is a village, and a resort on the affluent north east coast of Corfu. It is in the municipal unit of Kassopaia. Historically, a small traditional fishing village, the town itself has been heavily developed and with more luxury villas now outside it, but it remains a summer social center heavily visited by tourists, particularly popular with visitors from Britain and Italy.
KASTOS: Kastos is a Greek island and a former community east of the island of Lefkada, Ionian Islands. The nearest island is Kalamos, with a deep channel between them; the mainland is approximately 5 kilometres (3 miles) to the northeast in Aetolia-Acarnania.
KEFALONIA: Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It was also a former Latin Catholic bishopric Kefalonia–Zakynthos (Cefalonia–Zante) and short-lived titular see as just Kefalonia. The capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli.
LEFKAS: Lefkas lies off the mainland coast of Greece seven miles SW of the harbor of Preveza at the entrance to the Ambrakikos Gulf. Lefkas is, however, not really an island. It was originally connected to the mainland via a shallow isthmus, but the Corinthians around 600 BC constructed a canal which has ever since divided Lefkas from the Greek mainland. The island is hilly with numerous white cliffs which give it its name: white one. For cruising yachtsmen, the harbors and anchorages at or near these towns – all of them on the East or South coast - represent the island’s chief interest. While the west coast has some very attractive beaches and fishing settlements, there are no sheltered harbors or anchorages suitable for yachts. During the summer, Lefkas and especially its capital, Lefkas Town, are thronged with tourists, both land and yacht-borne, arriving from the nearby airport at Preveza or the numerous boatyards and charter bases around Preveza and the Inland Sea.
MEGANISI: Meganisi is a Greek island and municipality immediately to the east-southeast of the island of Lefkada. The municipality includes the offshore islands of Skorpios and Sparti. There is also a harbor at Atheni Bay used mainly by fishing boats. Some researchers, including Wilhelm Dörpfeld estimate that Meganisi was the Homeric island of Krocylea, which was part of Odysseus' kingdom.
MOURTOS: Mourtos is a small village and fishing harbour located on the mainland of Greece opposite the southern part of Corfu, six miles South of Igoumenitsa and three miles South of Plataria. In recent years it has been rather overtaken by tourism and the small harbor is now used as much by yachts as fishing boats, while the quay is a mass of tourist restaurants and bars. In evenings in the season - especially at weekends - the quay is packed with charter and cruising yachts alike and it can be difficult to find a place. The harbor also contains a small marina, half of which is taken up by local boats and boats on gardiennage, but the other half can be used by visiting yachts. The marina is partly equipped with laid moorings, although some yachts will need to use their anchors. Nearby are several anchorages, including around the Sivota or Syvota islands, which offer good shelter in the prevailing winds.
PARGA: Parga is a very popular and busy tourist resort lying on the Ionian coast of Greece, 15 miles SE of Igoumenitsa and 25 miles NW of Preveza. Originally a small village with a tiny port on the East side and a long shingle beach on the West, Parga has now expanded into the leading tourist destination on the mainland coast of West Greece. Of the Ionian tourist destinations, only Corfu attracts more summer visitors. The town is dominated by an imposing Venetian castle crowning the peninsula around which it sits, which is a useful landmark on arrival. For the visiting yachtsman, the only realistic berthing option is to anchor on the NW side of the long beach to the West of the town, Ormos Valtou, where shelter is reasonably good from the prevailing NW winds. Out of season and in settled weather, it may be possible for one or two yachts to anchor in the small bay to the East of the tiny port, although shelter here is less good.
PAXOS: The two islands Paxos and Anti-Paxos are together known as Paxoi, being the plural of Paxos. They are situated in the Greek Ionian Sea seven miles South of Corfu and 35 miles NNW of Lefkas. The islands have become very fashionable with tourists, especially Italians, and are popular with charter fleets. Consequently they are very crowded during the months of July and August. Outside these times, they and their numerous attractive anchorages are a delight to visit. Visiting yachts have the option of berthing in the main harbor of Port Gaios on Paxos or in the anchorages of Lakka, Mongonisi and Longos on the same island. The harbour of Gaios is much frequented in summer by tripper boats, and certain sections of the quay are reserved for their use between 10.00 and 17.00. Outside these hours, yachts can anchor moor to the quays anywhere there is space. Antipaxos also has several beautiful anchorages off sandy beaches, but none are really suitable for an overnight stop except in very settled weather.
