Imagine this: Flat, pristine waters, bustling picturesque towns, incredible heritage and history and spectacular scenery and Rand-friendly prices. In this article we outline why it is that we love Greece (and the Ionian sailing area in particular) so much and talk you through what a 7-day charter in this stunning area would look like.
The southern Ionian region is the perfect sailing area for families with children, a group of couples or just holiday-makers without much sailing experience, as there are protected waters and anchorages and so much to do along the way. Snorkelling in this area is out of this world and can provide hours of fun for kids (and adults alike). For the more sociable travellers, the Ionian islands boast a vivid nightlife.
Starting your charter in Lefkas is highly recommended, as these waters are suitable for all types of sailors, whether you are experienced or not at all. The seas in the southern Ionian are gentle and provide a no-stress approach to sailing for the more laid back travellers out there, whilst the open coastal sailing opportunities and slightly more demanding northern Ionian seas will appeal to the more experienced of sailing folk. Between April and November, temperatures average around 24 to 27 degrees Celsius, with a northwesterly wind ranging from 10 to 15 knots – in general during this time you can expect clear blue skies and toasty warm weather. The sunsets in this region are breathtaking and can be thoroughly enjoyed with a sundowner on the deck.
7 DAY IONIAN ISLAND ITINERARY
Now that you have been briefed on what to expect weather-wise, let’s have a more detailed look at what your day-to-day activities would look like on a 7-day itinerary through this breathtaking area.
Day 1: Lefkas
Your charter will start in Lekfas Town, which is in the northern area of the
Ionian Islands. The colourful town is made of up brightly painted houses and earthquake-proof buildings and is rich in heritage and culture. This is a great starting spot, as there are plenty of shops to buy your provisions and the friendly locals and many quaint restaurants to explore will get you into the Greek vibe and have your charter starting off on a upbeat and happy note.
Be sure to visit: the Festival of Arts and Literature, which includes music, dance and theatre from all parts of the world.
Be sure to taste: Honey thyme and the local olive oils (known to be the best in the world)
Day 2: Vathi
This picturesque fishing harbor is actually also the capital of the Meganissi and Ithaca Island. This charming port is dotted with local tavernas and small shops and you can wander throughout the surrounding olive groves.
Be sure to visit: the islands of Skorpios and Skorpidhi owned by the Onassis’, which they bought back in the sixties. You won’t be allowed to actually step onto the islands, but feel free to sail around them and take in their splendour. You may also be lucky enough to see the “beach hut” belonging to Jackie Onassis, which she resided in whilst swimming the pristine waters within the cove.
Be sure to taste: The taramasalata found in the Rose Garden and the fresh fish and octopus at Yeorgiou’s.
Day 3: Vassiliki Bay
For all windsurfing lovers, you will find this bay on the southwestern coast of Lefkas. This is where you will find one of the top ten winds in the Med – they have actually fondly named their wind “Eric” and you can exert your energy partaking in windsurfing activities during the afternoon, and spend the early evening unwinding and relaxing under the trees at one of the local tavernas, with an ice-cold beverage in hand.
Be sure to visit: the many windsurfing competitions in the summer months of July and August, the beauty pageants that take place, as well as the vibey disco.
Day 4: Kefalonia
This is the largest island in the Ionian Sea. The centre of this island is filled with lush pine and cypress forests and if you are familiar with the book or film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” you will recognize this incredible scenery. You will also notice a very strong Italian influence, as this island was occupied by this nation for a while. Why not hop onto a bike and explore this beautiful green forest island? Furthermore, this island is very popular in the summer and is considered the place to be seen, if you are feeling sociable. For those wanting a quiet and private stay, why not anchor in one of the small, secluded coves and enjoy the peace.
Be sure to visit: Fiscardo, in the north of the island, where you will find an imposing lighthouse with Venetian features, as well as the village itself still boasting 19th century Italian heritage.
Be sure to taste: the ice-cold beverages at the Captain’s Cabin on the waterfront and the delicious cuisine at Herodotus.
Day 5: A Day of Free Roaming
Why not spend the day exploring the local shops and markets whilst buying some trinkets to take home as memorabilia. Otherwise, find a quiet bay and indulge in the excellent snorkeling that this area has to offer.
Day 6: Abelike Bay
This incredibly peaceful cove is the perfect place to wind down your holiday and enjoy the last moments on the water. You will be enveloped by green olive groves and the clear waters will allow you to properly cool down and enjoy your final hours. Here you will not find much in the line of facilities, however, it will allow you to properly maximize your time with loved ones and enjoy the breathtaking nature, whilst enjoying a meal on the beach or on the deck of your yacht.
Day 7: Lefkas
It is the last day of your charter and time to hop off the yacht. Now is the time to reflect on your holiday, to look back at your photos and remember all of the stories and memories that you will share with loved ones back at home.
After discovering this area with us, you will surely understand why this incredibly beautiful region should be the destination of your next sailing holiday. If this sounds like the destination of your dreams, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +27 (0) 21 418 3147 and we can help you to make it a reality.