Circumnavigating the Peloponnese

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WorldMediterraneanGreeceIonian SeaAegean SeaCircumnavigating the Peloponnese
Circumnavigating the Peloponnese
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Peloponnese
MORE notes about the passage

Description

The circumnavigation of the Peloponnese can be a challenge to the cruiser because of the many different weather conditions and the length of the cruise. On the other hand it can be very rewarding because of the variety of its ports and anchorages and the opportunities for sightseeing this part of Greece steeped in history.

The Peloponnese or Pelopónnisos (Πελοπόννησος) is one of the largest geometrical features of mainland Greece. It covers an area of some 21,549 km2 and it may be considered a large island since the Corinth Canal separates it from the rest of the Greek mainland. It is mountainous region and there are three large capes on its south side that give it its characteristic shape, These capes are Cape Maleas in the East, Cape Tenaron or Matapan and Cavo Grosso both the middle, and Mount Taygetus on the west.

The history of Pelopónnisos starts from the Paleolithic times but it was during the Bronze Age when a brilliant civilization the Mycenaean civilization was centered there. The Mycenaeans, especially the people centered in Mycenae, Sparta, and Pylos were the heros immortalized by Homer in his two epic poems: the Iliad and the Odyssey. The name Pelopónnisos, Pelops' island, is derived from the Greek Mythology.

In classical times the Peloponnese was dominated by Sparta on the south, and Corinth on the north east, but also it was the home to the Pan Hellenic (including all the Greek city-states) Olympic games in Olympia on the north west. in 146 BC the Romans conquered Greece and the Peloponnese became the roman province of Achaea. The Roman were succeeded by the Byzantines who held the Peloponnese until the empire was overran, in 1204 AD, by the Franks and the Venetians of the Fourth Crusade. They divided the region between them as a number of principalities. The Byzantines recaptured their capital, Constantinople, in 1261 AD and in 1308 established in Pelopónnisos Despotate of Morea with its capital the mountain city of Mystras, overlooking ancient Sparta. in October 1443, the prince of this Despotate, Constantine XI Palaiologos became the last Byzantine emperor. He did not last long, in May 29, 1453 the Ottomans under Mehmed II sacked Constantinople and the emperor was killed while defending his city. By 1458 and until 1827 the Peloponnese was under the Ottoman Empire. There were some exception to this. The Venetians managed to capture some harbors and the rugged Mani Peninsula, with constant guerilla warfare remained semi-independent.

The Greek War of Independence from the Ottomans declared in the Pelopónnisos town of Kalavryta on March 25, 1821. Pelopónnisos played a decisive ro;e during this war and was the scene of many battles. The war effectively ended with the sea Battle of Navarino on 20 October 1827. In 1829, the Peloponnesian town of Nafplion became the capital of the newly established state of Greece.

Charts

BA
189 Nisos Sapiénza to Nisos Paxoi
682 Gulf of Kalamata
1030 Southern entrance channels to the Aegean Sea
1031 Yerakas to Kea
1600 Korinthiakós Kólpos - Diórigha Korinthou
1657 Saronikós Kólpos
1685 Nisís Venetico to Nísos Spétsai including the channels between Akra Malléas and Kríti Yerakas
Imray-Tetra
G13 Gulfs of Patras and Corinth
G14 Saronic and Argolic Gulf
G15 Southern Peloponnisos
NIMA
54287 PatraikosKolpos & Approaches
54289 Korinthiakos Kolpos
54301 Kalamai and Approaches
54303 Lakonikos Kolpos S Greece
54338 Approaches to (A) Korinthiakos and (B) Isthmia
54340 Nisos Spetsai - N. Vorioi Sporadhes
54341 Navplion and Appr Saronic Gulf Greece
54344 Saronicos Kolpos & K. Petalion
Greek
22 Ionio Sea - Southern Part Zakynthos I. to C. Tainaro
40 Patraikos Kolpos
43 Kriti I. - Wastern Part Cape Tainaro to Milos I.
232 Korinthiakos Kolpos
413 Saronikos Kolpos
414 Poros mechri Monemvasia
415 Ydra to Sikinos
431 Monemvasia to Souda Bay


