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Old 16-03-2017, 01:04   #31
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

From Scotland you might also think about cruising the Baltic. Far closer. Extremely beautiful, no crowds, unlimited free anchorages, much wilder than the Med, cheap berthing (but expensive groceries and alcohol).

Or Scotland! West coast amazingly beautiful.

In Scandinavia, you simply have a different culture of sailing. Cruising under sail is a mass sport, accessible to practically everyone, and which is supported by the municipalities. Every little town has a municipal marina with nominal berthing fees -- very often as little as 10 euros for a 54' boat -- seriously. Sweden alone has several thousand (!) "gasthamnen" -- "guest harbors". And berthing rarely costs more than 25 or 30 euros. Only in a few big towns will you pay much more than that. Plus there are millions of islands and literally unlimited places to anchor, so there's hardly ever any real necessity to stay in a marina.

The shoulder seasons are even cheaper -- April and May, and August - September. In May, we found many of the marinas unstaffed and free.

The Baltic is a great place to cruise with huge variety of places to go, millions of islands, wild nature, freedom to roam even on private land, yachting-friendly culture.

I also love the Med, of course, but there are a number of challenges including crowds and cost. It gets better and easier, the further East you go, but it's not actually cheap anywhere, except perhaps in Greece (these days), or on the African coasts. I guess the Aegean -- both Greece and Turkey -- is the most interesting and diverse place to cruise in the Med, with indented coastlines and lots of islands, so possible to get away from the crowds. But it is thousands of miles to there from Scotland -- I guess the Caribbean is not that much further in terms of time.



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Old 16-03-2017, 02:12   #32
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

Love this thread.. been reading it. Got a lot of helpful infos. Thanks guys!
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Old 16-03-2017, 04:29   #33
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm guessing Turkey joining is on semi-permanent hold but any updates on Croatia's joining the Schengen?

I thought it was by 2017 but haven't been following up lately.
Croatia will probably be in Schengen shortly.
For Turkey, (thx God) it's out of question..
You are welcome any time as long as you like..

Cheers

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Old 16-03-2017, 05:56   #34
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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Croatia will probably be in Schengen shortly.
For Turkey, (thx God) it's out of question..
You are welcome any time as long as you like..

Cheers

Yeloya
Turkey is absolutely wonderful, and is an excellent solution to the Schengen problem. It's cheap, friendly, civilized, safe, extremely interesting, and with excellent food -- an ideal cruising destination.

It's a bit of a hassle to clear in and out between Greek and Turkish waters, but it's small price to pay compared to the gymnastics which might otherwise be required to deal with Schengen. The Turkish officials, at least, are friendly and welcoming. The Greek officials can be officious and even unfriendly to cruisers coming in from Turkish waters, but even that is worth it, for the gorgeous cruising in the Aegean.

Yeloya says above "you are welcome any time, as long as you like" -- this is essentially true (and different from Schengen!!), but note that you do need to pay attention to bureaucratic requirements. Americans in Turkey get the same 90 days in 180, that they get in Schengen, BUT -- unlike in Schengen, you have to have a visa. The Turkish visa is very simple -- on arrival or online, and valid instantly upon application. Unlike in Schengen, you CAN stay as long as you like, but if it's more than 90 days out of 180, you need a RESIDENCE PERMIT. Something very hard to get in Schengen and not available for simple touristic purposes. Fairly easy to get in Turkey, and cruisers are welcome.
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Old 16-03-2017, 07:08   #35
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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The Turkish officials, at least, are friendly and welcoming. The Greek officials can be officious and even unfriendly to cruisers coming in from Turkish waters, but even that is worth it, for the gorgeous cruising in the Aegean.
I have found the exact opposite funnily enough. One Turkish official even insisted on a bribe to clear out on time but the greeks bend over backwards with hospitality - even the officials.