PLATARIA: Plataria is a small town located at the head of a deep bay on the Ionian coast of Greece three miles South of Igoumenitsa and the same distance NE of Mourtos. The harbor consists of a town quay which is largely occupied during the season by charter yachts and a large basin immediately NW, which is formed by a long curving breakwater and a short quay extending SSW from the shore. There is also an anchorage off a long sandy beach South of the harbor. The harbor offers a useful port of call for yachts transiting the Corfu Channel, but is very busy at weekends during the season, when there is often no space at all for visiting yachts owing to the charter changeovers. Although the bay is open NW, shelter is generally good in the prevailing NW winds, although a swell enters with very strong winds from this direction.
SAGIADA: Sagiada is a village and a former municipality in Thesprotia, Epirus, Greece. Sagiada stretches between the Ionian Sea to the west and Albania to the north. It is the westernmost point of mainland Greece. The river Thyamis flows into sea 4 km south of the village Sagiada. There are plains in the southern part of the municipal unit, and mountains on the Albanian border. The village Sagiada is 15 km northwest of the capital of Thesprotia, Igoumenitsa, and 4 km south of the Albanian town of Konispol. The origin of the name Sagiada is most probably arabic, meaning a place where fish is in abundance.
SYVOTA: The village and harbour of Sivota lie on the East coast of the island of Lefkas in the Ionian Sea of Greece, four miles West of the island of Meganisi. The harbor is not to be confused with the similarly named island of Sivota next to the harbour of Mourtos opposite Corfu. The village is very picturesque, sited at the head of a long inlet that curves round from the open sea and shelters the bay from all but S/SE winds. Tourists flock here, lured by the attractive setting and the numerous good tavernas lining the waterfront. Although Sivota can accommodate possibly up to 100 yachts at any one time, the mooring spaces are often taken up by early afternoon at the busiest times and a yacht arriving late will probably have to anchor off in the bay. Shelter is good in the prevailing N/NW winds, although there are gusts down into the bay, but Sivota is uncomfortable and possibly dangerous in strong S/SE winds.
ZAKYNTHOS: Zakynthos or Zante is the southernmost of the Ionian Islands or Eptanesa (7 islands). Zakinthos, along the rest of the Ionian island, has been ravaged by frequent earthquakes. It takes its name from Zakynthus the son of the king of Phrygia Dardanus. It is believed that Zakinthos was part of the Odysseus kingdom of Ithaka. During WW II the island was occupied by the Italians and later by the Germans who held it until 1945. In 1953 a terrible earthquake shook the Ionian islands and cause massive destructions in Zakinthos. Since then it has been rebuilt but many charming old buildings have perished. Zakynthos is the birth place of the poet Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857) who wrote the Hymn to Liberty, the Greek national anthem.>>
SAMOS (Pythagorion) - GAIDAROS (St. Georgio) - LEROS (Panali Bay) - LIPSI (Harbor) - PATMOS (Port Skala) - ARKI (Port Augusta) - SAMOS (Pythagorion)
SAMOS (Pythagorion) - GAIDAROS (St. Georgio) - LEROS (Panali Bay) - KALYMNOS (Vathi) - NISSIROS (Mandraki) - KOS (Stanko) - PSERIMOS (SW Bay) - KALYMNOS (Vorio Bay) - LIPSI (Harbor) - PATMOS (Port Skala) - ARKI (Augusta) - SAMOS (Pythagorion)
KOS (Marina) – PSERIMOS - LEROS (Panteli or Agia Marina, go before for a swim in Plati isle) – ARKI (Port Avgousta, go for a swim in Aspronisi) – PATMOS (Skala Harbor) – LIPSI (Harbor, go for a swim before in Makronisi) – KALYMNOS (Vathis port) - KOS (Marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
KOS (Marina) - PSERIMOS - KALYMNOS (Vathis port) - LEROS (Agia Marina, go before for a swim in Plati isle) - LIPSI (Harbor) – AGATHONISI (Harbor) - ARKI - PATMOS (Port Skala) – LEROS (Lakki marina) - KALYMNOS (Port) - KOS (Kefalos) – TILOS (Harbor) - NISIROS (Pali Port) - KOS (Marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
RHODES (Mandraki marina) - SIMI (Harbor) - KOS (Kefalos port) - ASTYPALAIA (Skala) - NISIROS (Mandraki or Pali) - TILOS (Livadhi) - CHALKI (Chalkia) - RHODES (Mandraki marina, Friday till 17:00 and overnight).
