South Peloponnese

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WorldMediterraneanGreeceSouth Peloponnese
36°40.237'N, 022°25.963'E Chart icon.png
There are Port(s) of Entry here
SpetsesLeonidioKyparisiYerakasMonemvasiaCytheraElafonisosNeapolisYithioPorto KayoYerolimenasMezapoDirosLimeniKalamataPetalidhiKoroniMethoniSapienzaPylos
About this image
Satellite View of Southern Peloponnese - For details click on a name or an area

The coast of southern Peloponnese is not usually visited by cruising yachts unless they are in transit either moving east to the Aegean or west on their way back. Yet, it is a beautiful coast with many interesting anchorages.

The coast is dominated by the three peninsulas: Messinia dominated by Mount Taygetos, Mani ending into the capes Cavo Grosso and Tainaron, and finally the easternmost Cape Maleas.

Messinia was occupied by theVenetians who built two famous castles: Methoni and Koroni while within its gulf there is the city and harbor of Kalamata.

Mani has a history of being a nest of pirates and during the 400 years of Ottoman occupation was never really subjugated. It played a pivotal role during the Greek War of Independence in 1821. On the west side of the peninsula there is one of the largest caves in Greece the Cave of Dyros.

Inland of the Gulf of Laconia between Mani Mani and Cape Maleas is the city of Sparta and the nearby ghost Byzantine town of Mystras.

Charts

BA
189 Nisos Sapiénza to Nisos Paxoi
682 Gulf of Kalamata
1030 South-west entrance channels to the Aegean sea
1685 Nisís Venetico to Nísos Spétsai including the channels between Akra Malléas and Kríti Yerakas
Imray-Tetra
G15 Southern Peloponnisos
NIMA
54301 Kalamai and Approaches
54303 Lakonikos Kolpos
Greek
22 Ionio Sea - Southern Part Zakynthos I. to C. Tainaro
43 Kriti I. - Wastern Part Cape Tainaro to Milos I.

Weather

The winds here during the May - October period tend to be from the NE seldom exceeding force 4. During the November -April period they are from the SE often at gale force. But, because of the high mountains, there can be ferocious gusts especially near Capes Tainaron and Maleas.

There is a popular Greek proverb among sailors: "Από τον Κάβο Μαλιά δέκα μιλια μακρυά, κι’ από τον Κάβο Γκροσσο δέκα κι’ άλλα τόσο" ("Stay ten miles off Cape Malea, and from Cape Grosso ten and then ten more").

Another problem here is that the weather, because of moving depressions between Maleas and Crete, can deteriorate very quickly especially during the spring and fall months. During the summer months there can be thunderstorms and squalls near the shore.

Passages

Communication

  • Coast Guard - VHF channel 12
  • Olympia Radio - VHF channels 27, 83, 84, or 86

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

Approaches in general are straightforward. Details are given for each port.

Entrance

Other than Pylos to the west, the only port of entry in this region is Kalamata.

Berthing

Ports

Chart of Methoni

Methoni

Methoni/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Methoni
Harbour icon Methoni [[South Peloponnese#Methoni|Methoni]] (Μεθώνη) 36°48.89′N, 21°42.47′E

Methoni is the site of a large Venetian castle and has a large natural harbor surrounded by the castle on one side and large sandy beaches on the other. The bay is only exposed to the SE winds. It is a spectacular site. It is believed that Cervantes was imprisoned by the Ottomans in the castle. The town is just north of the castle. Restaurants and mini market.

Anchor to the N of of the old quay in 2-5 m depths. The bottom sand and mud, good holding.

Danger: Stay clear of the neighborhood of the old quay and its many submerged rocks. There are some rusty metal pins on this pier just above the water that can easily damage your dinghy.
The Castle of Methoni
The Marina of Kalamata

Kalamata

Kalamata/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Kalamata
Harbour icon Kalamata [[South Peloponnese#Kalamata|Kalamata]] (Καλαμάτα) 37°1.31′N, 22°6.91′E
Port of Entry

Kalamata is the capital of the Messinia province. It is bustling modern city. It is a commercial harbor and it is always very busy. In the last few years a new modern marina started operations. The marina provides all the usual conveniences and has a reputation of being very well ran.

