Greece

Greece …

Borders and Travel Permits

Greece is a full member of both the EU and the Schengen Area. Non-EU passports require a visa with the cost and duration varying by nationality. It seems that visas can be bought in advance via the internet or upon entry. Permission for the boat to move in Greek waters is the DEKPA form. The form takes on different rules depending on whether the flag is EU or non-EU. Also it’s regulations seem to change each year – with some announced changes never taking place. And in our experience is interpreted differently on different islands. We know of no definitive link and would rather suggest using Google to research it.

Money Matters

Being a member of the Euro-zone, the currency in Greece is fully convertible. Although the serial financial crises full rumours of a return to the Drachma.

Diesel Fuel
Diesel fuel is available at most large marinas.  The price of diesel in Greece was similar  to the price in Europe until January 2017 when the tax was increased by 15%.

Weather Forecasts

The University of Athens has:

The Poseidon System at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research has:

The Turkish Meteo Office has:

Most weather forecasts are GRIB based, and it seems that the GRIB models have trouble with cluttered areas with scattered islands which have high mountains. As this description pretty well suits the Greeks islands, the weather forecasts can be quite erratic. Quite often the final day of the 8-day forecast will have hurricane force winds, which disappear or decrease as the date moves closer. Also the forecast wind will flip 180 degrees  without warning. Torrential downpours will appear on one forecast and be gone on the update 6 hours later.

Possibly more important is that sudden winds will appear without warning. The only consolation being that such winds rarely last more than an hour or two. But having a seen a flotilla charter get hit by such a blast from the south at 08:00 on a sunny day with a forecast of northerly 10 knots, it was not surprising that some of the boats ended up on the shore (which luckily was sandy).

Charts & Pilots
Maringret used Navionics digital charts. The origin and age of the chart data is not clear, all labels are in the Latin alphabet. Some harbours were not on the charts and some were off by up to one nautical mile.

Telephony
Mobile telephony in quite good given the challenging geogrpahy to be covered. Cosmote is the government operator and offers 4GB of data for €30 per month. Vodaphone operates in Greece and is slightly cheaper – we have not used their service other than in harbour. Wind also operates and is cheaper again although some boats have mentioned gaps in coverage – we have not used Wind. To be fair to Cosmote, we have had excvellent service from them on the islands we have visited.

WiFi
WiFi is sometimes everywhere and sometimes impossible to find. Large marinas generally have it. Generally the more modern an establishment (e.g. a chain coffee shop outlet) the more likely it is to have free WiFi while the more rural an establishment, the less likely. Villages near harbours often have no internet access. We found it expedient to carry internet via the mobile phone.

Cooking Gas

Provisioning & Locating Company Outlets

The website POI Index – Database has lists of locations for more than 500 different companies and stores in Greece – all user contributed. Stores such as Lidl, Nisan, MyMarket, Gucci, MediMarkt. Once a company is selected in the pop-up menu, then the locations will be displayed on the Google Map on the page. By clicking the house icon (labelled “Κεντρική”, and you must click the letters, not the icon) at the top of the page you will have a list of icons for the companies listed on the site. (It might be useful to have Google translate the page). By clicking More (“Περισσότερα …”) under the leftmost column, a display of all companies will appear. Click on the company you are interested in and the webpage will prepare an export file of the sites of that company for the navigation program of your choice. It would be really nice to find a similar facility for other countries.

Chandlery

As Athen/Piraeus is so large and dominates both the immediate area and the country, we have given it a page here.

For the rest of the country, any notes on chandlery options are in the moorage notes.

Moorage Notes

These are our moorage notes on Greece, listed roughly from the Athens area (actually from Oropos which is the administrative region next to Attica where Athens lies) and then clockwise around through the NE and continuing down the Turkish coast:

Attica: Oropos
Depth: dry storage, lift by travel lift
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water, electricity, showers
Description: Oropos Marine (0295) 37344, have travel lift, 3 km from Oropos town
email: chris.g.stratos@gmail.com, mobile: 694 848 7501
€10/m lift-out, €10/m/month storage, €10/m lift-in
Problems or Issues:
Oropos & Chalkoutsi harbours
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, provisioning
Description: Maringret did not stay in either harbour but many boats did before and/or after lifting out/in. Some places with lazy lines, places available to transient boats will vary.
Problems or Issues:
Boat Club, Chalkoutsi (more information as a wintering location)
Depth: dry storage, lift by sledge
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water, electricity, showers, repairs can be arranged, local stores, busses to Athens
Description: Maringret did not stay in Boat Club but we certainly wish we had.
Problems or Issues:

