With a seemingly infinite number of large and small bays and mythical destinations to visit, the Peloponnese provides an endless panorama of sights for those who sail around its shores.
The Peloponnese (‘Pelop’s island’) is located in southern Greece, across the Isthmus of Corinth, which you can traverse by crossing the canal built at the end of the 19th century. And on its northwest coast, the handsome Rio-Antirrio Bridge provides a link with Epirus and the rest of 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, it’s a destination that will enchant you!.
Into the Peloponnese
Sailing from Piraeus or one of Athens’ marinas, your first taste of the Peloponnese are the beaches along the west coast – Loutra Oraias Elenis (the Baths of Beautiful Helen), Korfos and New and Old Epidaurus, with their charming little villages. Passing the islands of Hydra and Spetses in the Saronic Gulf, your next stop is cosmopolitan Porto Heli and romantic 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.
Sailing 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 round. 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.
Elafonisos & Neapoli
Continuing your journey around the southern coast of the Peloponnese, take a detour to Cape Maleas, with caution, as the conditions here change dramatically. Further along, the island of Elafonisos awaits, famous for its exotic beach. Across the way is Neapolis, a sleepy port that’s good for spending a night out and picking up supplies.
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. Colourful Kalamata is an ideal place to pause. Now set sail for the last leg of your journey. 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 much to explore around the historic bay. A swim at the crescent beach of Voidokoilia is a must.
Sailing up the western coast of the Peloponnese, 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.
Patras, Corinth and Galaxidi
Continuing on this course, you’ll arrive at Patra, the largest city in the Peloponnese, with a generous harbour and 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 at least one night.
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