10th - 30th June Eastern Pelopponese
We have spent the last 3 weeks touring the Eastern
After spending an afternoon in a bar with a pool on
Angistri uploading our last blog and enjoying a swim
we decided it was time to sail south and explore the
Eastern Pelopponese. This is new cruising ground for
us. Our friends on Kouros were to be our guides!
We have an apology to make to Yacht Kouros before we continue
with our blog. Yacht Kouros have transformed how we do our
washing (in a bucket) by donating a posser
to us. We failed to mention this in our last blog despite
the significant contribution it has made to living on Madison.
Yacht Kouros we are sorry for our omission.
We left Angistri for an overnight stay in Poros (we seem
to spend a lot of time here) and another quick Lidl shop before
heading for our first stop of our Pelopponese tour, Ermioni.
On the way we tested our
cruising chute some more and stopped for lunch in Derrick
Bay on the little isle of Dhokas (well we had to as we were
sailing with Derrick and Diane). Ermioni is a beautiful village
with a lovely big park which, is something we rarely see on
our travels. This meant that Smudge could have a great walk
and run around off the lead without worrying about cars and
We are moving on most days, so after 1 night in Ermioni we
threw off our ropes and headed west towards Porto Heli. However
there were storm clouds brewing with thunder and lightning
in the distance. It looked to be blowing away from us, so
we crossed our fingers and just hoped it would stay that way
No Chance! The wind changed and the dark clouds came
over us and then came the rain. It wasn't horrendous but equally
it wasn't pleasant. Smudge was secured below and we had our
wet weather gear and life jackets on. The positive was the
wind was blowing behind us and we did manage to sail only
on our main sail and get 5.5kts. It didn't last too long and
very soon we found ourselves in Porto Heli in a few hours
and made up for it with a great take out pizza for dinner.
The next day we were on the move south again, this time to
a tiny little place called Kiparissi. Yacht Kouros knew a
lovely little quay in a cove with a chapel (named, guess what?
Cove) where we could go sterns to and have a BBQ. It was
about 1 mile from the village itself and very quiet. The cove
was idyllic and we enjoyed a great night around the BBQ, chatting
and star gazing. Smudge enjoyed it too as she got prawns,
sausage and pork (mostly from Diane). The next morning we
took Smudge for a walk into the village on a lovely footpath
that led from the chapel around the hillside.
Our next stop was to be Monemvasia and would be the furthest
south we were going to go. However we stopped for lunch in
the village of Ierakas and we couldn't leave as it was too
beautiful a place. Monemvasia was going to have to wait. So
we stayed in Ierakas overnight instead. Smudge went swimming
with us for the first time. She didn't seem to mind too much.
The temperatures here have been around 30-37 degrees so it
must have been very refreshing for her. After her swim it
was time for her bath as she hadn't had one in over a month
(ok time to chuck buckets of cold water over her and shampoo
her). There was a lovely climb which we did up to an old mycenean
acropolis. We all enjoyed a delicious meal out in Ierakas
too. Diane and I shared Prawn Saganaki and Grilled mussels
Finally on 15th June we had a lovely sail down to Monemvasia.
The actual port is called Yefira. Monemvasia is a medieval
town on a headland that is slowly being restored to it's former
self. We visited there the next day. The fortifications and
city wall can be seen from a distance as you sail in and it
is a spectacular view. No motorised vehicles are allowed in
the city walls so it is a lovely place to explore with it's
tiny streets and winding alleys and narrow stairs. We spent
a lovely few hours exploring Monemvasia including climbing
out of the town to the top of the hill to see the ruins which
form the old citadel and upper town. We definitely recommend
seeing this place to everyone. There are a few hotels within
Monemvasia itself which would be fabulous to stay in.
There were some heavy winds forecast that were to be worse
in the south of the Pelopponese than the North so Yacht Kouros
and ourselves decided to head north so that we could be away
from the worst of it. Our next stop would be the lovely village
and beaches of Leonidhion. This was a 30+ plus mile leg so
we set out sharp so we would be in for teatime. We got sterns-to
no problem. There was a slightly worrying sight as we approached
as some of the harbour wall had collapsed. A local later told
us that in February 2012 there had been a Force 11 wind that
had brought it down. Thankfully that wasn't forecast while
we were there. We spent a lovely couple of days in Leonidhion.
The beaches were lovely and Smudge enjoyed some more swimming.
She's getting very good at it.
We proceeded north for a night in Astrous, which is a big
beach town with a castle on the hill. This was another lovely
place and we took Smudge for a walk up the hill to the castle
in the morning. The views were lovely. We didn't want to get
stuck in Astrous so proceeded out to the city of Navplion
after only one night. Unfortunately the winds were on the
nose and it was anything from a Force 4 - Force 6 and not
very pleasant. Thankfully it was only a ten mile hop.
used to be the capital of Greece a long time ago. It is a
beautiful place with a lovely old town. We stayed there forfour
days as there was a lot to explore. There is fortification
on the hill in the city, called Palamidi, which is nearly
1000 steps to climb so we took the challenge and have done
that and spent a few hours exploring it. Diane didn't want
to climb 1000 steps so she dogsat Smudge for us. We have also
hired a car with Yacht Kouros and we all went visit the ancient
ruins of Mycenae
(a mere 3000-5000 years old). It was a fantastic day out.
It was here that Smudge has also had her hair cut which helps
her keep a bit cooler. We just keep throwing water on her
to help her out too. We have enjoyed an couple of meals out
here aswell as the obligatory socialising on either Kouros
After we left Navplion we spent a couple of nights anchoring
in Khaidhari and Koiladhia. Both of which are great anchorages
and lovely villages. A couple that had chartered a yacht for
their holidays, Siobhan
and Pat (we had originally met them briefly in Leonidhion)
also joined us all for an evening socialisng on Kouros, in
Khaidhari and for a lovely lunchstop on Madison and swim at
another great anchorage between the two places the next day.
The water was so clear and deep and warm it was fabulous.
Koiladhia also has a fantastic cave to explore, Francthi Cave.
with evidence of people living there from the Paleolithic
age and it was fascinating to see.
We then left Koiladhia to head back to Ermioni for a couple
of nights. We really like this village and I love the fact
it has the park for Smudge to run around in. We had a great
sail up to Ermioni too and managed to get the cruising chute
out for about half of the trip. We also had a lovely meal
in a local restaurant which in return let us hook up to their
power (we have been recharging everything like crazy and using
our fan without worrying about the batteries) and we can also
get their wifi from our boat (bonus). They had rabbit stifado
on the menu which I couldn't resist and Smudge didn't mind
too much either as there was enough to take home in a doggy
bag for her dinner the next day. Whilst in Ermioni a superyacht
lost something overboard and Karl offered to scubadive to
try and find it for them. He didn't but in return for his
trouble the owner gave us two boxes of fish and some beers.
So on our final night in Ermioni we had a lovely meal with
the fish, calamari and also some chicken souvlaki on Madison
with Yacht Kouros and a friend of theirs, Mike (Yacht Atlas)
who had just come in beside us an hour or so earlier.
After Ermioni, we made our way back to Poros in the Saronic
Gulf. We seem to have been here quite a lot.
So we had a fabulous 3 weeks cruising and enjoyed the supermoon
too that was big and bright across Europe. Our plan is now
to make our way back up past Aegina/Angistri over the next
week and then visit a couple of places on the north west of
the Saronic that we haven't been to yet. We will then say
our farewells to Yacht Kouros and head through the Corinth
Canal and back into the Ionian.
(Siobhan and Pat - if you read this, email us as we have
some great photos of you guys sailing)