Chalkida

Chalkida on Evia island is a very conveniently located city with great yacht services. As well it has a efficient railway link to Athens, departing every 2 hours. The opening bridge to Evia Island is located at Chalkida and there are 2 main options for mooring: the anchorage, the yacht basin.

Chalkida also has one of the nicest chandleries in Greece: Barbouris Chandlery run by Spiros, Helena, Dimitris and Lena. Most things can be ordered from Athens for next day delivery. Spiros and Dimitris can undertake most repairs on yachts. An excellent stainless welder is available through the shop. All staff speak great English.

Chalkida has most services and all major food stores including 3 Lidl stores.

Evia: Chalkida anchorage
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage and provisioning ashore
Description: A lovely anchorage in 10 metres over mud with excellent holding. Anchor in the far west and the only sounds will be water fowl and the train every 2 hours. Easy access to Chalkida by dinghy to either the Attica side (there is a small dock with day fishing boats) or into the yacht basin behind the freight wharfs.
Problems or Issues:
Evia: Chalkida Yacht basin
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, showers, fuel (by truck), provisioning
Description: Some berths may be available for transient boats, depending on absence of berth holders (all berths are privately owned). Enquire at the bridge office (just inside the gate to the commercial wharfs) or at the yacht clubs in the yacht basin.
Problems or Issues:
Evia: Chalkida Bridge Transit Moorings
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, showers (in yacht basin), fuel (by truck), provisioning
Description: Alongside moorings immediately north and south of the opening bridge. Sections reserved for transiting yachts are painted red. Booking office is at the street entrance to the freight wharf, immediately after the gate on the left. They will accept payment and supply a photocopied map showing where the Port Police office is which is where you will be informed about the bridge opening.
Problems or Issues:
Evia: Nea Artaki anchorage and harbour
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, fuel (by truck), provisioning
Description: Anchor outside the harbour in 10+ metres over sand, or anchor near the chapel at the harbour entrance in 4-5 metres. No transient berths in harbour but there may be empty berths available for short term stays. The city bus to Chalkida leaves from the quay, a Lidl and MyMarket stores are within walking distance north of the village and a chandlery is located beside the MyMarket food store.
Problems or Issues:
Evia: Limni harbour
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, fuel (by truck), provisioning
Description: A small fishing harbour where up to 6 yachts can go alongside on the inside. A mini market and some small convenience stores, a post office and an ATM. Water and electricity on the quay through the Evia system of pedestals, garbage on the quay and ashore.
Problems or Issues:
Evia: Kolpos Edipsou anchorage
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: A very deep bay with steep sides. The southern shore of the western arm is filled with moorage bouys while the north shore is very steep with little area suitable for anchoring. North of the light on the southern shore and slightly to the east there is an area where the depths are suitable for anchoring with limited swinging room. Good weather anchorage only over sand.
Problems or Issues:
Agios Konstantinos anchorage
Depth: 10m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: There is a shelf on the eastern side with anchoring depths of 10 metres over sand. Some ferry and water taxi traffic. Good weather anchorage only.
Problems or Issues:
Thermopylae anchorage
Depth: 10m over mud
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: 10m over mud. As the siltation since 480BC has dropped 20m and 9km of deposit, you are a very long distance from anywhere. Walking to the modern town of Thermopylae would entail crossing kilometres of marsh, bog and farm land. The location of the ancient battle is viewable through binoculars. There is a large area on the south side of the bay where easily anchorable depths can be found. When the Meltemi is runing, it will come down the channel and enter this bay.
Problems or Issues:

Volos Bay

There are a number of moorages in the Volos Bay, most of which are exposed to northerlies

