World Wide Travel Guide: Sailing in the Western Peloponnisos

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Sailing in the Western Peloponnisos

The wind in the Western Peloponnisos during the summer months is predominately from the NW. It gets up around noon and dies down in the evening. As you progress further south the wind is more from the W - SW. The winter months from October to April sees winds predominately from the SE.

The coast of the Western Peloponnisos is in the most part high, rugged mountains, still often snow capped in the spring. The two principal ranges, Taiyetos and Parnon, run south ending at the capes of Matapan and Malea respectively.

Peloponnisos was originally an island but great geological upheavals united with the mainland. A later retreat by the sea formed the Isthmus of Corinth which in turn was cut in the 19th century to make the Corinth canal and made Peloponnisos an island again.

Katakolon. Go bow or stern to the quay either side of the central quay or alongside the quay itself. There is good shelter, the best being found to the south of the quay. Water is available on the quay and fuel can be delivered from the town. Most provisions are available but better shopping can be found at Pirgos. There are plenty of tavernas to choose from. This is the best place to leave a yacht and go to Olympia, about 25 miles away. Further to the south is Kiparissia. There is little shelter from winds from the NW-W and Kiparissia should be avoided in theses conditions. Go bow or stern to the quayed section of the breakwater or anchor off. There is water from the taverna near the quay and fuel can be obtained in the town. All provisions can be obtained here and there are waterfront tavernas and more can be found in the town. The town and the surrounding countryside are most attractive and Kiparissia is well worth a visit if conditions allow.

Thirty two miles to the west of Kiparissia lie the islands of Arpia and Stamfani. There is a bay on the south side of Arpia where yachts can anchor and water is available from wells ashore. Yachts should not visit or remain in the waters around these islands in any kind of unsettled weather, as seas are very turbulent.

Marathoupolis is on the mainland. It is a small harbour, unsuitable for yachts above 10m. Entry is not advised in strong NW winds and even moderate winds from this direction cause swell and make the entrance difficult. Yachts that do get in should go bows to the mole but it is likely to be crowded with fishing boat. Water and limited provisions can be found in the village. The view across to Nisos Proti is very attractive and almost worth the visit alone.

Pilos lies further to the south. There is a purpose built yacht marina here with lazy lines. Water is available in the marina or on the main pier. Fuel can be delivered to the pier and the marina. All provisions can be obtained and there is a good choice of tavernas both around the marina and in the town. Pilos was constructed by the French following the battle of Navarinon which saw the defeat and destruction of Turkish sea power.

5 miles to the south of Pilos is Methoni. Yachts can anchor of with good holding in mud or sand. There is good shelter from winds from the NW. Water is available on the breakwater. Most provisions and fuel ca be obtained in there village and there are tavernas both on the beach and in the town. A large Venetian fort guards the harbour and in Venetian times Methoni was renowned for its wine and pork. The hinterland is still intensively cultivated.

To the east is Finakounda. Yacht can go bow to the end of the breakwater or anchor off. Provisions can be obtained ashore and there are numerous tavernas catering in some part to the watersports centre. The setting of the village is wonderful, built around the beach and under the rocky crop.

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It is possible for a yacht to anchor in the harbour at Koroni. The bottom is a mix of mud, sand and weed with the odd large boulder. Not everywhere provides good holding. Water is not readily available but it may be possible to get a delivery by tanker. There is good shopping and tavernas in the town. Several off the tavernas specialise in charcoal grilled octopus. The town itself is attractive, built on a steep slope and partially within the Venetian fort.

Petalidhion is a small, attractive bay in the NW of the gulf of Messiniakos. There is good shelter except with winds from the NE or E. Fuel, water and most provisions are available in the village, which itself is attractive, set on the edge of the sandy beach.

Kalamata harbour provides excellent all round shelter. Yachts can go alongside the western quay or use the adjacent marina. Water and fuel are readily available on the quay. There is excellent shopping for all provisions with a supermarket within easy walking distance. There are numerous tavernas of a high quality, look out for fresh fish and char grilled octopus.

The large bay of Kitrou provides good shelter from the prevailing southerly winds. Yachts can anchor off the beach where convenient. The slopes around the bay are cultivated with olives and citrus trees. With the whitewashed villas dotted between them this is a very attractive spot. There are a few tavernas ashore but little else in the way of facilities.

Limeni is a large bay approximately 20 miles south of Kitrou. Although it is open to the west yachts will generally have no problems finding shelter here during the summer months. Yachts have a choice of two anchorages at Karavostasi in the NE of the bay or in the south at Limeni. There are tavernas ashore serving simple fare and the bays setting is very attractive and well worth a visit.

Sail around the headland of Matapan and you arrive in the gulf of Lakonikos. Asomato and Vathi are the first two inlets and are suitable anchorages in calm weather. Better shelter is to be found a little further north at Kayio. With winds from the W-SW yachts should anchor in the cove in the south of the bay. The holding is not good in hard sand with weed and rocks and care must be taken. There are alternative anchorages in the east and north of the bay and wind direction will dictate which is the most suitable. Facilities are limited, water is available and there are a few tavernas. It is sometimes possible to obtain fresh fruit and vegetables from a van that calls at the bay.

Yithion lies in the NW corner of the gulf. Yachts can go bow or stern to the mole where there is good holding in mud. Water can be found on the quay and fuel can be delivered. All provisions can be obtained in the town and there are some good fish restaurants here.

Plitra lies half way down the eastern side of the gulf. Yachts can go bow or stern to the outer end of the mole. Holding is not great on the rocky bottom and a trip line should be used on the anchor. Shelter is good in all but southerlies. Water may be available from local sources but the nearest provisions are in a village some 4km away. There are though several tavernas around the shore. The sandy beaches are good and this is a good place for snorkelling.

The island of Kithera and Andikathera lie to the SW of the gulf and make up an island bridge between the Peloponnisos and Crete further to the south. Pelagia is the ferry port for the island. Winds from the NE make the harbour untenable. Kapsali is on the south coast of Kithera. Yachts should go to the western cove and go stern to or alongside the outer half of the quay. Seek the permission of the port police to berth here. The bottom is a mix of sand rock and weed and once the anchor is in provides reasonable holding. Water is available but limited provisions can be obtained around the harbour with more available in the chora. The harbour setting, the chora and the fort all combine to make this an attractive place to visit.

Potamou, the small harbour on Andikathera is unsafe in all but calm weather and most yachts avoid the place.


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