Ayios Nikolaou is an anchorage in Kea.
Kea is a charter location in Cyclades, a yacht charter area in Greece.
The anchorages on Kea:
Ayios Nikolaou is the main harbour on Kea, located on the NW coast. Livadhi and Vourkari are both lively bustling port areas, and in the summer, Athenians flock to the island to escape the heat and bustle of the mainland.
Although the entrance to the harbour on the NW of the island is not immediately obvious, the village of Ayios Nikolaou is easily visible. Approaching from the west you’ll see the white houses behind the hamlet of Vourkari. A word of caution – in the summer months the strong Meltemi gusts coming down from the hills can cause turbulence in the harbour.
There are three main anchorage sites.
Ormos Livadhi, Southern Arm
Provides some shelter from the Meltemi. If you anchor off here, be aware that in many spots, the bottom consists of mud and weeds.
Vourkari, Eastern Arm
Good shelter here but there’s a steep drop – at 30m from the quay, it’s already 10m, so be sure you have enough chain. In some spots, the holding isn’t good. Vourkari can be crowded in summer, as yachts are drawn to the picturesque town, chic restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
Coal Bunker Bay, Northern Arm
Although the bottom is mainly mud and weeds, the mooring here at the north of the harbor provides good shelter from the Meltemi.
The interior is rugged, barren, and mountainous, although vineyards, orchards, and woodland areas can all be found nearer the coast. You’ll find plenty to see and do on Kea. Outside the peak tourist months of July and August, when it’s crowded with yachts from Athens, the tranquillity of moorings at Ayios Nikolaou provide a welcome contrast to some of the more highly developed and crowded neighbouring islands. Numerous paths and trails make it a paradise for hikers.
There are water and electricity points on the quays at Vourkari (E) and Kourissa (S). Fuel is available near the quay at Kourissia, or a mini-tanker can be called to deliver.
There are plenty of local tavernas for eating out, and small supermarkets stock all the essentials.
History of Ayios Nikolaou
Although now a popular anchorage spot for yachts and pleasure craft, the harbor once served as a fueling station for steamers carrying coal from the Black Sea ports to Western Europe.
On the north side of the bay, an important Bronze Age settlement, dating from 2000-1400 BC has been excavated. Many of the buildings are now submerged under the sea, but fragments of domestic pottery and ornamental figurines can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Kea.
A popular choice with locals living in Iloudia. Just a 15 minute walk from the picturesque harbour at Voukari, and within easy reach of Korissia, it’s an attractive, family-friendly choice. The sheltered location ensures the sea is calm in most weather conditions, so it’s ideal for swimming and snorkelling
The lively café/bar is a bonus, as it means that refreshments and some welcome shade will always be on hand.
At the northernmost tip of Kea, this is a spectacular sandy beach with clear water. There are some basic tourist facilities, but it’s best to bring any essentials along with you.
Korissia Beach is located just south of the port of Vourkari. Surrounded by hotels, there are good tourist facilities to be found here.
Places of Interest
The Lion of Kea
A huge prehistoric stone lion carved into the rockface. This unique sculpture is found a short distance from Ioulis, and its story is woven into the island’s many legends and rich culture.
Archeologiko Mouseio Keas
Located near the Ioulis Castle. It houses treasures recovered during excavations on the island, including fascinating objects from ancient Karthea and the prehistoric village of Agia Irini.
The Church of St. Anna (Agia Anna)
High on a hill above Ioulis. Worth the climb for the stunning views it offers.
A remote monastery with a rich history 7 kilometers east of Otzias. Standing on a rock, overlooking the Aegean sea, the views are unforgettable.