In fact the last greek customs officer I dealt with arranged a shuttle bus booking for me to the airport just to make sure i paid the locals price and then emailed me when I was back home to make sure I was happy with the service so they could recommend to others.
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Old 16-03-2017, 08:25   #36
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices


This thread should be called "Newbie in the Med concerned about free lunch"



Any way do not know much about Greek, Turkey (was only once in Izmir and Piraeus and went through Corinth canal) so I can not help you very much about it but if you are interested in itinerary...

Lido di Ostia, Giglio Porto, Porto Azzuro,Marina di Campo, Portoferraio, Portovenere, Portofino, St. tropez, Porquerolles Island,Saint Jean Cap Ferrat,
Bonifacio, Porto Cervo, Capri Island

I can give you any answer if you are interested to go there.
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Old 16-03-2017, 08:58   #37
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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I have found the exact opposite funnily enough. One Turkish official even insisted on a bribe to clear out on time but the greeks bend over backwards with hospitality - even the officials.

In fact the last greek customs officer I dealt with arranged a shuttle bus booking for me to the airport just to make sure i paid the locals price and then emailed me when I was back home to make sure I was happy with the service so they could recommend to others.
Yes, mine is just one data point.

I should have added "YMMV".
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Old 17-03-2017, 00:20   #38
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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Turkey is absolutely wonderful, and is an excellent solution to the Schengen problem. It's cheap, friendly, civilized, safe, extremely interesting, and with excellent food -- an ideal cruising destination.

Yeloya says above "you are welcome any time, as long as you like" -- this is essentially true (and different from Schengen!!), but note that you do need to pay attention to bureaucratic requirements. Americans in Turkey get the same 90 days in 180, that they get in Schengen, BUT -- unlike in Schengen, you have to have a visa. The Turkish visa is very simple -- on arrival or online, and valid instantly upon application. Unlike in Schengen, you CAN stay as long as you like, but if it's more than 90 days out of 180, you need a RESIDENCE PERMIT. Something very hard to get in Schengen and not available for simple touristic purposes. Fairly easy to get in Turkey, and cruisers are welcome.

We sailed into Kusadasi from Samos and I did the check in myself and no issues - I could have used an agent but why as it was simply walk here and there and they all were very helpful
And the Turk people are great and a great culture
as for the RESIDENCE PERMIT - we got one last year for 1 year and this year they are giving them for 2 years - it took just a bit of paperwork and we were good to go. If you are under 65 you will need to get health insurance - but it went very smoothly

The issue in Turkey is the upcoming vote in April to change the constitution and what they could mean - we know some Dutch folks here who have been told by their embassy to maintain a low profile and we are beginning to feel a lot of anti American feeling here - if the vote passes it may get a lot worse - so you just need to be aware and watch the politics

It is a Russian said to us in Sochi as we were drinking after celebrating Russian Navy day - It is the people not the governments -- we had such a welcoming feeling all along the Black Sea that we could not believe - a couple of times they even broke Ramadan to make and offer us tea after we pulled in and dock - the people are simply great -- BUT ---
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Old 17-03-2017, 02:24   #39
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pirate Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

When I entered Kusadasi from Samos I cleared in at the marina office where they did everything.. including sending a guy to the C&I with our passports and relevant fee.. one hour later he was knocking on the stern with our passports and visa's sorted.
Really enjoyed the few days spent there.. as for going back to Greece.. no problems.. arrived Corinth around 0100hrs and got waved straight through.. that was much more fun than the daytime transit with the lights reflecting off the water and casting shadows up the cliffs..
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Old 19-03-2017, 07:15   #40
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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Hi everybody!
I'm planning on sailing with my Scottish BF this spring/summer/fall in the Med. From southern Spain we'll go to the coast of France, the islands of Italy, and down to Greece and Croacia. Besides worrying about the Schengen agreement, I have found info about the crowds and prices in the Med in summer quite alarming. Any advice on how to obtain free or low cost anchorages? Areas to seek out? Beautiful places to avoid huge crowds? Thank you!
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A good place to start your planning is The Mediterranean | JimB Sail

This gives a broad brush comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the various Mediterranean countries and regions.

To minimise crowding, avoid July 14 to Aug 20, which is the peak season (and also the hottest) in the more popular areas. Which are, of course, also the most beautiful areas.