Weather

The weather while circumnavigating the Peloponnese can be best described separately for each section of the cruise:

  1. East side - Here the weather of the Aegean Sea dominates, conditions however tend to be milder.
  2. South side - The weather here is influenced by the capes. For details see South Peloponese.
  3. West side - Here the weather is that of the Ionian Sea. For details see Ionian Sea Weather.
  4. North side - For weather details see Gulf of Patras and Gulf of Corinth.

Weather Windows

The best time to circumnavigating the Peloponnese is late Spring to early Autumn (May to September).

In general this is not a heavily cruised area and you, most likely, will not experience the crowded condition that prevail in the Aegean and the Northern Ionian Seas during the summer months.

Navigation

It is assumed that you start your Circumnavigation from the E side of the Corinth Canal. This is not necessary. You can start from convinient location.

The other assumption is that you sail in clockwise direction. This direction has a slight advantage during the suggested weather windows. The northerly meltemi at this time is stronger in the Aegean Sea so you will be sailing there down wind, while in the Ionian Sea the northerly headwinds will be weaker. So the clockwise direction is slightly more advantageous then the counterclockwise direction.


Communication

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Possible Departure Points

Note: You can start from any convenient location.

Route/Suggested Stopovers

  1. Start from Isthmia/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BCorinth_Canal.23Isthmia_East_End.7CIsthmia.5D.5DWaterway-canal icon Isthmia [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Isthmia|Isthmia]] 37°54.96′N, 23°0.61′E (Isthmia, East End), the east entrance of the Corinth Canal.
  2. Sail 26 nM S to Epidhavros/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BWest_Saronikos.23Palea_Epidhavros.7CEpidhavros.5D.5DHarbour icon Epidhavros [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Epidhavros|Epidhavros]] 37°38.3′N, 23°09.5′E where you can, if there is a performance, take a taxi to the Ancient Theater.
  3. From Epidhavros continue to the wooded island of Poros/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPoros.5D.5DHarbour icon Poros [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Poros|Poros]] 37°30.2′N, 23°27.21′E , 19 nM.
  4. Next, you visit the historic and picturesque island of Hydra/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BHydra.5D.5DHarbour icon Hydra [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Hydra|Hydra]] 37°21.1′N, 23°28′E , 13 nM.
  5. Sail 17 nM W to Spetses/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSpetses.5D.5DHarbour icon Spetses [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Spetses|Spetses]] 37°15.81′N, 23°09.87′E , another wooded and historical island.
  6. We then go 4.5 nM across to Porto Heli/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPorto_Heli.5D.5DHarbour icon Porto Heli [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Porto Heli|Porto Heli]] 37°18.9′N, 23°08.2′E in the mainland. Porto Heli is a large all weather harbor.
  7. From Porto Heli we sail SW for 18 nM to Leonidio/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPorts_of_NE_Peloponnese.23Leonidio.7CLeonidio.5D.5DHarbour icon Leonidio [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Leonidio|Leonidio]] 37°08.7′N, 22°53.61′E . From the port you can visit the Elona Monastery build on the shear cliffs of the mountain, about a 25 minutes by taxi.
  8. Following the eastern coast we sail south 26 nM from Leonidio to the lovely fjord of Yerakas/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BYerakas.5D.5DHarbour icon Yerakas [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Yerakas|Yerakas]] 36°47.07′N, 23°05.45′E . Make sure that yo do climb up the hill and see the impressive, probably Mycenaean, acropolis of Zarakas.
  9. Next, you sail 8.6 nM to Monemvasía/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BMonemvasia.7CMonemvas.C3.ADa.5D.5DBerth icon Monemvasía [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Monemvasía|Monemvasía]] 36°41.14′N, 23°2.49′E , one of the most spectacular places in Greece. If you do not want to risk mooring in Monemvasía you can leave your boat in Yerakas and take a taxi, about 45 minutes.
