Sailing ionian sea
Characteristic of this family of islands are the crystal clear, turquoise waters of the Ionian sea which surround the islands’ coasts making them one of the most scenic destinations of the Mediterranean.
Surely you must have heard of the striking beauty of the "wreck beach" of Zakinthos, of the movie "Captain Corelli's mandolin" filmed in Kefalonia, of the homeland of Odysseus, Ithaca, the private island of Aristotle Onassis, Skoprios, or the palace of the empress Sissi "Achillio" in Corfu.
A tour of these attractions can certainly make up for quite a vacation all that’d be left to do is choose an organized beach where you’ll find restaurants, beach bars, and sun umbrellas, or a secluded one where you can relax with your favorite book.
If you love water sports, you're in the right place:
windsurfing, kite-surfing, paragliding, and even bungee jumping can readily offer a boost to your adrenaline!
In order to truly understand and connect with the Ionian islands’ culture it is important to keep in mind that according to archaeological finds, the history of this group of islands begins as early as 4000 BC during the Neolithic period.
Three thousand years forward, Odysseus, as known by Homer, reigns in Ithaca and participates in the Trojan War.
Less than a century BCE, the Romans conquer the islands for 570 years (until 394 AD), followed by the Byzantines for another 791 years and then the Normans for 315 years.
Subsequently, in 1500 AD a fascinating period began for the Ionian islands with the Venetian occupation of 297 years, when the characteristic Ionian architecture found in Corfu is shaped, along with a rich literary and musical tradition of Italian influences, with operas, choruses and lyrical music, flourishing. Moreover, the educational level of the people is being upgraded, as many choose Italy for studying.
The Ionian islands were also heavily influenced by the short presence of the French (12 years) which brought the Ionians in touch with the ideas of enlightenment, that is, the love for knowledge, freedom and happiness, which in turn layed the foundations for the shaping of the Greek national consciousness.
It is noteworthy that the national anthem of the Greeks, "Anthem in Freedom", was written in 1823 in Zakinthos, by D. Solomos.
The French occupation was followed by the 55-year British rule and finally in 1864 the Ionian islands were annexed to Greece.
One can easily imagine the effects that this cultural exchange had on all those nations that came in touch at the Ionian islands during their long and rich history. It appears in the end something entirely unique was formed inside the Mediterranean climate which is still being rediscovered generation after generation of visitors!
Religious festivals aren’t just about piety and churchgoing - they are a very good excuse to have a party. Nearly every month of the year the Eptanissa islanders will find some excuse to get out on the street, drink too much wine and celebrate one festival or another.
This is a very cheap way of entertaining the family while getting a bit of culture in to your visit to the islands! Do look out for the festival of Saint Spyridon in Corfu who is reputed to have warded off the Turkish siege in August 1716 - if you are around on August 11th, then watch the islanders celebrate like there is no tomorrow!
Similarly you will find the Festival of Saint Dionyssios on Zakynthos as a wild and fun time. The Patron Saint of the island died in 1622 on December 17, but his body was moved and reinterred on the 24th August 1717.
This means the Zakythos islanders have two excuses to celebrate this man of God! If you go inland on any island you will almost certainly find a celebration of some sort - you only need to scratch the surface lightly to find something.
They charge an average fee of 50 euros per day.
Sailors can avoid these marinas as there are places to moor close by for €0.
Other, smaller ports may only pay €2 a day for mooring, if there is a fee at all.
Free places could be found easily anytime, while in Ithaca or Paxi isl. (Gaios), Kefalonia (Fiskardo), during the high season this could be very difficult.
Do you have to moor in every port at the centre of the action? You may be paying to have loud drunks next to you! It may pay in sleep and of course your wallet to anchor a little way off and come into port by dinghy. This may well pay off as the Ionian is so magical wherever you go.
Unlike Western Europe we moor stern-to in marinas - this is a trick we look at in our Sailing Guide.
Equally you will find quiet anchorages that you can get respite in from the hard living of the major towns.
Day 1 - Lefkada to Paxos - Gaios Port (33 N.M). Starting from the city of Lefkada and heading to the port of Gaios is the ideal route for the lovers of pure sailing,where the winds blow in your favor ! Distance: 33 NM ( 5 hours of sailing)Gaios PortThe main port of Paxos is the ideal post after a full day sailing through the Ionian. Enjoy your shopping and the local cuisine. Relax on board while floating on its transparent waters !
Day 2 - Paxos - Gaios to Parga (10 N.M). Just opposite Gaios, from the small port of Parga, you can start your exploration of the mainland. (1,5 hours of sailing)Parga PortBy arriving early you can secure a spot in the port of Parga. Make the most of your day by visiting the local castle and strolling to its small alleys.