If you do visit the marina, make sure you dock west of the entrance; the afternoon breeze creates a bit of a swell in the east part --Deltasig
Chart of Yithio

Yithio

Yithio/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Yithio
Harbour icon Yithio [[South Peloponnese#Yithio|Yithio]] (Γύθιο) 36°45.58′N, 22°34.1′E

Yíthio or Gythio is a very pleasant harbor and the main city of the Mani region. It was the harbor of Ancient Sparta.

Yíthio is a good place to leave your yacht in order to visit Sparta and Mystras.

The harbor of Yíthio provides good protection from the NW prevailing winds. If those winds are strong there are also strong gusts here. Go bow or stern-to the mole, with strong NW winds, try the W quay. The bottom is mud and gives good holding.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Anchorages

Sketch of Koroni

Koroni

Koroni/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Koroni
Anchorage icon Koroni [[South Peloponnese#Koroni|Koroni]] (Κορώνη) 36°47.98′N, 21°57.39′E

Koroni is an attractive town with an imposing Venetian castle. The shelter here from the prevailing NW-W winds is fairly good.

It is best to anchor off in 2-5 m depths in the bay W of the castle. The bottom is mostly mud and weed, it provides good holding. There is a small quay but the bottom there is fouled by old moorings and it is best to avoid it.

Warning: Near the shore there are large boulders where an anchor may be fouled. Watch out for them.

You can also anchor E of the breakwater in 4-5m.
The Castle of Koroni
Chart of Petalidhi

Petalidhi

Petalidhi/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Petalidhi
Anchorage icon Petalidhi [[South Peloponnese#Petalidhi|Petalidhi]] (Πεταλίδι) 36°57.53′N, 21°55.87′E
Petalidhi is a few miles SW of Kalamata. It is a quiet and pleasant anchorage in an attractive provincial town. Anchor off in 2-4 m on a sandy bottom which provides good holding.
Chart of Limeni

Limeni

Limeni/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Limeni
Anchorage icon Limeni [[South Peloponnese#Limeni|Limeni]] (Λιμένι) 36°41.37′N, 22°22.63′E

Limeni is large deep cove half way down the W side of the Mani Peninsula. It is very attractive, physically, and it is reputed to provide a good shelter. Anchor in 10-12 m, the bottom is sand and weed with some rocks

The whole cove gets very uncomfortable with the constant swell of the Messinian gulf especially in the afternoon and all night. One is better off taking a bit of shelter behind the makeshift rock jetty at Karavostasi. Make sure you avoid huge underwater rocks at the and of the dock and your anchor is set well because in the early hours of the morning it may blow strong N-NE through the valleys/canyons. I overnighted there so that I could visit the Diros Caves early in the morning before the afternoon W-SW breeze (at times F6) makes anchoring in Diros bay impossible. --Deltasig

There is a small museum in Limeni housed in the Mavromichalis Mansion.
Chart of Diros

Diros

Diros/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Diros
Anchorage icon Diros [[South Peloponnese#Diros|Diros]] (Δυρός) 36°38.4′N, 22°22.8′E

Diros or Dyros is just a few miles N of Mezapo. It is not a secure anchorage but in reasonable weather it is a "must stop" so that you can visit the famous Cave of Diros and the important neolithic site.

Anchor in front and to the E of the cave entrance (NE of the cove) in 8-10 m. The holding is reasonable.

Anchoring 50m right in front of the beach where you can see the steps leading to the entrance (5-6m depth) the holding is good; also, is close enough to row the dingy to the beach. Make sure you visit early in the day (caves open at 0830) and leave by early afternoon before the breeze builds up. --Deltasig
The Cove of Diros
Chart of Mezapo

Mezapo

Mezapo/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Mezapo
Anchorage icon Mezapo [[South Peloponnese#Mezapo|Mezapo]] (Μέζαπο) 36°32.55′N, 22°22.61′E

Mezapo is a large bay about a mile N of Cavo Grosso. It provides some reasonable shelter but there can be strong gusts, especially during the night.

Mezapo is the the largest anchorage of the famed Mani region of the Peloponnesos. Mani, before roads were built, was one of the most remote regions in Greece. During the Ottoman occupation, it was never subdued and kept a semi-autonomous existence. One of its main sources of wealth was piracy, the boats hiding in its many coves and pouncing at unsuspecting ships, heading for the Kythera channel.

