A comparative study of coastal circulation by means of two depth-averaged numerical models, a finite difference and a finite element model, is undertaken. From the application of the models to Amvrakikos Gulf, a nearly enclosed coastal water body of particular ecological interest in Western Greece, the following conclusions are drawn. (i) Circulation patterns calculated for the same eddy viscosity coefficient with both models are essentially identical. (ii) Increasing the value of eddy viscosity coefficient results in a significant reduction of the magnitude of the flow velocities with no major changes on the general flow pattern. (iii) Preliminary calculations with the finite difference model show that the incorporation of the k-ε turbulence model has minor effects on the results, but it improves the rate of convergence. (iv) Calculations with both models using alternative conditions in the open sea boundary show only minor differences in the proximity of the boundary.