THE BREATHTAKING IONIO SEA, GREECE
One of the Most Popular & Amazing Yachting Destinations of the World
Ionio Sea is found in Western Greece and has approximately thirty islands and islets of various sizes, among which thirteen are inhabited. The larger and more developed ones are: Corfu (Kerkyra), Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkas, Ithaca (Ithaki) and Paxi.
IONIO is one of the most popular yachting destinations in the world and definitely the most “yachting-friendly” in Greece, due to the:
- Unique beauty of its islands and its coasts of Western Greece, with lush vegetation, crystalline turquoise sea, beautiful bays and peninsulas.
- Hundreds of amazing protected bays and beaches of all kinds (isolated, organized, small, large etc) with turquoise or emerald crystalline waters, that will satisfy even the most demanding visitor. Five among the most beautiful beaches in the world are found there: Navagio (Shipwreck) in Zakynthos, Porto Katsiki and Egremni in Lefkada, Myrtos in Kefallonia, Voutoumi in Antipaxi (near Paxi).
- Large variety of destinations character and landscape: Larger cosmopolitan islands with superior tourist infrastructure (Corfu, Kefallonia, Zakynthos), smaller, primitive or uninhabited islands, many towns and villages of various sizes and styles, very picturesque ports, rivers and many more.
- Very good yachting infrastructure and facilities, in most of its destinations. In Ionio you will find many smaller or larger private organized marinas, with relatively low rates, compared to other European marinas, along with many safe public ports offering berth places and facilities at low or insignificant cost.
- Many picturesque coastal settlements, offering shelter, berth places, facilities, cozy restaurants and cafes.
- Numerous idyllic protected bays, with crystalline waters, offering safe anchorage for an unforgettable overnight stay.
- Short distances between beautiful destinations, accessed through safe sea passages.
- Numerous entertainment options : Stylish restaurants, tavernas, beach bars, cafes, clubs found in most destinations, that will satisfy all types of visitors. You can find everything in Ionio: Cozy eateries by the sea, awarded gourmet restaurants, traditional village tavernas in the mainland, international cuisine.
- Delicious food and local products, such as good wines (Kefalonia, Lefkada, Zakynthos, Corfu), liquors, the famous salami of Lefkas, the famous koumkouat of Corfu (resembles to a tiny orange), olive oil etc.
- Mild winds , calm sea and pleasant climate. Strong winds last only a few days during the summer and even then, you can enjoy some sailing and swimming inside the protected bay of Eastern Lefkas, with the small idyllic islands.
- Important history and culture dating from the antiquity, many museums, archaeological sites, churches, monasteries and other attractions. Ithaca Island is the home town of Ulysse (Odysseas) and Corfu is the island of Feakes (both from Homeric Odyssea).
- Different character and architecture , if compared to other Greek areas, due to the long-term rule by the Venetians, the French and the British and the short-term Ottoman rule (in contrary to the more than four hundred years, of the Ottoman rule on the most other Greek areas).
Ionio, offers various kinds of islands and destinations, that will excite all kinds of visitors. Ideal for those who love:
- Cosmopolitan destinations with developed towns or touristic beach resorts with many restaurants, bars and intense day and night life, are: Corfu Town, Corfu’s numerous beach resorts, Zakynthos Town, Zakynthos’ beach resorts, Argostoli Town (Kefallonia), Lefkas Town, Parga Town, Preveza Town.
- Large islands , with developed cities, many tourist resorts, villages, yet with amazing beaches, endless beauties and many attractions, are: Corfu, Kefallonia, Zakynthos.
- Medium sized islands, with amazing beaches and beauties, having an equal amount of authenticity and tourist development, is: Lefkas.
- Primitive islands, where life seems to be forgotten in the past, are: Kalamos, Kastos, Erikousa, Othoni, Mathraki and Meganisi (which is being developed to a more touristic destination, recently).
- Exceptionally beautiful destinations with amazing beaches, that keep their authenticity, while offering a satisfactory level of quality tourist and entertainment infrastructure, are: Paxi island, Ithaki island, Sivota (Thesprotia), Fiskardo (Kefallonia), Sivota (Lefkada), Vassiliki (Lefkada), Pylos Town (West Peloponese).
The BEST of IONIO, that one should not miss are:
1) PAXI island, for the:
- Breathtakingly turquoise Voutoumi beach (Antipaxi island)
- Magnificently picturesque ports of Gaios (capital & main port), Laka (with amazing turquoise sea) & Loggos, with the local architecture and the cozy restaurants and bars.
