Meltemi, or otherwise Greek “etesian” (annual) wind, is the strong & dry North wind which occurs in the Aegean Sea/ Greece & many other regions around the Mediterranean Sea. Although one may think that its maximum activity is during July and August, Meltemi usually blows throughout the summer season (June to September) & sometimes in May & October.
The Meltemi strongest action is during the afternoon and often dies down at night sometimes lasting for days without a break. Meltemi averages usually 4-5 Beaufort Scale however, it can reach 5-7 (sometimes even 8) Beaufort Scale.
As we all know, sailing yachts are all-weather vessels and Meltemi winds are the happiness for many sailing sport enthusiasts. For more “relaxed” sailing parties though, this wind often offers harsh sailing conditions and in such a case, it would be wise to anchor in a sheltered port. Here, keep in mind that Meltemi is sometimes dangerous for inexperienced or amateur sailors due to the fact that it may occur during clear weather conditions without warning.
If one sees the wind for its positive side, Meltemi offers low humidity and good visibility being a welcome cooling relief for some “heated” Greek islands during especially July and August!
Please, click here to see the Meltemi Map in Greece (by wikipedia).
Note: Contrary to the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea (west of Greece) is not affected by Meltemi winds. Ionian sailing area experiences the Maistro wind throughout the charter season and is generally a calmer place than Aegean sailing area ideal for let’s say relaxed summer boat holidays in Greece.