Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sailing South Along The Mainland Greek Coast To The Stunning Paxos Islands, 4 - 9 July 2015

 Departure From Gouvia.

       It was to be our last day in Gouvia and this “artistic” vessel moored off the bay. What is it you exclaim!! We went in to the marina to fill up with water and diesel, wash off the salt from deck and stainless steel work and a final resupply before heading out to explore mainland Greece and head down to the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos. We bid farewell to Derek and Tracey from ‘Eclipse” with whom we had enjoyed several visits both at anchor and in Gouvia Marina.

How To Spoil A Beautiful Motor Boat!
Fueling Up In Gouvia Marina BP.
Tracey And Derek
Sailing South Along Mainland Greece       

      We motored out of the bay heading for the Albanian/Greek border which ran through the sheltered bay of Ftelias. A lovely anchorage on the Greek side and very sheltered up around the bend but so bleak on the Albanian side. The area is home to numerous fish farms and the water not the cleanest. Leaving the area, we continued south along the coast past many fish farms and their buildings on shore. The next bays were Pagania then Sayiadha, both sheltered anchorages and a small port but not somewhere we wanted to stop.

Ftelias Bay On The Albanian/Greek Border.
One Of Many, Many Fish Farms
Ftelias Bay Creek With Pea Green Water.
Not Another Sunset!
Bay Of Platarias.
Sailing On To Mourtos.

    Heading south we motored along the coast towards Igoumenitsa. The large ferries and coastal supply boats were coming and going from this busy port so we continued on to the Bay of Platarias which had a busy little harbour rather shallow and full of Sailing Holidays Charter boats. We had a sunset supper aboard and visited the town in the morning for a walk and a trip to the bakery!! Delicious chocolate baklava and a supply of assorted baklava for the days ahead. From here we had a short journey to the Sivota Islands and we managed a sail down all the way. With an exploration of several anchorages between the town of Mourtos and the Sivota islands, we settled on an anchorage in End Bay. We had a wonderful swim in the clear water. 

Mourtos Harbour On The Mainland.
Mourtos Bay.
End Bay,One Of Three Lagoon Anchorages At Mourtos.
More Caves.

Guy Resting On The Beach Connecting Islands.

Our Anchorage In Mourtos.

Lakka Bay, NE Paxos.

      From the clear but dark blue waters of the Sivota Islands, we motored across for two and a half hours and entered the astounding turquoise waters of the Bay of Lakka on Paxos Island. We anchored in the bay in the most amazing clear water and had to swim, then lunched and watched boats around us coming and going. By evening there were over 70 boats in the bay and as we went into town for drinks and supper found another 20 or more inside the pool and on the quay in town. The holiday season had begun!

Buddha At Lakka Bay Anchorage.
Lakka Village And Bay.
Guy Admiring The Crystal Clear Water
 Of Lakka Bay.

Stunning Lakka Bay In The Morning. Nearly Empty.
Lakka Bay Anchorage Full At Night.
Approx 100 Yachts!

Lakka Village.
Greek Hospitality Knows No Bounds!!
Lakka Village Port.
Lakka Bay Anchorage.
Living The Dream!

    It was such a lovely anchorage, we stayed for a second day enjoying the bars, restaurants and a little shopping plus plenty of swimming to keep cool. It was an amazing spot and we will definitely be back.

Lakka Bay Anchorage From The Town.
Lakka Bay Tavernas.
Lakka Town Streets With Tavernas And  Bars.
Ginny Just Loving The Life.
 Sailing Round Paxos And Andipaxoi Islands

         On the 8th of July we set off on a circumnavigation of Paxos and Antipaxos going up and around the northern tip of the island. We visited some amazing caves with turquoise water stretching deep into the caves. Several small motor boats were exploring inside the huge cave mouths. We had disturbed the swallows who were nesting in the precipitous cliffs and they wheeled and called above us and the cliff walls. We proceeded to make a figure of 8 around Paxos and then its smaller neighbour Antipaxos

The Caves Of West Paxos
Swallows Flying Above Us At The Caves.
Crystal Clear Water And Caves.
Gremos Bay On Andipaxoi Island.
Agrapidhia Bay On Andipaxoi Island.
Reef And Islands South Of Andipaxoi.
Hiros Bay Anchorage On SE Paxos Island.
The Western Coastline Of Paxos Island.
Lianiskari Bay Anchorage On SE Paxos Island.
The Joys Of Longos.

          We returned up the eastern side of Paxos to find other lovely anchorages for the future and came into the bay of Longos.  A stunning fishing village with a small harbour. We went ashore for a well earned cold beer and a delicious taverna meal looking out into the anchorage. The Ionian is a wonderful cruising ground. So, so many excellent anchorages, charming small bays full of character, excellent tavernas and restaurants and always that wonderful clear, cooling blue water to jump into when it gets hot.

Kisti Two Anchored In Longos Bay.
Guy Chillaxing.
Longos Village Waterfront.
AAHHH, The Good Life.
Kisti Two In The Background.
Longos Town From The Anchorage.
Ginny Catching Up With The Log.
Longos Bay Anchorage.
Longos Town And Port.
Spot Kisti Two At Anchor.
The View From Longos To Lakka.