Warning: The bottom here is uneven.
The Cove of Mezapo
Chart of Yerolimenas

Yerolimenas

Yerolimenas/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Yerolimenas
Anchorage icon Yerolimenas [[South Peloponnese#Yerolimenas|Yerolimenas]] (Γερολιμένας) 36°28.7′N, 22°24′E

Yerolimenas or Gerolimenas is an inlet to the SW of Cape Tainaron and just NE of Cavo Grosso. It has a small quay used by fishing boats. The inlet is exposed to the prevailing W winds and is not very secure.

It is believed that a large Cave in Yerolimenas was the entrance to Hades, the Ancient Greek underworld.
Cavo Grosso
Chart of Porto Kayo

Porto Kayo

Porto Kayo/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Porto_Kayo
Anchorage icon Porto Kayo [[South Peloponnese#Porto Kayo|Porto Kayo]] (Πόρτο Κάγιο) 36°25.8′N, 22°29.1′E

Porto Kayo is an attractive anchorage just SE of Cape Tainaron. It offers fairly good shelter from the prevailing W-SW winds and from the NE winds. The little village used to be very appealing but lately has been "developed" with ugly buildings to the point that a Greek travel guide calls it "Porto Halio" (Port Shame).

With W-SW wind anchor on the S of the cove but be aware that the holding in the hard sand is not always good. With N winds, you want to be in N side but the bottom slope is very steep and you have to go very close to the shore. The bottom here is sand and weed, better holding.

Warning: There are many large rocks near the N side. Make sure you do not drift to them. During the night there can be strong gusts.
Porto Kayo, looking N

Islands

The Sapientza Lighthouse

Sapienza

Sapienza/wiki/South_Peloponnese#Sapienza
Island icon Sapienza [[South Peloponnese#Sapienza|Sapienza]] (Σαπιέντζα) 36°45.25′N, 21°42.21′E

The island of Sapienza is uninhabited save for one of the last remaining light-keepers in Greece. At the top of the island is the 1885 lighthouse, 100 m tall. It well worth a stop.

Unfortunately its lovely little cove of Port Longos has been despoiled by a fish-farm. Anchor in 5-6 m depths clear of the fish-farm. The bottom is sand, good holding. The cove is well protected from the prevailing winds but there is some swell with E winds.

The lighthouse is about a 15 minute walk along a trail.
Chart of Porto Longos


Amenities

Facilities
Water
  • In Methoni there is a faucet root of the old quay
  • In Yithio on the quay
Electricity N/A (Not Available)
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry In the Kalamata Marina
Garbage ?
Supplies
Fuel
  • In Methoni there is gas station at the end of the town, more than 500 m from the quay
  • In Yithio a mini tanker usually delivers fuel, ask at the Limenarchio (Coast Guard)
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers In the Kalamata Marina
Services
Repairs In the Kalamata Marina
Internet In internet cafés
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals In Kalamata

Provisioning

Eating out

Transportation

Flights to Athens from the airport in [[#Kalamata|Kalamata].

Tourism

Places to Visit

In Methoni

A visit and a long walks along the ramparts of the castle is must.

In Sapienza

Visit the lighthouse, 15 walk from the anchorage.

Diros Cave
S Peloponnese Diros4.jpg
The Cave of Diros

From the Cove of Diros you must, of course visit the cave and the neolithic site. Make sure you arrive early in the morning and beat the crowd disgorged by the buses arriving in the late morning. The ticket booth is some walk uphill. Get tickets and wait your turn in from of the cave entrance. It more than worth it.

In Porto Kayo
S Peloponnese Kayio2.jpg
Mani Tower

Take a long walk up the steep hill to see some good examples of the characteristic towers of Mani.

In Yithio
S Peloponnese Gytheio4.jpg
Kranea Lighthouse

In the town of Yithio you can visit archaeological excavation, the Museum, the castle, and the Kranea Lighthouse.

Sparta & Mystras
Greece Mystras.jpg
The Pantanassa Monastery in Mystras

From Yithio you can take a taxi to Sparta and Mystras (Μυστράς) (65 km).

In Sparta you can visit the Archaeological Museum and the Olive-Oil Museum.

Mystras is one of the most interesting sites in Greece. It is late Byzantine ghost town. You can wander along its buildings and then visit its Museum. It is an experience that you will never forget.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

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

Links

References

See Greece.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Istioploos, Lighthouse


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