Vyv Cox discovers this tiny harbour on the Methana peninsula and enjoys Greek hospitality and charm in abundance
Also known as Á Geórgis (the equivalent of St. George in English) Áy Yeoryios, is a tiny port on the north coast of the Methana peninsula in the Saronic Gulf.
While some might think it is just for the adventurous cruiser, those tempted to anchor overnight will find it a gem of a harbour.
The Methana peninsula is roughly triangular, jutting out northwards from the Peloponnese mainland, just a few miles south of Aegina.
Its two most popular destinations are Methana in the south-east and Vathi in the north-west, the vast majority of yachts passing by Áy Yeoryios between the one and the other.
At one time the harbour was simply a sandy bay but the resourceful locals have converted it into a reasonably sheltered port by the simple expedient of sinking a lighter across from the eastern headland and building a rocky wall out from the west side.
Shelter inside this breakwater is reasonable in the typically lighter summer winds of the Saronic but we got out before a forecast northwesterly Force 5-6 in the expectation that it would be a quite unpleasant place to be.
There is no denying the harbour is shallow.
Drawing 1.4 metres we motored towards the beach until the keel touched the bottom, dropped the anchor and went astern to the breakwater, managing to get 35 metres of chain out.
Later, I was able to stand on the anchor with my head well clear of the water. We were the outermost of four visitors, with the usual gaggle of small local fishing boats further in. There was probably space for another boat outside us but none came.
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All our favourite harbours have swimming beaches immediately adjacent to them, stepping over a wall or walking a few metres past the harbour being ideal.
One or two go even further than that, the water inside the harbour being so clean that swimming is a pleasure – Áy Yeoryios is one like that.
Being blessed with a clean sandy beach on the landward side there are often swimmers in the water, with a shower to wash off the salt afterwards. Fresh water is also available from a tap on the east side of the harbour.
The taverna came as something of a surprise. We were expecting a modest little place befitting such a quiet, remote little village, but in fact it was extremely well equipped with modern cooking facilities and a menu to match.
It was so good that we ate there on consecutive nights, totally different from our normal pattern.
On shore there is an interesting little church to look at, pleasant walks along the coast in both directions and a small shop a little way to the west, although we did not get that far.
If your boat doesn’t draw much more than 1.5 metres, the wind is light or not from the northwest, you could do a lot worse than calling in here for a very memorable experience.