Category Archives: Greece

French Riviera, Italy and Greece

A new sailing trip beckoned and i was on my way to the French Riviera. This time helping a guy sail from France to Italy, Sicily and the islands of Greece. Easyjet did me proud again.

Waiting to take off at Gatwick, it was a busy day –


I flew into Montpelier and travelled to Port Camargue, one of the biggest marinas for please craft on the south coast. I joined the sailing vessel Melandro, an American registered 42ft Beneteau which was spending its 18th season in the Med.

Approaching the coast –

French riviera

You always know you’re in France when they start serving you raw food –

We got the boat ready and soon headed off for our first port of call Cannes.

Cannes marina –

Cannes marina

Cannes marina is actually one of the cheaper marinas on the south coast. It is still operated by the local authority, not a private company so berthing prices are very reasonably. It had also recently been refurbished and a lot of the quay side had been replaced.

Cannes marina

After a brief stop in Cannes we headed for Italy, to the island of Elba on the west coast. Elba is best known as one of the places Napolean was exiled too. We had to motor for virtually the whole time as the wind had gone elsewhere.

The Italian island of Elba. Inside Portoferrairo harbour.



The place where Napolean was exiled to in 1814-1815, he still had the position of Governor though !!

Portoferrairo harbour-

The coastline of Elba –

When in Italy eat like the Italians !!

Sunset whilst at sea, it looks like i have added special effects to this photo but its just the way it came out !!

We headed south to Naples and stayed in a not so pleasant marina in Torre Del Greco. It had water and electricity but no other facilities to speak off. Due to its impressive sea wall it not only kept the sea out but any chance of a sea breeze too !! It was well over 100 degrees and no air movement at all. The locals seemed to like it though.

We moved on the next day and motored again for a day and a night. We arrived into the straits of Messina in the early hours, this included a couple of hours watching the fantastic sight that is Stromboli. This Italian volcano is one, if not the, most active volcano in Italy. Before we got there we could see the eruptions in the distance a few miles away. Every few minutes she would erupt spitting lava from the top, unfortunately my phone camera was unable to capture any decent shots. This photo i borrowed from the internet –

It was a worthwhile stop and we were happy to wait every 10 minutes or so for the next orange fireworks.

We arrived in Sicily at Catania on the east coast. It was stifljngly hot with virtually no wind passing through the marina.

We hired a car for the day when the two new crew arrived and drove up to the town of Taormina.

The skipper and crew in Taormina –

View of the coast from Taormina village –

We left Sicily with the new crew and headed across the sea towards Kefalonia, Greece, just under 300 hundred miles away.

Another sunset at sea –

Eating better onboard than the cruise liners !! ‘Apero’ – served at 5 o’clock.

Two days and two nights later we arrived in a windy Fiskardo on the top of the island of Kefalonia. Once a quiet small fishing village its now full of restaurants  and cafes serving the holiday makers. We dropped anchor and then had to reverse up to the shore line and tie the boat to a tree, only way to stop the boat swinging about in the harbour.

Me and the skipper of Melandro celebrating the first thousand miles of the trip !!

My last drink of the trip, in the harbour of Fiskardo waiting for the bus.

Fiskardo kefalonia

It was time to return home so i caught a bus from Fiskardo down to the capital Argostoli. The airport is only a short bus ride away so i stayed for a couple of nights to see the town and went on a bus mans holiday over to the town of Lixouri.

Arriving into Lixouri –

Lixouri sea front currently under going some redevelopment work to the sea front.

Another crewing experience completed and another 1000 miles to add to the log. Time to return home to catch up with a few friends and hope the English summer has finally arrived !!

Greece to Montenegro via Albania.

After finishing with the previous boat in Corfu I headed back to Preveza. I was to pick up a boat and take it from Greece to Montenegro. A quick 40 minute flight and you are there.

Skyexpress from Corfu –

Leaving Corfu –

Greece to montenegro

Unfortunately as i was waiting at the carousel for my bag  in Preveza airport along with another couple, the plane revved up and took off. The couple were still waiting for one bag, i was waiting for all of my worldly posessions ! We looked at each other as we all realised what had happened. Off we went to fill out some forms and give our contact details. Fortunately i managed to get my bag back the next day !

There are three huge boat yards in Preveza filled with hundreds of boats. Whilst previously there i had got talking to a guy who needed help delivering a catamaran to Montenegro. It had spent the winter in Cleopatras marina and was just about to be dropped back in the water. It was a 46ft Robinson and Caine catamaran.

Greece to montenegro

After filling the tanks with fuel, topping up the water, refilling the gas bottles, buying some food and drink for the journey, it was ready to go.

First stop was just across the water to Corfu. We anchored on the other side of the old town in a large shallow harbour. The night was calm so we had a good nights sleep, we headed out the next morning to Albania.

Corfu Fortress from the harbour –

On our way to Albania we approached an area where the sea went from dark blue to a light green. We initially thought it was just a shadow caused by the clouds but it was a dead straight line. It was very strange and hadn’t seen anything like it – I still don’t know what caused it.

Greece to montenegro

Our first stop in Albania was going to be Orikum marina. There was more than one story on the internet about people checking in there so we were going to give it a go. As we approached the marina we told them of our intentions. A lot of communication happened but the gist of it was that we couldn’t check into Albania there, so we had to go to the port of Durres.

This was about an hour away and the sun was already going down. As we approached we realised it was a huge commercial port, the swell was coming in and the jetty walls were high. We struggled to get anybody on the radio and just shouted at people on the quayside. Finally we tied up along side but the swell had us riding high against the wall.

The skipper went ashore with the boat papers to do all the formalites. I waited nervously kicking the fenders back down between the boat and the quayside. Formalities done we were told we could go back to the marina but had to get in by sunset or we wouldn’t be allowed in. We dashed back watching the sun go down, which was disappearing fast ! Although the sun had set by the time we got there they still allowed us in and helped us secure the boat for the night.

Sun setting as we headed back to Orikum marina –

Sunset albania orikum marina

We stopped there for two nights before heading for our next stop of Bar. This was one of the main ports in Albania for commercial ships so we found ourselves dwarfed by huge tankers and cranes !!

Bar Albania

Two other sailing boats moored behind a big tanker –

Bar Albania

Bar Albania

After a one night stop in Bar we headed out for Montenegro. Although only a quick stop in Albania we managed to have some of the local beverage.

Tirana – the beer of Albania.

The landscape gradually changed and the hills soon became mountains. ‘Monetenegro’ translates to ‘black mountains’ and you could see why. We were headed for Porto Montenegro marina in Tivat which was inside a huge bay. Its a relatively new marina but quite a size. Lots of expensive shops but the restaurants and bars are still reasonably priced.

Porto Montenegro Marina Tivat –

Porto montenegro marina tivat

Porto montenegro tivat

Next – exploring Montenegro !!