The Eastern Coast of Peloponnese
A journey to the Peloponnese coast
This sailing route extends at the eastern coast of Peloponnese, the southern part of mainland Greece. The home port is Nafplion, a historic town in Greece, as it constituted the first capital city of the new-born Greek state in the 19th century. The itinerary is of middle level of difficulty, because of the long distances that might be required, depending on your decision to sail as south as Kithira or a smaller overall distance. We offer also an alternative route, sailing as far as Monemvasia, avoid going farther south to Kithira and Elafonissos.
Wind force is unpredictable in this sailing area throughout the season; the Peloponnese coast is affected by the north, strong winds (meltemi) of July and August, although on a considerably lower level than the Cyclades islands. However, Peloponnese is also affected by the southern winds, or western winds, as was the case during most of our sailing trip.
The ports in the area are relatively safe but there are not too many or too big. Hence, you might prefer to spend some nights on anchor while there are many coves that offer shelter from north and western winds, but not so much with south and eastern ones. Staying on anchor is a great experience, especially in the region of Eastern Peloponnese. Nature is beautiful, with a lot of greenery and stiff mountains coming down to the sea level. The natural landscape creates a rare mixture between wildness and calmness!... A mixture that resembles to sailing in many ways...
Nafplion - Spetses - Monemvasia - Kithira - Elafonissos - Kiparissi - Porto Fokiano - Nafplion
The sailing trip starts from the port of Nafplion, usually late in the afternoon. Spetses island is a great sailing destination, depending on weather conditions. The main town has strong historic interest, as the island was powerful in the years of the Greek Independence Revolution, in the early 19th century. In the later years, more aristocratic houses were built in the island, keeping the tradition of a classy place. The Old port, at the Northeast of the island offers a few berths as well as the atmosphere of a glorious past.
Note: In case of a plan with shorter weekly route, you can spend two days in Spetses. The second day you can spend the morning exploring the town, and sail in the afternoon in one of the coves to spend the night. The beauty of the island is certainly worth more time.
The next day starts early for a longer trip to Monemvasia. Monemvasia is gifted with a spectacular rock near the coast, connected with a bridge to the mainland. Mounted on the rock is the Old Town, a Medieval (Byzantine) settlement, preserved to its historic condition. In the Old Town you can find a few restaurants and gift shops, adding to the amazing charm of the Castle. At the top of the rock there is the Byzantine Palace, but only ruins remain there nowadays. The atmosphere in the Old Town of Monemvasia is unique in Greece, which makes the place a unique destination.
Regarding berthing in Monemvasia, there is a small marina next to the town. Few spots are available as yachts often berth “side-to” but it offers shelter to the north winds, at least for a few yachts.
Note: Same as Spetses, if the total plan is more limited, you can choose to spend two nights in Monemvasia, ensuring more time to visit the Old Town. In case of a shorter route, Monemvasia can be the southernmost destination of your sailing trip.
The next day also includes a long trip toward south, actually the southernmost spot of the whole itinerary. Kithira is an island famous for its calmness and natural beauty, reputation that still stands true. Avlemonas on the southeast is a small, natural port and a very cute destination. Similarly, the Southeastern bay of the island is full with long or shorter beaches, most of them protected from the north and western winds. This amazing landscape, with the long beaches and the endless view of the sea to the south, gives the sense of total calmness; Kithira hides something inexplicable for its guests.
It is also worth visiting the port of Kithira, Kapsali, at the south coast of the island. It is a small place, the port has only few berthing spots and there is also a beach opposite of those spots. The area has a distinct natural beauty, composed of rock formations, the beach, the small village and a dry, island landscape. Depending on weather conditions, spending a night in Kapsali is a wonderful experience.
After Kithira, the trip continues back towards the north. The first destination is the island of Elafonissos and the famous, sandy beaches of the southern coves. The landscape is marvelous: long beaches with golden sands are situated one after the other, with sand dunes covering the area around them. The two coves of the southern coast offer very good protection to northern winds but attention must be paid to the western winds, which are common in the area on the absence of northern winds: the western winds get a southern direction into the coves, bringing the wind and mostly the waves inside. We spent the night in Elafonissos we anchored at the southeastern beach and enjoyed swimming and walking on the endless beach.
The next day we started early, because of the long route towards the north and the bay of Kiparissi. This can be a great sailing day with western or stronger, southern winds but more challenging with northern winds. In any case, sailing by the unspoilt, western coast of Peloponnese is a wonderful experience.
The bay of Kiparissi is an astonishing place. It is a very wide bay with the small village mounted by the coast, at the southern side of the bay. However, the little dock in front in the village is exposed to the swell that is created with northern winds, hence that place is suitable to berth only with specific weather conditions and a lot of attention is required.
Alternatively, there is another bay at the north side of the bay, protected more from the swell, as well as another small cove, at the southern side of the bay. Last option but also safe, is to stay on anchor near the beaches situated at the centre of the large bay. The landscape is beautiful: The calm, wide bay is surrounded by tall, stiff mountains full with greenery. The spectacle is calm and impressive at the same time! Like in other destinations of the route, the landscape gives a feeling of calmness and peacefulness.
Porto Fokiano is a large, deep cove, a few miles only to the north of Kiparissi. The landscape is equally wild and breath taking: There is a long beach with only 2-3 small houses, while the surroundings are composed of high, greenery hills down to the sea level. Overall, this can be a relaxing day as the actual distance is small, so, appreciating the beautiful nature is a great option for the day, the last one before the return to the home port.
We always like to start the last day early in the morning, so we can make the most of it, especially when we have a long sailing route ahead. Same for this case, we left Porto Fokiano after a morning swim heading north to the port of Nafplion. After a trip of 26 nautical miles, we had a stop near Astros, a cute, small village by the sea. The small port of Astros is also a safe alternative for staying overnight in case of a shorter sailing trip. The port is particularly safe to the north winds, as its long quay offers many berthing spots.
The small fishing-port of Sabateki is situated some 15 nautical miles to the North of Porto Fokiano. More than a beautiful swimming spot, Sabateki offers an option for overnight stay in the small but calm and picturesque port.
Early in the afternoon we continued our trip to Nafplion, completing a beautiful sailing trip in a unique sailing area.