Kalimera Greece

Erikousa and the north of Corfu

The wait for good sailing weather had kept us in Montenegro for over a week longer than planned. We kept downgrading our wish for good sailing weather to ‘not bad conditions’. The forecast predicted little wind and calm waves. Time to go.

We had planned to set off at 8.00 a.m., so – typical of Ka and Holger – we dropped the lines at 7.30 a.m.. It felt good to finally be underway again. We steered Rivercafe 8 nm through the sheltered bay of Kotor/Tivat to the entrance to the Mediterranean and then we were back in the Adriatic. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

Last view to the Kotor Bay, Montenegro

We had postponed the time-consuming process of clearing out of Montenegro to Bar, Montenegro’s harbour on the Mediterranean. A day trip away from Tivat. Anchoring is not permitted in the bay of Bar, so we docked in the marina. Even the harbour master apologised for the hefty price. But in return we received a very friendly, English-speaking welcome. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

Bar, Montenegro

Bar clearly exceeded our low expectations. We found a nice boardwalk with bars and restaurants, lots of trees on the shore and almost only locals. If Montenegro ever booms, then Bar will certainly be awakened. The highlight is the orthodox church of St John Vladimir. A newly built jewel made of gold and a Mecca for church painters. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

Church of St John Vladimir, Bar, Montenegro

As nothing is uncomlicated in Montenegro, we had to steer Rivercafe into a different harbour basin the next day to clear out and moor at the customs dock in the industrial harbour. As the only customer, I was done with the harbour master, police and customs after an hour. That’s lightning fast in Montenegro. We were told firmly, but also in a friendly manner, that we had to leave the country immediately and directly after the last stamp. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

Boardwalk in Bar, Montenegro

24 hours along Albania

Easily done so and at 8.30 a.m. the mainsail and jib were set for Greece. The entire route of 140 nm (approx. 220 km) took us along the Albanian coast. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to stop there without any effort. You have to hire an agent to clear in and out. This costs €70 per procedure, i.e. €140 in total, even if only for one night. To me using an agent is like hiring someone to tie my shoes and a bit against my sailors honour. However that was too much fuss, so we opted for 24 hours non-stop along the coast.

After an uneventful day, we saw the lightning of a thunderstorm approaching as night fell. We hoisted the sails and continued under motor only. The sails were no use anyway in 5 kn winds – but we were rewarded with a very relaxed wave. Our bow area and the trampolines remained completely free of salt, a rare stroke of luck. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

During the night, lights from boats without AIS alerted us again and again. Distances are very difficult to judge in the darkness of the night. As everything ahead was pitch black, we hoped not to have any fishing nets in the way. The alternative of sailing much further away from the coast and making a diversion was not convincing, as there were also plenty of lights without AIS in the direction of Italy. Everything went well. At sunrise, we saw our destination ahead: Erikoussa, an island north of Corfu. One hour earlier than the rest of Europe (UTC+2) and we made our way three degrees further south (39 degrees, the same latitude as Valencia).


We couldn’t have chosen a nicer place for our arrival in Greece. We were the only boat anchored in the sandy bay of Erikousa, about 15 nm north of Corfu. In clear water and with the incredible tranquillity of the island. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

For our shore excoursion, we moored our dinghy at the dock in the small harbour called ‘Port Erikousa’, where vessels can also moor. But we were happy to finally anchor again.


Erikousa ahaead, Oasis Taverna, my greek oracle

So there we were in Erikousa – spelt with one or two s. No matter how you spell it, the island is fantastic. On our way across the island, we enjoyed the scent of flowers, herbs and pine trees. It is very well-kept and clean. Erikusa is not a tourist island, but there are a few holiday homes for connoisseurs and very friendly locals, some of whose stories we were able to hear.

After two days, we had almost more exchange with the locals than during our entire time in Montenegro. This is not only due to the fact that the people there are super friendly and interested, but many also speak English. With our current disgraceful knowledge of three Greek words, this is a helpful fact. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

An evening in the taverna

At the end of the day, we stopped off at the village taverna. The island’s meeting place is aptly named Oasis and doesn’t miss out on any Greek cliché. On the terrace, we listened to the stories over a tasty retsina from small glasses and a delicious moussaka. Christianos explained to us that decades ago, up to 80% of Erikousa’s working population emigrated to the USA. Mainly to New York. Most of them then returned to their island to retire and enjoy the Greek way of life and healthy nature. We found one story very charming: not too long ago a couple met at the Erikousa beach. Both lived in New York and had never met before. By chance, both were visiting their respective grandparents, who, like both families, came from Erikousa. They felt in love and the encounter ended with a Greek wedding.

In addition to the wonderful smells and the fantastic air, the locals were delighted to tell us that over 340 species of wild flowers grow on the island, twice as many as in the largest nature reserve on the Greek mainland. They are proud, but relaxed and endearing – the Erikousians. Erikousa and the north of Corfu

Aviaki Bay and Kassiopi

Even though we didn’t want to rush, we wanted to continue the next day. It took us just 3 hours to Corfu. We dropped anchor in Aviaki Bay on the north-east side of Corfu. We could see the houses in Albania and a pebble beach in the bay with lots of unspoilt nature. Anchoring was a little more difficult because we couldn’t see the seabed from the boat. But once you are safely moored, it is contemplative and we are reminded of some Caribbean bays. However, the temperatures are even lower, but Ka was brave enough to swim. Part of the bay is unspoilt, tranquil nature. At the other end are two inconspicuous tavernas with a jetty for mooring, but no noise disturbs the tranquillity of the bay. Its a peaceful place. A few dinghy minutes away is the picturesque village of Kassiopi. Just as you would imagine, tavernas and shops nestle idyllically around the small harbour basin. This will always be the place where we bought our first original ouzo.

First places in Corfu, Aviaki Bay and Kassiopi

It was a fantastic start. It promises to be a very enjoyable season. /Holger Binz

2 thoughts on “Kalimera Greece”

  1. Kalimera, Ihr Lieben.
    Viele Grüße aus Timmendorf bei herrlichem Wetter. Griechenland wird Euch sehr viel bieten. Wir wünschen Euch eine fantastische Segelsession.
    Jürgen und Ulli

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