Scattered along the western coastline of Central Greece, the Ionian Islands with their cobalt blue waters are the perfect charter adventure. Picturesque beaches, some of the best food in Greece and lush green forests just skims the surface as to what you can expect.
Whether you are a seasoned yacht charter client or new to it all, we can of course also create a personalised yet flexible charter itinerary which will exceed all expectations should you prefer this. Have a scroll below to see what you can expect…
GREEK IONIANS – CHARTER ITINERARY 2019
Gouvia Marina, Corfu
Easily accessible by plane, most UK airports and airlines offer direct flights to Corfu. With the Ioannis Kapodistrias airport located a mere seven kilometres from Gouvia Marina, this Greek island is accessible by both private and commercial aircraft.
The second largest of the Ionian Islands, Corfu boasts a rich natural history of rugged mountains, olive groves, 200 kilometres of coastline, and is a cultural hotspot with Venetian palaces, Parisian arcades and British colonial architecture just waiting to be explored. Spend the morning roaming the cobbled streets of Corfu Old Town, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, before setting sail to the northeast coast to the bustling town of Kalami. Considered as one of Corfu’s most picturesque spots, Kalami is the perfect place to drop anchor and enjoy your first swim in the crystal-clear waters of the horseshoe-shaped bay.
Following breakfast, leisurely sail south of Corfu and across to Paxos, the smallest of the Ionian Islands measuring just 10 by four kilometres. Beautifully unspoilt with glorious beaches and transparent waters, Paxos is one of the most charming of the group of 12 islands and features a dramatic coastline of rocky cliffs, rolling hills and rugged sea caves which are only accessible by boat.
Your first destination will be Lakka, a small picturesque fishing village located at the northern tip of Paxos. In the late afternoon, visit the charismatic port of Gaios, home to an idyllic bay surrounded by glowing blue caves, quaint shopping streets and traditional eateries.
Start the day with breakfast, followed by a short relaxing jaunt over to the enchanting island of Antipaxos. This tiny, unspoilt island which plays home to around 60 residents is a tranquil utopia for visitors. With no shops and just a couple of tavernas nearby, Antipaxos is peppered with vineyards and ivory beaches for you to explore. Unlike Paxos, this island is blessed with chalk-white stretches of sandy coastline, which have often been likened to the Caribbean. With no roads on the island, the terrain is uneven and rocky having been left untouched by human hand.
Visit Vrika beach, boasting soft white sand and striking blue water, making ita n ideal spot for snorkelling. Head ashore and enjoy lunch from the Bella Vista Taverna, one of Antipaxos’ popular spots with unbelievable views of the bay and distant Greek mainland. In the afternoon, discover private coves, sandbars and caves situated in the southern shores of Antipaxos.
Following breakfast, the yacht will cruise to the lush Greek island of Lefkada, where you’ll find crystal-clear waters and spectacular beaches. It’s also a hotspot for watersports fanatics who flock to the large bays renowned for consistent breeze. Each August the island celebrates its heritage with The
International Folklore Festival, now in its 50th year, which promotes peace, friendship and brotherhood amongst worldwide nations through the art of music and dance. The tiny fishing village of Agios Nikitas, located 13km from Lefkada’s main town, provides beautiful scenery including steep hills and valleys carpeted with pine and olive trees. A superyacht secret, this village boasts golden beaches either side which can only be reached by water.
In the afternoon journey over to Nidri (or Nydri) via the Lefkas channel, an active trade route since ancient times with the channel separating Lefkas from the mainland. The town has a whole host of activities from museums, great walking routes and the popular Nydri waterfalls.
Shaped like a flower, with a long stalk to the south and beaches with coves forming its petals to the north, Meganissi is the port of call on day five. Unspoilt, peaceful and relatively unknown outside of the sailing world, this Ionian island is made up of three tiny villages and has a population of 2,000.
Believed to have been the hideaway of a submarine, the Papanikolis sea cave is a must-see, and arguably the island’s main attraction. Take a visit first thing, before enjoying an afternoon walk along the coastal path exploring the picturesque pretty villages of Katomeri, Vathi and Spartohori. The island is ideal for walkers, offering a variety of footpaths and trails to some of the more remote areas which present sensational views of the mainland and nearby Lefkas.
The mythical island of Ithaca, historically known as the home of Odysseus, is the destination for day six. Scattered with tiny fishing villages, ancient monasteries and unspoilt countryside, Ithaca is a serene location where you can roam the narrow streets and take in the island’s rich history, hike Mount Nitiro, or drop anchor and go for a swim in the dazzling cobalt waters.
In the afternoon visit Vathi, the island’s capital and home to its main harbour scattered with pretty chapels, a selection of local shops and traditional tavernas.
The yacht will depart first thing and cruise over to Kefalonia, the largest of the group of Ionian islands. Full of charm, Kefalonia became globally known as the key film location for the smash-hit Hollywood movie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Visit the Melissani Cave, a 40-metre wide underwater lake of unique beauty. Make the most of the enchanting light entering the cave by visiting around midday, before heading to the harbour-front village of Fiskardo, the only town to survive the island’s devastating earthquake in 1953. The exclusive port attracts the finest superyachts and exudes a cosmopolitan feel like no other on the island. In the evening, relax onboard or take in the gastronomy of one of the many local restaurants in this picturesque Venetian harbour town.
Ithaka – Myrtos Beach
Spend the morning sailing around the west of the peninsular, taking you to Myrtos beach, a mile-long stretch of white pebbled sand which lies between the feet of two mountains. Enjoy lunch at anchor and spend an activity-filled early-afternoon indulging in your favourite watersports.
Mid-afternoon the yacht will make its way through the narrow straits separating Kefalonia and Ithaka to the south. Dropping anchor, the yacht will stop off in a secluded bay for the evening where you can enjoy a peaceful time onboard.
Zakynthos, or Zante as it’s also known, exhibits sparkling sapphire waters, flower-covered green hillsides, rugged cliffs and sandy beaches tucked away in secluded coves. Swim ashore or tender over to the iconic Shipwreck Beach (Navagio), one of the most photographed beaches in Greece displaying Panagiotis, a washed-up rusted smugglers shipwreck.
The western coast of the island stuns with its dramatic scenery and deep blue sea caves, ideal for a swimming or kayaking – you may even spot a loggerhead turtle floating around. Depart the following morning for your flight back home – Zakynthos International Airport is accessible by both private and commercial flights.