Day 3 - Parga to Sivota - Mainland (12 N.M). Sail along the coast to reach the village of Sivota, a natural port guarded by smaller isles that can also serve as a mooring spot. (2 hours of sailing)Sivota PortYou can enjoy the tranquility of the town and opt for relaxation by swimming in one of the numerous protected bays of the area.
Day 4 - Sivota - Mainland to Corfu Town (20 N.M). From Parga to the city of Corfu you can get a glimpse of the ever changing scenery between the mainland and the island. (3 hours of sailing)Corfu TownThe capital of the Ionian. Walking in the city of Corfu will give you the opportunity to explore its historic centre and get accustomed to the local cuisine and mentality.
Day 5 - Corfu Town to Antipaxos - Voutoumi (33 N.M). Sailing with your yacht or catamaran from Corfu back to Lefkada, a stop in Voutoumi is the ideal shelter for the night. (5 hours of Sailing)VoutoumiA real Heaven on Earth ! Your yacht is floating in between sky and sea and the beauty of the waters will not fail to mesmerise you with their clarity !Read More
Day 6 - Antipaxos - Voutoumi to Kefalonia -Fiskardo (46 N.M). Having to cover a number of miles on this day of your sailing trip, an early start will help you enjoy the route surrounded by the morning breeze.Fiskardo PortThe worldwide famous destination in the Ionian! A must-see place with an amazing old town and many bars & tavernas!Read More
Day 7 - Kefalonia: Fiskardo to Agia Efthimia (11 N.M). Protected between the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca, sailing to Agia Effimia grants you access to the numerous bays and coves that can accommodate some of your brief stops for swimming and fishing. (1.5 hours of Sailing)Agia EffimiaEither you decide to dine on board by gazing at the local port or in one of the local tavernas, this settlement is ideal for all types of winds.
Day 8 - Kefalonia - Agia Efthimia to Ithaca - Vathi (21 N.M). Circumnavigate the southern part of Homer’s Ithaca to reach Vathi. Choose any of the numerous beaches and coves to stop for the day before mooring to the capital of the island. (3 hours of Sailing)Ithaca - Vathi PortVathi is the biggest natural harbour in Europe and the main harbor of Ithaca. Full of life and choices is a must to visit it while you are sailing with your bareboat or skippered yacht in Ionian.
Day 9 - Ithaca: Vathi to Kioni (6 N.M). Protected from the open sea, heading to the village of Kioni offers you the chance to relax. With only 6 NM to be covered for the day you can have stops for swimming. (less than 1 hour Sailing)KioniReaching early the port of Kioni will grant you mooring in the central part of the port and the chance to spend some quality time in the local taverns and restaurants.
Day 10 - Ithaca - Kioni to Kastos (14 N.M). Head to the island of Kastos and enjoy your sailing during the day discovering the caves and the surrounding bays in the isles and the island itself. (2 hours of Sailing)Kastos PortOne more virgin island with many pines and smiling people, only few taverns and a supermarket exist in this tiny island. the perfect shelter for bareboat or skippered chartering sailing yachts.
Day 11 - Kastos to Kalamos (5 N.M). Both islands are virgin with breathtaking landscapes and beautiful blue waters. You must stop in the small bays that surround these islands to swim! Distance: 5 NM (less than one hour sailing)Kalamos PortThis small port used to be a fisherman shelter and is very picturesque and relaxed with just a few tavernas for a quiet bite to eat and drink.
Day 12: Kalamos to Meganissi - Vathi (13 N.M). Kalamos and Meganisi have many small virgin bays to make a swimming stop and they are very close to each other. Distance: 15,5 NM (2 hours of sailing).MeganisiYou can choose between Spartochori, Vathi or Abelaki bay to moor for the first day of your sailing vacation trip. All places are amazing!Day 13 - Meganisi - Vathi to Lefkas (11 N.M)The way of return. You have to be at Lefkas marina fom16:00 to 17:00 so you must start your day early in order to make a swimming stop at the famous Onassis Island (Scorpios) or in any of the islets and bays you will find at your way back to Lefkada..stop at the entrance of the marinaat the fuel station for refilling...
Check out at our place on Pier F or G in the marina...
Sailing ionian sea Places
The so called "jewel of the Ionian Sea" and surely the most famous amongst its neighbors, also happens to be the cultural center and the most visited island in western Greece.
One of the Ionian islands, Lefkada is well-known for its famous beaches and its turquoise waters. Its marina, prides itself on being one the most modern marinas in the Mediterranean.
LEFKAS ISLAND BASE
Our Lefkada Island yachts base is situated at Lefkas marina, one of the most modern of its kind for yacht charter in Greece, with a capacity of 620 boats. Lefkas marina is right inside Lefkas town, on the eastern side of the island. Lefkada island can be considered the extension of mainland Greece, from which it is separated by a 50-metre sliding bridge!Read more