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4. Greece 12

Some lazy Years in Greece (9): our Winter Stay at Home in Nieuwpoort 2017 and Spring in Greece




Winter in Alpe d'Huez (F)





Meanwhile in Horto .... (GR)







In Greece too it’s winter now, a harder winter than usual; who is in need or has no protection, is suffering, human or animal. Abandoned and wandering animals, often hurt or in poor health, are in financially-stricken Greece a serious problem ... also a health problem. In the Pelion region  volunteers of Give Strays a Chance seek to relieve the most urgent needs. Would you like to pay attention to their call and visit the website ?




Little later in Nieuwpoort (B)









Greek Spring



Our annual return to Greece is a well practiced routine affair: the itinerary goes by Calais, Reims, Metz, Strasbourg and a stopover in the Ibis-hotel in Sélestat - close private park place, easy concerning the arrival hour and close to the highway to Switzerland. The next day we go by Basel and the 16 kilometre-long Gottharttunnel - where we rarely had to queue except that one time three years ago but we were mid May !



Since the ferry connection from Venice-Fussina with early arrival in Igoumenitsa ( so that we can reach Horto the same day ) only from mid may starts, we have to take the ferry in Ancona - by that way we tie in with our so many Greece-travels since 1975, so this is a welcome rejuvenation experience!

In Italy we had a second stopover a few tens of kilometres before Ancona, in Pesaro where we had booked a room at hotel Ambassador ( during the tasty breakfast buffet Eric had the pleasant experience of getting a various choice of gluten free bread, toast and sweets ).

The night before we had an excellent dinner at Polo,pasta e pizza an in Pesaro well known restaurant recommended by our hotel.




We could pretty quickly go on board embarking on the Superfast XII - we have made de reservation on-line by the ANEK-website (as always in early booking) and with redeeming of a large number of points collected by the Smart program-had booked.

The comfortable ferry sailed neatly on time (13H00 LT) and arrived after a quiet crossing without any delay (!) the next day at to 08H00 (LT) in Igoumenitsa.


At 08H45 we already were driving on the nice but as always rather deserted Egnatia motorway which connects Igoumenitsa with Thessaloniki and continue to the Turkish border. The descent from the Pindus mountains - we left the highway just after Metsovon - to the Meteora at Kalambaka and the to the plain of Thessaly presents a nice view on the still snowy peaks fully brightening in the early spring sunshine and sharply outlined in the blue sky. Around a quarter to one we drove up the large car park in the harbour of Volos and little later we were already on a table in our usual lunch restaurant Gaia in ( usual means every time we are in Volos at noon !) for a nice but simple lunch, rather early according the Greek usage but on the ferry we had had breakfast before seven. Gaia offers traditional cuisine we choose - like in the past - in the relatively wide choice presented by the cook and that are kept warm in large metal containers on the counter near the kitchen.




Less than one hour later, after some shopping in the big, last year renewed My Market supermarket, we were ready for the last part of the trip: the 45 kilometre to Horto by the beautiful but very sinuous and sometimes narrow coastal road.

The winter has also left its traces here. In the plain of Thessaly, but also between Trikala, Larissa and Volos we saw how sad brown the oleanders were, not only the leaves but also the stems. In Volos almost all beautiful, large eucalyptus trees are very heavily damaged: this large, stately, (sub)tropical tree from the Myrtaceae family ( in these regions a non-hardy species !) looking little dissolute spread now all sadness out with its brown instead long light-blue-green leaves, after what is said as the coldest winter since the last 30 years with minimum temperatures around -15 degrees in Volos ... Characteristic for this winter was that the severe frost during the two successive periods during several days also during the day maintained, which is quite exceptional in this area anyway. Also the road network shows deep traces of the unusual weather, snow and rain having taken their toll.



Once arrived in the house, we get the confirmation of what we feared: the garden has suffered a lot, and the trees and plants that have survived,need urgent care.

But in Lechonia, where we hurry, our boat apparently has withstood the winter well, a big relief !

In the yard there are still many boats so that to start the boat works it would be less comfortable; it's also too early to as the sea feels very cold to install the mooring lines.

So we will first take care of the garden: a pretty big job as the olive and lemon trees have to be pruned!


After the Easter weekend then it will be time for the boat. We make already arrangements with Andy ( A-C Yachting Milina ) for installing the new lines on the anchors whose position was marked during the winter with a small buoy. After five years, for security we will replace not only the mooring lines but also the big shackles and the swivels.




Bigger boat maintenance





This year Nehalinnia gets bigger maintenance: the Sunware solar panel above the sliding hatch has now to be replaced - after more than 10 years of excellent service -, and due to corrosion - after twenty years - to be renewed too the 75 screws of the brass strip on the teak wooden strake on port - in autumn starboard side will be done. Although the new solar panel has the the same product number and thus logically the install of the as identical expected specimen would be very simple, when executing the work we are facing a much more fundamental job: the mounting holes do not match and the connection is a lot more complicated ! The remounting of the brass strip also is not easy because the old screws break one by one so that we have to shift by half a centimeter and to drill 75 new screw holes. The rather unstable weather is regularly perturbating the works: especially when we are sealing the teak roof near the mast - a job that we had to redo too often last years due to Sikaflex' poor holding, the reason for our actual choise for Bostik Simson.







According to Greek standards the yard in Kato Lechonia is very neat and pretty well equipped, Menelaos Maninis - the owner is very friendly and is very skilful in handling the sledge which he also for much larger sailing boats and motor yachts. For the diving work we again have asked Andy Lewis ( ac-yachtingmilina ) . But we could not find a good sailmaker in the Volos area: for their replacement or for recurrent small repairs - the seams suffer a lot by the sun - we take sails, awnings, sprayhood, and bimini to Belgium.