Achillios harbour
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water from stand pipe, fuel on town quay, limited provisioning
Description: A quay and breakwater, both fitted with lazy-lines. 3 mini-markets, bus to Volos from in front of the church. A yacht maintenance company run by Andreas Beneder (who maintains the lazy-lines) is located in Achillios (benederyachting@gmail.com). Most repairs can be handled or arranged. Water, electricity and garbage on town quay.
Problems or Issues:
Nies anchorage
Depth: 10m over mud
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: Anchor in 10m over mud and sand at the south of the bay. Rather peaceful although Maringret was swarmed by endless common flies.
Problems or Issues:
Amaliopoli anchorage (unnamed cove north of village)
Depth: 10m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: Anchor in 10m over sand, unknown facilities in the village. The Navionics charts list the area as a “military prohibited zone” but there was no sign of this with yachts coming and going, sailing and anchoring.
Problems or Issues:
Ormos Vathoudi anchorage
Depth: 12m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: Much of the most sheltered area with easy depths for anchoring is filled with permanent mooring buoys. The remaining are is less sheltered and generally 10m or deeper. The sheltering island has virtually no anchorable depths as it is very sheer.
Problems or Issues:

Halkidiki – Sithonia Peninsula

Much busier than the pilot book suggests. Although this may have been desolate and forgotten at one point, it is now on the cruising and chartering maps. Many of the villages will not have ATMs or phone stores to top up your phones. Nea Moudania to the west seemed to have most services as did Ierissos to the East. Nikiti on the middle finger does have an ATM (but only a Vodaphone outlet, not Cosmote or Wind). Nikiti does, however have a Lidl food store. Yacht charters operate out of both Nikiti harbour and Nea Marmaras harbour.

Porto Koufo anchorage
Depth: 12m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore, water ashore (on quay), fuel from station on road (by container or truck), limited provisioning
Description: Much of the north end with easy depths for anchoring is filled with permanent mooring buoys. South of this the bottom falls away quickly so it is hard to have swinging room and remain free of the permanent buoys. 2 mini-markets (although the one on the main roadway is of questionable use for boats). Greek cooking gas can be purchased at the mini-market near the quay. Diesel available from the filling station 200m from the quay on the main roadway – the tanker truck will come down to the quay. Bus to Nea Marmara, Nikiti and on to Thessaloniki. Popular with the charter operations in the area so is busy on Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. Swamps at the south end supply mosquitos. Although the protection from the elements is very good, most of the danger is from the variety of charter operations – both Greek flagged ones which usually carry the company name on the boom or burgees and the non-Greek flagged EU boats which are also bare boat operations and get a new crew each week.
Problems or Issues:
Sykia anchorage
Depth: 8-10m over sand & weed
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: A large bay with anchoring depths, completely open to the east. Some facilities ashore (we did not get time to venture ashore). Gets very rolly with any easterly wind.
Problems or Issues:

Diasporos Island (and Vourvourous village)

Note: our Navionics charts were completely wrong for the area of Diasporos Island. They show islands, shallows and deep areas that don’t exist. The Eagle Ray charts are also useless as they have no detail (the Diasporos Island area in covered in an section of chart paper 1 cm by 1 cm). We used the chartlets in the Heikell pilot book which proved accurate although not as detailed as a full chart.

This is probably the gem on the Chalkidiki. Virtually free of charter operations but inundated with day-rental power boats. Of course the renters have no experience or training and race around at full throttle regardless of swimmers in the water and anchored boats. Maringret got hit by wind surfers who could go downwind with ease (we were ‘lucky’ enough to be downwind of them). The jet skis and power boats have discovered that the best experience is to weave in and out of the anchored boats and watch them rock.There are 3 supermarkets in Vourvourous village and a fuel station out on the main road. Holding on the south of Diasporos Island is weedy and so good once you break through the weed. Weekends are worse for water traffic, overcast days are the best as they all stay in their hotels.

