Those islands are usually the gateway into Greece if you are coming from somewhere in the North or West. So the question is: where can I do the “check-in”? The answer seems to be: Port police in marina Gouvia (not on Erikoussa or Othonoi). Which is okay – contrary to Croatia, where you risk getting fined if you even as much as anchor for lunch before doing the official paperwork, the Greek are happy if you check in some days after arriving. At least if you come from the EU.
You will need printed documentation of your TEPAI payment. A great guide on how to make that payment can be found on https://twogetlost.com/tepai-cruising-tax-how-to-pay-online. If you paid while travelling and have no printer, either the staff of marina Gouvia will probably be happy to print for you while you check in with them (they alway print my current insurance documents), or you go to Sailtheblue/Yachts Corfu Service just around the corner.
Ionian? Depends on the definition. According to the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), we’re in the Southern Adriatic Sea here. But traditionally and by Meteomar definition Erikoussa and the islands below are in the Ionian sea.
Erikoussa is my favourite first stop when coming from Italy while others prefer Othonoi. The anchorage around the port is so huge, you can be pretty sure to find a spot. Yes, if you end up close to the power generator, you will hear the humming at night. But there are worse sounds…
Rather than disturbing swimmers at the beach, I left my dinghy in the harbour (far end from the entry). I checked with the harbour master: yes, there is a port police, but you cannot do your check-in paperwork for Greece with them. The closest option is the port police in Gouvia Marina on Corfu. So I only had lunch at taverna Oasis and bought some stuff next to it in the mini-market Leonidas. Both appear to be run by the same family.
On my second stay on Erikoussa I also learned that there is a very nice bakery if you go past those two. It appears to be a pizzeria (Il Forno di Marlera) at first, which opens in the evening only. But on the back of the building is the bakery. Worth visiting.
Corfu appears to be a British Island – probably remnants from the colonial days. Brits everywhere, everybody speaks English – very nice. Downside: lots and lots of people and often the prices make you think you’re in Italy or the UK – not in the Mediterranean. I like solitude – so most of the places I picked were chosen under that aspect.
39°51.52′ N 019°36.1′ E. June 22nd, 2022.
Really a beautiful place. No boats – which may be due to the cardinal sign and lots of weed on the ground, no swimmers, no restaurants. My anchor held on the second attempt and I was right between the shore and the cardinal sign saying you should pass right on the other side.
There’s a little beach on which people can be seen only on occasion. Walking their dogs or strolling along. However, while there are few people, there are many wasps. On the following morning, 3 rental boats with tourists arrived, too, but far away from me.
From time to time a big ship passes on its way to Corfu, but interestingly there isn’t much swell. Maybe the rocks around the cardinal sign break that swell before it reaches the beach. Despite that solitude, disco beats could be heard during the night. Not very loud though – they must have come from the Albanian coast miles away.
39°44.58’N, 019°56.08’E, June 23rd, 2022.
This must be a British resort – other nationalities seem to be a minority, if they are on those beaches at all. For lunch and grocery shopping I tied my dinghy to the pontoon of “The White House”. Nice food, great service – at a price. Nevertheless, if I ever go there again, I will try the taverna on the beach which appeared to be crowded at night. Anchor held well, not too noisy at night, 5G signal, supermarket some 150m away from “The White House”.
Space for yachts is limited, though and therefore it probably is advisable not to arrive too late. Which is true for most nice places in the Ionian in high season.
What can I say. Huge marina 89 EUR plus mandatory charge for electricity on June 24th, 2022; (they were changing their monitoring system at the time and thus were unable to tell whether you used electricity or not – so everybody had to pay). You probably find reviews everywhere on the internet. Great service and mooring assistance. I was not assigned the place I booked, but N17 instead. Which was good. Because what I had chosen was on a busy charter quay and mooring would have been with a strong crosswind while on N17 the wind came from the stern at the time and the place was relatively quiet.
I do like the character from the port police. Be patient, hand him what he needs and you’ll be set in not time.
This is not an easy place for provisioning, but there are many restaurants to choose from. My only reason for going there, however, was paperwork with the port police. If needed, you can also refuel there and get water.
avlaki east beach
39°46.97′ N, 019°56.57’E, June 25th 2022.
For some reason, most yachts seem to prefer to anchor in front of the long, busy beach in the South. I do prefer the small beach in the East which appears to be not as easily accessible for swimmers – usually only few people there.
There are large sand patches, good holding with enough room for at least two yachts. During the day, some small craft will probably join you.