Updated: Jan 14
Greece has been holding supremacy among Mediterranean sailing destinations for a very long time, and we know why. Here is an insight into just one archipelago which attracts thousands of yachties year after year.
Ithaca is one of the best known Ionian islands, made famous by Homer in his epic poem the Odyssey. If that is all you know about it, you are in with a good start!
Once you get there, we highly recommend that you cruise along the island’s pretty eastern shore until you reach Kioni, tucked into a sheltered bay of gently rolling hills. This peaceful spot is quintessential island Greece, so soak up the atmosphere with a lazy afternoon on the beach or in the bar.
Continue south along the length of picturesque Ithaca until the island recedes to a narrow waist of land barely 200 metres across. Here you’ll find the Kolpos Molou Bay, and through a narrow entrance, the little town of Vathy. This sleepy village is actually Ithaca’s capital, and here you can find out more about the island’s history in museums dedicated to archaeology, folklore and culture.
Kefalonia is yet another Greek island with vast historical and cultural heritage. According to myth, the first king of Kefalonia was Thapius who was the son of Poseidon. It also played a key role in two of the most significant wars in ancient Greek history: the Persian War and the Peloponnesian War.
In pop culture, Kefalonia was made famous by the Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
We recommend that you don't miss the lovely town of Agia Efemia on Kefalonia’s east coast. Home to some of the best food in Kefalonia, you’ll want to stop for a meal in a waterside taverna to sample the fresh seafood and wood-fired bread on offer in this idyllic spot.
You may wish to continue on to Kefalonia's answer to St. Tropes, the tpwn of Fiskardo. Sail north along the craggy peninsula that juts like a bony finger from Kefalonia’s northeast coast. With Ithaca to your starboard side and Kefalonia to your port side, the views on this leg of the voyage are beautiful indeed.
We have already written about the nice and easy sail around Corfu, an island which was made famous by the Durells. That however is not the island's only claim to fame - the first university in Greece opened here. It is the only Greek island that never fell under Ottoman rule but was instead dominated by Venice, Britain and France which makes it very cosmopolitan.
The island's capital, Corfu (Kerkira), is beautifully situated on a promontory on the east coast, dominated by the Neo Frourio (New Fortress). Corfu is the seat of both a Greek Orthodox and a Roman Catholic archbishops, which is not surprising given that the relatively small island boasts 37 churches in total.
Anchor at Sidari at the north to swim in the Canal d'Amour. Paxos is an attractive little island south of Corfu covered with subtropical vegetation, with beautiful beaches and good diving grounds.
Lefkada is home to most of the region’s charter yachts, and provides easy access to both the open northern Ionian, and the more sheltered Southern Ionian. It is also The largest Ionian island. Along with Kefalonia to the south, Lefkada forms the famed ‘Inland Sea’, where Odysseus spent many years and where thousands of holidaymakers first go yachting.
You can begin your trip at Nydri on the east coast of Lefkada - A lush, green island covered by olive groves, vineyards and pine forests.
Sail to the west of the island and visits beaches like Porto Katsiki and Egremni. Both feature impressive sheer cliffs and turquoise waters. The east coast is known for its traditional villages. In the north, Lefkada town is the island's gateway and capital.
What to do next?
Well, the obvious next step is to visit WannaGoSailing.com and check how we can help you organise your perfect Ionian sailing holiday. We operate 2,080 charter yachts throughout Greece, 783 of which are based in the Ionian. They are all available for either bareboat or skippered yacht charter. You can also email us your wish list and we will tailor and fully customise your sailing holiday.
In the mean time, feel free to explore our current Last Minute and Special Offers below!