Sailing in virtually tide less waters, glorious sunshine, consistent winds and with a choice of modern and ancient Greek (with a hint of Venetian) ports and fishing villages has to be high up on the list of "things to do" for most people. Not the "blow your socks off" conditions of the Aegean, your Ionian yacht charter holiday is far more relaxed and for this and many other reasons, the Ionian islands have become one of Europe's favourite yacht sailing locations, particularly for families and less experienced sailors.
The Ionian Islands on the west of mainland Greece offers the most tranquil sailing in the whole of Greece. Passages are normally made on protected waters between the islands and the coast so navigation is line of sight. The Southern Ionian islands of Lefkas, Ithaca and Cephalonia encircle what is almost an inland sea, with more than 20 smaller islands offering safe anchorages in bays surrounded by Olive Groves and pine trees.. The Seafarer bases in the Ionians are on the islands of Lefkas and Corfu in the north of the Ionian Sea. These are the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean!
The Ionian Sea with its many beautiful Islands, mild winds, crystal clear blue waters and predictable weather patterns offers excellent safe sailing conditions for the professionals and amateurs alike. It is considered by many to be the best cruising area in the whole of Greece. During the night there is usually complete calm. There are many beautiful Islands to see and explore with lush scenery, sites of mythological and historic interest, calm sheltered bays and sheltered harbours with local tavernas where you can moor for the night. You can sample the local food, explore and experience a little of the islands atmosphere before you set sail again for your next delightful Ionian Island. The Southern Ionian region has many Islands very close together resulting in flat seas - ideal for novices and the less experienced, as in this region you are never more than an hour away from a sheltered anchorage and taverna.
Corfu is the most popular of the Ionian Islands. It is a very green island and a mixture of the civilizations that have passed through at various times.
Paxos is 7 miles to the south of Corfu. It is a charming little island, covered with pine trees. The architecture of the three main towns, Gaios, Laka, and Logos is typically Ionian with colourful two and three-story homes lining the streets. By contrast the rural landscape is filled with low stone houses surrounded by lush green gardens.
Its tiny sister island, just to the south, Anti Paxos is surrounded with crystal clear waters lapping onto some lovely sandy beaches.
Lefkas is a popular, lively and windy island. It is the only island linked to mainland Greece, a swing bridge providing access by road.
Cephalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands. It is renowned for its wine and more latterly for the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. For the walker there are acres of forest covered limestone mountains to explore.
Steeped in legend of Odysseus the island has beautiful bays and attractive anchorages. The island is essentially two heavily wooded mountain tops rich in flora and fauna, which protrude steeply from the Ionian sea, joined in the centre of the island by a thin stretch of land. It offers gentle green uplands in the south and rugged limestone hills in the north.
Zakynthos is the southernmost of the islands in the Ionian. A horseshoe shaped mountain range surrounds a rich fertile plain. Half of the island's cultivated land is given over to the currant vine which was originally transplanted from the Peloponnese by the Venetians.
Meganissi has the magnificent inlet at Port Athene on the north coast. This is the perfect place for snorkelling and swimming and makes a good overnight stop.
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