What you need to know about yachting in the Ionian Islands?
Denis Korablev
  • 26.06.2020
  • 569

What you need to know about yachting in the Ionian Islands?

Greece is an ancient country, amazing in its beauty and therefore so attractive for tourists from all over the world. In fact, this country can be called a "open-air museum", because its territory is literally replete with historical sights, of which there are much more than in the whole of Western Europe.

Nature has awarded Greece with a mild climate, amazingly beautiful vegetation and impressive landscapes, plus a developed tourist infrastructure has been formed here. This country is simply ideal for yachting thanks to its numerous popular islands, cozy bays and bays, equipped (including large and comfortable) marinas, as well as an unlimited number of cruise routes. If you are interested in yacht rental in Greece or another popular region, you can contact the specialists of the company for help in selecting suitable offers 2yachts - you will be guaranteed qualified support at all stages of the transaction.

Some of the most popular destinations in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean are the Ionian Islands, located in the sea of the same name in the west of the country. Yachting here will be accompanied by warm winds, minimal tides and the opportunity to taste hearty traditional cuisine in heavenly places of beauty. Numerous anchorages await you in the inhabited bays of the islands.

The largest islands of the archipelago:

  • Ithaca;
  • Zakynthos;
  • Kerkyra;
  • Kefalonia;
  • Lefkada;
  • Paxi;
  • Kythera.

In honor of them, the Ionian Islands were named "Seven Islands", although in addition to large, there are also many small islands. The territory of the Seven Islands is full of legends, and even though much has changed over the two thousand-year history of these sunny islands, a lot of things have remained intact. And seismic activity has contributed to the concealment of traces of antiquity in this area.

What are the advantages of yachting in the region?

A feature of yachting in the Ionian Islands is the strong influence of wind on the quality of travel. As a rule, the north-westerly wind blows, the beginning of most days of the year is sunny and calm, from noon the fresh Maistro wind gains strength, which comes to naught by the end of the day. Therefore, this area is ideal for beginners who dream of spending a few lazy days at sea, not struggling with the elements. The breeze of Maistro is much softer than its eastern cousin Meltemi, walking in the Aegean Sea. Storms in the Ionian Sea are predictable and fleeting. However, due to the predominance of mountain landscapes in the region, the formation of points of atmospheric calm and sharp gusts is possible. And at the base of the rocks, katabatic winds often occur.

Many tourists take yacht charter in Greece to go to the southern islands of the archipelago, a tranquil and sheltered region with many opportunities for shopping, wellness, beach recreation and unique wildlife watching.

Lefkada Island has many wonderful anchorages, including welcoming coves and small coastal villages, as well as soft sand beaches surrounded by the famous white sheer rock cliffs. Lefkada is separated from the mainland by the Corinthians dug in 600 BC. channel, so in fact it is not an island, but a peninsula. The main interest for yachtsmen is the east and south coasts of the island with a large number of ports and closed anchorages, on the west coast there are attractive beaches and fishing villages, but there are no suitable marinas.

Meganisi is an island popular with photographers looking to seize the moment for the best exposure at sunset. Here you can conquer on foot or by bike the peaks of the city of Spartachorion, immaculate sea water, and olive groves decorating the hills, and evergreen cypresses. Meganisi is popular with yachtsmen traveling on chartered yachts, especially the main harbor of the island, Port Spilia with 50 yacht marinas. Most of the anchorages are located along the northeastern coast of the island, with the most popular bays being Port Athens, Kapali and Abelike.

Kefalonia is the largest island of all by area, famous for its picturesque views, rich cultural heritage and Robola wine. The most popular port of the island - Fiskardo, can surprise a visitor with views of excellent original taverns and beautiful houses. Also along the east coast are the popular protected harbors of Sami, Ayia Euphimia and Poros - usually the northwest wind blows on the island, and therefore it is always safe on the east side.

The island of Kalamos, located east of Lefkada, has a coastline with a deep shelf, from which it is convenient to observe dolphins. The relief of the island is mountainous with the highest point 754 meters above sea level. There are only two settlements on Kalamos - the villages of Episkopi and Kalamos, which have suitable yacht piers. In addition, there are two more bays on the island, convenient for anchorage.

Overgrown with lush vegetation, the island of Ithaca is very rich in historical monuments, cultural attractions and archaeological discoveries. The island offers ample opportunities for hiking - you can go on foot, for example, to the Loizou cave, which was a cult place for the ancient Greeks, or the Nymph cave, in which Odysseus hid the gifts of Alkinoy after he sailed from Troy ... Thanks to Homer's Odyssey (he was the king of this island), Ithaca is so popular that all yachtsmen who find themselves in the region want to visit it. In the capital of the island there is the main port - Vati with 4 berths, designed to receive up to 48 ships, there are also two more equipped ports - Frikes and Kioni.

Corfu is the northernmost island and is characterized by a predominantly mountainous landscape covered with olive and orange trees and cypress groves. The buildings here are built in the Venetian style, and in Corfu you can wander the intricate maze of the stone streets of the Old Town. On the southern edge of the island is Sand Bar Bay, which is a convenient place to anchor for water rides or local parties.

Travel planning tips

In the passages, you will have to replenish supplies of fuel, drinking water and food - for this you will need to go to the larger ports. Fuel can be a problem, so keep a canister ready to take a taxi to the nearest gas station on occasion. Payment for parking in different ports varies greatly - it can be a few Euros per night, and much more expensive, and some ports do not charge a fee at all, especially towards the end of the season.

When planning to walk along the coast, exploring the coast, be sure to take care of purchasing special shoes for water - otherwise there is too much chance of getting hurt on sharp stones or stepping on a sea urchin, which is also extremely unpleasant.

Navigation here is not complicated by the tides, there are sometimes rocks near the headlands, but the seabed is gently sloping around most of the islands.

What is worth mentioning separately is the heat. It is the heat that can cause a sluggish state, especially at noon, so it is imperative to equip the yacht with electric fans and take care of installing a biminitop shading the cockpit. It will not be superfluous to mount solar panels on board, as well as provide hatches and a companionway with mosquito nets to prevent blood-sucking insects from intruding into the premises.

Opportunities for outdoor activities

The islands have all the possibilities for practicing all kinds of water sports. On the beaches of Lefkada, it is windsurfing and kiting, on the Diapondia islands - sailing, as well as on the islands of Paxi, Ithaca and Antipaxi, chosen by local travelers. And if you're in the mood for walking or cycling in lush green, any island in the archipelago will do. The best conditions for windsurfing have been created on the island of Naxos, one of the excellent places for skiing is the Flisvos lagoon on the coast of Agios Georgios. Alikanas is home to the largest water sports center, Andreas Watersports, where you can successfully ride a catamaran, go diving or swim with dolphins.

The most successful starting points for yacht travel around the islands are the ports of the islands of Lefkada and Corfu. On the trip, you should swim in the crystal clear waters of the Navayo Bay, visit the Melissani cave and go windsurfing in Lefkada. The favorable climate of the islands gives every chance to have a good rest, including in active ways. We wish you a great vacation in the exceptionally beautiful and picturesque Greek "Seven Islands Archipelago"!