Saronic Gulf (Greek: Σαρωνικός κόλπος, Saronikós
kólpos) or Gulf of
Greece is formed between the peninsulas
Argolis and forms part of the Aegean Sea. It defines the
eastern side of the isthmus of Corinth, being the eastern terminus of
the Corinth Canal, which cuts across the isthmus.
4 Sailing in the Saronic Gulf
6 See also
The gulf includes the islands of Aegina, Salamis, and
Poros along with
smaller islands of Patroklos and Fleves. The port of Piraeus, Athens'
port, lies on the northeastern edge of the gulf. The site of the
Ellinikon International Airport
Ellinikon International Airport is also in the northeast.
Beaches line much of the gulf coast from
Poros to Epidaurus, Galataki
Kineta and from
Eleusis and from
Piraeus down to
Anavyssos. Athens' urban area surrounds the northern and the eastern
coasts of this gulf.
Bays in the gulf include Phaleron Bay, Elefsina Bay to the north,
Kechries Bay in the northwest and Sofiko Bay in the east.
The volcano of
Methana is located to the southwest along with
Kromyonia at the Isthmus of Corinth,
Aegina and Poros.
Methana is also
the youngest most active volcano center and forms the northwestern end
of the cycladic arch of active volcanoes that includes Milos island,
Santorini island and Nisyros island. A hydropathic institute at
Methana makes use of the hot sulphurous water that still surfaces in
the area. The most recent eruption was of a submarine volcano north of
Methana in the 17th century.
The gulf has refineries around the northern part of the gulf including
east of Corinth and west of Agioi Theodoroi, Eleusis, Aspropyrgos,
Skaramangas and Keratsini. These refineries produce most of Greece's
refined petroleum products, a large proportion of which are then
exported. Commercial shipping to the refineries, Piraeus, and to and
from the canal make the gulf quite a busy area with commercial
The origin of the name comes from the mythological king Saron who
drowned at the Psifaei lake (modern Psifta). The
Saronic Gulf was a
string of six entrances to the Underworld, each
guarded by a chthonic enemy in the shape of a thief or bandit.
The Battle of Salamis, just to the west of modern-day Piraeus, was a
major turning point in European history which saw the Athenians defeat
Xerxes, assuring Athens its place as the cradle of modern European
Fault lines dominate especially in the northwestern part. The port of
Cenchreae used to be situated here.
Panoramic view of
Saronic Gulf from
Saronic Bay Coast (basin)
Lower Galataki Basin
Upper Galataki Basin
Cephissus River (Eleusis)
Cephissus (Athenian plain)
Cephissus (Athenian plain) between
Piraeus and Phaliron.
Cape Lomvardi - SW of Vouliagmeni
Sailing in the Saronic Gulf
Sailing is popular in the
Saronic Gulf which, like the neighbouring
Argolic Gulf, benefits from the Attic mainland's partial shelter from
Meltemi wind that can reach Force 7 and above further to
the east in the Aegean islands.
The Gulf boasts two particularly notable archaeological sites: the
ancient theatre at
Epidaurus and nearby asclepieion and the Temple of
Aphaia on Aegina.
Saronic Gulf is one of congregating areas for short-beaked common
dolphins in Aegean Sea. On recent occasions, more of large whales
such as fin whales have been sighted in the gulf due to improving
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saronic Gulf.
^ "Current knowledge of the cetacean fauna of the Greek Seas" (pdf).
2003: 219–232. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
^ A rare Fin
Whale visit in the Saronic Gulf
Coordinates: 37°47′52″N 23°37′04″E / 37.79778°N