There are few things that are so exciting and so liberating, as the time you are travelling your own course is. And it may be the only thing that as many times as you repeat it, it will always be the same exciting. I was watching the engraved sea and the temporary passageway that the propeller was creating...
The strong N winds, that were blowing all over the Aegean for three continuous days dropped, leaving behind on their route a sweet swell, our permanent partner for about 35 nautical miles. We were in the open sea when the sun began to go down behind the imposing figure of Mt Athos.
A vast scarlet sea was stretching far forward our bow, while in the background the mountain of Lemnos began to distinguish quite clearly.
We were entering slowly in the large bay of Myrina and headed to the old fishing port located on the north side, beside the large sandy beach. We went through very carefully its narrow entrance and moored in the last free berth among the colourful fishing boats.
It is one of the most picturesque fishing ports of the northern Aegean, filled with the boats of local fishermen. The few old houses and taverns in series, which take out their tables on the small quay, embrace the small port and make a wonderful marine neighbourhood. A neighbourhood that looks likes out of the old, where fishermen spread their nets and gathered in small groups some of them mending while some others cleaning them.
It almost got dark and the humidity had already started to cover the equipment of the console. Till the rib was ready, we ordered the tavern keeper, who was two meters from our bow, to prepare some fish delicious dishes. In a while, we were seating on a table and were enjoying the famous local wine, together with some old fishermen talking about sea stories…
On the western coast
The entire western coastline of Lemnos, rocky and steep in the most part, is full of sandy beaches.
It extends over a distance of 10 nautical miles from the cape of Tigani at south till the Cape of Mourtzeflo at north, and hosts some of the most beautiful beaches.
Passing by the small peninsula of Myrina’s castle, we entered the large bay with the beautiful and long sandy beach with crystal clear waters, named Romeikos Gialos. In this place there are many taverns and cafes in a row, and many people gather here, since it is very close to the main harbour.
After Cape Petasos, we meet the largest bay on the west side of the island. Here are two very large beaches, Avlona at south and St. John just above. On the shore of St. John, there is a very beautiful and well formed small fishing port hosting the boats of the locals but also of the summer visitors too. It is a small natural inlet covered with fine sand and protected by a large rock at the north end and a concrete pier a few meters at the southern end. It is a very quiet place, with two taverns just beyond the port and some rooms to let.
Northern and eastern coasts
The north side of the island extends to a distance of 28 nautical miles. After 5 nm, at the level of the islet Sergitsi, there is the beach Gomati, which occupies the whole area of the homonymous bay. The great golden sand and shallow waters make it one of the most beautiful on the island. The length reaches 1500m, while the very large width of the beach, which continues to the land for hundreds of meters, forming large and small dunes offers a spectacular view. It is a wonderful and unforgettable spectacle, which reminds of the vast deserts, unprecedented on the Aegean Sea. Leaving behind us Gomati, we were approaching the bay of Bournia, the largest of the northern side. From here and eastern, the island changes morphology and vast plains come after tall hills.
In the gulf of Bournia Kotsinas is located, an old and abandoned fishing village, with two taverns on the waterfront. It has a safe port, which in summer has plenty of traffic.
We soon arrived at the north-eastern end of the island. A narrow strip of land is ending at Cape Plaka where the imposing homonym lighthouse is located. After the Cape, we began to descend the eastern coast of the island. We were cruising quite far from the land, but the rib seemed to crawl on the bottom. From Cape Plaka to Keros, the waters are shallow, in an area of several miles to the east. Despite the shallow depth, which is between 2-7 meters, there are no dangerous points when moving at a distance more than two hundred meters from the shore. We entered the bay Keros, located in the middle of the east side of the island. It is a well-formed bay with a large sandy beach on the north side of which is a natural harbour, where small fishing boats moor.
A little while before the sunset, we entered the bay of Moudros, one of the largest natural harbours in the Aegean, which has a great history and is perfectly safe from all weather conditions, and extremely quiet. Even during the summer months, we will easily find a free berth. This harbour is chosen as a base for our wanderings on the southern coast of the island, which is of great interest.
In the next morning, after a refreshing coffee, we visited two of the most beautiful beaches of Limnos, located within the area of the bay of Moudros. The one is Fanaraki, which is located just after the cape of Sagrada, a small sandy beach that attracts many visitors, and the other one is Chavouli, located before the cape of Malathria which is a beautiful oblong beach with beautiful waters.
After Cape Cross, we entered slowly in the bay of Kontia. In the beginning of the bay and on the eastern side of it, there is possibly the most beautiful beach of Limnos Kokkina. It is a golden beach where the imposing red rocks end descending vertically right to the sea. Despite the shallow waves, we could not resist the temptation of this enchanting beach and without a second thought, we dropped the anchor. We spent several hours swimming in the beautiful waters, admiring the beautiful formations of the cliffs.
Our next station was the small peninsula of Asprokavos, on the eastern side of which there is Pateli, the small seaport of the village Thanos. It is a nice fishing port, which has been developed a lot lately and is now a very safe shelter. It is ideal for overnight, when we want to wander the beaches around.
On the western side of Asprokavo, we meet the beautiful beach of Thanos with very clean and very shallow water.
Passing by the southwest cape of Lemnos, Cape of Tigani, completing this way the circumnavigation of the island, we entered slowly in Plati Bay where we had planned to spend our last night.
Notes for boaters
- Limnos is one of the largest islands in the Aegean, with intensely indented coastline, in many places of which large bays and natural harbours are formed that are protected from the north winds. It has many beaches, large and small sandy ones, cosmopolitan or secluded shores, capable to satisfy any "taste".
- Myrina, the capital of the island for many years, is the harbour with which Limnos is connected with the rest of Greece. Most of the inhabitants live here, reaching 6000.
- The beginning of the Meltemi during summer is marked by the sudden appearance of northeast winds that reach or exceed 7 Beaufort, and last non-stop for a week or two.
- The western and southern coasts of Limnos are of the biggest interest, where they are the most beautiful beaches. Kokkina and Chavouli are the beaches that will amaze even the most demanding visitor.
- The perimeter of the island reaches 105 nm, so good planning is required as far as the places that will be used as bases are concerned. The port of Moudros and Pateli are for night on board when we move to the south coast. At the western coast, you should prefer the bay Plati or the fishing port of St. John which is affected only by westerly winds.
On the northern coast the port of Kotsinas must be preferred, while if you want to stay overnight on the eastern side of the island, the north side of Keros Bay is the best choice.