In the summer the prevailing wind is the infamous Meltemi from the NW – WNW. July and August sees the winds at their strongest, force 5 – 6 on the northern coast but more often a more gentle force 3 – 4. The spring and autumn sees winds form the south, force 2 – 4. The southern coast is notorious for strong squalls the blow down from the mountains. There is little in the way of warning and they can be violent close inshore. It gets very hot on the island during the summer months with the average daily temperature reaching 35 deg C in July and August and temperatures as high as 40 deg C are not uncommon.
Nisis Gramvousa lies off Crete’s S coast. There is a sheltered bay on the SE side of the island. Yachts can anchor in the bay or go bows to the quay. There are no facilities but water is available fro a well by the chapel
Palaiokhora is near the SW tip of Crete. Go alongside or bow or stern to in the new harbour on the E side of the rocky headland. Or anchor in either of the two bays to the E and W of the headland depending on the winds direction. There is water and fuel in the village and all provisions can be obtained. The tavernas here are good.
There are anchorages on either side of Ak Mouros. Ormos Loutra to the E where a yacht can anchor of the village and Ormos Foinikias to the W. There are a few tavernas and limited provisions can be obtained in the village.
Further to the W is Skafion. Yachts can anchor of the village in calm weather. There are tavernas ashore and all provisions can be found. The once tiny village is now a booming tourist resort
At Ay Galini yachts can go bow or stern to or alongside the quay. There is good holding on the sandy bottom and shelter from the Meltemi. There is water on the quay and fuel in the town. All provisions can be obtained and there are good tavernas. Another recently developed tourist resort.
Matala is a horseshoe shaped bay on the W side of Ak Latinos. Yachts should only use it in calm weather. Most provisions can be obtained and there are good tavernas ashore. Matala is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Here Menelau’s ships were wrecked returning from the Trojan wars. It was an important port in Roman times.
Kali Limenes is a small bay on the E side of Ak Litinos. Yachts can anchor in the bay in depth of 3 – 6m. There is good shelter from the N and W but it is open to the E and S. Limited provisions can be found in the village and there are a few tavernas.
Lerapetrais a medium sized harbour. Yachts can go bow or stern to on the N or W sides. There is water on the quay and fuel from the town. All provisions may be obtained and there are good waterfront tavernas. The town and harbour date back to Minoan times but sadly little of the ancient architecture remains.
Yachts can anchor in the large sandy bay of Kato Zakros. There are a couple of tavernas ashore but the main attraction is the ruins of a Minoan palace at the foot of the dramatic gorge.
Ormos Grandes is a large bay on the N side of Ak Plaka. Yachts can seek shelter from the Meltemi at Kouremenos in the N of the bay. 2 miles to the N of Kouremenos is Vai. Here yachts can anchor of the sandy beach and there are tavernas ashore.
Crete’s cuisine is similar to that found throughout the Aegean. Fish plays a large part in the form of tuna, swordfish, sea bass, urchins, octopus, squid and cuttlefish. You will find beef, pork, lamb and goat. A rabbit stew is a speciality. As is cheese pie and fried cheese (staka). For those with a sweet tooth try yogurt and honey tarts (kaltzounia). Cretan wine is fairly good.