The areas prevailing wind during the summer months is the infamous Meltemi blowing from the N-NW. It is first felt in June and becomes stronger through July, August and September when it can reach force 8. It dies down in October. In the spring and autumn gales are common from the N and the SE. The summer months are hot, average temperatures are 25 deg C and temperatures often reach 35 deg C.
Kea Island is very close to Athens, it is a mountainous island and small valleys, planted with fruit-trees and vines, break up its coarse beauty. This is quite holiday spot and its numerous bays and attractive villages offer quiet relaxation in contrast to the other more popular islands in the Cyclades. Hora is the capital of the island and home to the Archaeological museum which hosts a number of Cycladic period finds.
Greek mythology has it that Kea was the residence of the nymphs of the forest springs who embodied the “liquid element”. The gods envied its beauty and sent a fearsome lion to persecute the nymphs who took escaped to Karistos. Then a long period of dryness began, water levels decreased and the vegetation withered. The islanders asked for the help of Apollo’s son Aristaios. He came to the island and built a sanctuary to honour the Ikmaios Zeus, the god of rain. The gods were pacified and the draught was reduced allowing agriculture to thrive once more.
Korissia is the port of Kea and is situated at the southern end of the Limin Ay Nikolaou in the NW of the island. The houses of the port are built around a bay, on a small plain. You can moor stern or bows to the quay keeping clear of the ferry berth. As the Meltemi blows straight on to the quay ensure your anchor is holding. Vourkari further NW in the bay also has a quay that you can moor stern or bow to. There are several other possible locations to anchor in within the bay if the weather is calm. Fuel in available in Korrisa and provisions and tavernas can be found in both Korrisa and Vourkari. During the summer months the bay is more often than not crowded with yachts from nearby Athens with picturesque Vourkari being the most popular.
Loulis, the capital of Kea, is situated 5.5 km from Korissia. Many of the old mansions are built next to the ruined castle. The ancient acropolis of Loulis and the impressive sculpture of Kea’s Lion are both worth a visit. As are the churches of Panayia Gamila and Panayia Revmatiani and the ruined monasteries of Agia Anna and Dafni.
On the coast further to the south there is an anchorage at Ormos Pisa, there are no facilities here. Further south still is the anchorage of Ormos Kavia, open only to the south it provides good shelter from the Meltemi. The taverna run by Manos can provide provisions, fuel, gas, water, ice and showers. Ormos Polais is in the SE of the island. This anchorage provides some shelter from the Meltemi but holding is not always good. There are ruins ashore including those of a temple. Khalidhoniki is a small cove in the NE of the island with good shelter from the Meltemi. The small village ashore has a taverna. Orgias is a small cove on the northern coast that should only be used to anchor in calm conditions. There are no facilities.
The barren, rocky island of Kithnos lies 6 miles to the south of Kea. Legend says that the Dryopes, who came from Eboea, settled on Kythnos in the 11th century BC. In classical times the island was a well organized city state praised by Aristotele. Excavations have found a site dating back to the Neolithic or even the Mesolithic period, making it the oldest habitation in the Cyclades. In more recent times, around 200 BC, the island was frequently attacked by the Romans although they never succeeded in taking it. The island is 19 km long and covers an area of about 80 square km. The only green shade in the heat of the summer is provided by many the fig trees. Today the island is popular with Greeks who head for its many Spas that are located in the NE of the island.
The capital of the island, Hora, stands inland on a hillside plateau, it is a typical Cycladic village with beautiful churches containing fine woodcarving, sanctuary screens and icons. On the western coast lie the bays of Apokriosis and Fikiadha. Good holding and shelter in attractive surroundings. There are good white sandy beaches. No other facilities. Further to the south lies the island’s port Merika. Moor stern or bow to the quay inside the ferry berth. The SW end of the quay shallows and yachts should go bows to. Fuel is obtainable by taxi. Most provisions are available in the village. There are several waterfront tavernas. The anchorages of Kanala and Ay Nikolos can be found in the south east of the island. They should be visited in only calm weather. There are no facilities. Further to the north on the east coast are the anchorages of Stefanos and Ioannis. They offer good shelter from the Meltemi but holding is poor in places. A limited water supply is available at Stefanos. No other facilities. The village of Loutra is in the NE of Kithnos. Go bow or stern to off the quay. Water is available on the quay and most provisions are available in the town. There are several tavernas.
