Sailing holiday in the Ionian Sea
Price includes skipper, accommodation on our sailing yacht, exploring the Aegean islands, breakfast (self-service), VAT, snorkeling equipment.
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Description of Sailing holiday in the Ionian Sea
This Greek islands sailing holiday around the Ionian Sea starts on the island of Lefkas, where our beautiful boat, Tahita, is moored. With an expert skipper and crew, we will create the most idyllic itinerary for sailing in the Ionian Sea and around its islands, some inhabited and others deserted. From cultural heritage highlights, archaeological masterpieces and famous sites from Greek myths, to marine wildernesses that are second to none, sailing here is an awesome odyssey.
Tahita can accommodate eight people in its four double cabins and so, for comfort and plenty of onboard space, we host no more than six guests on a trip. With a fine finish throughout the boat, the cabins are spacious, well ventilated and have plenty of storage room. And, very importantly for holidays on these beautiful Ionian waters, our deck has plenty of room for lounging and lapping up the sun. The boat has two bathrooms, as well as a shower on the stern of the boat by the diving platform.
The price of this sailing holiday includes: skipper, crew, breakfast, water, port fees, snorkel gear, outboard, tender and cleaning.
Take a look at our sample week long itinerary, although we are happy to adapt this to suit your interests and number of islands you wish to visit.
|Day 1:||Our sailing odyssey starts on the island of Lefkas, a stunning Ionian island connected to the mainland by a causeway. We meet in the town of Vassiliki, where our boat is moored, to chat about our week’s itinerary. After a welcome swim in the aquamarine waters at Agiofili cove, we sail to the remote island of Kastos, which only has a population of eighty people. Dinner in the main town of Kastos gives you your first chance to sample Ionian freshly caught fish at a top local taverna.|
|Day 2:||Today we sail to Atokos Island, a deserted paradise which is just perfect for swimming, snorkelling and a lunchtime BBQ. Our next anchor spot later that day is the famous island of Cephalonia where, in Fiscardo port, walks around the wonderful 19th century architecture and contemporary café filled streets are the perfect way to take in island life.|
|Day 3:||Another day, another beautiful island after a beautiful sailing trip over to Ithaka, famous for being the island where Ulysses, hero of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, spent his childhood. Dropping anchor by Gremni beach, swimming here is a very special experience, with vertiginous cliffs standing majestically over white sandy shores. From here we sail round to the village of Kioni, a perfectly picturesque bundle of traditional white houses clinging to the shore.|
|Day 4:||Today’s sailing trip is to Oxia, a small island close to the mainland’s Aetolia-Acarnania coast near the mouth of the Acheloos River. Uninhabited, this island and its environs are untouched by tourism, and stunningly beautiful. Tonight we sail back to the main port of Ithaka.|
|Day 5:||The advantage of a night sail is that we arrive into port in Ithaka at dawn, giving us all day to explore. As well as giving cooler morning temperatures to go hiking around the island. One such hike is to the vast Nymph’s Cave. Another highlight on Ithaka is the locally run museum in Stavros, set up by a teacher who wanted to create a special place to collate archaeological finds from Ulysses’ palace.|
|Day 6:||Kalamos is our last island stop before returning to base on Lefkas. Here we can spend the whole day in the water, swimming, snorkelling and enjoying the shores around this mountainous island. Dinner at sunset is at one of our favourite local waterside tavernas, a perfect spot for our farewell rendez vous.|
|Day 7:||Our final sail back to Vassiliki port on the island of Lefkas.|
1 Reviews of Sailing holiday in the Ionian Sea
Reviewed on 14 Jul 2012 by Carolin Sommer
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Where to start - every moment on the boat was highly enjoyable, the islands we travelled to were extremely beautiful, the food was exquisite, the sea so clean and blue as you would only imagine on postcards. The most memorable moment of the holiday was a night swim and snorkel amidst the luminous plankton. The most exciting parts where being at the helm of the boat in very windy conditions, and the most enjoyable moments where the walks in the evenings. Expertly guided by the wonderful Annie, and usually ending up in a fabulous tavern where homecooked food was waiting for us, they were the highlights of the trip.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Pack half of what you thought you might need; there is virtually NO storage space. Be prepared to live in the same pair of shorts and the same two tops for the whole week. Take seasickness tablets if you're so inclined, but make sure they're the not-so-drowsy type. Try new foods - we had goat and it was DELICIOUS, not what I expected at all. Make sure you can comfortably carry your luggage if you are planning on taking the bus from the airport to get to the ferry as there is a bit of a walk. Getting there in one day can be a bit of a squeeze; an overnight stay in Athens before and after the week on the boat would take the pressure off the getting there and home again.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Absolutely. We shopped and ate on different islands every day, buying only from local people away from mass tourism. All rubbish was recycled, there is a wind generator on the boat, and we used very little fresh water as we only showered once! We sailed whenever we could, which reduced our fuel consumption. We felt that, as holidays go, this one had relatively little impact on the environment but instead helped the local economies.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Absolutely amazing, wonderful, rejuvenating, horizon-expanding. We went without our three young children, and it was incredibly relaxing, especially since no decisions were required the entire week (except for "fish or meat?"). A super break full of special moments in magnificent surroundings, spent with like-minded people. Can't ask for more!
Planet and peopleOur base has become the island of Syros where most of the maintenance work is carried out. We employ locals for all the jobs concerning the boat. We buy materials for the maintenance of the boat from local shops. We encourage guests to visit and try the local cuisine and purchase local goods wherever we go in order to get a taste of the local culture and also support the local community.
We try to minimise the impact of our boat on the marine environment by using the motor as little as possible, mainly just to enter and leave the port. When mooring we avoid throwing the anchor on meadows of sea grass. We always use permanent moorings when provided.
When Tahita, our sailing boat, is not chartered, we sail around cleaning beaches, recycling or giving a helping hand to researchers and organisations in their efforts to collect data in order to study and protect the environment and wild life.
We’ve allowed space in the sailing boat to store waste plastics especially bottles. As there is no drinking water available in the Greek islands, there is a huge consumption of bottled water. We store all the plastic in the capital of Syros, Ermoupolis and we take it back to Athens at the end of the season for recycling.
We organise visits at the two national marine parks in Greece, in Zakynthos and Alonisos, where the two most important organisations for the protection of the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta and the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus are based. Our guests are briefed on their work and how they can support them.