We took a day trip to Galaxidi for lunch and to see the
town. This is a tourist town with restaurants along the waterfront, nice
shops and a small amount of berthing for visiting yachts. Not a well
protected place though with the northern winds entering the harbor along with a
What we did learn about this town was that it built over 500
sailing ships. There is a nautical museum, well done, showing this great
ship building history and the sailors that have left from here. The largest
ships were 1,100 tons and were known for their seaworthiness.
Galaxidi did not have much importance till the
1800’s. It was under constant raids from hordes before that and did
not progress while under Ottoman rule for centuries. Not until Mesolognia
shipbuilding was restricted did contracts come over to Galaxidi. They
began building ships larger and larger and the town grew to 5,000 residents in
the second half of the 1800’s.
During this time the ship owner was also usually the
captain. As the advent of steam power came about Galaxidi’s
captains could not adjust. The thought of having to share the ownership
of the vessel with an engine producer was not in the nature of the
captains. So very quickly the orders for sailing ships stopped coming in
and the industry collapsed almost overnight in the 1880’s. The town
lost residents as they moved out to find work. Not until a stubborn woman
in the 1950’s set up a school for sewing and other efforts did the town
stop further decline. Additional funding from the new Government was
sought and some progress was made. By rebuilding the older buildings and
creating attractions like the nautical museum did the town grow. The
building of the coastal road to Itea and other towns now has connected Galaxidi
without having to take a boat.
A visit to this town is a requirement of any sailing buff
and the museum can’t be missed.
Waterfront. These boats are tucked behind the ferry
dock to get some protection from the chop.
Local floating goose house and eatery.