Volos City Port: Beginning a yacht charter from the Port of Volos, gives access to many places of exceptional beauty that people often sail past in their haste to get to the Sporades islands. Volos itself is the fifth largest town in Greece and is framed by the stunning Mount Pelion. Unlike islands such as Skiathos, the region of Mount Pelion has not been touched by foreign tourism and remains a favourite place for Greeks to spend their holidays.
Volos lies at the northern tip of the Pagasitikos Gulf, an almost lake-like stretch of water, just 13 Nautical miles across and 15 long. On the southern tip of the gulf you will find the exit to the Aegean Sea and the Sporades islands, but before plotting a course for the hustle and bustle of Skiathos, lets take a week to explore the picturesque villages strewn around the coast of the Gulf.
From Volos, you could follow the coast heading south east, stopping for lunch in one of the popular Pelion beach resorts, such as Kala Nera, or Afissos. Or you might prefer to go ashore for lunch in a quiet fishing village such as Kato Gatzea or Lefokastro.
None of these places are suitable for an overnight stay, so you would continue south east along the coast to the natural shelter of Milina. Here you have a choice of several coves in which to anchor and tavernas offering fresh sea food. Further around the coast, you will find the idyllic anchorage called Zasteni Bay, with its white house on the peninsula.
Following the coast around to the south west, you will enter Trikeri Bay and the picturesque fishing village of Kotte. Presuming that you have made short day sails, giving yourself plenty of time to go ashore and explore, you would be settling down to sleep under the star filled sky in Kotte harbour at the end of day two.
Day three could see you setting sail across the mouth of the Gulf, bypassing Trikeri Island in favour of a 14 Nautical mile broad reach sail to the quiet fishing harbour of Pigadhi and the unforgettable hospitality of Christos at Matas taverna. Further down the coast going East right at the very end you will find this picturesque beach bar to relax after a good meal (see below).
On day four you might want to retrace the course of the previous day and spend the night in the safe harbour on Palaio Trikeri Island, allowing plenty of time to walk up the hill and visit the Monastery, before enjoying a selection of fresh seafood at one of the two restaurants. Palaio Trikeri is a favourite night stopover for people racing to the Sporades islands, so it can get quite busy at the weekends.
A short two hour, westerly sail on day five, will transport you to the dramatic scenery of Nies Bay, either for a lunchtime swim, or an overnight stay.
On the final day, before returning to Volos you may want to drop in on Amaliopolis, about one hour North of Nies bay. Another small fishing village with a harbour, Amaliopolis has a splendid beach and Great food at Nikos taverna along the front.
There are many more coves and anchorages to explore around the gulf and even in the months of July and August, you will be amazed at how few other yachts are sharing your experience. Should you wish to explore further afield, without going to the Sporades islands, just 5 nautical miles from Trikeri island, is the massive island of Evia, stretching almost down to Athens. Oreoi harbour, a stunning and safe harbour with tavernas and bars in abundance, lies just two hours from Trikeri island.
An extra days holiday from Volos ... maybe!: If you arrive in Volos by early afternoon we can try and get you on you way by 17:00 so you can be somewhere nice for this first evening whereas mostly, in other places, you will spend this evening in Port finishing check-in, shopping etc.. Also, if possible, we suggest you stay away on your last evening somewhere nice like Trikeri Island and then make your way back to Volos in the morning having a sunrise cruise. In other places you must be back to Port the afternoon before your end date to find a space. Volos is a great place to start and finish your holiday (conditions permitting) which adds up to an extra days holiday ... maybe!
Finally, we would challenge anyone to differentiate between a fishing village in the gulf and one on the islands, we really like it here, as good as anywhere, without the traffic!.
Whatever your desires; harbours, bars and restaurants every night, or more time spent at anchor in paradise settings, the Sporades archipelago has something for everyone.