  10. From Monemvasía keep sailing 42.4 nM rounding Cape Maleas to Kapsáli/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BCythera.23Kaps.C3.A1li.7CKaps.C3.A1li.5D.5DHarbour icon Kapsáli [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Kapsáli|Kapsáli]] 36°08.6′N, 22°59.89′E the main port of the island of Cythera, Aphrodite's birthplace.
  11. Sail back N for 27 nM to the secluded anchorage Lefkí/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BElafonisos.23Lefk.C3.AD.7CLefk.C3.AD.5D.5DAnchorage icon Lefkí [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Lefkí|Lefkí]] 36°28.73′N, 22°59.1′E in the small island of Elafonisos.
  12. Enter the Gulf of Lakonia and sail NW to the harbor of Yithio/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Yithio.7CYithio.5D.5DHarbour icon Yithio [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Yithio|Yithio]] 36°45.58′N, 22°34.1′E , 30 nM. This is a good place to leave your yacht in order to visit Sparta and the incredible Byzantine site of Mystras.
  13. Now head 21 nM S to the anchorage of Porto Kayo/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Porto_Kayo.7CPorto_Kayo.5D.5DAnchorage icon Porto Kayo [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Porto Kayo|Porto Kayo]] 36°25.8′N, 22°29.1′E , a few miles before Cape Tenaron.
  14. Next we head SW and visit the Gulf of Kalamata by rounding both Cape Tenaron and Cavo Grosso. Our first stop, 25 nM from Porto Kayo, is Diros/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Diros.7CDiros.5D.5DAnchorage icon Diros [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Diros|Diros]] 36°38.4′N, 22°22.8′E . Here we can anchor only in settled weather but a visit to the renowned Diros Cave is a must.
  15. From Diros sail 27 nM N to Kalamata Marina/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKalamata_Marina.5D.5DBerth icon Kalamata Marina [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Kalamata Marina|Kalamata Marina]] 37°01.4′N, 22°06.24′E where you can safely leave your boat and visit the interior.
  16. Now head SW and sail for 15 nM to the pleasant anchorage of Koroni/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Koroni.7CKoroni.5D.5DAnchorage icon Koroni [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Koroni|Koroni]] 36°48′N, 21°57.6′E .
  17. The next stop is Methoni/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Methoni.7CMethoni.5D.5DAnchorage icon Methoni [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Methoni|Methoni]] 36°48.89′N, 21°42.47′E . 22 nM SW, with an imposing Venetian castle.
    On the way, you may want to deviate by about 2 nM and stop in the small island of Sapienza/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BSouth_Peloponnese.23Sapienza.7CSapienza.5D.5DAnchorage icon Sapienza [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Sapienza|Sapienza]] 36°45.25′N, 21°42.21′E that has one of the largest lighthouses in Greece.
  18. From Methoni you round, the last cape, Mount Taygetus, and then head N to Pylos/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPylos.5D.5DHarbour icon Pylos [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Pylos|Pylos]] 36°55.04′N, 21°41.76′E , 8 nM. In Pylos you can leave your boat at the Pylos Marina/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPylos_Marina.5D.5DBerth icon Pylos Marina [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Pylos Marina|Pylos Marina]] 36°55.1′N, 21°41.99′E and visit the famous site of Nestor's Palace in Englianos.
  19. Next, you continue sailing 52 nM North to the harbor of Katakolo/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKatakolo.5D.5DHarbour icon Katakolo [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Katakolo|Katakolo]] 37°38.8′N, 21°19.6′E where you can leave your boat and visit Olympia, 25 km away, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In Olympia make sure that you do not miss the museum which houses the magnificent statue of Hermes by Praxiteles.
