Itinerary 7: Turgutreis - Southern Greek Islands (Nisiros, Tilos, Symi)-Turgutreis

Turgutreis - Nisiros 28 nm
Off Turgutreis Marina the trip takes you to the eastern headland of Kos, namely the Cape Fouka Akra, as already described in Itinerary 6th. Then turn up to the wind to approximately 212 °.
The distance to Nisiros port Paloi is only 17 nm, mostly on a close hauled course but in the lee of Kos the waves will be small.

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.

Nisiros - Tilos 17 nm

Southeast of Nisiros on the island of Tilos opens up the large bay of Ormos Livadia. Tilos looks at first glance rugged and inhospitable, but once arrived at the port, the island offers its own special charm. Only a few sailors come to here, perhaps because older Pilot books have described the bay and the port of Livadia as a windy and unattractive spot.

Since 2008, there are laid moorings, the "Harbour Master" is helpful while mooring
and gives you water and electricity, which must be paid separately. The port fee (low) you have to pay at the Port Police.

Provisioning is relatively good on Tilos. There are nice tavernas in the small town, but also in the port. Ferries to Rhodes, Kos and other Greek islands.

Tilos - Symi (monastery Bay Panormitis) 24 nm

The island of Symi is the barest island in the Dodecanese. It is still useable called as the Pearl of the Dodecanese. 365 churches are reported to be here.
Off the north coast of Symi lies the island Nimos, separated by a narrow, but 3-4 m deep channel. Also a deep channel separates the island of Symi’s South Cape from the small islet Seskli.

Coming from Tilos, you reach at a course of 70° degrees after 24 nm 

Ormos Panormitis in the southwest-corner of Symi. The bay is an almost completely closed, a natural harbour. The safeiest berth around the island in all winds. On the south  the monastery Panormitis is located. The best place to anchor is in the northeast part of the bay in 5 - 6m on mud. Tavernas ashore and bakery in the monastery.

Panormitis - Symi harbour; 11 nautical miles
When you have left Panormitis you can easily pass through the channel between the island of Symi and Seskli. After this passage you will sail a northerly course, passing several bays to Cape Koutsoumba, the southern boundary of the outer

Simi - Harbour - Bay.

From here it is another 2 nm at 235° degrees to the harbour entrance.

In the port you will be shown a berthing-place by loud whistles. (Right or left in the port on anchor). Put as much chain as possible and make sure that the anchor holds. The basin is very deep, even strong gusts can occur and the wash of the ferries make the anchor holdings not easier. In summertime don’t come too late so it can be pretty tight. It is also not uncommen that “late arrivals” will rip out your laboriously dugged in anchor.

Nevertheless, Symi Town is a worthwhile destination. The pastel-coloured houses, lovingly restored, nestled in several floors around the whole harbour. A trip up the 500 steps to the monastery will offer you a magnificent view. Many tavernas and shops along the waterfront. Bank; fuel station at the south entrance of the harbour.

If you want to avoid this turmoil, you can stay in Pedi, a bay south of the Symi-harbour-bay lying at anchor and visit Symi town by bus. Even here in Pedi, you should dug in the anchor well, as fierce gusts can occur.

If you are arriving very early at all and you want to avoid Symi in midday heat, you could insert a bathing stop in the small Anchor Bay Agia Marina, located between Pedi - Bay and Simi - Bay. The anchorage is upstream of the small island of Agia Marina. Head to the anchorage from the south and drop the anchor in 4-5m on sand in clear water; the northern passage has only 1.5 m water depth.

Symi - Palamut 18 nm; Palamut - Turgutreis 30 nautical miles

When leaving Symi the next morning, you can shorten the way westward through the passage between Symi-North Cape and the island  Nimos  of about 4nm. The channel is very narrow, but in the middle 4m deep. One crew member should stand at the bow, to make up any rocks in the crystal clear water.

The route to Palamut, Palamut-harbour and the return trip to Turgutreis, I have already  extensively described in Itinerary 6.

As an alternative to Palamut  you can chose Knidos-Bay, 6 nautical miles further west.  A new restaurant-jetty has been built here where you moor alongside. Mooring fee is levied by the municipality. Anchoring is possible at the crest of the bay in 5 - 10m on sand and thick weed. Although the bay is protected from waves violent gusts can occur. A matter of taste.

As I mentioned in previous itineraries, use for navigation all on-board facilities. All our boats are equipped with a chartplotter. Furthermore you will find all the relevant charts and cruising guides (Horn / Hoop Heikell, Radspieler) on board.

Happy sailing!

Location information:

Nisiros:  port approach Paloi       36° 37.2'N    27° 10.3'E
Tilos: Livadia approach                36° 25.2'N    27° 23.3'E
Symi: approach Panormitis         36° 33.1'N     27° 50.5'E
Passage Symi South – Seskli       36° 31.9'N    27° 50.5'E
Channel Pedi – Bay                      36° 37.2'N    27° 52.7'E
Anchorage Agia Marina                36° 37.4'N    27° 52.2'E
Channel Symi Town - Bay             36° 38.4'N    27° 52.3'E
Symi harbour                                 36° 37.5'N    27° 49.5'E
Channel Symi North – Nimou       36° 38.6'N    27° 50.2'

Lighthouses and Beacons:

Nisiros: Akra Palos Fl (2) 9s 6M
Symi: Nisos Marmara (W-islets) Fl 3s 5M
Channel Pedi Fl 6s 4M
Koutsoumba (Symi - Bay) Fl 3s 5M
North Nimou Fl 4s 6m