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Ionian Islands & suggested itineraries

The Ionian Islands 1The Ionian Sea is one of the most idyllic cruising areas of the Mediterranean. Crystal clear turquoise waters, charming little villages, spectacular countryside and a pleasant north westerly breeze which rarely exceeds force 5, make it a sailor’s paradise!

It is located at the western side of mainland Greece and it stretches all the way from Corfu in the north to Zante in the south. The Ionian Sea is one of our favorite cruising areas, so we’ll try to describe the islands for you here, although it’s difficult to put in words their real beauty!

 

One thing that makes the western side of Greece different is the lush vegetation, which consists mostly of olive groves, vineyards, a variety of fruit trees but also pine and cyprus forests. And all that, thanks to the high rainfall that this area receives in the winter, between November and March.

 

Map of the Ionian (click on the map to enlarge)

 

With the exception of the two bigger and more touristy islands (Corfu and Zante), the rest are off the beaten track and the best way to visit them is by yacht, as they don’t even have ports or airports. The locals who are mostly fishermen and farmers are very laid back and friendly, so we are not surprised when we often hear our guests mention that during their evening walk they were invited by an old lady to her garden for a cup of coffee!

 

The Ionian Islands 2For our cruises we have chosen Lefkas as a base, because it is located in the center of the Ionian Islands.

From Lefkas town we have the option to sail south towards the central Ionians for a more relaxed holiday, or north towards Paxi, Antipaxi and Corfu for those who would like to sail longer distances and don’t mind the bigger swell of the northern Ionian.

 

The Ionian Islands 3The big advantage of Lefkas is that although it is an island, it’s connected to the mainland with a floating bridge at its northern tip, making it easy for our guests to come from Athens by direct bus, or fly from the UK to Preveza airport from where we pick them up with our car.

The bus ride from Athens is just over 4 hours, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort, so you can have your cruise in this little paradise.

 

The Ionian Islands 4The history of these islands goes back a few thousand years, so there are a few archaeological sites in the area, although they are not as big and important as the ones you would find on the Greek mainland.

Rather than big and impressive temples, archaeologists in this area have discovered mostly objects and smaller buildings. An island well known for its ancient history is Ithaca (the island of Homer’s Odysseus), where you can visit the small museum with all the findings from the excavations, but also the remains of the palace.

 

Ionian Sea - Ancient OlympiaAncient Olympia (the birth place of the Olympic Games) is also in the Ionian Sea, situated on the west coast of the Peloponnese (the southern part of the Greek mainland).

It is very famous worldwide and one of the most impressive archaeological sites of Greece, but as it is at the southern Ionian (on the latitude of Zante) you would need a two week cruise in order to visit it, or a one week cruise where you should be prepared to spend longer days at sea.

 

You can click on the links below if you would like to read more about a specific island.

• Central Ionian Islands:
Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Atokos, Arkoudi, Skorpios

• Northern Ionian Islands:
Corfu, Paxi, Antipaxi

• Southern Ionian:
Zante, ancient Olympia (not actually an island, but on the western coast of the Peloponnese)

 

A FEW SUGGESTED ITINERARIES



The Ionian Islands - Blue cavesWhat makes the Ionian Islands an amazing sailing area, is that there are so many villages and bays to visit which gives us numerous options for the route to follow.

It doesn't really make much sense to try and show all the possible itineraries in this page, but we listed just a few below so that you can get the general idea (for each day only the village we will moor in the evening is shown).

On 'whole yacht' bookings you can spend one or more nights in a bay instead of mooring in a village.

 

The Ionian Islands - FiskardoThe distances are in nautical miles and should be used only as an indication because they could be doubled when tacking against the wind, or covered in very little time when on a beam reach.

The suggested itineraries (A) and (B) below take into account the prevailing wind directions, distances between islands and swim stops and are ideal for a relaxed cruise, combining a few hours of sailing per day, a few hours in a bay for swimming and a few hours on the islands every evening.

 

The Ionian Islands - KalamosThe first evening, when you come onboard we will open the chart, have a look at our options, give you a few suggestions and make a plan for your cruise.

Or if you don't want to make any decisions during your holiday, let us take you to the nicest places....

