In the Greek mythology of Achilleio, the Greek hero of the Trojan war, Achilles is thought to have lived here during his travels. In 1888, Empress Elisabeth of Austria ordered the building of a summer “Mediterranean Palace of Achilleion” in his honour, how the town got its name. The exquisite mansion has superb views of Corfu and houses the sculpture of “The dying Achilles” by Ernst Herter in the gardens. The current town is only around 100 years old, built on the Byzantine city of Nicopolis.
Sailing in the Mediterranean Gulf of Volos
Bareboat charter yachts and flotillas provide the majority of international visitors, but many Greeks enjoy holidays. There’s a pretty beach for swimming and a small marine museum which mainly shows a collection of local shells.
The Gulf of Volos is vast and provides brilliant views, great anchorages and generally calm waters. The long quay at Achilleio gives you plenty of mooring space. If you sail around to the next bay, you will find Nies’ area, a secluded and pleasant anchorage. Nies offers a long narrow beach with shallow water out into the bay. Additionally, there are spectacular panoramic views if you venture up into the hills. Nies is a beautiful spot, and now is the time to go before more people discover this local Greek secret and the proposed new hotels bring in more tourists.
If you sail across the Mediterranean Gulf to the east, you will find Palaio Trikeri, a picture-perfect Mediterranean Greek island that is well worth a visit.
Achilleio offers ferries and boat trips to the island of Skiathos, which is 25 nautical miles away. From Skiathos, sailing back to Achilleio is easy as it is all downwind. However, it can be gusty, and the wind can “bend” around the islands.