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Yacht Charter in the Northern Cyclades

The areas prevailing wind during the summer months is the infamous Meltemi blowing from the N-NW. It is first felt in June and becomes stronger through July, August and September when it can reach force 8. It dies down in October. In the spring and autumn gales are common from the N and the SE. The summer months are hot, average temperatures are 25 deg C and temperatures often reach 35 deg C. Kea Island is very close to Athens, it is a mountainous island and small valleys, planted with fruit-trees and vines, break up its coarse beauty.

This is quite holiday spot and its numerous bays and attractive villages offer quiet relaxation in contrast to the other more popular islands in the Cyclades. Hora is the capital of the island and home to the Archaeological museum which hosts a number of Cycladic period finds. Greek mythology has it that Kea was the residence of the nymphs of the forest springs who embodied the "liquid element". The gods envied its beauty and sent a fearsome lion to persecute the nymphs who took escaped to Karistos. Then a long period of dryness began, water levels decreased and the vegetation withered.

The islanders asked for the help of Apollo's son Aristaios. He came to the island and built a sanctuary to honour the Ikmaios Zeus, the god of rain. The gods were pacified and the draught was reduced allowing agriculture to thrive once more. Korissia is the port of Kea and is situated at the southern end of the Limin Ay Nikolaou in the NW of the island. The houses of the port are built around a bay, on a small plain. You can moor stern or bows to the quay keeping clear of the ferry berth. As the Meltemi blows straight on to the quay ensure your anchor is holding. Vourkari further NW in the bay also has a quay that you can moor stern or bow to. There are several other possible locations to anchor in within the bay if the weather is calm. Fuel in available in Korrisa and provisions and tavernas can be found in both Korrisa and Vourkari.

During the summer months the bay is more often than not crowded with yachts from nearby Athens with picturesque Vourkari being the most popular. Loulis, the capital of Kea, is situated 5.5 km from Korissia. Many of the old mansions are built next to the ruined castle. The ancient acropolis of Loulis and the impressive sculpture of Kea's Lion are both worth a visit. As are the churches of Panayia Gamila and Panayia Revmatiani and the ruined monasteries of Agia Anna and Dafni. On the coast further to the south there is an anchorage at Ormos Pisa, there are no facilities here. Further south still is the anchorage of Ormos Kavia, open only to the south it provides good shelter from the Meltemi. The taverna run by Manos can provide provisions, fuel, gas, water, ice and showers. Ormos Polais is in the SE of the island.

This anchorage provides some shelter from the Meltemi but holding is not always good. There are ruins ashore including those of a temple. Khalidhoniki is a small cove in the NE of the island with good shelter from the Meltemi. The small village ashore has a taverna. Orgias is a small cove on the northern coast that should only be used to anchor in calm conditions. There are no facilities. The barren, rocky island of Kithnos lies 6 miles to the south of Kea. Legend says that the Dryopes, who came from Eboea, settled on Kythnos in the 11th century BC. In classical times the island was a well organized city state praised by Aristotele. Excavations have found a site dating back to the Neolithic or even the Mesolithic period, making it the oldest habitation in the Cyclades.

In more recent times, around 200 BC, the island was frequently attacked by the Romans although they never succeeded in taking it. The island is 19 km long and covers an area of about 80 square km. The only green shade in the heat of the summer is provided by many the fig trees. Today the island is popular with Greeks who head for its many Spas that are located in the NE of the island. The capital of the island, Hora, stands inland on a hillside plateau, it is a typical Cycladic village with beautiful churches containing fine woodcarving, sanctuary screens and icons. On the western coast lie the bays of Apokriosis and Fikiadha. Good holding and shelter in attractive surroundings. There are good white sandy beaches. No other facilities.


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