Sailing Areas

CHALKIDIKI & the NORTH AEGEAN

Overview

  • Sailing level: all levels
  • Airports: Thessaloniki (Macedonia) airport, Kavala
  • Departure ports: Thessaloniki, Kavala, Keramoti, Kassandra (Chalkidiki), Nikiti (Chalkidiki), Neas Marmaras, Thasos
  • Wind conditions: mild to moderate
  • Key locations: Chalkidiki, Kavala, Thasos, Lemnos/Limnos, Samothraki, Agios Efstathios, Lesvos, Chios, Ikaria, Samos

Area

In addition to the really beautiful port of Kavala where there are the permanent anchorages for boats, you can spend a night in Iraklitsa, a little harbor 6 miles west and Keramot, a fishing harbor which is 15 miles east, very close to Nestos river delta to the sea. Also on the mainland coasts you can spend your day swimming in many bays and also on 2 small islands which are Fidonissi and Thassopoula. Thassos island is 12 miles from Kavala with one marina and several nice fishing harbours and protected anchorages. Thassos has many pine and olive trees and traditional villages.  Forty miles south of Thassos is the island of Limnos with many anchorages on the south-western side. 38 miles from Thassos is the small island of Samothraki, famous for its waterfalls ad small lakes. The small volcanic islet of Agios Efstrathios is 18 miles south of Limnos and is inhabited by 200 people with one taverna. 

The three peninsulas of Chalkidiki west of Kavala offer 3 marinas and many nice anchorages (although note that boats are not allowed and only men are allowed by special permission to the third monastic peninsula of Mount Athos, which has its own sovreignity). 

Just a breath away from the Asia Minor coast, in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, five big islands (Ikaria, Samos, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios) and some smaller ones (Agios Efstratios, Agios Minas, Antipsara, Thymaina, Oinousses, Samiopoula, Fournoi and Psara) offer you exciting holiday options. Despite their distance from mainland Greece, they have grown into popular destinations thanks to frequent ferry and flight connections. Discover fascinating green landscapes, crystal clear waters, beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, traditional villages and a rich history on each island. You would need to cover longer sailing legs to reach these islands.  

Wind and Sailing Conditions

As with the Sporades islands, the islands of the north Aegean, especially north of Limnos, avoid the worst of the Meltemi which blows from the north East between June and September. Steady breezes ranging from 2 - 4 Bf can be expected through much of the season and the area around Kavala and Chalkidiki rarely experiences strong winds. As you move south you may find strong winds in the straights north or Lesvos as the meltemi blows through this channel. 

History

The North Aegean islands were permanently inhabited 5000 years BP and have since formed a bridge joining the inhabitants of the region via shipping, trade, economy, culture and social interactions, reaching its peak around 3000 years before present. By ca. 2000 BP the Ionians had installed themselves in Chios while Samos and Lesvos were in the hands of the Achaeans. From the 8th to the 5th centuries BC the islands enjoyed great prosperity in their economy, trade and the arts. The islands were conquered at different times by the Persians, the Macedonians, Egyptians, Romans, the Franks, Venetians, Genoese and later Ottomans. During the Greek War of Independence, the massacres of Chios in 1822 and Psara in 1824 came to the attention of European powers which helped the Greek cause. However, due to their position, close to the Asia Minor coast, the Turks did not let go of their hold on the islands easily. It was not until 1912 when the islands of the north Aegean were finally incorporated into the Greek state during the First Balkan War. 

Planning your trip

If sailing from Kavala you can choose to sail west towards Chalkidiki or south towards Thasos and the Eastern islands. Take into consideration the weather conditions. If you plan to sail further south than Limnos, perhaps on a two week trip, make sure you are aware of the Meltemi winds during high season (June-September) which blow through this strait. 

Travel notes

Fly to Thessaloniki international airport and transfer by bus (3hr 30 mins, approx €19), train (5hr 36mins, €19) or car to Kavala (128.5 km)

Key Locations

  • Kavala
  • Keramoti
  • Thassos
  • Limnos/Lemnos
  • Samothraki
  • Agios Efstratios
  • Chalkidiki (Kassandra, Nikiti, Neas Marmaras)
  • Lesvos
  • Chios
  • Samos
  • Ikaria

 

One week sailing itinerary from Kavala
Day 1 Towards Agios Efstratios: Kavala check-in at 17:00 Towards Chalkidiki: Kavala check-in at 17:00
2 Kavala - Limenas Thassos (16 nm) Kavala - Limenas Thassos (16 nm)
3 Limenaria Thassos - Limnos (Mirina) (55 nm) Limenaria Thassos - Porto Koufo (57 nm)
4 Limnos (Mirina) - Agios Efstratios (17 nm) Porto Koufo - Neos Marmaras (11 nm)
5 Agios Efstratios - Samothraki (62 nm) Porto Koufo - Nikiti (11 nm)
6 Samothraki - Limenaria Thassos (38 nm) Nikiti - Agios Nikolaos (17 nm)
7 Thassos - Kavala (16 nm) Agios Nikolaos - Kavala  (60 nm)
Day 8 Check-out Kavala at 9:00   Check-out Kavala at 9:00  

 

Two week sailing itinerary from Kavala including Sporades islands & Chalkidiki
1 Kavala check-in at 17:00
2 Kavala - Limenas Thassos (16 nm)
3 Limenas Thassos - Samothraki Kamariotissa (38 nm)
4 Samothraki - Limnos (Mirina) (45 nm)
5 Limnos - Agios Efstratios (24 nm)
6 Agios Efstratios - Skyros (45 nm)
7 Skyros -Skiathos (55 nm)
8 Skiathos - Skopelos (15 nm)
9 Skopelos - Alonissos (10 nm)
10 Alonissos - Kyra Panagia (10 nm)
11 Kyra Panagia - Porto Koufo (40 nm)
12 Porto Koufo - Vourvourou (28 nm)
13 Vourvourou - Limenaria (55 nm)
14 Limenaria - Kavala (33 nm)
15 Kavala Check-out at 9:00 

 

Area map