With an infinite number of large and small bays along the peninsula’s coastline and the dramatic mountains that plunge into the sea, the Peloponnese provides an endless panorama of impressive sights for those who sail around its shores. The Peloponnese – ‘Pelop’s island’ – is located south of the mainland, connected to it by a narrow strip of land, the Isthmus of Corinth. The Canal was dug in 1893, separating the Peloponnese from the mainland.
On its northwest coast, the Rio-Antirrio bridge, opened in 2004, provides a link with central Greece. Four stretches of water surround it: the Myrtos Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Gulf of Patras to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. If you’re a sailing enthusiast, these destinations will enchant you!
Sail around the Peloponnese and explore its mythical landscapes right here.
1. From Attica to the Peloponnes: Beginning from Attica heading to the west are the beaches of Loutra Oraias Elenis (the Baths of Beautiful Helen), Korfos and Epidavros, with their charming little villages. Passing Hydra and Spetses is the Argolic Gulf with its protected waters and mild weather conditions which make it easy to navigate and explore. Next stop is Porto Heli and Nafplio, with sheltered harbours to anchor your yacht. Both towns are well worth a visit. In addition, Drepanos is an area with crystalline water and incredible beaches.
2. Heading south: Heading south, you’ll encounter destinations such as Astros, Tyro and Leonidio/Plaka, picturesque fishing villages that you can approach by boat, with views of the Myrtos Sea. A little before you reach the southernmost edge of the eastern Peloponnese, you’ll find Monemvasia, ‘The Gibraltar of the East’ and a must-see destination for any sailor. Anchor at one of the marinas and head up to the medieval fortress. Within its walls you’ll find one of the best-preserved castles in Greece, which attracts visitors from around the world all year long. The view from your boat is particularly impressive, with the majestic grey rock and its castle towering above you. With plenty of places to eat and drink, we recommend you stay overnight at least.
3. Elafonisos & Neapoli: Continuing your journey, take a detour to Cape Maleas, with caution, as the conditions here change dramatically. Further along, Elafonisos awaits, where you’ll stop for a swim at a beach that is truly exotic. Across the way is Neapolis, a sleepy port that good for spending a night out and picking up supplies.
4. The Laconic and Messinian gulfs: If you choose to bypass Neapolis, in the Gulf of Laconia you’ll find Gytheio and Plytra, while on the other side of Mani in the Gulf of Messinia, there are superb beaches and the seaside city of Kalamata, which boasts a large harbour and marina. Kalamata is an ideal place to pause if you happen to be sailing all the way to Turkey. Now set sail for the last leg of your jourey around the Peloponnese. You’ll pass Finikounda and Methoni, where you can anchor and visit the Venetian castles. Heading further north is Pylos and the Gulf of Navarino, an immense closed bay. In Pylos there is plenty of space for your yacht, and plenty to explore around the historic bay. A swim at the crescent beach of Voidokoilia is a must.
5. Ancient Olympia: Sailing along the coast you’ll see endless sandy beaches. It’s worth docking at Katakolo, whose port can accommodate even a large cruise ship. Dock here and pay a visit to Ancient Olympia.
6. Patras, Corinth and Galaxidi: Continuing on this course and you’ll arrive at Patra, the largest city in the Peloponnese, with a generous harbour and a yacht marina. From the Patras Gulf to the Corinthian Gulf, all the way to the Corinth Canal – you’ll find pleasant beaches and pretty little towns on both the south and north coasts to explore by sailboat. But don’t miss Galaxidi with its great maritime tradition. Dock at the picturesque port for one night, at least.