- The Blue Sea Caves (west coast) with the tiny beaches and the turquoise waters.
- Authentic character of this little island, maintaining its quality, its color and its local architecture.
- Islands’ tour for the turquoise sea and the impressive rocky formations.
and for many more.
2) LEFKAS Island, for the:
- Breathtaking beaches of the West Coast (Porto Katsiki, Egremni etc) and its numerous amazing coves and beaches of different types and sizes, all with crystalline turquoise waters.
- Sivota fishing village, located in an impressive fjord, with excellent tavernas and cozy cafes by the sea.
- Agios Nikitas: A very picturesque traditional coastal village (west coast) with nice tavernas and cafes.
- Nydri bay and the nearby little Islands (East) with the idyllic protected anchorages and the lush vegetation. Among others, there you will find Skorpios, the famous island of the world known Greek Tykoon, Aristotelis Onassis, which has been recently rented by the Russian Tykoon Ribolovlev.
- Pleasant so named coastal Capitan Town, with the characteristic colorful houses and the numerous restaurants, cafes and bars, ideal for those who want to enjoy nightlife, by the sea.
- Beautiful private organized marina in the Capital Town of Lefkas.
- Nice mainland and coastal villages, with the traditional tavernas and cafes.
- Pleasant routes passing through pine forests, picturesque villages and offering nice sea views.
- Picturesque coastal resort of Vassiliki (South), with the small port and a wonderful beach, famous as a surf destination.
- Waterfalls on the hill above Nydri.
and for many more….
3) KEFALONIA Island, for the:
- World famous Fiskardo, a cosmopolitan yet very picturesque port attracting celebrities and impressive mega yachts. In Fiskardo one can find excellent restaurants and cafes by the sea along with idyllic coves at its north and south.
- The breathtaking beach of Myrtos (west) and the many more wonderful beaches with turquoise waters.
- Assos, a quiet but very picturesque coastal village with a nice small beach, a castle offering breathtaking views and a few tavernas and cafes.
- Argostoli, the pleasant coastal capital town which is ideal for those seeking an urban destination with many shops, restaurants, cafes and nightlife.
- Cave lake Melissani, in the mainland.
- Skala, a charming coastal settlement, offering quality tourist infrastructure, a long beach and nice restaurants and cafes.
- Numerous villages, resorts and towns, along with Mount Aenos (1.628 m, a protected nature park with a unique endemic kind of spurce), that one can visit by car or on foot.
and for many more…..
4) ITHACA Island, for the:
- Unique natural beauty, the authentic character and the local architecture with the colorful houses, influenced by neoclassical and Italian style.
- Wonderful ports of Vathy (the beautiful small Capital Town, built in an amazing fjord), Kioni and Frikes, with charming houses built according to the local architecture and cozy tavernas and cafes.
- Amazing isolated Gidaki (east) & Afales (north) beaches, with the emerald waters
- Idyllic isolated anchorages and the tiny coves with beautiful beaches and crystalline waters.
- Stavros village on a hill up north, with traditional tavernas and cafes and the Perahori village on a hill above Vathy, with only a couple of tavernas, offering breathtaking views of Vathy fjord and the Ionian sea.
- Important history, dating from antiquity, as it is the homeland of Homeric Ulysse (Odysseas).
and for many more…..
5) CORFU Island, for the:
- Wonderful Capital City (dating from the 8th century BC and inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List) with its, mainly Venetian, architecture, its cosmopolitan character, its impressive main square (the second largest in the Balkans), its castles, its museums, its numerous chic restaurants and cafes, its various shopping options, its nightlife and its numerous attractions.
- Picturesque coves of the Eastern Coasts, with the small charming settlements, offering a few restaurants and cafes.
- Paleokastritsa, the famous idyllic bays of the Northwestern Coast, with the emerald waters, developed to a very touristic resort.
- Numerous beautiful beaches of different sizes and styles
- The intense day and night life offered in the Capital Town, which becomes more intense in some, among the island’s numerous touristic beach resorts.
- Achillion, the famous palace of Princess Sissy of the Austrohungarian Empire.
- Important history and culture, dating from the antiquity and enriched by the long-term influence of the European rulers. Corfu is the Homeric island of Feakes.
- Gouvia Marina, a very large, beautiful and well organized private marina, at 7km from Corfu Town (East coast).
and for many more….
6) SIVOTA (Thesprotia Perfecture), for the:
- Amazing natural beauty of its tiny islets with idyllic protected anchorages and turquoise waters.
