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Sailing in the Ionian

April 2, 2010

If you are thinking of sailing this summer, the Ionian is a paradise for those with young children who are not wanting the challenges of the full blown meltemi winds of the Dodecanese and Cyclades islands.

http://www.sailingissues.com/meltemi.html

Sailing boats moored at Spartahori

We're the one stern to the end of the pontoon

If instead you are after some shelter and are looking for routes easily covered during daylight sailing hours, the Ionian might just be for you.  Flights from the UK tend to leave from Gatwick and land at Preveza from where it is a short taxi ride to the marina at Lefkada  (Lefkas island is connected to the mainland by a bridge).  Having sailed from here a couple of times, it is easy to be put off by the initial relatively narrow waterway which carries you out into the wider deep blue Ionian Sea.  Don’t be put off by first impressions!  Lefkas town, although not specifically pretty in the usual Greek way, is perfect for vittling up your yacht – there are also a couple of supermarkets closer to the marina if you can’t wait to get going and just need the essentials. We found some great restaurants in the back streets serving delicious Giros Pitta (soft pitta bread spread with tzatziki, spit-roasted chicken or pork, succulent sliced tomatoes and a few chips thrown in then wrapped up like an ice-cream cone).  http://www.explorecrete.com/cuisine/gyros.html

Once out in open water, one of the islands I would recommend for fun nights  in tavernas is Ithaka where there are several restaurants lining the port of Vathy which is where, in mid summer, you can watch the Greek jetset arrive in their superyachts – well, maybe one or two if you’re lucky.

Unless your yacht is very large, you need to moor up on one of the pontoons on your left as you enter Vathy harbour and it is a good walk to the main town from here.

The other fun harbour is Sivota on Lefkas island where you can sit in your cock-pit or in a taverna and watch the jostling for position and goings on of those who have left it late to secure a berth for the night.  Sunsail have a habit of rafting several boats together in the bay here so be warned!

One of the quieter islands is Meganisi where we have stayed and sailed to.  I must admit I became a bit bored during our week at the hotel but there is a wonderful taverna on the beach at Spartahori.  This beach is great for kids who can row safely ashore and feed the fish right from a table next to the water.  The ferry from the main port of Meganisi comes in and out of Spartahori a couple of times a day which you need to watch out for.  It is possible to anchor in the bay but you would be better off stern to on one of the pontoons if you arrive early enough.  For me this is a magical place and somewhere I will never forget.

Check back soon for more on sailing holiday tips in Greece and to read more about Greece and her magical islands go to The Greek House

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2 comments

  1. […] sailing-in-the-ionian/ […]


  2. […] dodecanese-islands/ time-to-think-about-remote-greek-islands/ should-we-feel-sorry-for-the-greeks/ sailing-in-the-ionian/ greece-her-captivating-islands/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Beauteous Lakes of […]



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