- In Leros, Agia Marina is better equipped as a marina.
- In Patmos you should visit the castle and the main town.
- There are the inhabited islands Telendos, Marathos and Archagelos Leros and depending your itinerary you can visit them.
- In the 1 week from Kos, the total miles are approximately 120NM (about 20NM per day). So in 1 week you can see up to 10 islands. Even with the Meltemi wind, this area is calm and you can enjoy sailing.
- In Simi go for a swim in Georgiou bay.
- Visit the monastery of Panormitis in Simi and the bay.
- Visit Alimia island near to Chalki island, which is a beautiful bay for a swim.
- Go for a swim in Pondamos beach in Chalki island.
AGATHONISI: Agathonisi or Gaidaros (Donkey), is a favorite of many cruisers. It is a small island with about 150 inhabitants living in two villages: 125 in the Megalo Chorio (Big Village), and 25 in the Mikro Chorio (Small Village), its tallest point is 189 m above sea level. Its area, combined with neighboring islets, is 14.5 km2. While Agathonisi belongs to the Dodecanese prefecture, most of its goods come from nearby Samos (only 15 nM to the N). It is an island out of the main tourist stream and it has many protected coves as well as a small but well sheltered harbour and ferry port, Ayios Yioryios.
ARKI: Arki is a small Greek island in the Dodecanese, situated three miles north of Lipsi and eight miles ENE of Patmos. The island has about 47 inhabitants, all in one hamlet in a deep inlet on the SW coast, where there is a small and rather shallow harbor, Port Augusta. It is not a very mountainous island, but very rocky and most of the inhabitants raise animals: sheep, goats, cows, and a few horses.
ASTYPALAIA: Astypalea is an isolated island with an area of 96.85 km2 with about 1600 inhabitants. While it belongs to the Dodecanese group, geographically and historically it is closer associated with the Cyclades. Chora is the larger town in Astypalea. It surrounds the Quirini castle. The town is charming with its white washed buildings and many nooks and crannies. Many of the old buildings are in disrepair and, like in so many other Greek islands, are unfortunately not being repaired but are being replaced by concrete monsters. People have become too affluent to want to keep up the old houses. This is still a nice, off the beaten track island, well worth a visit. Near the castle is the lovely church of Panayia Portaitisa. The view is wonderful. Walk through the old ramparts and then down through the town and back to Skala.
CHALKI: Chálki is a small island of 2 km and about 300 inhabitants located approximately 7 NM west of Rhodes. It is a mountainous off-the-beaten-track island with many sandy beaches. There are many nice neoclassical pastel colored houses surrounding the harbor whose owners have mostly immigrated and live in Florida. The main street is named Tarpon Springs Boulevard. Chálki famous for keeping its old music and traditional songs the 15 syllable mandinádes.
KALYMNOS: Kálymnos with an area of 109 km2 is the home of the best known sponge divers in Greece. In years past, they had a large fleet of boats which left the island every year after Easter and went to the shore of N. Africa for several months. Vathís is a deep fjord on the East side of the island. It is possible to go stern-to the short mole (on the E side, the W side is too shallow), although there is not much to tie your lines on to. The bottom is sand and weed and not always good holding. Make sure your anchor has penetrated the weed and it is not caught at the roots giving you a false sense of security. The shelter from the meltemi is excellent but there can be very strong gusts down the steep hills. The place is very attractive.
KOS: Kos is a fairly large and elongated island of the Dodecanese group, with an area of 290 km2. In antiquity Kos was famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Near the town (about 5 km) there are the substantial ruins of the Aesclepion where the ancient god of medicine Aeslepios, the son of Apollo, was worshipped. The modern town is dominated by the castle built by the Knights of Rhodes after the crusades. There are dangerous shoals N of Cape Kum and the sea can be very confused around the cape. Also, with a B meltemi there are very violent gusts near the SE shore of the island. Maintain a good distance off-shore.
