One of the best sailing areas in the entire world, the Ionian Sea and the famous group of islands situated off the Greek west coastline, a stunning part of the Mediterranean with sheltered islands, crystal clear waters and steady winds. Nature at its best!
Between its gorgeous scenery, quaint Greek towns, rich culture and history, hospitable people and ideal sailing conditions, sailing the Ionian Sea should be on every sailor’s bucket list!
Airport: Preveza PVK or Athens ATH
Departure: D-Marin Lefkas Marina
Type of yachts: Sun Odyssey, Bavaria, Bali
Not included: airline tickets, airport transportation, hotels before and after flotilla, dinner on shore
Shared Costs: Provisions for breakfast and lunch, fuel, docking fees.
Capt. Jean and “Admiral” Mila have been organizing sailing flotillas with American Sailing since 2009 and have introduced many sailors and non-sailors to fascinating destinations in the Mediterranean and Seychelles. They know the sailing waters and show participants places that many tourists do not know. They put a very heavy emphasis on safety while ensuring that all participants go home with fun and unforgettable vacation memories.
Jean, a native of Belgium, lives with Mila, his Peruvian-born wife, in Florida. He holds a USCG 100T Master’s license and is qualified to teach ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 114, and 118. Together they run Whitecaps Sailing, an ASA sailing school in Punta Gorda, Florida.
After a lazy morning, “Admiral” Mila will lead the provisioning party and raid the local market and grocery stores. As we are in Greece, we want, of course, to enjoy as much Greek cuisine as possible and our provisions will be mainly limited to breakfast and lunch items and, of course, good Greek wines and Ouzo.
After our check-in of the yachts and chart orientations, we should be able to drop the lines and leave the marina around 17:00 for our first night on Meganisi Island, where we will dock in Vathi and enjoy a great dinner at one of the eateries close to the marina.
After breakfast, we sail to the island of Kefalonia and, before leaving Meganisi, we can go for a swim in the bay of Atherinos or Abelaki and, from there, we point our bows towards the charming village of Fiskardo on the island of Kefalonia.
On the way, we drop our anchor at the island of Atokos. You are in for a treat. Swim and snorkel at the foot of the impressive cliffs or walk the beach. It is privately owned but we are allowed to go to the shore and explore this wild and cavernous island.
From Atokos, it is only a short 10NM or so to Fiskardo where we will dock for the night and have dinner on shore.
We head south from Fiskardo, sailing through the channel between Kefalonia and Ithaka towards the port of Sami, about 12NM.
We will spend the night here, but we have a land tour planned as well. When the Greek god Pan rejected the love of the nymph Melissani, she jumped to her death in a cave on this island and we want to visit this geological wonder which is located on the outskirts of the village. If we get to Sami early enough to visit the lake and the cave, we will do it on Monday.
If we are too late, we will postpone it until Tuesday morning. Dinner on shore.
If there is enough interest, and if we have had the opportunity to visit the Melissani cave on Monday, we can also check out the Dragorati cave, 5 Km south of Sami.
This is a totally different cave with spectacular stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Across from Sami is the island of Ithaka, mythical home of Odysseus, and our next overnighting stop will be the main port of the island, Vathi, with its many typical Greek fish restaurants.
But, before we end the day at the dock there, we will go for our daily swimming and snorkeling at the scenic Gidaki beach.
After a relax breakfast on our boat or in a local taverna, we leave Vathi for the island of Kalamos where, in the port of the same name, George will be waiting for us to help us secure our boats before having dinner at his restaurant.
On the way to Kalamos, we will drop the hook near the tiny island of Formikoula for some swimming.
Our main attraction of the day will be Papanikolis’ Cave on the southside of Meganisi Island. It is a beautiful anchorage with a huge cave entrance that is rumored to have been the hiding place of a submarine.
On the way there we will pass Papageorge’s Cove, another great swimming hole. Our stop for the night will be Spilia Bay on Maganisi island and we will have time to visit the small village of Spartochori, where (again) we will have a delicious Greek dinner.
That’s all Folks! Our last day and we must return to our base in Lefkas.
But, on the way, we will have more opportunities for sailing and swimming. Why not stop at Skorpios Island, the home of the late Onassis?
Let’s have our last lunch on board while enjoying the view.
Then, it is the final leg to the base. You can stay on board for the night and disembark by 09:00 on Saturday or go to a hotel for a real shower and a real bed.
*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
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