Koilada is a coastal fishing village in Ermionida, 3 km west of Kranidi, whose harbour it is.
Whereas Porto Heli, Costa and Ermioni are well known resorts that receive all the publicity and therefore attract celebrities as well as less well-heeled tourists, unassuming small Koilada avoids the floodlights. Despite its modest character, it has nonetheless deserves attention for three reasons: the slipways for boats installed in the historic careening area are famous and the boats built there sail all over the Aegean; the Francthi Cave, where some of the most important finds in Greece of prehistoric human relics were discovered, and the vast modern shipyard, where hundreds of yachts winter and their owners spend considerable time in Koilada overseeing repairs.
The shipyards of Koilada are located before the harbour proper, opposite the islet of Koronida which belongs to the Livanos shipowning family. They are extensive, stretching along the waterfront, which in winter resembles a forest of hundreds of deciduous tree trunks thanks to all the masts of the sailboats in dry dock there.
In Greek a shipyard is called either ‘karnagio’, a Venetian word or ‘tarsanas’ from the Turkish, which refer to sections of the seaside, whether in a harbour or a bay which, due to their slight slope down to the water, facilitate the winching of vessels up or down for their annual repairs.
Nowadays most yachts are fiberglass and very few are wooden, so that their maintenance necessitates minimal repairs. Until recently, however, the famous fishing boats – of the types known as ‘kaikia’ or ‘trehandiria’– were built in Koilada. From before the days of the Revolution when Kranidi had its own fleet as did Hydra and Spetses,the nearby islands, the tradition of building and maintaining ships was strong and flourishing and continues to this day. At both shipyards, the older Lekkas and the more modern Bassimakopoulos, more than a thousand sailing boats were built over the past 50 years, a figure that includes the last of Greece’s great wooden ships. It is certainly worth watching the work done in the shipyards of Koilada, with the old vintage machinery left over from the art of shipbuilding still in use today.
You can also see of the manner in which the hulk is fashioned, followed by the placing the covering.
- AddressKoilada, Ermionida