The sapphire waters of the Ionian Sea welcome you to paradise. Kefalonia, Corfu, Zante, Lefkada, Ithaca, and Paxi. All of these holiday destinations are wonderful. The major islands of the Ionian lived for centuries under Venetian rule and it shows in their castles and churches. Carpeted with olive trees, pines and vineyards, they are fertile and green, a stunning setting for their award-winning white-sand beaches and peacock-blue waters. You’ll also find that the hospitable citizens have music in their souls.

On land, you’ll want to explore the monasteries and mountain villages  and seek out waterfalls, hiking trails and scenic routes by car or motorbike. Nature lovers can retire to the wetlands for birdwatching or the marine parks for glimpses of elusive monk seals and Loggerhead turtles. As for sailing or cruising, there’s no better place than the Ionian, where the winds are favourable the anchorages safe. Kite and windsurfers already regard  the Ionian as THE prime location for their sports.

Celebrated exotic beaches
Award winners, the stunning beaches of Lefkada – Engremni, Porto Katsiki, Kathisma – and the Shipwreck beach on Zante are famous the world over. Voutoumi and Vrika on Antipaxi are beloved by boat owners, while Schinos on Ithaca is where the elite meet. Myrtos, on Kefalonia, appears on many posters, its white crescent lapped by milky blue waters and framed by towering cliffs. Then there’s Kaladi on Kythera, and of course Corfu’s much-photographed Paleokastritsa. The Ionian islands have countless other large and small beaches, with a full range of facilities and watersports.

Day 1 - Perigiali (Lefkas Island)

The small settlement of Perigiali is located along the east coast of Lefkada. It overlooks the islands of Skorpios, Sparti and Madouri. The village of Nydri is less than 1 km away.

Perigiali is a quiet resort, with some villas and hotels. The beach is in the north part, a narrow strip of sand and almost no waves. Some tourists prefer this place for accommodation because it is tranquil, and go to Nydri for eating and entertainment.

Day 2 - Nikiana (Lefkas Island)

If you’re lucky enough to get away on the first day then Nikiana offers a charming over night stop. It’s a small fishing harbour with a few tavernas nearby. We would recommend getting your provisions in lefkas before leaving.

Day 3 - Palairos (Mainland)

Palairos is a small habour on the mainland of Greece, just to the north of Vounaki. The harbour provides berthing for around 12-15 yachts along its breakwater. The beach close by is a popular resort with plenty of tavernas and cafes. Palairos has all the amenities you need and is a great stop if you’re looking to relax on a beach for a few hours.

Day 4 - Kalamos (Kalamos Island)

The main settlement of Kalamos town is on the E side of the island, just over half way from its southernmost tip, and offers good shelter in winds from most directions. The harbour has space for around 30 yachts moored stern/bows-to on its long E breakwater and W quay. The village to the W is pleasant rather than picturesque and has a modest amount of tourism, mostly from local Greeks.

Day 5 - Kastos (Kastos Island)

The small Greek island of Kastós lies 10 miles SE of the island of Lefkas. There is just one settlement, on the SE side of the island, which has a small harbour offering good shelter from most directions. The harbour has space for around 12-15 yachts only and is often full by midafsami ternoon in high season. Apart from yachtsmen, the village has few other visitors. Probably the primary attraction of Kastos is the beaches down its eastern side, which are perfect for anchoring, swimming and lunching. There is else little to do in Kastos except chill out.

Day 6 - Frikes (Ithaca Island)

The small harbour of Frikes lies on the NE coast of Ithaca Island. It is a pretty, charming and largely unspoilt village, and is a good place for an overnight stop in settled weather. There are three tavernas, a minimart, and each morning a fruit and vege van visits the village to sell its wares. With the afternoon sea breezes, there can be strong gusts down the valley behind Frikes, which can make mooring a challenge. Despite the extra effort required to secure your yacht, Frikes remains a lovely relaxing village to visit.

Day 7 - Kioni (Ithaca Island)

South of Frikes on the North East coast of Ithaca is Kioni, one of the most attractive villages in the Ionian. Tucked into a wooded cleft at the foot of a deep valley and partially protected from E by a rocky promontory lined with ruined windmills, it’s surrounded by pine, olive and cypress trees. There is a pleasant walk along the road to the S of the inlet out to the ruined windmills, and a swimming ladder has been installed at the root of the breakwater, which makes this a convenient spot for cooling off in the summer.

Day 8 - Sami (Kefalonia Island)

The port of Sami lies on the E coast of the island of Kefalonia in Greece, 13 miles SSE of Fiskardo and just over four miles SE of Ayia Eufimia. Sami is the main ferry port on the E coast of the island and has a sheltered harbour protected by breakwaters with berths for around 30-35 visiting yachts. The west quay is where most yachts usually berth as it has the greatest number of space.  From here it is possible to visit the Cave of Melissani, an underground lake fed by a subterranean stream which flows all the way across the island from Argostoli. The cave is two kms NW of Sami along the road to Ayia Eufimia. It is best to visit around midday, when the sun streams down through the roof and turns the water below the colour of turquoise. Boatmen row visitors around the cave.

