Korissia (Kea)

Kea: Windmill

Kea: Windmill

Korissia is a lovely little village on the west coast of Kea. Hidden away in one arm of the main bay of Ayios Nikolaos this is a very popular port of call for Athenians out for a weekend away. Kea, as an island, has an upmarket feel and seems very twee in comparison to a lot of Greece; also testament to its popularity with the Athenian elite. Moor up here for a taste of Athenian gentrification and style. Intricate rock walls surround high-class houses and converted windmills and the restaurants serve a better than average selection of dishes.

Korissia is the ferry port of choice in the main bay as it offers better protection from the meltemi than Vourkari. Yachts are directed to the long quay inside the ferry terminus. Power and water are available and a small charge is made for nightly stops. (6€ for 2 nights 12.8m 2015).

The little town has a new supermarket, a butcher and a bakery as well as several excellent and well known restaurants with various claims to fame.

At the head of the bay there is a lovely sand beach that the locals are pretty proud of and for once seem to take pride in keeping clean. You can anchor off this beach in settled weather.

From Korissia you can hire a car or scooter or take the bus inland to visit the pretty little old town of Chora on the hill and beyond. Kea is not known for its historic ruins but every year archaeologists dig up something new and the island has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age.

Northeast of Korissia is Vourkari; if you can’t get on the quay at Korissia this lively town offers yachts a great welcome as well. Vourkari is the party central of Kea. At times (usually somewhere between the hours of 2 and 4am!) you might be justified in thinking your took a wrong turn somewhere as sea and ended up in Mykonos! Like Korissia, Vourkari is very popular with the hip and happening younglings of Athens and at the height of summer the bay and quay can be swamped with yachts. Which is apt when you consider Vourkari refers to the “mire”, or vourkos, it used to be! Wander towards the head of the bay and follow your ears to find the best nightclubs.

Sailing Choices Top Tip

If you are getting on in years don’t complain too much about the noise. In the past Kea was known for its rather sinister euthanasia programme for the elderly! Come your 70th birthday the hemlock was handed out and no questions asked. This was said to have arisen during a particularly long siege of the island. When supplies ran low, the older generation choose to sacrifice themselves for the good of the next generation. This went on to become the so called “Kea Law”.

Mooring is on a first come, first served basis and restaurant workers are more than happy to shout encouragement and tie up your lines in return for your business. Go stern or bow-to the quay and make sure your anchor is well in as things can get a bit bumpy if the meltemi kicks in and the holding is not always the best. Power and water are available.

Anchoring off is also commonplace in the bay and there is plenty of space to go at. Once again make sure your anchor is well in if strong winds are forecast as things can get a bit chaotic with gusts funnelling down into the bay at times.

Onshore there are numerous bars, restaurants and cafes and provisioning opportunities.

There is a good beach at the head of the bay but an even better one, to the south, in the cove between Korissia and Vourkari.

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