 

 

A 1 week - Central Ionian (relaxed cruise) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Kalamos 13
Tues Ithaca (Vathi) 18
Wed Kefalonia (Sami) 16
Thur Kefalonia (Fiskardo) 18
Fri Lefkas (Sivota) 18
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 18
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
101

 

B 1 week - Central Ionian (relaxed cruise) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Kastos 14
Tues Ithaca (Kioni) 12
Wed Kefalonia (Agia Efimia) 16
Thur Kefalonia (Fiskardo) 10
Fri Meganisi (Spartochori) 17
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 14
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
96

 

C 1 week - Central/southern Ionian (relaxed itinerary but 1 long day at sea) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Zante (Agios Nikolaos) 48
Tues Kefalonia (Poros) 15
Wed Kefalonia (Sami or Agia Efimia) 12
Thur Kefalonia (Fiskardo) or Ithaca (Vathi) 14
Fri Lefkas (Sivota) or Meganisi (Spartochori) 15
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 11
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
128

 

D 1 week - Ancient Olympia (a few long days at sea) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Katakolo (Peloponesse) 60
Tues Katakolo - spend the day at ancient Olympia 0
Wed Kefalonia (Poros) 37
Thur Kefalonia (Fiskardo) or Ithaca (Vathi) 20
Fri Lefkas (Sivota) or Meganisi (Spartochori) 15
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 11
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
146

 

E 1 week - Northern Ionian (a few long days at sea with bigger swell) N.M.
Sun embarkation/departure for Preveza (mainland) 10
Mon Paxi (Mongonisi) 35
Tues Paxi (Gaios) 3
Wed Sivota (on the mainland) 12
Thur Paxi (Laka) 10
Fri Antipaxi (night in a bay) 9
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 30
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
109

 

F 1 week - Northern/central Ionian (a few long days at sea with bigger swell) N.M.
Sun embarkation/departure for Preveza (mainland) 10
Mon Paxi (Mongonisi) 35
Tues Paxi (Laka) 9
Wed Paxi (Gaios) 3
Thur Meganisi (Vathi) 45
Fri Lefkas (Sivota) 5
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 16
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
123

 

G 2 weeks - Central Ionian (relaxed) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Kalamos 10
Tues Kastos 5
Wed Ithaca (Vathi) 15
Thur Ithaca (Kioni) 6
Fri Kefalonia (Sami) 16
Sat Zante (Agios Nikolaos) 27
Sun Kefalonia (Poros) 15
Mon Kefalonia (Agia Efimia) 12
Tues Kefalonia (Fiskardo) 14
Wed Kefalonia (Atheras) 13
Thur Lefkas (Sivota) 28
Fri Meganisi (Spartochori) 7
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 14
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
195

 

H 2 weeks - Central/southern Ionian including ancient Olympia (relaxed route but 2 longer days at sea) N.M.
Sun embarkation and departure for Meganisi (Vathi) 13
Mon Kalamos 10
Tues Kastos 5
Wed Ithaca (Vathi) 15
Thur Katakolo (Peloponesse) 48
Fri Katakolo - spend the day at ancient Olympia 0
Sat Zante (Agios Nikolaos) 30
Sun Kefalonia (Poros) 15
Mon Kefalonia (Sami) 12
Tues Kefalonia (Agia Efimia) 4
Wed Kefalonia (Fiskardo) 10
Thur Lefkas (Sivota) 13
Fri Meganisi (Spartochori) 7
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 14
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
196

 

I 2 weeks - Central/northern Ionian. (2 long days at sea with bigger swell) N.M.
Sun embarkation/departure for Preveza (mainland) 10
Mon Paxi (Mongonisi) 35
Tues Paxi (Mongonisi) 9
Wed Paxi (Gaios) 3
Thur Antipaxi (night in a bay) 5
Fri Meganisi (Vathi) 40
Sat Kalamos 10
Sun Kastos 5
Mon Ithaca (Vathi) 15
Tues Ithaca (Kioni) 6
Wed Kefalonia (Agia Efimia) 16
Thur Kefalonia (Fiskardo) 10
Fri Lefkas (Sivota) 13
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 16
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
193

 

J 2 weeks - Northern Ionian (many long days at sea with bigger swell) N.M.
Sun embarkation/departure for Preveza (mainland) 10
Mon Paxi (Mongonisi) 35
Tues Paxi (Gaios) 4
Wed Sivota (on the mainland coast) 12
Thur Plataria (on the mainland coast) 9
Fri Sagiada (on the mainland coast) 18
Sat Corfu town 14
Sun Corfu (Kassiopi) 12
Mon Erikousa 17
Tues Othonoi 9
Wed Corfu (Palaiokastritsa) 18
Thur Paxi (Laka) 32
Fri Antipaxi 10
Sat Lefkas (Lefkas town) 30
Sun disembarkation at 9 a.m. after breakfast
193
Contact us
Contact info
ANKO YACHTING Ltd. ZAIMI 52, RIO 26 504, GREECE Thanos & Alicia Christopoulos
(0030) 6936 797 680
admin@anko-yachting.com