Mourtos and Sivota Islands

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Mourtos and Sivota Islands
39°24′N, 20°14′E Chart icon.png
lat=39_24_N | lon=20_14_E | zoom=13 | y
MourtosMarina2.jpg
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Mourtos marina from SE

Mourtos (Μούρτος) is a small village and fishing harbour located on the mainland of Greece opposite the southern part of Corfu, six miles S of Igoumenitsa and three miles S of Plataria. In recent years it has been rather overtaken by tourism and the small harbour is now used as much by yachts as fishing boats, while the quay is a mass of tourist restaurants and bars. In evenings in the season - especially at weekends - the quay is packed with charter and cruising yachts alike and it can be difficult to find a place. The harbour also contains a small marina, half of which is taken up by local boats and boats on gardiennage, but the other half can be used by visiting yachts. The marina is partly equipped with laid moorings, although some yachts will need to use their anchors. Nearby are several anchorages, including around the Sivota or Syvota (Σύβοτα) islands, which offer good shelter in the prevailing winds.

Charts

BA
206 Corfu: Channels
Imray-Tetra
G11 Nísos Kérkira to Nísos Levkas
NIMA
54280 Corfu Channel to Nisis Proti
Greek
10 Kerkyra

Weather

See Ionian Sea Weather.

Also see Ionian Sea Currents & Tides.

Passages

Islands

See Anchorages.

Communication

  • Coast Guard VHF Channel 12

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

There are no obvious hazards in the approaches to Mourtos, though yachtsmen should refer to official charts and pilots for full details. The passages between the Sivota Islands are mostly too shallow for yachts to transit, although some use the channel between the mainland and the nearest of the islands, Nisos Agios Nikolaos.

I have passed though myself on several occasions drawing 1.8 metres. The water is usually very clear in the channel. --Istioploos Greece Icon.png

Entrance

None. The nearest port of entry is Corfu Town.

Berthing

Ports

Town quay

Mourtos town quay once the charter fleet departs

Mourtos town quay extends for around 300 metres at the head of the inlet. The N third is occupied by small fishing boats on moorings, but the remainder is available to yachts moored bows or stern-to using their anchors. Depths along the quay are from 2.0 metres at the N end to 2.25 metres at the S end (where there is a short ramped ferry quay). The quay continues S after the ferry quay with depths increasing from 2.25 to 3.0 metres and deeper draft yachts tend to make for this spot. Depths increase gradually off the quay, and there is 2.5 metres along most of it where a yacht’s keel would be. The quay is plentifully supplied with bollards and mooring staples in good condition. Water and electricity points are concealed under the stone benches along the quay. Shelter here is reasonable in the prevailing NW winds, but strong winds from this direction cause a heavy swell and the whole of the town quay could become untenable.

Note that the quay is very busy at weekends during the season with yacht charter handovers. One of the larger flotilla companies using the port, Neilson, have now however established their own pontoon (2013) in Sand Bar Bay and no longer dominate the quayside at weekends as they once did.

Mourtos town quay (electricity and water points are under the stone benches)

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Mourtos marina SW corner (note how the moorings cross one another)
The quay outside the marina has room for one boat alongside

Mourtos marina, after many years as a dusty and half-finished monument to thwarted aspirations, is now (more or less) in business. Mooring blocks have been laid and there are mooring lines around the N and W side of the marina, although just two or three remain on the S side. Depths throughout the marina are 3.5 - 3.75 metres. ‘Proper’ yacht moorings are at the top of the marina, the W end, where some 10 yachts can tie up using lines tailed to the quay (more if and when the rusting ferry in the NW corner is moved). Along the S side there are only three lines at present (September 2012) and they are very short and only suitable for relatively small yachts. Otherwise, if there are no spaces at the top of the marina, use your anchor to moor in one of the gaps on the S side. The moorings here are short and go down to blocks, so there is no danger as long as you lay your anchor in the middle of the basin. Holding is good in mud and weed. Finally, it is also possible to go alongside on the end of the S quay if it is not in use by a hotel or fishing boat, or alongside a short stub quay on the OUTSIDE of the marina breakwater (this latter position only in settled weather), which has 3.0 metre depths off it.

There are water and electricity points around the marina; a marina attendant is frequently around and will connect you to either for a charge of €5 a day (or both for €10). Shelter in the marina is better than the town quay, although there is an uncomfortable back swell from the town quay in strong NW winds.

