The South part of Crete is less organised but more interesting if the purpose is a less "civilised" itinerary. Starting from the West side, Palaiochora is the first port you can stay during the night with nice night life. Very close to the amazing Elafonisi where you can also anchor
but is not so safe during the night (and nothing to eat, drink etc)
Then Loutro has no pier but you can safely anchor almost in any weather
. In Loutro there is no connection by car, very pictoresque. Very close is Sfakia, a new small "marina" is built the last couple years, also a nice stay.
Then is Plakias, one mile to the West of the village, a new small port is finished last year.
Agia Galini, is the next place. Even if there is not a lot of free space the port is safe and the locals will help you find a spot and stay during the night. Alternatively is Kokkinos Pirgos 2,5 n.m. to the East. However, a lot of local fishing
Next good shelter but not ideal to spend the night is Kali Limenes. There is no pier and it is a tanker station but if something happens... a food shelter. (the quality of the sea is perfect to swim by the way)
Then is Tsoutsouras, small place, side dock
just after the lighthouse in the entrance. As in most of those places, during the winter
the sand coming from the sea streams changes dramatically the depth
but they drag it out just before the season starts. However, always check.
Same style is Keratokambos & Arvi.
Ierapetra (watch your depth
meter) is also a place but rather busy.
The distance from Ierapetra to the South East edge of Crete cannot give you a port-kind place for the night. Atherinolakkos is a shelter, a small port for the night but there is nothing to eat/drink and it's next to the Electricity Plan.
The South part of Crete has a lot of great bays to anchor and enjoy a night stay & of course, swim. However you should always keep your mind to possible reefs
(close to the coast), the depth in the bays and the ports
and finally, the gusts. You may sail with 10 knots of North wind
and suddenly goes to 35-40 knots. As a result, sail during the daytime is safer or during the night avoid the use of the sails
. The reason why are the high mountains that exist very close the coastline.
Finally, visit Gavdos island, Chrissi island and Koufonisi island. Amazing waters...
Remember that the West Crete & East Crete have no fishing
harbors to stay during the night (exc. of E, Kouremenos but not for your boat) However, according to the weather
, they can give you nice places to swim or anchor (esp. E Crete)
During June the prevailing wind
is N, NW which means no wave to the S part of the island but definitely some gusty places. In the case of a strong N wind (rather impossible) think of waiting in a good shelter.
The North part of the island is more "civilised" with main city ports
but in general, in Crete you won't find the classic marina. From the West side we have Kissamos, safe (maybe a little swell) small port for the night. Before you MUST visit Gramvouse island. Thenis Kolimvari and after that Chania city, amazing old port and great night life. Always enter during daytime due to the numerous reefs
in the entrance of the port. Also contact via VHF
the port police authorities for a birth at least one day earlier. After is Souda, a small marina without interest but in the physical bay of Souda, there are places to anchor and enjoy the sea like Marathi. Some talk about Georgioupolis but don't try to enter, it's impossible.
Your next station is Rethimno city. There, you'll find a marina with some facilities which is 5 min. walk from the old town, a beautiful place to see. The marina is very safe. Panormos & Bali are two villages before the next main city of Heraklion where you can stay overnight. Panormos more risky while a small pier open to the NE but Bali bay (even gusty) will give you a place for night stay and night life. Then is Heraklion, the biggest city of the island with the less mooring
facilities. You'l find space in the pier outside of the Venecian port, the dock
is two meters high and there is a swell esp. from the night ferries. However, people will help you and worths visiting the capital of the island. Around 7 n.m. from Heraklion, there is Gouvies marina, a small shelter for the night in a hotel
resort place but enter only during the daylight. Panormos & Sissi are nice but very tiny for your boat
. Also the depth is close to 1,8 - 2m. Hersonissos fishing harbor very noisy, a lot of fishing mooring
lines and reefs to watch. Malia, an abandoned try for a safe small port, from 3m depth goes to 1m and then 3m again, due to the sand. I think that the physical gulf of Agios Nicolaos will be perfect. The small island of Spinalonga and Plakias village, Elounda, Agios Nicolaos marina and the small bays around will give you a nice stay for the day and the night.
More to the East, there is a pier in Pachia Ammos but nothing to see and not so safe if the N wind blows a lot. In Mochlos you'l find a shelter from the prevailing winds behind the small island opposite to the village. Don't try to enter the new fishing harbor, your boat is too wide. Next stop is Sitia, it is a town with a big fishing port, well protected and you'll probably find a spot. Don't get confused with the strange "architecture" of the port. Most of time side docking
in the right side of the port. Check for mooring ropes in your propellers.
In General, if you want to combine the visit in some archeological places, museums etc, the North part of the island is ideal. Crete needs a lot of marine
infrastructure to become an ideal and safe destination
for all sailors. However, now it gives you the feeling of exploration which is great, when you wisely sail.