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YACHT CHARTER IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

The particular geographical layout of this area makes for a particularly attractive navigation trough the Aegean islands

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Boat rental in Greece Eastern Mediterranean, under Ulysses' shadow Greece, sailing the Ulysses' sea Rhodes, the touristic colossus Climate averages METEOMED™
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Nautica Magazine, before 1993


UNDER ULYSSES' SHADOW

Eastern Mediterranean

Fertile, sunfilled lands, with the Meltemi wind constantly filling the sails together with archeological ruins to be found everywhere, give to the boating vacation in the Eastern Mediterranean an unforgettable sense of sailing back to the past. A word of its own kind where centuries old traditions live, side by side, with the pure love of life, seeking quietness, happiness and love.

The largest of this area's islands is Crete, the old Venetian Candid, extension wise the fifth in the Mediterranean: its 250 Kilometers long coast offer a large variety of coves where shelter for the night. Its capital, Iraklion, is a short distance from Cnossus, where the old traces of the first great Mediterranean civilization took seat and is the last witnesses, through the vividly painted palaces, of the animated life style that was the norm here more than three thousand years ago. One is compelled to stop and visit the archeological museum where the bulk of Crete's findings, result of the many archeological expeditions, took place here since the late nineteen century. From the Roman to the Arab and later the Venetian and Turkish rules, everything evidentiate here the historical domination tides which are passed to today's days trough a complex of interesting folklorist traditions. It is not possible , however, stop by in Crete without being completely taken by those particularly attractive culinary exotic savors accompanied by the wine made particularly tasty by a generous and powerful sun.

The largest Dodecannese island is Rhodes with its capital bearing the same name and a compulsory stop for all those who sail the Greek water. The entrance is through the Mandtaki Bay, place of the famous Colossus, in its times one of the word's seven wonders. The port is still today one of the most picturesque sights with its wildly painted boats, the windmills and the Agiou Nicolau fort, a defensive cornerstone built by the Order of the Jerusalem Cavaliers when they elected this island as their seat. A very interesting sight is also the visit to the Collachium, the Cavaliers' living quarters, which extends behind the Elefterias Gate in front of which the ruins of Aphrodite's temple can be seen. The biggest island's attraction is, however, the butterfly valley named Petaloudes: it is about twenty kilometers away from the capital and is filled in summertime by millions of the multicolored insects.

No less attractive is the pristine and serene atmosphere found in the surrounding islands; Karpathos is the third largest of the Dodecannese islands. Local tradition there happily intermingle with those left by the Italian past rule. South of the capital, Pigadia, the strikingly beautiful Amopi beach stretches out, while on the west coast the town of Arkassa offers the most important archeological findings. The fishing village of Finiki, further north, offer the possibility to savor the real Greek culinary treats, happily sustained by the Retsina, the local wine. Leros and Calinos islands, so close one another as to be taken for one island only, were also seat of the Cavaliers and in addition, are renowned for the sponge fishing and tobacco growing.

The northernmost island, Patmo, is formed by three islets connected by artificial isthmuses not far away from the landing point. A massive medieval fortress was built here and seats now a library notorious from a fourth century old Gospel and a treasury.

After tackling northward the Meltemi, one reaches the Southern Sporades islands of which Coo is the second largest in the archipelago. The homonymous capital is located in the island's north-east corner, not far away from the famous shrine. Other interesting sites worth a visit are the Venetian castle built in the fifteen century and the Aesculapius shrine, the medicine god, built in the fourth century B. C.

Without bypassing splendid Calimnos, Leros and Pathos islands, the next stop will be at Samos; this is the biggest of the Sporades archipelago separated from the Turkish coast by a two kilometers wide channel. The island is preeminently mountainous showing clear sign of karst phenomena. Notorious since the prehistory ages for its wines, Samos enjoyed its maximum prosperity especially in the sixth century, when under the rule of Polycrates, the Samos School became the main art and sculpture learning center.

The biggest town is Vathi its small port cast into a deep cove in the northern coast and surrounded by green hills. The tourist port, Pithagorion, is near some interesting ruins dating back to the sixth century; you can dock and visit the excavations and the annexed museum, remarkable for its archaic statues.

Ikaria is dominated by two mountain peaks more than one thousand meters high and totally covered by a thick vegetation. The island is renowned for its fruit and honey production and the necropolis and Therma, a thermal bath resort, are other local attractions.

Assuming a western course one nears the Ciclades, the largest of the Greek archipelagos and the most popular destination by those sailing these waters. Their particular shape and relative position lying in circle (kiklos in Greek) around the island of Delos, has given their name to these islands.

Delos is a granite islet with high and vertical cliffs; its intended coast line offers many safe landings. Completely bare, the island peaks with a 112 meters high mountain, the Into.

Since the remotest times it was considered the most important Aegean religious place and one of the most active commercial center. The ruins found here constitute, together with those found at Delphi and Olympia, the most important archeological complex in Greece. Here, according to mythology, the two most famous twins, Minerva and Apollo, were born. Civilization arrived here 1000 years B. C. and reached its peak around the fourth century only to be sacked and abandoned by Mitridates in the year 69 B.C. Worth visiting are the Apollo shrine and the Lions' Terrace, where the nine statues, only five of which are left, leaned out towards the sea, as if to fight its strength. The next wonder is Mikonos, few miles away, distinctive for its whitewashed houses and the numerous windmills.

Another must is a stopover at Milos, perhaps the most distinctive of the islands for its round shape around a bay that was one a volcano mouth. Venus of Milos, the famous sculpture was found here; traces of a Roman theater are also still visible.

The largest of the Cyclades' island, Naxos, is a pentagon surmounted by the Oxia mountain.

Here Theseus, after fighting the Minotaur in Crete, abandoned Arianna and here again the Athens's fleet defeated the Spartans in the 376 B.C. battle.

Paro was and still is, instead, famous for its marble rocks. The most charming of them all is nevertheless, the moon shaped Santorini, the biggest of a group of islets that was a unique island prior the volcanic eruption of the 2nd millennium. You can land here in the white walled bay, 300 meters high, cast in the bluest of the seas and resulting in a sight of rare beauty.

The northernmost Ciclades island is Andros, close by Eubea the largest of the archipelago.

Andros' town, surrounded by green hills, is reached by climbing trough the picturesque stairs.

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