  20. Now, continue heading N to the entrance of the Patraikos Kolpos (Gulf of Patras) when you turn NE to the historic harbor of Mesolongi/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BMesolongi.5D.5DHarbour icon Mesolongi [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Mesolongi|Mesolongi]] 38°19.6′N, 21°24.8′E situated in a deep lagoon in the SW mainland, all together 59 nM.
    If you want, you can extend this leg by about 4 nM by a lunch stop in sandy Araxos/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPatraikos_Kolpos.23Araxos.7CAraxos.5D.5DAnchorage icon Araxos [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Araxos|Araxos]] 38°12.19′N, 21°25.24′E .
  21. From Mesolongi sail 17 nM to the largest city in the Peloponnese, Patras/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPatras.5D.5DHarbour icon Patras [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Patras|Patras]] 38°15′N, 21°44′E , do not go the bysy commercial harbor but to the Patras Marina/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BPatras_Marina.5D.5DBerth icon Patras Marina [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Patras Marina|Patras Marina]] 38°15.6′N, 21°44.2′E instead.
  22. We continue heading east and go under the large Rio-Antirio Bridge to the jewel of tiny mediaeval harbor in the Greek mainland of Nafpaktos/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Nafpaktos.7CNafpaktos.5D.5DHarbour icon Nafpaktos [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Nafpaktos|Nafpaktos]] 38°23.51′N, 21°49.75′E , 10.4 nM. In the most likely case that there is no room and that the weather conditions do not permit anchoring off we continue to our next destination.
  23. From Nafpaktos continue for 12 nM E to the unfinished but secure marina in the small island of Trizonia/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Trizonia.7CTrizonia.5D.5DBerth icon Trizonia [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Trizonia|Trizonia]] 38°22.08′N, 22°04.66′E .
  24. The next stop is Galaxidhi/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Galaxidhi.7CGalaxidhi.5D.5DHarbour icon Galaxidhi [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Galaxidhi|Galaxidhi]] 38°22.65′N, 22°23.34′E , also in the mainland, 20 nM from Trizonia.
    From Galaxidhi you can take a taxi for a 10 minute ride and visit Delphi, one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece.
  25. Next stop is the mainland village of Ayioi Saranda/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Ayioi_Saranda.7CAyioi_Saranda.5D.5DAnchorage icon Ayioi Saranda [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Ayioi Saranda|Ayioi Saranda]] 38°13.9′N, 22°53.42′E , 18 nM from Galaxidhi.
  26. The port of Corinth/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Corinth.7CCorinth.5D.5DHarbour icon Corinth [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Corinth|Corinth]] 37°56.47′N, 22°56.28′E , 30 nM from Ayioi Saranda, is the next stop.
    If you want, you can stop on the way, with only a couple of miles diversion, to the wild Alkonides Islands/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Alkonides.7CAlkonides_Islands.5D.5DAnchorage icon Alkonides Islands [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Alkonides Islands|Alkonides Islands]] 38°06.88′N, 22°59.25′E where many birds congregate.
  27. Finally the circumnavigation of the Peloponnese ends 1.4 nM from Corinth in Poseidonia/wiki/Circumnavigating_the_Peloponnese#.5B.5BKorinthiakos_Kolpos.23Poseidonia.7CPoseidonia.5D.5DWaterway-canal icon Poseidonia [[Circumnavigating the Peloponnese#Poseidonia|Poseidonia]] 37°57.2′N, 22°57.44′E the western entrance to the Corinth Canal.
    Note that the canal is 4 nM long and after transiting it and arriving in Isthmia the circumnavigation circle will be closed.

The total distance of the circumnavigation of the Peloponnese is 427 nM.

Possible Arrival Ports

Note: You can end at any convenient location.

Distance & Duration

See Peloponnese Distances.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

See also Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea.

References

See Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea.


Comments

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