During my travels last year, I had the pleasure of visiting the bases in Lefkas or Lefkada as it is locally know.
Albeit it a short visit, the place blew me away and is now top of my list for charter exploration. As if pre-empting my planning, the whole place has been booked out for June, July and August 2015 holidays! Go figure!
My trip involved flying into Athens and then driving to Lefkas – some distance but an easy trip, first class mobile signal for perfect navigation on my iPhone, awesome places to visit on the way and very scenic. Other options include flying directly into Preveza (from Europe or from London) or directly to Corfu if starting there. Preveza is about 20 min. from Lefkas and charter companies happily help with transfers.
The boats lined up along the shore as far as I could see and with about a 10cm tidal movement, the boats are seriously easy to dock and raft up through out this region.
These islands offer a huge range of facilities, fun and adventure with beautiful inlets where you can loose yourselves for a day or two if you wish, to long stretches of white beach, some windy spots, totally calm spots, diving spots, sailing spots, eating and exploring spots and so it goes on. If our lunch experience in Sivota on the Southern tip of Lefkas is anything to go by, then hold on to your tummies and loosen your belts – or better still swim, swim and swim some more and make room for all the delicious food.
The distance between Corfu and Lefkas is about 70nm with the magnificent islands of Paxos and Antipaxos half way between. An easy trip for a weeks charter. I have been told these islands are some the most beautiful islands in the world? Just south of Lefkas lies Kefalonia, about another 35nm away, with a range of stunning islands in-between. This can be done in a week but to really explore this area fully, it seems two weeks would be best and judging by the 2015 bookings, 2016 bookings need to be done as soon as possible. And not left until early 2016. It will be too late.
A quick venture into the local supermarkets and fresh produce stores showed easy provisioning almost everywhere you go together with small trawlers bringing in fresh seafood to sell right there. The shores are dotted with little restaurants as you go, if you prefer this as an option.
The cobbled street markets, winding through the older parts of the towns was also great to explore, to listen to local musicians while sipping a cocktail and well yes, to do a little shopping!
Start chatting to your mates and family and get some plans together for next year. Make up your own little flotilla (which most of our guys have done this year) and book as a group to get some great rates. June is perfect and is out of season so the rates are great, places are quiet and you will still have a good pick of boat choice. July is getting to peak season and is very popular, rates start going up and the list of boats available goes down. August is high peak, much more expensive and busy onshore and off. If you are not bound by school holidays then June or even September are ideal to visit, otherwise aim for early July, which is still great.
This place has got to be explored!