Siros is another almost barren island. The north is rugged and largely uninhabited while the south has gentler slopes and is cultivated towards the coast. Ermoupolis is on the east coast. Go bow or stern to the quay avoiding the ferry berth in the east of the harbour. Reasonable shelter except with winds from the SE when a large swell comes into the harbour making it at best very uncomfortable and at worst dangerous. Another hazard is the sewage that flows into the harbour making it very smelly in the summer. Non potable water is available on the quay. Drinking water comes via a tanker. There is good shopping within the town. Plenty of tavernas around the harbour and in town. As the past capital of the Cyclades the town has a certain grandeur with many fine buildings. The small island of Nisos Gaidharos lies just to the east. A small cove in the SE corner provides good shelter from the Meltemi. There are no facilities. Varis is in the SE of Siros. Good holding and shelter from the Meltemi. There are several tavernas on the waterfront. In the SW lies the sheltered bay of Finikas. Go bow or stern to of the pier or anchor off. Holding is good. There is water on the pier and electric can be connected. Showers and toilets on the pier. Some provisions are available in the village. This is a particularly place and well worth a visit. Further to the N is Galissas. There is a small mole to the south of the bay, depths are shallow so take a long line to it. There is a mini market and tavernas ashore. Kini lies further to the north. There is a taverna ashore and limited provisions are available.
Andros is the most northern island in the Cyclades. It is mountainous and heavily wooded with limited cultivation. Gaviron is on the NW coast. You can anchor in the north of the bay or go bow or stern to or alongside the quay. There is good shelter from the Meltemi. Water is available from the village and there is fuel on the quay. Most provisions can be obtained in the village. There are tavernas on the waterfront and in the village. Batsi is a small harbour 2.5 miles SE of Gaviron. Go bow or stern to the quay or anchor in the N or W of the bay. There is water on the quay. Fuel and most provisions can be obtained in the village. There are tavernas on the beach, around the waterfront and in the village. Further to the south is the open bay of Palaioupolis. Anchor to the north of the bay where the best shelter from the Meltemi is. The waters are crystal clear and surroundings impressive. Kastro is on the E side of the island. The harbour is open to the Meltemi and entry can be difficult. Go bow or stern to behind the mole. Water, fuel and provisions can be obtained from the village. There are tavernas around the waterfront and in the village. Kastro is the capital of Andros. The walk from the harbour, around the bay to the village will be rewarded as the maritime, archaeological and modern art museums are all worth a visit. 6 miles to the south of Kastro is the open bay of Korthion. It is possible to anchor in the bay but there is little protection from the Meltemi and the accompanying swell is at best uncomfortable and could be dangerous.
There are several tavernas ashore and limited provisions can be obtained.
Tinos is yet another rugged mountainous island lying just to the south of Andros. The island is wooded and many of the slopes have been terraced there is extensive cultivation. The main port and capital is Tinos. Go bow or stern to the quay to the north of the inner harbour avoiding the ferry berth. There is good shelter in all but southerlies that produce some swell. Wash from the ferries can be uncomfortable. There is water on the quay and the locals claim it to be the purest in Greece – a claim made by several other places. Fuel can be obtained in the town, as can all provisions. There are plenty of tavernas close to the harbour. Panormos lies on the NE coast. Go bow or stern to one of the two piers, care is need with the smaller pier, as there is less than 2m depths except at it extremity. There is only limited protection from the Meltemi and it should be avoided when it is blowing.
Further to the south lies Mikinos. Perhaps the most popular tourist spot in Greece. It capital and port go by the same name and it is the town that is the island’s main attraction. Go bow or stern to the quay in the NE of the harbour. The bottom is weed and it is difficult to get the anchor to cut through. There is limited protection from the Meltemi and some consider the harbour dangerous. Mini tanker can deliver water and fuel. There are many shops in the town and all provisions can be obtained. There are numerous tavernas varying in both quality and price. Just over a mile to the north there is a modern marina. This provides good all round protection. Ornos bay is on the south coast. Anchor in the north of the bay, the bottom is sand and weed and poor holding in places. There is a supermarket nearby and several beachfront tavernas. Kalafatis, further to the east provides good protection from the Meltemi but is open to the S and E. There is a taverna ashore. On the north coast is the large bay of Panormos. It cannot be used in the Meltemi season. There is a taverna ashore.
Rinia lies to the west. Skhinou is a bay on the E coast. Anchor either in the north on sand taking care of the rocks. There is good shelter from the Meltemi. Or in the south but there is no protection from the Meltemi here. There are further anchorages at Chapel Bay, South Bay and Miso. There are no facilities at any of these anchorages.