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Discussion Starter #1
Some friends and I are beginning to put together a trip in the Mediterranean for 2010. As I am looking to contribute my 2 cents worth I thought I'd look to fellow members for opinions and personal experiences: 1)pros and cons of each of the 2 areas and 2)best time of year/pros and cons of late spring vs early fall. I'll leave it at that for now and if you need more info. let me know. Any information would be very much appreciated!
 

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Having sailed a bit in both areas, they are both great destinations. But if it's one or the other, for vacationing I'd choose Greece.

It is easy to put together a very pleasant, not overly ambitious itinerary among the various island chains in the Aegean. The Dodecanes and Cyclades are especially well suited for island-hopping. You can choose from smaller, less-visited islands, to larger ones with historical attractions and night life, etc, or some combination of the two.

As for timing, I would choose late summer/early fall rather than spring. I think the water would not be overly inviting for swimming in the springtime.

If you go during summer or early fall, you need to read up a bit on the Meltemi -- a diurnal wind that can really blow like stink in certain areas during its season. If you are not a reasonably competent sailor, it could prove challenging and might take some fun out of the experience.

Good luck!
 

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I forgot to mention, we were there in early October at it blew like stink most of the time. Probably not the best time of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback - very helpful. And Prompts a few more questions: for JP - who did you charter with? Bareboat? Captain? For both JP and TS - would Sept. be more agreeable wind-wise than Oct.? Any issues with jellyfish (heard this is more a problem in the fall). Some of us are leaning toward the fall because the water and air temp. should be warmer, more conducive to swimming but there are other factors to be considered as well (jellyfish, wind, other). Thanks.
 

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During our 2 weeks in the Greek Islands in early October we had high speed ferries canceled twice on us because of wind and sea conditions. The second time the winds we about 50 knots and waves in excess of 10 feet. We ended up taking the "regular" ferry then for about a 12 hour ride! Not pleasant and there were absolutely no ther boats on the water except for a couple of cruise ships. In fact this big monster had trouble docking at one island because of the conditions. I asked our hotel if those conditions were unusual and the answer was no, that they get those conditions 2 or 3 days a month most of the year. That being said, when it wasn't blowing like stink it looked like absolutely georgeous sailing. Most islands are not that far apart and you'll just need to be flexible enough to hole up for a few days if necessary.
We've also been to Croatia and I have to say that that looked great also, as noted by the poster above. I don't think you can go wrong at either location.
 

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Thanks for the feedback - very helpful. And Prompts a few more questions: for JP - who did you charter with? Bareboat? Captain? For both JP and TS - would Sept. be more agreeable wind-wise than Oct.? Any issues with jellyfish (heard this is more a problem in the fall). Some of us are leaning toward the fall because the water and air temp. should be warmer, more conducive to swimming but there are other factors to be considered as well (jellyfish, wind, other). Thanks.
msterns,

I was not chartering so I can't offer any insight there.

I was sailing in the Aegean during the summer months of June, July, and August. I don't recall seeing any jellyfish while swimming, but we occasionally saw a random one out in deep water while passagemaking.

As summer progressed, the strength of the sun diminished, making it more comfortable (in early/mid-summer, we had temps as high as 49 deg. Celsius). However, while the sun diminished a bit, the Meltemi increased as the summer wore on -- especially in the islands.

Between islands the Meltemi usually accelerates and makes for challenging but fun sailing, Force 6-7-ish. We would often duck under the leeward side of an island for a break, rather than passing it on the windward side with a lee shore below us. The nice part about the Meltemi is that while it blows strong it is a mostly cloudless wind, so it doesn't seem dark and stormy/intimidating.

September would probably be a nice time to charter. Like the U.S., many europeans vacation during August, so you might have fewer tourists.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Re: Italy vs Greece

Thanks much for all the responses. All were very helpful. The vote ended up being for Greece (Italy just seems to be better for land ventures). I personally would have liked Croatia, but most were more interested in Greece. However, the combined feedback plus other sources swayed the group to going in the fall, likely mid. Sept.-early Oct. The Metemi didn't seem to be an issue, interestingly enough. Maybe we'll manage to avoid those 3 days.

