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             15 April, 2021

Category:  Articles » Travel & Leisure » Cruising Sailing


Sailing in the Northern Dodecanese Islands

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2006-11-15 17:51:17     
Article by Ken Jones

In the summer the prevailing wind is the Meltemi that blows from the N – NW. It blows from June through to October and at its peak may reach a force 7. The spring and autumn sees winds from the SE, usually with strengths between 2 – 4. Summer temperatures can rise to 35 deg C. The winters are mild.

The Dodecanese have been inhabited since prehistoric times. They were ruled first by the Minoans and then the Achaeans. But their economic and intellectual development began with the arrival of the Dorians in 1100. Kos prospered in the 4th and the 3rd century BC because of the School of Medicine founded there by Hippocrates. The Romans occupied the islands in 146 BC to be followed by the long Byzantine period till the time of the Crusaders. In 1309 the Knights of the Order of Saint John became the rulers of Rhodes and then extended their sovereignty to the other islands as well. In 1522 the islands fell to the Turks and in 1912 by the Italians. The islands of Dodecanese were united with Greece in 1948.

Patmos is in the north of the Dodecanese. Skala Patmos is the natural harbour on the eastern side of the island. Care is needed when approaching Skala, as there are several reefs. When the Meltemi is blowing the approach is subject to fierce gusts off the surrounding high land. Yachts can go bow or stern to the quay. The bottom is sand and weed and holding is good. There is reasonable shelter from the Meltemi but strong SE winds make the harbour untenable. Water is available on the quay and fuel can be delivered. Most provisions ca be obtained at Skala and there are good waterfront tavernas. A visit to the monastery of St John is worthwhile but appropriate dress should be worn. Other anchorages on Patmos include: Ormos Meloyi, Ormos Livadhi, Ormos Kambos, Ormos Stavros and Ormos Grikou.

Arki lies 6 miles to the NE of Patmos. Yachts can anchor at Port Augusta. The bottom is good holding in mud and weed and the shelter is good. The only facilities are a couple of tavernas on the waterfront.

Nisos Lipso lies 2 miles to the S of Arki. There is a small harbour at the village of Lipso. Yachts can go bow or stern to the quay on the W side. Alternatively anchor of in the bay. The bottom is sand, mud and weed and the holding is bad. Water and fuel are available on the quay. Most provisions can be obtained in the village and there are several good tavernas on the waterfront serving fresh fish. The village is attractive and unspoilt by tourism. There are several bays on the south coast that yachts can anchor in.

Nisis Gaidharos is the northern most of the Dodecanese and lies only 8 miles of the Turkish coast. Ay Yeoryiou lies on the south coat of Gaidharos. Yachts can go bow or stern to the northern part of the ferry quay. Holding is good as I shelter from the Meltemi but strong southerlies make the harbour untenable. Provisions are limited and there are 3 tavernas.

Leros lies just to the north of Kalimnos. The island has spring water and parts of Leros are wooded and green. Lakki is in the SW of the island. Yachts can go bow or stern to in the marina and pick up a laid mooring line. There is water and electric at every berth. Most provisions can be obtained and there are tavernas nearby.

Ormos Parhteni is a large bay on the coast of Leros. Yachts can anchor in the eastern end of the bay. The south coast is a military installation and yachts are prohibited, as is photography of any part of the bay.

Ormos Alindas is a deep bay on the eastern coast. In the absence of a northerly wind yachts can go bow or stern to the mole. Alternatively anchor off on the western side of the pier. There is water near the quay and fuel in the village. Most provisions can be obtained and there are some tavernas on the waterfront.

Pandeli lies to the south of Ormos Alindas. Yachts can go bow or stern to the outer part of the mole or alternatively anchor off the beach. Good holding on a bottom of sand and weed. There is water on the quay and fuel can be delivered. Some provisions can be obtained but Platanos, a 15 minute walk away, provides better shopping. The setting is most attractive with bougainvillea, oleander and tamarisk growing everywhere in the village.

Kalimnos lies just to the south of Leros. It is in the main a barren island though there are some green valleys.

Pothia is the capital and is the centre of what remains of Greece’s sponge fishing industry. Although most of the sponges are now taken from the North African coast. Yachts can go bow or stern to the quay in the SW just N of the ferry quay. The bottom in mud and weed and the holding is only moderate. There is good shelter from the Meltemi. There is water on the quay and fuel can be delivered. All provisions can be obtained and there are plenty of tavernas to choose from.

Vathi lies on the eastern side of Kalimnos. Yachts can go bow to the pier or the quay. The bottom is sand and weed and provides good holding. There is water on the quay and limited provisions can be obtained in the small village. The valley inland is very attractive with orange and lemon groves.

Pserimos is a small island just to the E of Kalimnos. Pserimos village is on the SW side. Yachts should anchor of where convenient. There are tavernas on what is a fine beach. This attracts tripper boats from the surrounding islands and the place gets packed in the summer.

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