Yachting and sailing around Paxos, Greece...
With calm clear water and a warm and sunny climate, sailing the Ionian Sea around the coastline of Paxos is a favourite pastime for visitors during the spring, summer and autumn period.
The Ionian Sea that surrounds Paxos attract yachts, motor cruisers and boats of all shapes and descriptions from far and wide. Many of these vessels are privately owned, however there are several rental outlets in the region from which it is possible to charter a boat, either with or, for the more experienced yachtsman, without a skipper.
Greek Waters Pilot by Rod Heikell provides detailed guides and charts for the waters and harbours around Paxos as well as the Ionian and Aegean coastlines.
The three main villages of Gaios, Lakka and Loggos all offer safe mooring for yachts with Gaios and Lakka having water facilities for boats available. Gaios also has electric and fuel facilities. Mongonisi also offers safe harbouring, though facilities here can be limited.
Yacht Charter And Sailing Holidays
The law in Greece states that to charter a yacht or motor cruiser without a skipper, there must be two experienced/qualified yachtsmen in the party. There are several yacht charter outlets in Corfu and throughout the Ionian region offering boats of all sizes, both skippered and bare-boat (skipper the boat yourself).
Many less experienced sailors prefer to sail along with an organised flotilla of boats. This means that you can skipper your own boat, but have the expertise of an experienced skipper nearby if you require any advice.
For the absolute beginner, the best option is to charter a skippered boat. Often, the boat will have a cook included in the crew, making this a very pleasant way to experience the Ionian Sea around Paxos. You can either sit back and enjoy being sailed around the coastline, or on some charters you can learn the ropes of sailing from the crew as you go.
Whichever method of cruising the Ionian Sea you choose, yachting around Paxos makes for an idyllic holiday. If berthing alongside one of the many waterside tavernas in the three main villages of Gaios, Lakka and Loggos, you will probably be able to stock up on your water supplies from the taverna owners - in exchange for eating at their restaurant in the evening, of course!
With day trippers from Corfu and all the ferries and sea plane services using the port at Gaios, the harbour can be a very busy place during the summer months. As a precaution, if you require a berth in the harbour here during the peak holiday period, it is advisable to be arrive by early afternoon. Water and fuel can be delivered to you by mini tanker if required. Gaios is an official port of entry into Greece.
Gaios Harbour Navigation
The south entrance to Gaios harbour is very shallow, with a minimum depth of only two metres. The north entrance is much deeper, however it is here that the ferries and sea plane services dock and so is also much busier. There is a sharp bend in the channel midway through the harbour and care must be taken to avoid on-coming vessels.
Gaios Harbour Mooring
The harbour at Gaios offers good shelter from the prevailing northerly winds. Large boats and yachts can moor in the northern part of the harbour. Town quay mooring spots are hard to come by in the peak season, so berthing at one of the quays in the north channel may be the only option. Boats should berth either bows to or stern to, making sure that the ferries have uninterrupted access to their docking spaces.
A very picturesque bay at the north of Paxos, Lakka is a popular port of call for most yachtsmen visiting the region. As the most northerly of Paxos' ports, Lakka is the nearest port to Corfu. Water is sometimes available on the quay and most provisions can be purchased from any one of the several local mini-markets.
Lakka Harbour Navigation
Lakka harbour has a wide entrance, though this can be hard to detect from a distance, especially if arriving from the west. Approach from the north or east is slightly easier, however, as the lights are more readily seen.
Lakka Harbour Mooring
Most yachts visiting Lakka choose to moor in the middle of the bay, though there are a few limited spaces on the town quay. These are better for smaller boats, however, as the depths are uneven. The bay offers good protection from the prevailing northerly winds, though skippers may prefer to moor on the eastern side of the bay if the wind should be from the north east.
Possibly the prettiest of the three main villages, Loggos, situated between Lakka and Gaios on the east coast, has a quaint charm about it. There is no fuel, electricity or water services available to yachts here, though other supplies can be purchased from the mini-markets in the village.
When sailing in Greek waters it is courtesy to fly the Greek flag on the starboard spreader of the most forward mast. For motor boats and cruisers that do not have a mast, the flag should be flown at the bow.
A courtesy flag should always be flown between 8am and sunset, though when manoeuvring in port, the flag should be flown at all times of day.
Until you have cleared customs, a Q flag should be flown in place of a courtesy flag.
Loggos Harbour Navigation
Even in calm weather the reef off the coast of Loggos can be hard to spot. Many yachtsmen believe that the charted position of the reef is inaccurate, claiming that the real position is significantly closer to land. If passing between the reef and the island, it would be a wise precaution to have someone on the bow acting as a lookout.
Loggos Harbour Mooring
The harbour at Loggos is too small to accommodate any visiting yachts or motor cruisers. All the spaces within the harbour are reserved for the local fishing and pleasure boats and so if you wish to berth at Loggos you have to go further out into the bay. This is only really practical in the calmest of weathers, however, as the prevailing wind and sea swell can make this position uncomfortable.
Mongonisi Harbour Navigation
The entrance to the bay at Mongonisi can be spotted quite easily from close in, however from further afield the entrance can be quite obscure. The centre of the bay has good depths (approx 8 metres).
Mongonisi Harbour Mooring
There is a quay on the north east side of the harbour as well as one on the south side. In the busier months you may only be able to moor in the middle of the bay. Depths at the quays range from 1.5 to 2 metres. The north east quay offers good shelter from the prevailing wind.
Anti-Paxos is very popular with day trippers from Paxos, many making the trip in small motorised craft rented from one of the three main villages. Others make the short journey from Paxos via organised day trips. In the summer time the coastline and beaches of Anti-Paxos can be crowded. There are no shops or facilities on Anti-Paxos, though during the peak of the season there are two beach tavernas open.
There are many hazardous rocks above and below the water line around Anti-Paxos and so care must be taken. At the south of the island, it is advisable for boats to stay well out to sea to avoid being caught by the rocky coastline.
There is a small harbour on Anti-Paxos, though this is unsuitable for most yachts and is usually congested with small local boats. Instead most visiting craft drop anchor off the coast near one of the beaches. This is only practical during the calmest of conditions, however, as soon as there is any wind or sea swell the conditions become too unpleasant to stay.
Paxos Average Sea Temperatures
The following table sets out the average sea temperatures for the Ionian Sea around Paxos.
Paxos Yacht Maintenance
There is a marine engineer on Paxos. NoToS Yacht Shop And Marine Maintenance operate a service for boats within a twenty mile sea radius of Paxos.
Contact Details: Dimitris Apergis
Tel: +30 26620 32089
Mobile: 697 617 1719
Fax: +30 26620 32089