If you are dreaming of sailing off, keep in mind the emerald waters of the Ionian Sea. Open your sails at the depth of the horizon, where the sky seems to be leaning on the sea. Feel the sun, the sea breeze and experience the ultimate sense of freedom. Enjoy unique underwater landscapes. Drop your anchor in coves and hidden beaches, dive in azure waters and as the night falls, live the romance under the stars…
The famous Ionian Islands, near the Western coastline of Greece’s mainland, (Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Paxoi, Kythira), surrounded by smaller island clusters, are lying in glimmering turquoise waters ready to introduce you to their hidden beauties.
In case you don’t have a yacht and you want to rent one, with or without a crew, you can do so in Lefkada or Corfu. Here you’ll find specialised agencies, who will help you select the right boat and plan your own naval route according to your needs and interests.
Let’s sail away!
With the wind as your motivating power, set sail towards the mesmerising Ionian Islands. Seafarers prefer two different routes: one starting from Corfu and one starting from Lefkada.
1st route: Corfu – Diapontia Islands – Paxoi- Antipaxoi
Untie the lines from the marina dock of Gouvia and take the northwest path to the Diapontia Islands, Mathraki, Ereikoussa and Othoni. Three little ‘dots’ in the westernmost part of Greece blessed with genuine wild beauty. A hidden paradise not only for a modern Robinson Crusoe but also for those who seek laid-back and easygoing holidays! At your arrival at Mathraki Island, anchor your yacht at Plakes harbour where you’ll enjoy swimming and sunbathing at a sandy white beach named Portelo, not to mention that you’ll be astonished by the beauty of the northwest coast seabed making your scuba-diving experience unforgettable. Ereikoussa is the northernmost islet of the Ionian Islands, where you’ll appreciate the lovely Bragini beach. On Othoni you will discover its beautiful bays and pristine beaches, accessible only by sea, you will dive in the Cave of Calypso and the vast beach of Bay Fyki.
If you happen to be more cosmopolitan then head for Paxoi, just seven nautical miles south of Corfu. As you approach the harbour of Gaios, among the verdant islands of Panagia and Agios Nikolaos, which form a spectacular fjord, you will understand at first glance why Paxoi is considered one of the most idyllic Islands in Greece! The Green Island of god Poseidon with dreamlike beaches, spectacular geophysical formations, romantic Ionian corners and quaint fishing villages is considered a must-see destination for the explorers of the sea. It is worth circumnavigating the island, moor at Logos for fresh fish, drink in the sunset view in the sheltered bay of Lakka, admire the impressive caves at Achay and dive in the deserted beach Galazio (meaning blue). Then sail for the Lilliputian island of Antipaxoi, 3 nautical miles southeast of the port of Gaios. The real magic of the island is located in the famous exotic beaches Voutoumi and Vraka, where the green flirts with the blue of the sea.
2nd route: Lefkada – Prigiponisia – Kefalonia – Ithaki
Starting from the cosmopolitan Nydri’s marina, set course to Prigiponisia (meaning prince’s Islands), a majestic island complex located opposite of the southeast coast of Lefkada. Anchor across Scorpios Island for a refreshing dive; this is where Aristotle Onassis used to reside. Trim sails and let the ‘Maistro’ (meaning northwest wind) push you towards Meganisi with its lacy beaches, sheltered coves and lush green bays, which create stunning fjords on the north side of the island. Further south, waiting to be explored, are the ‘pristine’ Kalamos and Kastos Islets; two isolated heavens with secluded beaches and impressive marine caves.
Set sail for Kefalonia; stop by the cosmopolitan Fiskardo on the northern side of the island. If it happens to be way too crowded and you can’t anchor here then head towards the bay of Argostoli, the marina in Lixouri or Agia Efimia in the easternmost part of the island. Kefalonia has numerous beaches, one better than the other: Petani, Platia Ammos, Koutsoupia, Dafnoudi, Foki, Vatsa, Atheras, Xi [pronounced Ksi] and many more. For more private dives… sail to Vardianoi, a deserted island south of Lixouri.
Last but not least, across from Kefalonia is the mythical hometown of Odysseus, Ithaca. The cosy harbour in Vathi is always ‘flooded’ by sailors who want to feel the mysterious energy of the island. Enjoy unforgettable dives in crystal clear waters at Afales, Schino, Kathisma, Sykia, and the popular Gidaki beaches.