Itinerary 8: Alacati (Turgutreis) - Santorini - Alacati (Turgutreis) 2 weeks

1. Tag: Alacati - Chios Harbour 38° 22.3'N 26° 08.6'E 15 nm

After leaving the Alacati marina head for the white buoy and turn then to the exit of the Alacati Bay. Pay attention to the sandbar in front of the hotel and the numerous surfers. With northerly winds you may need some tacks till Chios-harbour. You can pass safely the two small islands (the west with Lighthouse Fl. (5s) 42m 10M) on your way on all sides. Closer in the breakwaters of Chios-harbour  with the highly visible beacons will be seen. In contrast, in southerly winds you can enjoy a down-wind sail directly to Chios.

If you want to stay only briefly for making clearence, you can moor alongside in the southern part of the harbour. The north is reserved for ferries and cruise-ships. The Port Authority (white building) is located in the northern part on the left of the ferry terminal. In the ferry terminal you will find Passport Police and Customs.
If you want a longer stay, you berth your boat in the southeast part of the port where a new pontoon for sailing yachts is suitable. Sometimes in summer it is difficult to find a berthing place.

Overnight accommodation is suitable in the 15 nm further south located Anchor Bay Emporio (38° 10,2'N  26° 01.8' E), especially for the slightly longer route to Patmos the next day. The concrete pier has only water depths of 1.40 m to 1.90 m. Anchor in 4-5 m on sand. Good protection from north winds. Recommended Tavern at Mary. "

2. Day: Emporio - Patmos 62 nm

The distance of 62 nautical miles may seem a bit long, but whith the prevailing winds from the north this is likely a fine, fast downwind-trip.

Patmos is a mountainous island with some beautiful bays north and south of the capital Scale Patmou on the east side of the "wasp waist" of the island. In prehistoric times the island was inhabited by the Carians, and later by the Dorians and Ionians. It is reported that Orestes took refuge here after murdering  his mother. It should also has existed here an acropolis and the temples of Apollo and Dionysus. The patron goddess of Patmos was Artemis, whose temple is said to have been located in Chora. Built on the ruins of the Basilica of St. John the Theologian, who had the revelation of the apocalypse in 96 AD in a cave. 1000 years later the monastery of St. Christodoulos was built here, the modern landmark of Patmos.

Scale Patmou, Main Harbor   37° 19.6'N   26° 33.7'  (Anst.)
You can enter day and night. The islets and reefs can be seen easily in daytime. At nighttime, you stay in the white sectors of the lighthouse. Proceed to the Bower Yacht-quay. Bring out a lot of chain because of side gusts.

Patmos is Port of Entry where you can do the clearence if you have not already done so. Good shopping and many facilities as well as taverns and cafes.

Anchor-Bays north of Scale Patmou

1. Ormos Aspris
Anchor in 5 to 7m on sandy bottom off the beach

2. Ormos Melogi
Anchor in 8 - 10m on grass and sand in the middle of the bay. Tavernas on the beach

3. Ormos Agria Livadia
Drop anchor in 5 - 7m; good holding ground;
When leaving the bay, stay properly centered at the northern exit to avoid any problems.

4. Ormos Campos
Anchor in the N part of the bay in 4-5 m on coarse sand. Tavernas on the beach.

Anchor-Bay south of Scale Patmou:

Ormos Grikou   37° 17.9'N    26° 34,2'E
The bay provides good shelter; the passage between the small island and Patmos is straightforward.

Patmos is worth a trip, both in cultural and culinary points of view as well as sporting
activities. The island offers interesting activities for all ages and tastes.

Day 3: Patmos – Amorgos – Harbour 36° 50.2'N 25° 50.3'E 51 nm

From Patmos a beam reach will lead you to Amorgos. The port Katapoula  is located 2 miles east of the above waypoint, Ak Ay Iliad with beacon Fl (2) 16s 6m. In strong Meltemi big swell can occur on the west coast of Amorgos. Once in the harbor, you can drop anchor and go stern to the quay or you anchor in the bay free-swinging. If you moor at the quay, bring out a lot of chain to windward (NW-tion), although it should be quiet in the evening. The next morning strong gusts can occur, but with a long chain to windward  this will pose no problems.

Katapoula is located beautifully. Shops and nice tavernas on the waterfront.  During my last visit in August 2009 the female harbour-master did a reservation for our yacht in the "Marina" of Santorini. She can also give you the phone number of the port official in Santorini, which I unfortunately lost. Sorry.

On the following morning you have a lot of time. The steady Meltemi particularly in the summer promises a quick run of the 40 nm to Santorin.

Day 4: Amorgos - Santorini, Vlichada Marina 36° 20.3'N 25° 25.5'E 41 nm

After leaving the Bay of Katapoula the way takes you 6 nautical miles more west passing  the small island Gramvoussa 36° 49.4'N 25° 44,7'E, Fl 1.5s 5M in the north before heading for Santorini on course 200° degrees. After a further 35 nm the destination will be reached.

