Vasilikí 31082, Greece.
GPS: 38°37’37.1″N 20°36’22.1″E / 38.626971, 20.606135
The bay of Vasiliki (Βασιλική) lies on the E side of the headland of Ak Dhoukato, the promontory which marks the SW extremity of the island of Lefkas in the Ionian Sea of Greece. The harbour and town are situated at the NE corner of the bay, some five miles NNE of the headland. The bay is notoriously windy in the prevailing NW winds, which gust down over the long spit of land which encloses the bay on the W side, and it is not surprisingly considered one of the best windsurfing venues in the Ionian. Owing to numerous local springs, it is also a green and fertile area and many vegetables are grown here. There are two harbours, a commercial harbour which is exposed in the afternoon seabreeze and really unsuitable for yachts, and a fishing and yacht harbour immediately NE which offers much better shelter but tends to silt, with depths of little more than 2.5 – 3.0 metres. Shelter in this harbour is acceptable in the prevailing NW seabreezes (although a chop is experienced), but it could possibly become untenable in very strong NW winds.
Approaching from W, a yacht has to round Ak Dhoukato, leaving the reefs just E of it well to port, and will then usually have an exhilarating close reach in the prevailing NW winds for five miles up into the bay. Approaching from E, it will often be a stiff beat up to the harbour from the headland of Ak Lipso four miles to the SE. There are also generally strong gusts into the bay once the seabreeze is well established and it may be advisable to reef down for the last few miles of the approach.
The only suitable berthing option is in the fishing and yacht harbour, which lies immediately NE of the much larger commercial harbour. The harbour is entered from NW, keeping close to the S breakwater, being careful to avoid the shoal patch that extends nearly half way across the entrance on port side. The shoal patch is usually marked with an orange buoy. Depths in the entrance are little over 2.0 metres, and yachts drawing much over 1.5 metres should consider carefully whether to enter, especially if there is any swell running. Once inside, yachts moor bows or stern-to along the S breakwater quay in depths ranging from 2.0 metres at the root to 2.5 metres at the end. Holding is good in mud, although it is not possible to put out a lot of chain as the harbour is shallow from the centerline up to the N side, which is used by the fishing boats. Shelter on the quay is acceptable in settled weather, although the prevailing NW seabreeze sends in a bit of a chop, but it would not be a good place to be in a very strong wind from that direction.
There is a good anchorage in the bay, either off the beach to the NW of the harbour if there is little wind, or on the opposite, NW side of the bay off the village of Pondi if the seabreeze is blowing. The anchorage at Pondi offers better shelter, but you will be surrounded by windsurfers constantly whizzing past your boat here. The anchorage off Vasiliki harbour is more exposed in the prevailing winds but quieter. Anchor in either position in 3.0 – 5.0 metres; the holding is good in sand and clay. If the winds are gusting strongly, you are better off in the harbour – assuming your draft permits.
Local buses to Lefkas Town
Ferries to Kefalonia and Ithaca
Cape Dhoukato, from the cliffs nearby which Sappho plummeted to her end
The boost to tourism that windsurfing, kite surfing and dinghy sailing have brought to Vasiliki is reflected in the general smartening up of the waterfront in recent years and the explosion of tavernas and cafes along the quays. There is a pleasant walk through the cultivated fields on the plain to Pondi at the NW corner of the bay and another S from the harbour to an old watermill, now converted into a café/bar. A more vigorous ten mile round trek round the bay brings you to Sappho’s Leap, the white cliff near Ak Dhoukato from where the 6th century BC Greek poetess Sappho is supposed by some to have leaped to her death.