The Ionian Islands offer perfect sailing conditions with moderate winds that are great for sailing holidays with the family. There are a multitude of cruising grounds for you to choose from. A yacht charter in the Greek Ionian Sea is very affordable. The culture and cuisine are beautiful and there is a vast number of historic sights and things to do. The landscape is much greener and lusher then in the other archipelagos in Greece and the area lies outside the reach of the strong Meltemi winds that occur further to the East. So let us tell you a bit more about this charterer´s paradise in detail.
Why is a yacht charter in the Ionian Sea so popular?
The Ionian Sea contains the seven main islands of Corfu, NFT monkey Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira as well as many smaller islands. The six northern ones are located just off the west coast of Greece and Kythira is off the southern tip of the Peloponnese. Although it is listed as one of the Ionian islands it forms part of the region of Attica. The Ionian Sea is bordered by southern Italy and Sicily, southern Albania and the west coast of Greece. There are several ferry connections to the Greek and Italian mainland as well as amongst the islands. Yet, they are very easily accessible by plane and you can fly to the international airports of Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos or to Preveza on the mainland.
The historic area of the Ionian Islands is immensely popular with yacht charterers as well as large cruise liners due to their natural beauty and charm. Yet, they are also greener and more fertile than the other Greek islands to the East or even the adjacent mainland. Another advantage are the mostly moderate winds that are ideally suited for yacht charter holidays with the family. The infrastructure for sailors on the islands in the Ionian Sea is good even though the area is still quite unspoilt. You find the typical authentic Greek tavern with the wonderful Greek food, quaint harbours, amazing historic sites and easy sailing conditions. On top of it, charteracatamaraninthebvi bareboat charter in Greece is much less costly than in other destinations in the western Mediterranean. All this adds up to a wonderful cruising experience.
Some relevant info for an Ionian bareboat charter:
Location: Part of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea
Main Islands: Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Kythira
Main airports: Corfu, Preveza, Kefalonia, Zakynthos
Country code: +30
Climate: Mild, Mediterranean
Which main charter destinations are there in the Ionian?
There are plenty of itineraries and islands to explore on a sailboat charter in the Ionian. If you fly to Corfu, the resort town and harbour of Gouvia constitutes a good charter base from which to move south and explore the other islands. It is situated 6 km from Corfu city and 7 km from the airport and can host up to 1,235 yachts with a length of up to 80 m. It features many services and shops and is often referred to as a natural link from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean Sea.
From Corfu it is only about 8 NM to beautiful Paxos. Right on the northern tip there is the lovely protected bay and town of Lakka with very good restaurants and shops. The main port of the island is Gaios on the east coast. It is a perfect natural harbour due to the islet just off the shore that creates a narrow and very protected channel with ideal mooring conditions. The lovely little town has restaurants, taverns and charming souvenir shops to offer.
Due south of Paxos is the small island of Antipaxos which is perfect for enjoying relaxed Greek island bliss. For instance, anchor and chill at Voutoumi beach with its turquoise water and white sand and find a laidback tavern where you can eat some wonderful Greek food with your feet in the sand. Sail about 25 NM to the South-East and you reach Preveza, another main charter base.
Preveza marina in Preveza town has a very good range of services and 500 moorings for boats up to 20 m. Larger boats can use Cleopatra Marina near Preveza and just 1.5 miles from the town´s airport `Aktion`, bostonhaikusociety also called Lefkada Airport. It offers 100 berths for yachts up to 30 m.
For a road less travelled explore the beautiful estuary of the Ambracian Gulf, due east of Preveza. It is a gorgeous nature reserve with lagoons, marshlands and a lot of special wildlife. You can find good anchorages and there are two little ports named Menidion and Votsina.
Head only about 6 NM south from Preveza and you reach the northernmost beaches of Lefkas. This island has plenty of coves and beaches for you to explore. On the north-east shore you find the town as well as marina of Lefkas, or Lefkada as it is called too. There is a 50 m long bridge connecting Lefkas with the mainland, thus making it easily reachable from the airport. Lefkas Marina has 620 moorings for yachts up to 45 m length and a very good offer of nautical services. It is one of the most modern and superb marinas in Greece and there are supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, a swimming pool and much more.