Sailing in the Argolic gulf
Welcome to our sailing area in the Argolic Gulf, lying to the south & west of Poros.
This area benefits from quiet harbours and coves away from the Athens charter fleets. In the north is the city of Navplion with the stunning Palamidi Citadel and the ancient site of Mycenae.
Sailing the Argolic gulf west of Poros
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The Argolic Gulf lies due west of Poros and tucks up into the Peloponnese mainland. The area includes major historic sites such as Mycenae & Tiryns, both world heritage sites, the island & town of Hydra (Ídhra) and city of Navplion.
The sailing area
Map of the Argolic Gulf sailing area west of Greek Sails’ yacht base in Poros showing the nominal route of the Greek Sails Argolic Gulf flotilla sailing holiday route.
Click the to close the bubble identifying Greek Sails’ yacht base in Poros.
View the Argolic Gulf sailing area in a larger map
The Argolic Gulf - Argolikós Kólpos - forms our western sailing area and lies to the east of the Peloponnese and south west of Poros.
The Argolic Gulf tends to be quieter than the Saronic as it is further from Athens and the Kalamaki Marina charterers. The Argolic area includes some beautiful unspoilt isolated spots.
The winds & sailing
The Argolic Gulf sailing area is well protected from the summer ‘Meltemi’ wind that blows from the north/northeast. Instead the winds tend to curl up into the Argolic giving a south easterly sea breeze that will arrive midday most days. This gives a comfortable Force 4-5 which then quietens in the evening to leave you with a peaceful night.
Winds in the Hydra channel leading between Póros and the Argolic Gulf can be from the north east as the ‘Meltemi’ turns and follows the channel.
The short ‘reach’ caused by the protection of the Argolic Gulf makes for flatter seas even when the ‘Meltemi’ is blowing. This shelter makes the Argolic excellent for ‘family sailing’ where you can enjoy the (usually) reliable sea breeze while being protected from the effects of any stronger winds that not all of the family might be so enthusiastic about!
Ports & places of interest
The Argolic gulf is particularly full of places of interest and beauty; here we provide you some ideas and locations to consider in your passage planning.
Please note that waypoints are provided for identification purposes only and represent good ‘stand-off’ locations. However, they are not intended to be used for navigation.
Hydra (Ídhra)37° 21’.02N 23° 27’.91E (WGS84)
Hydra is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. There are massive stone merchants’ houses nestling in a rocky landscape.
The harbour is very small and space is at a premium and so it is always important to get into harbour early.
There are countless restaurants and bars and the whole effect is enhanced by the absence of motorised transport.
Ermioni37° 23’.21N 23° 15’.50E (WGS84)
It is really worthwhile finding the time to visit this beautiful village sat on a pine-clad peninsula. Choose the north or south quay according to the wind direction and enjoy magnificent sunsets from the many fine tavernas.
An impressive farmers’ market is held every Thursday morning where you can buy fresh local produce.
Port Heli (Porto Kheli)37° 18’.83N 23° 08’.13E (WGS84)
While there are several beautiful anchorages in the approach to the main bay, Porto Heli itself is busy and crowded and is best kept as a safe anchorage in bad weather. It is also a good spot for provisioning from one of the many large shops.
Spetsai (Spetses / Spétsai)37° 15’.85N 23° 09’.85E (WGS84)
Spetsai is a beautiful historical island that should be visited so as to not miss its magnificent houses, traditional boatyards and the house of the Greek heroine of the War of Independence, Bouboulina.
While it may not be easy to find a place in the old harbour, there are several delightful bays to choose from depending upon the prevailing wind direction and strength. Transport around the island by water taxi is available.
Koiladhia (Koiládhia)37° 25’.54N 23° 06’.78E (WGS84)
While Koiladhia is not a beautiful village, the bay affords totally safe anchoring. Eating out is for the fish lover as Koiladhia is a working fishing port.
On the eastern side of the bay, opposite the village, you can visit the Francithi cave which has been the source of numerous prehistoric remains including the skeleton of a stone-age inhabitant, believed to be the oldest human remains found in Greece.
Vivari (Khaïdhari)37° 31’.38N 22° 55’.84E (WGS84)
This stunning landlocked inlet has the remains of a small Venetian fort on its Northern entrance.
You can moor at the head of the inlet and there are excellent tavernas on the shore. It’s also possible to take a taxis into Navplion a few miles to the north.
Navplion (Naphlion)37° 34’.05N 22° 47’.50E (WGS84)
This city is unmissable and worth staying for a day. The picturesque old town is a mixture of Venetian, Turkish and neo-classical buildings and a stroll through the narrow streets and open squares overhung with bougainvillea, clematis and jasmine is a delightful experience.
There are countless excellent tavernas and bars and probably the best ice-cream parlour in Greece!
Perched above the city is the huge Venetian Citadel of the Palamidi and about twenty minutes north by taxi are the remains of the Citadel of Mycenae, and Tiryns, both of which are a world heritage sites.
The harbour is more commercial than many you may visit, but the town, Palamidi and general ambiance of the place more than makes up for it!
Astros (Ástros)37° 24’.82N 22° 45’.98E (WGS84)
Astros harbour gives good shelter in the summer and is clean enough to swim in. A short walk above the town you can visit a ruined Venetian castle. There are numerous tavernas and bars and restaurants around the sandy bay and a few kilometres of beach.
Continuing down the coast
Continuing down the eastern Peloponnese coast you come to the harbours of Tiros, Sambatiki and Plaka (Leonídhion Plaka). For more information on these destinations please see our ‘Sailing the eastern Peloponnese’ information.
About these notes
These notes are a general guide and appetiser to this sailing area. For more in-depth information we strongly advise you consult the ‘Greek Waters Pilot’ and ‘West Aegean’ pilot guides by Rod Heikell. These unique publications are available from Amazon and are indispensable for those wishing to get the best from sailing these waters. Greek Sails do provide crews copies of these guides, but if you want to consider and pre-plan your route you may wish to purchase copies before you arrive.
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