Port Appendices
Evia Channel : Greece

These notes are intended to compliment Rod Heikell’s excellent Greek Waters Pilot, without which we would not have been able to properly and so expeditiously explore the Greek waters we love so much; we strongly urge you to buy each new edition as it is produced.  It is never possible for such a comprehensive publication to be totally up to date thus, where appropriate; we have mentioned changes.

The passage north (or south) between the Greek mainland east of Athens and Evia, one of the larger Greek islands that we found charming if challenging from a sailing point of view.  Challenging because the prevailing wind from the Spring onwards through the Summer is from the north (the Meltemi) and is thus more or less funnelled down the channel which ever direction the channel is actually facing.  Thus we found ourselves beating to windward most of the time.

It is in three sections, South of Khalkis (Khalkidis), North of Khalkis and then Steno Trikeri.  All three sections have a reputation for gusty, squally conditions and we found that to be so but not unmanageable.

As a generalisation, South of Khalkis the mainland ports are risky and probably untenable in all but the most benign conditions. Conversely, most of the ports on the Evia side of the channel are tenable in most weather conditions.

North of Khalkis there are equal opportunities for good and poor refuges on either coast.  Those we chose gave us no difficulties despite some adverse weather conditions.

Sounion

An anchorage to the west of Ak Sounion where all await the right conditions to round the point.  Well covered by the Pilot.

Karistos (on Nisos Evia)

A quaint working port on the southern end on Evia with water and power available on the quay if you pick the right spot to moor or, as we were, are directed there by the Port Police.  Simple, good value tavernas available on the front or just off the square.

Xeros (off of N. Evia)

One of the Nisidhes Petaloi group of islands just a few miles west of Karistos that provides several idyllic anchorages.  We anchored off the villa on Xeros itself and had a very peaceful night despite the Meltemi getting up in the early morning.

Voufalo (on N. Evia) (Franglay for ‘you for the loo?)

An absolutely charming if windy anchorage.  Very safe and well protected from all angles if a bit limited for swinging space for a yacht of our size.  Try the local taverna under the trees near the entrance.  Very ethnic, very laid back but excellent local food if only what is available on the day.  We were alone in the mooring and the taverna, except for Peter and Judy our friends from Kingsbridge.

Eretria (on N. Evia)

An historic town port that has in recent history lost its sense of direction and become a rather tacky tourist resort but it has a certain charm and is a safe haven in almost any conceivable weather conditions.  The bay is quite large with plenty of choice anchoring spots. It also has a very long breakwater/mole where a yacht can find sufficient depth to moor alongside or stern-to at its southern extremity in amongst the numerous fishing boats and trawlers.  We found the fishermen exceptionally helpful and friendly as mentioned in E’s from Aboard 5/2005.  There are sufficient shops for general provisioning and a couple of Internet cafés.

Khalkis (Khalkidis) (on N. Evia)

The capital of the island of Evia and the main crossing point from mainland Greece; the bridge that facilitates that crossing is a pain as it is only opened to allow yachts (and other shipping) to pass at nightime and even then only when the tidal stream and current is little enough to make that safe.  It has a lively and enjoyable waterfront that is much cheaper to enjoy than might be expected from such a locality.  There is also an excellent market in the town centre for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.  We bought a whole leg of lamb for €10 (£6.50 in 2005) that provided enough meat for six to eight meals together with enough fresh vegetables to feed an army!

We spent two nights there, mainly because we could not leave after the first night as the wind had us pinned tightly against the quay but partly as we found we were actually enjoying the ebullient Athenian atmosphere (it is one of their weekend haunts) and it made a nice change to eat in a restaurant other than the traditional Greek taverna.  We choose Il Posto, an Italian franchise we suspect and perhaps a bit up-market fast food but it was an excellent and extensive menu that included carpaccio to die for.

Ormos Politika Ak Mnima (on N. Evia)

Just an anchorage under the lee of Ak Mnima that offers some protection from the Meltemi and is simply attractive off the beach.

Unnamed Bay (on mainland coast)

A very good anchorage 2 miles south-west of Ak Larmes on the mainland coast, behind a small island and a fish farm.  Not the most attractive of locations but safe in all but strong south-easterly winds, a rarity in itself.  The views to seaward are quite acceptable though.

Limni (on N. Evia)

A sweet little port on the Evia coast.  Entry is tight and potentially dangerous in strong wind conditions but worth the visit on a calm day or if hard pressed by the Meltemi.  Again a very ethnic little place with a few bars and tavernas that some how seem to survive on very little passing yacht or road trade.  Some provision facilities.

Nisis Atalantis (on mainland coast)

A superb anchorage even allowing for the nearby fish farms if you anchor with their exclusion in mind.  The estate on the shore is full of interesting wild life; rare breed goats, black bunnies of all things, many species of birds particularly Kestrels.

Oreoi (on N. Evia)

A quaint little port full of fishing boats and trawlers that adds to its historic working atmosphere.  Very little English is spoken anywhere in shops, bars or tavernas and the food is very basically Greek but all the better for that.  We returned within a week for a bit more and found we could also fill up with water and have fuel delivered by tanker from a nearby filling station.  Just as well really as we were getting a bit low.