The western Pelo­pon­nese

Yachting Monthly - - EXPERT ON BOARD -

As you round Cape Mat­a­pan into the south­ern Io­nian Sea and head north to­wards Zakinthos and Cephalo­nia, you leave be­hind the rugged moun­tains and sail to­wards the rolling green is­lands of the north­ern Io­nian.

Fi­nakounda – Once around Cape Mat­a­pan you can head for Cape Akri­tas and the nar­row strait be­tween it and Venetiko Is­land. Again, leave rea­son­ably early and you can mo­tor­sail part of the way be­fore the west­er­lies pick up. In gen­eral, the west­er­lies will not get much above Force 4 and die down in the evening. You can an­chor off Fi­nakounda on sand with good shel­ter from the pre­vail­ing winds. Ashore there is a pop­u­lar tourist vil­lage with tav­er­nas and bars aplenty.

Methoni – One of my favourite spots and a gen­tle six miles or so from Fi­nakounda. If for any rea­son you are mak­ing up time you can by­pass Fi­nakounda and an­chor off the old Venetian cas­tle here, ready for the stretch to Ki­paris­sia fur­ther up the coast. The bot­tom is weedy in places so make sure your an­chor is well dug in. It’s worth spend­ing a bit of time here to ex­plore the Venetian cas­tle with its dis­tinc­tive Turk­ish tower on the ex­trem­ity, and in the vil­lage there are some good tav­er­nas and a bit of shop­ping. As you go up the coast you pass the Bay of Navarino and Pi­los. If you have the time to spare, con­vivial Pi­los is well worth a visit. From Methoni it can be a bit of a bash to get up to Ki­paris­sia, but again you can leave in the early morn­ing calm and mo­tor­sail for a bit. Ki­paris­sia – This is a won­der­fully Greek lit­tle spot You should wan­der up the hill to the cen­tral square for a beer and maybe a bite to eat.

Katakolon – It’s nearly 30 miles up to Katakolon with the wind pretty much on the nose. If you set off on port tack the wind does inch around to a more westerly di­rec­tion as you close Katakolon and it re­ally is a romp­ing sail hard on the wind. Plan to spend a day here and take the train to Olym­pus. The site is amaz­ing and the train ride is quite some­thing, too.

Back into the In­land Sea – From Katakolon it is a hop, step and a jump into the In­land Sea. You can ei­ther go up the main­land side on the east or up through Zakinthos and Cephalo­nia on the west. Again, the pre­vail­ing north-west wind doesn’t get up un­til mid­day so you can mo­tor­sail for a bit to make up some ground.

Pi­los ‘ma­rina’ in Navarino Bay

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.