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Old 24-02-2016, 15:19   #1
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First time sailing Greece

Hello Cruisers Forum,

Tyler here. Several friends and I are in the process of planning a sailing trip in Greece this coming summer. We aim to bareboat charter for 4-6 weeks during the months of July and August, and to combine the trip with some rock climbing. We are all relatively new to sailing, but will have 2 ASA 104 certified people on board, and at least 1 more with ASA 101 certification. Beyond that we don't have much more experience. We are hoping to combine the sailing trip with some rock climbing.

From doing a little research it looks like the Ionian is the easiest beginner place to sail, but I could not find much rock climbing in that area. The Aegean (specifically Cyclades and Dodecanese) look like fun places to go with some rock climbing, but I have been reading about the Meltemi.

To those of you who have experience sailing in the Aegean and dealing with the Meltemi, how safe do you think it would be for a group of our experience level to sail in the Cyclades or Dodecanese? Is it possible to keep a close eye on the weather and avoid sailing at times the Meltemi is more active? Or does it come out of nowhere with no warning?

We are all pretty capable individuals with an appetite for adventure, but I don't want us getting in over our heads into a legitimately dangerous situation. This will be our first real sailing experience.

Lastly, and this is probably a question for a different forum, but does anybody happen to know if there is any decent rock climbing in the Ionian?

Thank you very much,

Tyler
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:59   #2
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Re: First time sailing Greece

We don't climb but after several visits, we can rport that Kalimnos is pretty much the center for climbing in the Dodecanese. Last July we got pretty fed up with the Meltemi when sailing the area, but if you're happy with mooring up in the main town, you'll be safe enough. There are several other bays around the island to visit, with Emborios being one of the nicer ones with good access to several decent climbs (according to folk we have met while visiting. It's a very popular spot for Euro folk in the summer) .

You could charter from Rhodes or Kos easy enough and the passages between the islands are all relatively short day hops.

We've spent the last 6 years cruising the Cyclades and Dodecanese and can highly recommend the area (The Ionian is nice also, with Vassiliki remaining one of our fav windsurfing spots).

In short, you should find what you want in either spot.

Cheers, PT
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Originally Posted by tylerdrogin View Post
Hello Cruisers Forum,

Tyler here. Several friends and I are in the process of planning a sailing trip in Greece this coming summer. We aim to bareboat charter for 4-6 weeks during the months of July and August, and to combine the trip with some rock climbing. We are all relatively new to sailing, but will have 2 ASA 104 certified people on board, and at least 1 more with ASA 101 certification. Beyond that we don't have much more experience. We are hoping to combine the sailing trip with some rock climbing.

From doing a little research it looks like the Ionian is the easiest beginner place to sail, but I could not find much rock climbing in that area. The Aegean (specifically Cyclades and Dodecanese) look like fun places to go with some rock climbing, but I have been reading about the Meltemi.

To those of you who have experience sailing in the Aegean and dealing with the Meltemi, how safe do you think it would be for a group of our experience level to sail in the Cyclades or Dodecanese? Is it possible to keep a close eye on the weather and avoid sailing at times the Meltemi is more active? Or does it come out of nowhere with no warning?

We are all pretty capable individuals with an appetite for adventure, but I don't want us getting in over our heads into a legitimately dangerous situation. This will be our first real sailing experience.

Lastly, and this is probably a question for a different forum, but does anybody happen to know if there is any decent rock climbing in the Ionian?

Thank you very much,

Tyler
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Old 26-02-2016, 00:24   #3
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Re: First time sailing Greece

Hi Tyler

Either the dodecanese or cyclades seem to have plenty of big rocks to climb for sure.

From a sailing perspective you dont need to sweat the meltemi too much. Its forecasted well and usually blows for 3 to 5 days at a time so you can find a bolt hole and wait it out easy enough then move on in between the next blow.

Where charterers tend to get into trouble is when they only charter for a week or 10 days which forces them to go out against the meltemi to get back to base. Youve got plenty of time so with some route planning you will be fine.

But the meltemi blowing you off your rock faces while climbing now thats a whole other story...
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:49   #4
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Re: First time sailing Greece

If I were you Id steer clear of the Cyclades in July/Aug with an inexperienced crew. Even if you don't get too many full-on Meltemi's the prevailing winds will be quite brisk !

I don't know much about rock climbing but I do know that Kalymnos is a great island in the Dodecanese and very popular with climbers in early (May/June) or late season (Sept/Oct). Agree with the recommendation of Emborios. I guarantee that if you visit the Artistico Taverana you will have a great time (Enjoy Irenes cooking and singalong or play guitar with Georgos) and wont want to leave.

Although very pleasant and easy sailing, the Ionian has nothing to compare with Kalymnos for climbing (as far as I can remember)
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