- Charming fishing village, developed recently to a quiet tourist resort with hotels, tavernas, cafes and several shops.
and for many more…..
7) KALAMOS Island, for the:
- Beautiful isolated emerald beaches (East) found at the end of a lush pine tree forest
- Little main port and capital village, with the few tavernas and cafes, where life seems to be forgotten in the past.
- Porto Leone, a popular isolated safe anchorage with ruins of some old stone buildings and a church.
- Lush vegetation and primitiveness of the island
and for many more…..
8) ATOKOS uninhabited island, for its wonderful beaches with the turquoise waters and the impressive rock formations.
9) PARGA Town, for the:
- Natural beauty of its landscape, its architecture and its vibrant atmosphere, with the numerous restaurants and cafés.
- Wonderful beaches, found at a short distance by feet or by car.
- Aherondas river, the cleanest of Europe, found a few miles South of Parga. Smaller boats can sail through this narrow beautiful river which in Greek Mythology was considered as the “door” to the world of deads. Close to its mouth, you will find a few tavernas and beautiful beaches.
and for many more…..
10) ZAKYNTHOS Island, for the:
- Breathtaking Navagio (Shipwreck) beach, one of the most beautiful in the word.
- Blue Sea Caves (NE), with the amazing turquoise waters
- Marathonisi islet, in the large Laganas bay (S), where the Sea Turtle Caretta-Caretta is reproduced. In Laganas bay you will also find a vibrant but very touristic resort, along with some other quieter settlements, with restaurants and tavernas by the sea.
- Numerous wonderful beaches, with golden sand and crystalline waters.
- Small Idyllic fjord-like coves of the west coast.
- Pleasant Capital Town with a large square, numerous restaurants, cafes, shops and the beautiful suburb “Bohali” on the top of the hill, offering magnificent views.
- Charming traditional villages and nice tavernas with sea views, in the mainland.
and for many more…..
11) PYLOS Town (Messinia, West Peloponese), for the:
- Authentic Character, with traditional houses, nice tavernas and cafes. A small marina is also found there.
- Beach of Voidokilia, one of the most beautiful in Greece, found in a small round cove with golden sand and crystalline turquoise waters, a few miles north of Pylos.
- Natural beauty of the area: The nearby Gialova Lagoon, the islet Sapienza, the nearby long sandy beaches etc.
- Important History: Pylos had a presence dating from the antiquity. However, it became world known for the “Sea Battle of Navarino” that took place there, which defined the success of the revolution of the Greeks and their European allies against the Ottoman Empire’s four hundred years’ occupation.
- Nearby picturesque coastal village of Methoni (SW Peloponese) with the wonderful castle and the few tavernas on its sandy beach.
12) OTHONI, MATHRAKI, ERIKOUSA Islands, for the:
- Amazing White Sand beach in Othoni, with the turquoise waters
- Primitiveness and authenticity they offer, as they are remote (located at the SW end of Greece), having very few inhabitants, only a few places to eat and limited tourist – not to mention about yachting- facilities.
IDEAL CHARTER DURATION
- 20-30 days, would be the ideal charter duration for those wishing to enjoy adequately of the numerous exiting destinations of Ionio.
- 14-20 days would be enough to visit the most interesting destinations and acquire a satisfactory taste of the area.
- In 7 days, depending on the yacht’s speed and the time one wants to spend sailing, you can have a good taste of the area, but you will miss many wonderful destinations. The most popular 7 days charter itineraries (starting/ending Lefkas) are:
a)South & North of Lefkas: Paxi-Antipaxi, Sivota (Thesprotia), Lefkas islands (Meganisi, Skorpios etc), Sivota (S of Lefkas), Ithaca (Vathy & Kioni), Fiskardo (Kefallonia)
b)South of Lefkas: Lefkas (south bays), Lefkas islands (Meganisi, Skorpios etc), Ithaca (Vathy & Kioni), Fiskardo (Kefallonia), Zakynthos.
c)Lefkas & the close islands: Lefkas (south bays), Lefkas islands (Meganisi, Skorpios etc), Ithaca (Vathy & Kioni), Fiskardo (Kefallonia), Atokos, Kalamos.
d)North of Lefkas: Lefkas islands (Meganisi, Skorpios etc), Paxi-Antipaxi, Corfu, Sivota (Thesprotia) & Parga.
For more information about the Ionian Islands please visit the most complete yachting guide by all4yachting.com .