LEROS: Leros is a fairly low island of 53 km2 and 8,000 inhabitants. It has many beautiful beaches and unspoiled villages and a wildly serrated coastline. Battle of Leros during the WW II when she was bombarded for over 50 days and finally invaded by the Germans in a dramatic landing. During the days of the junta Leros was a place of exile and torture housing the infamous prison of Partheni. The approaches to Leros are straightforward, most of the offshore islets being steep-to. If approaching the main harbour of Lakki from the north, however, be sure to avoid the group of above-water rocks extending about half a mile offshore just NW of the entrance. With a strong meltemi there are violent gusts when entering the bays of Lakki and Alindas. Also, with strong southerlies there are gusts and large swells in the bay of Lakki.
LIPSI: Lipsi is a small but neat island. Its town and harbor is very attractive and well kept. It seems that many of today's inhabitants had at one time immigrated to Australia and have now returned. They brought with them a certain amount of affluence and a more cosmopolitan outlook than one would expect on such a small island. The island has a well-protected harbor at the head of an inlet halfway along its southern coast and several good anchorages around its shores. It has a modest tourist trade that has, so far, not altered the island’s quiet and relaxed ambience.
NISIROS: Nisiros is an almost square shaped island with an active volcano whose caldera is about 4 km in diameter and is a "must visit" site. The island has an area of 41.6 km2 and a diameter of 8 km. Legend has it that Nisiros was a large boulder which during the battle of the Titans, Poseidon removed from Kos and hurled at the Titan Polyvotes, whom he crushed. Niseros is remote enough that several traditional customs still prevail. If one is lucky, one can still come across musicians playing traditional music. Most yachts head for the harbour of Pali roughly in the center of the north coast. The ferry harbor of Mandraki further west is not really suitable for yachts. Yiali is a small island is located 3 nmi NW of Nisiros. The island is an active quarry but has a sheltered anchorage on the south side.
PATMOS: Patmos, in addition to being a delightful island with many coves, is one of the most important places of the Christian religion. In the period between 81 and 96 AD St. John wrote the Apocalypse (Revelation) in a grotto not far from Skala, the harbor, now inside the Monastery of the Apocalypse half way up the hill from the harbor. The people of Patmos are very religious and it seems that at least half of the male population goes under the first name of Theologos which means "the theologian." The harbor, Skala, is an attractive and bustling with activity town. Many cruise ships visit it every day and disgorge hundreds of tourists, who are herded into buses for the Monastery. Most of these cruise ships do not stay very long and at night the town is more manageable. The bathing area adjacent to the old commercial harbor is surprisingly clean. The old town of Patmos is built around the Monastery on top of the hill and has many old houses. All together it is a very nice place to visit although in the summer months it is liable to be very hot.
PSERIMOS: Pserimos is a small island E of Kalymnos and N of Kos. It is subject to very violent gusts. The island has some lovely beaches. Approaches to Pharmakonisi are straightforward but with the meltemi there are violent gusts. The small village of Pserimos is situated in a cove on the W side of the island. The cove is somewhat protected from the meltemi but is subject to considerable swell. Unfortunately, during the summer days the little cove is very crowded by noisy day-trip caiques from Kos, and there is hardly any room for a yacht. Caution: There is a reef N of Cape Sphuri.
RHODES: Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese and the capital of the Dodecanese province. Because it is physically a lovely island with very mild winters it has become a year round vacation resort favored by many northern Europeans, in fact, there are more Scandinavians, British, and Germans in the island than native Greeks. The result of this popularity is local wealth and the building of many high-rise hotels.
SIMI: Sími used to be off the beaten track and its harbor Yialos, is a jewel of a town with colorful houses built up the steep slopes. Now it is an "in" place and in the summer it is crowded and the lovely harbor now sports the usual bars with their loud music. On the other hand, many of the abandoned houses have been restored. In the last few years, however, the level of tourism has been upgraded, featuring some upscale restaurants and less loud bars, along with more restorations
TILOS: Tilos is a fairly remote and off the beaten track island. It is not very picturesque but it is quiet and more true to its traditions than the more developed neighboring islands. Telos has had an interesting history. It seems that the island was connected to Asia Minor and elephants roamed its land. When the island was separated from the mainland around 10,000 years ago, the descendants of these elephants evolved into a more compact size. Remains of these small elephants have been excavated. The island now manages the SPA itself, planting trees, rehabilitating natural springs and encouraging traditional cereal crops in order to protect the habitat for these species. Details of the program, which is funded under the LIFE-Nature scheme of the European Commission, are available at the Tilos Information Centre 200m south of the harbour in Livadhia.