Anchorages

Agios Nikolaos Island

Yachts unable to find a place on the quay, or preferring to lie at anchor, can usually find a space to anchor in the channel between the mainland and the closest of the islands, N. Agios Nikolaos. Unfortunately, the best and most sheltered spot, a small cove at the NE end of the island, is now taken up with fore and aft moorings, so yachts need to anchor further out. Depths in the centre of the channel are quite deep (6.0 - 9.0 metres) and some yachts take lines to the shore. The channel shallows as you get further in to little over 2.0 metres. Note that between mid morning and early evening this channel is used by numerous water taxis, small tour boats, and other water craft passing from Mourtos round to the beach developments to the south. Shelter is good here in the prevailing NW winds and little swell creeps in.

Monastery Bay

An alternative anchorage is Monastery Bay, the bay half a mile NW of the harbour, where there is a small beach, large leisure complex and a taverna. Anchor in 5.0 – 6.0 metres wherever there is space. Holding is good in sand, mud and weed. Shelter is good from the prevailing NW winds, but the anchorage is open SW. If you see a flotilla moored on the long pontoon extending 50 metres out from the leisure complex, go elsewhere as it means the night club above will be blaring until the early hours. Depths on this pontoon, which is for customers of the Torre E Mare leisure complex above, are 2.0 - 2.25 metres, but the inner 25-30 metres or so are unusable because of large concrete pipes on the bottom. There is also little to tie on to except the rough iron brackets which fasten the blue plastic pipes used as fenders onto the edge of the pontoon.

Sand Bar Bay

There are two further anchorages on the S side of the Sivota Islands which visiting yachts can use. They lie either side of a sand bar joining the little island of Nisis Mavros Notos to the mainland. Both anchorages are heavily used by the Neilson hotel complex which now dominates this area, but it is possible to anchor here if you are careful to keep out of the way of the Neilson water sports activities. The bay south of the sand bar has limited room; anchoring only with shore line. Sadly, these anchorages, beautiful as they are, are no longer the idyllic ones they once were and you will get little peace here during the season.

In 2013 Neilson's added a yacht pontoon to its facilities which is used by both its training and flotilla fleet. The latter are only in situ Sat - Mon. Yachts wishing to use the pontoon mid-week should first contact Neilson on VHF (74) to seek permission. Bear in mind that the pontoon is a training base with novice crews at the helm. Additionally, a lot of water ski activity takes place directly in front of this facility and wash is considerable.  Depths along the pontoon are greater than 2.0 metres in most places. Facilities at the adjoining hotel are not available to visiting yachts and a security gate on the landward side of the pontoon could cut you off from your boat if returning late at night. No other bars or restaurants are available in the immediate vicinity.  Expect to pay around €10 per stay.

Anchorage of Sand Bar Bay East from N
Anchorage of Sand Bar Bay West from N
Anchorage of Agios Nikolaos from S
nchorage of Monastery Bay from SE

Amenities

Facilities
Water
  • marina: €5 per day
  • Town quay: note that the taps are locked and that you will have to find the keyholder to open the lock for you. There may be a charge
Electricity
  • marina: €5 per day
  • Town quay: on the quay (connection points concealed under the stone benches along the quay)
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry N/A (Not Available)
Garbage Garbage bin at the marina, on the N side of the harbour and on the roadside 100 metres back from the harbour
Supplies
Fuel Town quay: it may be possible to have fuel delivered by mini-tanker to the village quay. Check with the locals
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers
  • A small but adequately stocked shop can be found in the middle of the parade of shops on the east side of the harbor
  • A dive shop and PADI training centre are located on the souther side of the village
Services
Repairs None
Internet In several of the waterfront cafes and the Hotel Filakas
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals Through local travel agents

Provisioning

he supermarket (centre) is on the N side of the harbor
Click for larger view

Very good supermarket and fruiterer on the north side of the harbour. They will deliver to your boat free of charge, making it a useful place to stock up on heavy items.

A second supermarket on the southern side of the village, opposite a taxi rank, has only a limited choice.

Eating out

  • Numerous restaurants, bars and cafes.
  • Maria and Georgeo’s Taverna on the waterfront is popular with the locals.

Transportation

  • Local ferries only

Tourism

Mourtos is a pretty village, in spite of being now largely given over to tourism, and there are some good walks in the hinterland. However, most of its attractions are on and around the water and on a yacht you are in the best place to appreciate them.

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 & Publications

See Ionian Sea.

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.

  • This anchorage used to be an attractive anchorage on the mainland, just off the southern tip of Corfu, but my understanding is that it has been spoiled by heavy concrete development. --Istioploos
  • This is sadly true of the S side of the Sivota Islands, which is now dominated by large hotel complexes, but Mourtos itself is still very attractive and not yet spoilt. The completion (more or less) of the marina also makes it a much better port of call than before. --Athene of Lymington

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This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.


SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Istioploos, Wayward, Athene of Lymington, Fair Game


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