On a whistle stop tour. The Balearics will fill a month. Corsica and Sardinia will occupy 6 weeks. Italy south of Rome, plus Sicily and the Aeolian, will fill another 6 weeks. And we haven't touched the Mainland coasts . . . which are, with exceptions of some of the cities, generally, less interesting with a shortage of anchorages.

It'll be difficult to make the Adriatic. Handling Schengen restrictions will be a pain - unless you apply for a 1 year visitor visa, for instance, for France. Ask at any French embassy, preferably in your country of citizenship.

You'll have a great time. Unless you're doing a "hit and run" before rushing off around the world, take your time! Soak in these widely differing cultures. Enjoy the street cafe scene, and cuisine, of Southern Europe
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Old 16-04-2017, 09:35   #41
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

anchoring is usually free and weather in the summer usually settled. Just keep an eye on the forecasts. It is fun out here so don't be alarmed. BUt don't rush down here. We found some lovely places around the Biscay coast and Northern Spain and regretted rushing through them all in the first year (to Gibraltar). Spend a bit of time in places you like and move on quickly from those you don't. Learn to anchor, have a good anchor and about 100m of good chain. Don't forget the dinghy!
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Old 16-05-2017, 11:23   #42
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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We paid less than 1000 euros to stay in excellent marinas throughout Italy, Montenegro and Croatia during a five month stay last summer. 95 percent of the time we anchored for free, no problems. Schengen... no problems. Free beautiful anchorages... no problem.

Lot's of poor internet advice regarding these issues on this forum. I'll be in the same area for six months in 2017... no problems, no high priced marinas.
Schengen is a bit like not wearing your seat belt. Things are fine until you have an accident. There are people who travel in and out of Schengen countries and stay more than three months and have never been 'caught' But all it takes is one officious customs officer to double check your dates and you're barred from re-entry without making formal application. Let's hope you leave your boat in a good yard that is prepared to look after it for a few years, perhaps.
We've done the Barcelona to Ionian run. It took about 4 months not including our trip up the Rhone/Saone. You can anchor anywhere there's shallowish water but that is almost invariably completely exposed. The Mistral coming down the Rhone valley can put somewhat of a dampener on sailing to say the least. Marina fees went from 25 euros to 1200 euros (Monaco on the day of the Grand Prix). The most common fee was 50 euros. This was 4+ years ago. We are now in the Ionian. Plenty of very cheap mooring, plenty of anchorages, plenty of sailing and plenty of Mythos.
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Old 16-05-2017, 12:11   #43
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

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Schengen is a bit like not wearing your seat belt. Things are fine until you have an accident. There are people who travel in and out of Schengen countries and stay more than three months and have never been 'caught' But all it takes is one officious customs officer to double check your dates and you're barred from re-entry without making formal application. Let's hope you leave your boat in a good yard that is prepared to look after it for a few years, perhaps.
We've done the Barcelona to Ionian run. It took about 4 months not including our trip up the Rhone/Saone. You can anchor anywhere there's shallowish water but that is almost invariably completely exposed. The Mistral coming down the Rhone valley can put somewhat of a dampener on sailing to say the least. Marina fees went from 25 euros to 1200 euros (Monaco on the day of the Grand Prix). The most common fee was 50 euros. This was 4+ years ago. We are now in the Ionian. Plenty of very cheap mooring, plenty of anchorages, plenty of sailing and plenty of Mythos.
Schengen is no problem because we stay periodically in countries like Croatia, Montenegro and Albania (please read my post more carefully) which are OUTSIDE of Schengen. There are also other legal ways.

Nobody here is neglecting to "wear a seatbelt," everything is very legal. You picked a bad example trying to make your point... whatever it was.
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Old 16-05-2017, 13:55   #44
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

great thread ! and thank you for all the info
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Old 16-05-2017, 14:03   #45
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Re: Newbie in the Med concerned about crowds and prices

Check out the 2nd season of "Winded Voyage" on youtube for some current marina prices.
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