Ormos Mesopanayia anchorage
Depth: 12m with mixed holding
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage and provisioning ashore (in Vourvourous village)
Description: anchor on west side of island
Problems or Issues: variety of day-rental boats and wind surfers
Ormos Kriftos (Diasporos Island) anchorage
Depth: 12m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: A long bay running from the north. Room to anchor and swing near the south.
Problems or Issues:
  • most shoreline seems to be private property
  • approximately 10 rental day-boats per hour. They come in at full throttle, do a U-turn in the shallow end (and around any anchored boats) and exit at full throttle. Some will do a circle or two while at the head of the bay. The wife is usually on the bow taking a selfie while this takes place. Although a picturesque place, it is anything but relaxing.
Ormos Ftelies bay anchorage (Ammouliani island)
Depth: 5m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: A small bay with commercial beach at the head and rocky sides.
Problems or Issues: Limited swinging room, really a fair weather anchorage. More than one boat would require very calm conditions
Skyros: Ormos Renes
Depth: 12m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues: wind flipped 180 degrees
Skyros: Ormos Tristomou
Depth:
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: we did not anchor but as of 2016 the military facilities were abandoned
Problems or Issues:  listed as military area
Skyros: Ormisko Linaria
Depth: 10m with heavy weed
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: xxx
Description: main harbour anchorage can be violent with white water, lot of weed in anchorage, some noise from beach, not a place for a strong meltimi
Problems or Issues:
Peristera: Ormos Peristera
Depth: 10m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues:  lots of weed, night fishing with spotlights, erratic wind and not a lot of swinging room without reaching sides
Skiathos: Koukanaries
Depth: 12m over patchy weed & sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, showers & toilets ashore, limited provisioning, bus into Skiathos town 4 times per hour (€2)
Description: bouys for swimming area at 10m mark; some water toys and music from beach; 2 mini markets (and restaurants and bars) on road around lagoon behind the beach
Problems or Issues: there is no room in the small harbour to east (the day boats offload there); pier to the west is used by the water taxi and dive boats
Thassos: Nea Limani harbour
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, provisioning, fuel (by tanker truck)
Description: Go alongside in a large harbour located between the old harbour and the ferry docks. This is a popular location for charter boats from Kavala and they all want to be on the innermost portion where the water tap is located and where the walk to the tavernas is the shortest. Better to moor towards the outer end of the breakwater, there will be some ferry swell but much fewer neighbours. The NW is a rare wind here but when it arrives with little warning, it will pin boats moored on the breakwater portion closest to the water outlet, apparently the wind has sunk 3 boats there according to people in the harbour. Diesel truck comes to the quay, garbage at the end of the quay,
ample food shopping in the town.
Problems or Issues:
Limnos: Myrina
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: quay and large anchorage, garbage and toilets on quay, water on quay, most services in town
Description: old castle above town
Problems or Issues:
Limnos: Ormos Kavos, Moudros Bay
Depth: 10m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description:
Problems or Issues:
Limnos: Moudros town quay
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: large concrete quay, most services in town
Description: multiple anchorages on approach
Problems or Issues:
Lesvos: Mytilene
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: Setur marina (the only one in Greece) with usual services, all services available in town.
Description: No dedicated chandlery but some fishing stores carry limited yacht parts, and will order from Piraeous.
Problems or Issues: limited lift out capability (8 tonne mobile crane)
Lesvos: Scala Loutra
Depth: 10m over mud
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage & water & toilet on quay, limited provisioning
Description: very protected anchorage with good holding in mud. Small village has limited services, bus to Mytiliene leaves from square behind quay, every 90 minutes.
Problems or Issues:
Lesvos: Ormos Kavourolimni
Depth: 10m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: none
Description: anchor near fixed mooring for a sailing yacht
Problems or Issues:
Lesvos: Plomari town quay
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water, electricity, provisioning
Description:
Problems or Issues: Maringret did not stay here after friends described the surge that occurs in the harbour. Some boat were repeatedly put against the wall and sustained damage. Instead we took the bus from Scala Loutra via Mytilene to Plomari.
Lesvos: Ormos Apothekes
Depth: 10m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: protected anchorage with small village
Problems or Issues:
Lesvos: Sigri
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore, limited provisioning, bakery, cooking gas
Description: small anchorage south of town within large bay
Problems or Issues:

 