Santorini is the absolute highlight among the islands of the Aegean Sea. Once in your life cruising through the caldera (crater) on your own keel or with a charter yacht. The view of Thira-city, located high up on the steep cliffs, is simply phantastic. Don’t try to anchor or to moor in the crater. It is very, very deep, and the incoming and outgoing ferries and cruise ships cause a huge swell. After a "victory lap" in the Chaldera I would move to  the Marina of Vlichada and explore Santorini by scooters, quad or car hire.

The approach to the marina is not easy. In any case use the newest maps and Pilot books, because of rocks and reefs on the left and right side of the entrance channel.
Recently, a yellow buoy is located in front of the channel. Let it on the starboard side and head straightforward to the marina-entrence. Water depths at about 4 m, decreasing to 2.50 m in the marina entrance and 2.10 meters inside depending on dredging. It is advisable to obtain the appropriate informations in advance from the Harbour Master by telephone, giving him also informations about your boat; then he will advise you a suitable berth.

Not many boats visit Santorini because of the long distance and the sometimes violent meltemi in the Aegean. I've never had trouble getting a suitable berth. The Marina staff is very friendly and helpful. Water and electricity on the pier, tavernas near the marina entrance or on top of the mountain.

In the taverna directly at the marina, you can easily rent scooters, quads and cars. The lenders bring the vehicles or take you to their base and bring you back again. A trip allover the whole island by scooter or quad is really worthwhile. Then leave the vehicle in Thira Town on a parking place, walk to the highest point and drink a cup of coffee there with a magnificent view across the crater or go by cable car or the mules down into the Chaldera.

Stay at least one day on Santorini, it's worth it.

Day 5 in Santorini

Day 6: Santorini - Astypalea, Maltezana 36° 34.5'N 26° 23.2'E 51 nm

The 50 miles from Santorini to Astypalaia encludes a run with the meltemi. Pass the small island of Anafi in the north and head to the south of the wasp waist of Astypalaia located Maltezana Anchor Bay.
After the turmoil in Santorini, it's good to spend a night in an anchorage once again. Try to come a little bit from the north of Astypalaia to Maltezana bay because of strong gusts. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to sail to Maltezana (or to the near of it) but by motor you will have no problems. For the approach from SW, you can pass through between the two small islets, WT 4 - 5m, control point 36 ° 34,2 'N 26 ° 23.3' E.

Those who want to go on the safe side, sail around the elongated island and approach Maltezana from the east in deeper water. Anchor in 3 - 5m where it pleases or go to the pier, if there is space. Tavernas ashore and bus to scale, the main port of Astypalea.

Day 7: Astypalea - Nisiros, Port Paloi 36 ° 37.2 'N 27 ° 10.3' E

For the return trip to Alacati, it might be better to sail from Astypalaia northeastward to Kos, but I would not miss the volcanic island of Nisiros. Especially when you have some days left. Then the way via Kos, Kalymnos, Samos Agathonisi is really comfortable.

Nisiros is a volcanic island with a still active crater where you can walk in. The island is in the springtime the purest ocean of flowers, hardly to believe on a volcanic island. Anyway, Nisiros is a green island.

The island has two ports, but only one is useful for us sailors: the eastern one, Paloi. Paloi-port was recently rebuilt, and the entrance was moved from the north to east. (Hopefully more protected against silting up). The water depths are now 2.50 to 3 meters. Previously you could only moor on the north-quay, now it is also possible at the opposite south-concrete, but still at anchor, no mooring-lines.

The staff is very friendly, takes the stern lines and opens electricity and water, if desired. Berthing is free, water and electricity each 5 €. Cars and scooters for to climb to the volcano are available in the harbour; walking is a little burdensome. Good tavernas on the waterfront. A small mini-market, but really only for the basics.

North of Paloi the pumice-island Yali is located. Below the narrowest strech of the island you can anchor well protected from the Meltemi. Prior to the relocation of the harbour entrance of Paloi there was swell in the harbour in strong N-winds. Since it was advisable to avoid, according to Yali. This is likely now a thing of the past.

8. Tag: Nisiros - Kos Marina, Inst. 36° 53,9'N 27° 10.3'E 19 nm

From Nisiros to Kos Marina there are only 19 nm, but these miles you have to sail against the wind. In strong Meltemi it is advisable to leave Nisiros early in the morning before the wind really gets up. Let the Cape Fokas Fl 4s 6m Ak and Ak Louros Fl (3) w / r 15s 6M on the port side and after passing Ak Louros head straitforward to the marina.

Kos Marina is a well-run, modern marina with all service facilities offered by a modern Marina. A pilot boat allocates you a berth and helps to moor, at your request again on departure. To Kos-city there are a few miles by feet, but in front of the marina you will find a bus stop.