Forecast HORTO, Magnesia, GREECE

Forecast WIND




DEKPA ( Permit to Cruise ) UPDATE 2017:


- for all boats of 7 m LOA and more, a DEKPA is required

- all previous versions of DEKPA expire on the 01/01/2017, making a new DEKPA should be requested


- procedure ( NEW!!! )

important update:

for obtaining the DEKPA non-Greeks must no longer have a so-called tax number Α. Φ. Μ.


1. requesting a DEKPA at the port police/coast guards office when presenting the original boat papers the applicant will receive two forms; the first form should be completed by the applicant for the DEKPA (the form is bilingual GR/ENG and should be filled up with the identity information of the applicant (here you can possibly fill in your tax number Α.Φ.Μ.) and the identification data of the vessel ( if more than one person owns the boat then for each owner a form has to be filled up); the second form is in fact a request document for obtaining a eΠαραβολο authorization (e-Paravolo: electronic administrative fee) that has to be withdrawn at the ΚΕΠ ( KEP : administrative assistance service to citizens )

2. at the ΚΕΠ submitting the request document and his identity card or passport ( in the case of more than one owner, one of them ) - the applicant will get (immediately! ) the eΠαραβολο document with which he can pay the amount of 50.00 euros in the bank of his choice

3. the applicant returns to the port police/coast guards office to introduce his DEKPA request, presenting the bank receipt and the eΠαραβολο, the photocopies of the required documents ( identity card/passport, ICC, registration document of the boat, certificate of insurance ) and the duly completed form concerning the applicant and the boat


Our experience: we passed through the whole procedure in VOLOS in about two and a half hours: we had luck at the ΚΕΠ - we realized it only when we saw the long queue behind us - , making the photocopies in a very well equipped print centre close to the ΚΕΠ went smoothly - we made spare copies of any document (you never know here ! )- , in the ALFA bank the queue for the four ΤΑΜΕΙΟ counters was quite short (we first entered into three other banks, but we were desperate when we saw the huge number of waiting people !) , each time we were the only visitors at the coast guards office and the competent young lady was to the point in fluent English! Due to the long Greek Easter weekend, we have to wait a whole week before we can pick up the DEKPA document ...







We saw, heard and were told that ...

SUNSAILBASE MILINA/VATHOUDI CLOSED: Due to changes in the Sunsail-offer in Greece the base of Milina-Vathoudi is closed since 2014. The pontoons inc. water- and power supplies, and showers have been removed.

NEW: A&C YACHTING MILINA: The former managers of the base, Andy and Christine, have started in 2014 their own charter company; they are operating with two boats based in the small harbour of Milina: A&C Yachting Milina ( http://www.ac-yachtingmilina.com ); they provide also technical support, engine repairs, diving works like mooring maintenance etc., and assistance Tel:  +30 2423 065597, Mobile:  +30 693 7262731

MILINA: At the present time limited water and power supplies only in this small harbour.

CRUISING TAX ( TPP ): despite the law has been voted, the application decrees were not published; the tax is at the present time not due; more information see website Cruising Association ( http://www.theca.org.uk/news/greektax )


Update 2016


The GREEK TAXNUMMER Α.Φ.Μ. [A.F.M.]: an other - significant ! - experience with the Greek bureaucracy

The so-called taxnumber Α. Φ. Μ. [A.F.M.] is a national number (in Belgium the identification number in the National Register of Natural Persons is officially called national register number ) or - in some countries - a social security number. From the age of 18 years all Greeks have the obligation to get a taxnumber

The Α. Φ. Μ. [A.F.M.] consists of 9 digits.

Until a few years ago, a taxsnumber was not required for a non-resident foreigner who was staying in Greece little longer than a short touristic period but not involved by contractual services (e.g. a phone and or internet account ). In matters where a taxnumber was required, for example to obtain a DEKPA before the 1st of January 2017 , it was allowed - and it's still - to fulfil some formalities with the help of a willing Greek friend.

So our Greek friend accompanied us in Volos, first to the Office of the Port Police/Coastguard to fill up the request form, then to the Tax Office in order to pay the tax of 29.35 euro. A temporary and to this matter limited statement for the use of his taxnumber saved us the procedure to obtain a personal taxnumber.

The whole issue of tax discipline and tax collection has, however, led to the fact that a personal taxnumber is more and more required: so for the conclusion of a contract e.g. with an internet and / or mobile/phone provider, when renting a house or apartment, to purchase an insurance, in order to register a vessel under Greek flag or a motor vehicle, and even to pay a fine. In short, in most contractual issues or actions when the Greek administration is directly or indirectly involved.

In 2008 arriving in Greece after our Italian coasts sailings we could get a VODAFONE internet account only by Direct debit of our credit card without having a personal taxnumber but by providing also a cruising statement issued for this purpose by the K&G marina in Corfu. The other phone and internet providers - COSMOTE, WIND - required a private taxnumber.

How it works:

- visiting a local tax office, department Delivery Taxnumbers Α. Φ. Μ. [A.F.M.] with our ID card or passport

- filling up the monolingual-Greek form

- being accompanied by a free chosen Greek representative or submitting a (legalized) certificate containing his identity data; the representative must be registered in the tax area ( e.g. Magnesia ) where the taxnumber is requested ( e.g. Volos ); in fact the representative acts as an known and having his home in Greece contact person for the administration




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Updated 10-feb-19
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