Khios, unfinished marina
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage
Description: abandoned marina north of the town harbour, a small fishing harbour is immediately to its north. Old windmills mark the entrance. A large MyMarket food store is across the road and 500m to the south. The large building with its back to the marina is a hospital and has ATMs in the foyer. Town centre is a 20 to 30 minute walk south along the road. All services in town. A Lidl is located south of the town near the airport. The marina was abandoned during construction and never operational. Mooring is done at one’s own risk. No services available although the town provides a garbage receptacle and there is non-potable water at a viewpoint on the main road, between the marina and the fishing harbour. Various local businesses have signs on the breakwater wall. A local hardware store, with a fisherman’s chandlery in the basement, is located on the walk into town. On the righthand side, the name is XXXX. This is a good spot to pull in and quickly provision or look for a boat part.
Problems or Issues:
Samos: Ormos Asprokhorti
Depth: 8-10m over sand (and plastic refuse)
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: The hourglass shaped anchorage which now has a sewage plant at the entrance receives swell in northerly winds. In southerly winds receives erratic gusts as winds force their way over hill or around either end, even have violent gusts from north. Impossible to anchor safely in strong southerly winds. Holding is patchy sand and weed with large collections of sunken fishing debris.
Problems or Issues:
Samos: Ormos Mourtia
Depth: 10m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: nice view of Kuşadasi
Problems or Issues:  very deep, have to anchor close to shore
Samos: Posidonio
Depth: 6-10m over sand & weed
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: one restaurant on waterfront, rest of village seems to be seasonally let apartments. Possibly a small convenience store in season. No obvious transportation out of village (aside from calling a taxi from Pythagoria).
Problems or Issues:  crowded anchorage
Agathonisi
Depth: 12m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: none
Description: Ormos Poros and Palos
Note: Navionics chart data is very wrong for these coves. Both depth and location of landmass disagree with GPS and depth sounder. At one point the chart will place you ashore when you are in 12m of waters. Only edges are shallow enough to anchor. Winds turned 180 during the night when we stayed there.
Problems or Issues:
Pserimos
Depth: 8m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore
Description: the most impressive collection of coloured fishing debris (i.e. garbage) on the bottom. Old tires and even pieces of furniture. In the corner there is a breakwater for open fishing boats which a line can be attached to.
Problems or Issues:  couch on ocean floor
Kos marina
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water, electricity, provisioning, lift out
Description: €31 per night
Marina from 2010 on the NE of the island. Has a variety of services (chandlery, sailmaker, fuel, etc.). Much information is available from the main reception. Town centre is about 15 minutes walk. Lidl can be reached by using the #4 city bus which leaves Dolphin Square (the roundabout at the west end of the old harbour, has a dolphin statue in the middle of the roundabout) every 90 minutes. The bus does a loop down the island and only runs in a clockwise direction on the route. So you take one bus out, get off at the stop for Lidl (the stop is just before Lidl and the Lidl sign is visible from the stop), then 90 minutes later, the next bus will come along in the same direction and you will get on and finish the route, being dropped back at Dolphin Square. Marina reception has schedules for the city busses. WiFi must be paid for.
Problems or Issues:
Simi: Pethi
Depth: 8m with patchy weed and sand, indifferent holding
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage ashore, limited provisioning
Description: A small village which is more like a suburb to the main town on Simi. A couple of mini-markets in the village, the yellow (air conditioned) bus stops along the water front road (which is the only road). Other boats have reported anchoring here and taking the bus into the main town to clear in/out (although we didn’t try this). The harbour will fill up on weekends or Turkish holidays as all the boats come over. When this happens mooring and having swinging room will be a nightmare. Other boats have reported that although this looks like a bolthole for westerly weather, the winds will often flip directions and pile water into the bay, which, combined with the poor holding, is not a good combination.
Problems or Issues:  swinging room when crowded
Rhodos: Lidl Bay
Depth: 8m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: xxx
Description: A large area of 8m between what Heikell describes as the “unfinished boat yard” and the new marina (operating since about 2014 according to locals). Very good holding in sand, dinghy ashore or into the “boat yard”. A migrant village has been set up on the outside of the boat yard and some boats reported problems with leaving dinghies or shopping on the beach while ferrying supplies out to the boat. We secured the dinghy in the boat yard and had no problems. As of 2016 there was a very large My Market food store opening across the street from Lidl. There is a bus stop at the top of the road up from the boat yard with busses running into Rhodos centre.
Problems or Issues:

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