Gulf of Patras and Gulf of Corinth
T he two gulfs are like long lakes surrounded by high mountains. While the prevailing wind is from the west blowing through the gulfs, there can be gusts off the high land on the northern side, especially around Itea and along to Kolpos Alkionidhes. In the approaches to Corinth there can be strong gusts from the north-east depending on whether the Meltemi is blowing in the Aegean.
Petala Island – If you are headed down from the Inland Sea then the anchorage behind Petala Island is a good spot to use before heading into the Gulf of Patras. Nothing here except a well sheltered anchorage and some peace and quiet.
Mesolonghi – From Petala it is an easy sail to Mesolonghi, where you chug down a dredged canal to the town and choose to anchor out (clear of the approaches to the commercial
harbour) or get a berth in the marina. It’s a bit of a hot, dusty walk into town, but there are some good tavernas and cafés in the central square and nearby pedestrianised street.
Patras – I tend to give Patras a miss as the marina is a little distance from town and you need to walk through the docks to get there. That said, there are restaurants and bars aplenty around the marina itself.
Navpaktos – The most perfectly preserved medieval harbour around, but tiny and you can’t bet on getting a berth in here. Large yachts (over 12m) should not attempt to enter here as there simply isn't room. You can anchor off the beach, though you tend to roll around a bit.
Trizonia – This small island lying just off the coast has a sheltered anchorage and a small ‘marina’ on the eastern side. Sadly, much of the ‘marina’ is taken up by yachts which have either been dumped here and left, or never go anywhere. The small village is an entrancing place with several tavernas. If you can’t get in here there are a number of good anchorages along the northern side at Kallithea, Eratini and Panormos.
Galaxidhi – A little gem and you shouldn’t miss it. The harbour is not very big and can get crowded, so arrive here early rather than late. If you can’t get in you can anchor off, though it is not the most comfortable. Alternatively, go to Anemokambi just around the corner or across to the marina at Itea. You can arrange a trip to Delos from Galaxidhi and you should do so for the drive up there and the spectacular site itself.
Kiato – Not the most prepossessing spot, but a useful stop when heading for the Corinth Canal. The small yacht harbour at Corinth can be difficult to get into and you shouldn’t bank on getting a berth there. It’s just over 10 miles from Kiato to the Corinth Canal.
Corinth Canal – Call up on VHF Ch11 (Isthmia Pilot) to see what the state of play is. Yachts normally go through after any commercial vessels. You may have to hang around for a while, depending on schedules. You pay the canal dues at the Aegean end, at Isthmia. There is a quay with large rubber bumper rails and you should make sure you put springs on and leave someone on board as any vessels, especially tugs and ships, push a fair volume of water in front of them when they come into the canal. The canal office is conspicuous nearby. Canal fees for a 12m yacht are around €180 including VAT and can be paid in cash or by credit/debit card. ‘Navpaktos is a perfectly preserved Medieval harbour but you can’t bet on getting a berth’
Petala Island, north of the entrance to the Gulf of Patras, is a good jumping off point from the Ionian
The Rion-Andirrion bridge spans the strait between the Gulfs of Patras and Corinth
The Corinth Canal, completed in 1893, turned Pelops Island into a proper island
Castellated walls guard the entrance of the tiny harbour of Navpaktos
Few people fail to fall in love with Galaxidhi. It's a gem that should not be missed