Yacht charter  Greece - Cyclades islands
Sailing weather Meltemi wind in the Aegaean sea
Athens Lavrion  Skiathos Mykonos Paros Samos Kos Rhodes


Meltemi, greek for Etesia, is a strong north to northeast wind which moves in the Aegean Sea from the northeast across the central Cyclades islands with increasing intensity in a wide arc towards the eastern Anatolian mainland.

Between the islands of the Cyclades it can reach storm strength due to jet effects and downdrafts and is therefore a danger to shipping, especially for inexperienced yacht sailors


The Aegean Sea is one of the windiest areas, even in summer, and the Meltemi can cause significant problems due to its strength and duration.

Important: In Greece it is forbidden to leave a safe port and  sail in winds above 6 Bft, and so the yacht sailor must plan well when Meltemi is announced.

* Courses "downwind", i.e. in the SE, S and SW directions, are relatively unproblematic. However, it should be noted that the Meltemi is very strong and this can easily be underestimated when heading downwind. In the "jet" between the islands and in the lee of high islands (e.g. BIkaria), jet effects and downdrafts of up to hurricane force can endanger people and the yacht!

In addition, at Meltemi, the height of the waves and their speed increase very quickly and very strongly - anyone who "surfs" their yacht downwind can endanger themselves, their crew and their ship through a careless or unwanted maneuver (patent jibe)!

* Courses against the Meltemi, i.e. from S to N or NW or NE, are difficult or impossible.

The rapidly increasing wave drives every yacht away and it is difficult to gain height when reefed due to the strong winds. If at all possible, you should avoid courses in the N direction and wait until the Meltemi subsides again.

This is particularly recommended for inexperienced yacht charter crews - you are putting your life in danger, and therefore it is better to inform the charter base if you get stuck somewhere and the strong Meltemi makes it seem too dangerous to move forward!

Meltemi - winds in the cyclades Greece important for yachtcharter


A Meltemi risk within 24 - 36 hours can be recognized by various signals:

1.) the weather report/weather map shows increasing air pressure over northeast Greece, the Dardanelles and the Balkans

2.) At the same time, a low pressure area develops over southeastern Anatolia

3.) Loose fluffy clouds move in from the S and W, cumulus clouds in the morning

4.) Lightning storms in the north (in spring and autumn)

5.) early in the morning the deck is dry - no more morning dew!

6.) Visibility becomes better as the haze is driven away by the wind that has already arisen.

7.) Cloud caps form over the high island mountain tops

8.) Air pressure increases very sharply, if it remains above 1018 HPa, strong winds can be expected for a few (2 to 4) days.

If the wind no longer comes from the north but from the south, there is often a threat of a Lodos or Scirocco click