Supermarkets and restaurants in the Marina, but also outside on the way to Kos. The marina-staff is very friendly and helpful.

Alternatively, one could also navigate to a port on the Turkish coast, for example, Bodrum or Turgutreis (described further in Itinerary 5).

9. Tag: Kos - Kalymnos, Emporio Bay 37° 02.5'N 26° 55.7'E 26 nm

After leaving Kos-Marina sail a short step northward to the Turkish coast, then tack and head for Kalymnos by an close hauled course passing south of Pserimos along the southern coast of Kalymnos to the islets with a lot of wind, but only small waves.

Between Nera and Kalymnos  you can pass through. Now a little further west, then tack again and head for the northeast of Steno Telendhou, the channel between the island of Kalymnos and Telendhos.

The small islands in front of Cape Trakhilas you can pass on both sides. The Steno Telendhou is very scenic, but you will need the engine here. 3 sm further north, the bay Emporio is located behind a small islet that can be passed on both sides.

In Emporio big mooring-buoys are laid out, owned by the tavernas ashore. I recommend taking one of them, as the holding is poor here and strong gusts may occur. Otherwise it is very quiet here in beautiful landscaped surroundings.

Day 10: Kalymnos - Agathonisi (Gaidaros), 32 nm

The next day getting up early is highly recommended, as one part of the route to Agathonisi must be tacked. Depending on wind-strength and wind-direction you navigate along the west coast of Leros, or pass between Kalymnos and Leros, then head for Agathonisi.

Probably the latter mentioned way is the better one. From the south coast of Leros a direct course to Agathonisi should be possible.
Head for the waypoint 37° 05.6'N  26° 52.9'E, then turn to an easterly course between the two islands. The southernone has a beacon Fl 1.5s 4M.
After one mile try to sail a direct course to Agathonisi in about 20 nm. (possibly a bit tacking required).

The "main port", Ag. Georgiou, 36°26.8'N, 26°57,6’ E, Fl 2s 4M is an ideal place to stay. Also because of the generosity of the locals (about 70), the cleanliness in the village and in the taverns, the small island is often visited by yachts.

One can go into the side-bays of the main bay of Ag. Georgiou or anchor in front of the village but also at the pier alongside. The front section of the Pier (yellow) is reserved to the boat of the Coast Guard. Even if the place should be free, you will not moor there; the patrol boats can arrive also in the middle of the night, then you must move.

The next day, the way leads you further  in north-east direction to the"Small Samos-Strait" (Kusadasi-Strait), the Greek island of Samos on the port side, the Turkish mainland to starboard. The small Turkish island "Bayrak - Adasi" carries a beacon and can be easily passed on both sides.

11. Day: East coast of Samos and Kusadasi

12. Day: A bay on the Turkish coast or Sigacik Marina

13. Day: Return trip to Alacati

It is useful on the way back to the starting point Alacati-Marina to stop on the south coast of Samos, for example, Pythagoreion or on the east coast in one of the described bays.

Also Kusadasi on the Turkish coast is a possibility.

For the last day you should choose a destination not too far away from Alacati, p.e. Doganbey or Sigacik-Marina, from where Alacati-Marina easily can be reached on Friday afternoon, where you will be expected about 17.00 o’clock by our base crew.

The marina and anchorages on the island of Samos I have described  in Itinerary 3, those at the Turkish coast in Itinerary 4.

This 2-week long cruise is also very well to be done from our base Turgutreis.

From Turgutreis to Kalymnos–harbour; Check-In here for Greek waters then go up to Emporio. From Emporio the trip to Amorgos  should be quite possible. When returning from Santorini to Turgutreis  you will have more time than required. So it is possible visiting one more island in the Aegean, p.e. Naxos or Ios, or alternativly a short trip into the Gökova Gulf for a stop at Bodrum. Depending on your taste.
(described in Itinerary 5).

This cruise to Santorini is an absolute highlight, and even my favorite island in the Aegean. Because of the very strong Meltemi in the Central Aegean in the summer-months, thorough preparation, careful navigation and good seamanship is required for a good and stress-free sail. The necessary tools for this purpose are available on each of our yachts.

In August 2009 I did this trip as the skipper for a family with 4 children and 2 grandpas on a 54-foot yacht from Marmaris (route via Kos and Kalymnos). Up to Santorini, we were only four persons, the father ((42 years), his father and father-in-law (both 80 years old) and I, the skipper (46 years). Every day until Santorini we had wind up to 6 to 8 Bft. We never had any problems. In Santorini, the mother and the four children (2 girls 5 and 7 years, 2 boys 11 and 12 years old) arrived from Germany. We never had any difficulties in spite of this wind. After these two weeks the father did the examination for the skipper-licence in Marmaris with big success.

You see, there are plenty of interesting spots to sail in one of the most beautiful sailing areas of the world.
Try it!

I wish you much fun in any case,

Happy Sailing!