Our Sailing notes
Weather and anchorages: as strange as it may seem, August is the windiest month with the Meltemi that blows steady force 7 from the NE, and they rarely turn the huge fan off. Not much you can do to avoid it, just sail in the lee of the islands, and sail there before July 20 or after August 30.
Luckily geography helped out a lot, with numberless coves and islands. The natives are used to the wind since the dawn of ages and they are excellent sailors and skippers, and always built villages around a sheltered bay, so you have a public harbour even in the smallest islands. Just keep in mind that you need to use your own moorings even in ports, so it's imperative to sail with a good anchor, a long and heavy chain, and plenty of warps to lay ashore!
Gourmet: Greece is as far from nouvelle Cuisine as you can imagine, but they certainly know their way about their excellend ingredients. Although greek salad every day might be too much, one cannot but fall in love with feta and onions. My favourite dishes in Greece are grilled octopus and stuffed squid. To die for. If you prefer meat, mutton and lamb is the way to go. Greece is one of the capitals of the grill, so follow the smell of coals, sit down with the very good local brews and wash down the fish and beef barbecues. Local sauces are also surprisingly good, based on yogurt, olives, herbs and cucumber. Tzatziki is the most famous.
Forget wines, though...
Vourkhari - Chora: tavern in front of the town hall
Tilos-Megari chorio, ” Kafenion “ Kiria Sofia
Symi : TOLOS Mrs Haroula
Rhodos: SAKIS in Canada Street or Jannis in Koskinou
Khalki is conveniently placed 10 miles from Rhdes and boast a small and welcoming Venetian village. There is an excellent cove W of the harbour.
Alimia is not far away and a place to go if you are into solitude, because a small church is the only thing you can find, besides a wide and sheltered bay. There is an old fort commanding the landscape, but you need a good dose of stamina to hike there under the sun...
Symi is one of the jewels of the Dodecannese. Busy, needless to say, so get there early, because its liveliness and Venetian style deserve a stop. The main drags are 'Vapori' for aperitifs, and Tolos for dinner (ask of Mrs Haroula).
For a swin head W to Thessalona and / or e to Aghio Emiliano ad Est.
A stop in Lorima - Buzuk Kale is good plan on the way to Rhodos. Selami's sailor house is excellent and do not try to play backgammon with him if you do not want to feel a useless human being. The damn-fast-dice-thrower pirate built a free dock for his guests, offers excellent seafood with several eastern dishes, and you'll feel in a diffenet space-time cone of the universe.
It's just two hours to Rhodes, certainly not my favourite island, but only because I am not a disco-bound teenager. There is little shelter and the harbour is always full....
If you have time or heading towards Turkey, keep in mind that Kastellorizo is indeed the best island in Greece. Even if you did not fall in love with the movie Mediterraneo, you will fall for this place the moment you see it.
Sailing from our base in Kos, you will experience the most beautiful cruising grounds in the Mediterranean. To the North, South, East and West of Yalikavak are fabulously varying sailing areas. The Turkish coastal belt has the sweet perfume of mandarin groves, pine forests and flowering oleander. No matter in which direction you head you will find remote secluded bays, unspoilt fishing hamlets and colourful coastal towns. The Gulf of Gokova is to the East and at its entrance is Bodrum, alive with bars, restaurants and bustling market stalls. Here you can get lost in time bargaining for virtually anything from exotic spices to silk carpets. In the contrast of this hive of activity are the many sheltered anchorages cleft deep into the mountainous coastline. Explore and discover small fishing villages, farming settlements and hidden coves where simple wooden jetties are the watermark of cheerful easy going restaurants. These are the places where you can really let your hair down and join in the local entertainment of folk songs and belly dancing.
The Gulf of Gulluk is north of Yalikavak and hosts two vastly different shores. On the southern shore are Torba, Turk Buku and Gundogan, playgrounds of Turkey 's rich and famous. While the northern side of the gulf is for those who really want to escape. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with dozens of quiet and picturesque retreats such as Iassos, guarded by the ruins of a fortress built in the 12th Century, Kazikli where you will be greeted by inky blue waters, sandy beaches and a family of inquisitive white ducks. South of Yalikavak, at the furthest reaches of the Datca peninsula, where the Mediterranean and Aegean seas unite, is the tiny hamlet of Knidos. In the 4th Century there were 70,000 inhabitants, now just a few goat herders, the restaurateur and his family. Above and below the crystal clear water the remains of the past await you: snorkel around the sunken walls of the Trireme harbour or climb the amphitheatre to the temple where Aphrodite once reigned.
Further down the coast is Datca, an isolated yet thriving holiday village, excellent for catching up on some nightlife and trading experiences with the many sailors that call in there. An opportune moment to restock with fresh supplies before venturing into the Dorian Gulf . Within this gulf are literally hundreds of coves and inlets, all with the invigorating scent of the pine forests which climb up from the shores.
Marmaris, Fethiye, Oludeniz, Kalkan, Kas and Kekova are within comfortable reach for those who want to voyage further and open up even more possibilities that keep our guests returning year after year. The Greek Dodecanese Islands are west of our base and easily accessed after completing the necessary port formalities. Rugged and bare of vegetation, the islands offer a complete contrast of culture and scenary for the adventurous yachtsman.