Meg
 

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experience in med

hello,

we sailed last year from canet plage to Sardegna via menorca between 20 july and 27 august .

We found Menorca quite pleasant but somehow crowded .
Port of Mahon you need to see for anchoring or one of the free berths, port is in high season absolutely packed and free places can go as high as 90 E per night on the quay, with elec and water but without anything else .

We sailed over to oristano, moored behind the ruins of Tharros (Roman era) and had a fabulous period there .
Around the southern part of Sardegna there are several anchorage places where you can shelter . we had abt every 5 - 7 days a blow frm the NW , ex mistral , which could be up to 15 - 20 m/s .
Southern Sardegna was a pleasure and a relief of the overcrowded area like menorca and spain. Sardegna gave me the feel back when as a kid we went for the first time to spain in 1965 relax not organised and friendly.

. We usually went every 3 - 5 days into a marina only .
We left the boat in Villaputzu porto corallo . We used this as an alternative for Malta and Tunis, based on lack of space for the winter and cost .

hope this of help to you .

Rgds
patrick sytimeout Nauticat 32
 

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Hi,
don't forget you about Italy and don't think it is good for terrestrian travelling!
I live near Venice and I know all Mediterranean Sea. Spend your time everywhere in a long trip! From Turkey to Spain and from Aegypt to France, but always you will have Italy in the middle of your route.
If you need something ......I'm here
Buon vento
Mario
 

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I think only Greeks would vote for Italy, as it seems more exciting to them than home! The meltemi (northerly winds) affects more the Aegean and not the Ionian. The water also stays warmer later in the Ionian, mid summer destinations are less crowded there, and between Corfu (Kerkyra) and Zakynthos (Zante) there are easy day trips from one place to the other. There is more moisture on that side of Greece, unlike the Aegean that you feel like you are in the middle of the Sahara and have an illusion of water around you. The mainland of Epirus is very interesting as well, full of little natural anchorages. Don;t miss Sivota, Parga, (Alonaki/Ormos Odyssea****), Preveza, the whole Amvrakikos gulf (most important wetland bird habitat in Europe protected by several treaties), Paleros (East of Lefkas), Mitikas, Astakos, Kastos, (this last strip between little islands and mainland will blow your mind and it is safe sailing for even 1st timers. The island destinations are well documented on the net, I emphasized the areas less advertised due to the lack of commercial activity (a good thing for most sailors :).
 

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Hi Ditch
Sorry, I had read this only now!:hammer
and I cannot reply in PM.
Are you interested, yet?
May be I shall be useful for informations about Adriatic Sea and about aegean islands.
First of all, where are you living now and where is living your family?
About insurance: do you mean civil responsability for the boat?
But, which boat?
Usally it il more expensive then abroad.
By
Mario
 

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I spent last summer in Italy, and the place is really magical. Isle of Capri, Amalfi Coast... the whole shot is breathtaking. So neat I would probably go back there before seeing places I have not been. And heck, you can stop and see Corsica.... who doesnt like the set of an old school james bond flick?

good luck, safe travels
 

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Sardinia or Ionians for me

You can't miss with either option. To make things more complex, you might also want to add Croatia into the mix. For any of these locations, stay away from 2nd half of July 'til end of August just too crowded, June to early July and September would be ideal. .

In Greece, I loved sailing in the Ionian islands in the Adriatic since it's a combination of Italy and Greece, but, leave from Levkas rather than Corfu and focus on the southern island group with a trip north depending on time available. But, my favorite place is Croatia from Split to Dubrovnik - combo of greece and italy with more medievil history. All have great food for provisions or eating out. Wind is probably strongest in Greece in summer months, sometimes too strong, particularly, in the Cyclides.

My site on wordpress offers a lot of information from my experiences in these areas including photo galleries, commented maps, logs, and also some insight articles about each area. You'll find info on Southern Sardinia, Ionian and Sporades in Greece, and Croatia, if interested.

Whatever you choose you can't miss.

Enjoy
Gaetano
Bareboating the World
 
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