Orthoni, Ericoussa and Mathraki make up the Diapontia Islands. They are about 5NM off the North coast of Corfu are a wonderful place to anchor for a few days. Tranquility, nature and small taverns are the vibe here with laid back locals more than happy to pull up a chair and chew the fat over all things Greek.
This is the most westerly island and is the first landfall in Greece for yachts arriving from south Italy. The main anchorage is located on the south side of the island and has three parts to it, the inner lagoon, outer anchorage and a concrete wharf.
In the small, inner lagoon approx 8-12 yachts can anchor in 3-4m of what must be some of the clearest water in Greece. The bottom is Sand and excellent holding. The only thing to bear in mind is the ferry that arrives each day from Corfu. The ferry comes speeding into the bay at about 10 knots, honking his horn wildly before backing on the wharf. If your in the way, you don’t get long to move!
If the inner harbour is full, yachts often anchor just outside the breakwater, in 8m or so of water. The bottom has some boulders, so it’s best to choose your spot carefully.
A 5 min walk behind the ferry wharf is a new concrete inlet and wharf. There are power and water points, but in true Greek fashion, they are not connected. There were a couple of Italian yachts moored there when we last visited in Sept 2016, but it is a very narrow inlet and you would need to be careful getting in and out as there is little room for turning around or manoeuvring.
The South side of Ericoussa has a big anchorage that has a wonderful sandy beach and a small town with some little tavernas a bar and a couple of low key hotels. The anchorage is big with space for lots of yachts and you could always get a spot here. Holding is excellent with sand everywhere and depths between 3 and 10m over most parts of the bay. As with Orthoni, the water here is incredibly clear with a beautiful sand beach.
Beware, however, if a southerly kicks up as you can soon become very exposed. There is a large fetch to the South and the waves build quickly making the anchorge untenable. We were anchored there when a forecast F2/3 Southerly came in at F5. Things got pretty lumpy pretty quick, with more than a few waves breaking over the bow while we were still at anchor. Not ideal and we upped anchor, hoisted our sails and headed for Kassiopi.
The third island in the archipelago is Mathraki. We haven’t been there, but it is supposed to be well worth a visit but the are some small reefs surrounding it that require attention as you arrive/leave. The small port is usually full of fishing boats so most visiting yachts anchor off Mathraki beach, which thanks to the breakwater is sheltered from the prevailing North and North West winds.