Day 9 - Ayia Eufimia (Kefalonia Island)

Ayia Euphemia (saint well-spoken of) lies on the East coast of the island of Kefalonia, 10 miles South of the harbour of Fiskardo. Considerable investment has been made in refurbishing the quay here, including installing water and electricity points all the way along. Ashore there is an excellent bakery, several provisions stores, and restaurants.

Day 10 - Fiskardo (Kefalonia Island)

Tiny, precious Fiskardo, on the North East coast of Kefalonia Island, was the only Kefallonian village left largely intact after the 1953 earthquake. Its fine Venetian buildings, framed by cypress-mantled hills, have an authentic picturesque appeal and it’s popular with sailors. The outstanding restaurants and chilled-out feel might entice you to stay longer than just a single night.

Day 11 - Vasiliki (Lefkas Island)

Situated in the South West of Lefkas Island, Vassiliki is well-known as a windsurfing mecca, with many rating it as one of Europe’s best. This is due to the northwesterly wind (known as ‘Eric’) that blows each afternoon across an otherwise flat bay. The village of Vassiliki itself is on the Eastern side of Vassiliki Bay, where you’ll find a small fishing and yacht harbour, which lies immediately NE of the much larger commercial harbour. It’s best to moor either ‘stern-to’ or ‘bows-to’ on the inner harbour wall.

Day 12 - Sivota (Lefkas Island)

Sivota is a gem. Located on the South East of Lefkas Island (and not to be confused with Sivota Mourtos in the north Ionian), this picturesque harbour has a range of tavernas and bars circling a long concrete quay. Difficult to spot from the sea, Sivota opens up into a well sheltered harbour. It’s best to visit mid-week when the pesky flotillas are congregating elsewhere.

Day 13 - Spartochori (Meganisi Island)

Spartachori is a lovely village located on a cliff above Port Spilia on Meganisi Island. It’s well worth the hike up to the village, which retains its old world charm. A couple of tavernas have their own quays and pontoons with lazy lines, look out for them. The SE part of Port Spilia has a small shingle beach and beach café where younger members of a yacht crew can while away the hours.

Ionian sailing conditions

Ionian Islands are located at the west coast of Greece. The wind is soft and the afternoon rises up to 4 beauforts, usually from the North West, giving the opportunity for sailing for few hours. When sailing at the east of the islands (close to the mainland coast) waves are small. Hence sailing is not obstructed by the waves and the nights are usually safe, as the wind fade out in night hours.

Sailing the Ionian Sea offers relaxed moments in wonderful bays with turquoise waters, surrounded by hills full with flourished trees – nature at it’s best!

Few things to consider when sailing around the Ionian islands are the big depth in many bays (staying on anchor at 20 meters depth), so the additional caution (and anchor chain) that is required.

Moreover, take into account that the wide bays at the western coast of the islands (Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Zante) are not suitable to stay overnight on anchor, as the waves from the open sea might come strong at any time. However, there are countless bays hidden at the coastline of each island so you certainly won’t miss the western side.

The nature is wonderful, full with trees in the countless bays of each island. Sailing is not very challenging at most times. Berthing is easy because of the big private marinas in most islands, but with extra cost (around 50 euros / boat / night). Small ports have limited spots, usually occupied by the afternoon hours. But with normal wind conditions, yachts berth around the port, with a line ashore (to the rocks), so going easily out for dinner and party…

From a cultural point of view, the Ionian islands share a different tradition compared to the rest of  Greece, due their history. Their diversity is vivid everywhere, especially in famous Corfu and Zante islands. Ionian Islands host many monasteries, interesting for sightseeing.

Ionian Sea is ideal for family holidays on a sailing yacht but also for young people because of vivid nightlife in the bigger islands. It’s also ideal for lovers of nature.

Lefkas charter base

Golden Compass Yachts – Perigiali (Lefkas)

Base Manager: Ioannis Tsimtsilis
Mobile Telephone: 0030 6936 102077
Lefkas port authorities: 0030 26450 22322
Lefkas Hospital: 0030 26450 25371

Distance from airport – approximately 60 minutes.
Regular taxi (maximum 4 persons) – approximately Euro 45 – 55.
Mini van (maximum 9 persons) – approximately Euro 85 – 95.

There is a super market near the marina but you can also order with a provisioning list in advance (no extra charge) or use the private provisioning service in the marina. Finally, if there is an organized transfer we can arrange a shopping stop on extra charge. Contact us for more information.

It is important we are informed of your arrival details. Our staff will wait for you until sunset. If your arrival is later than this you will board alone, finding the keys on the chart table of the yacht. Check-in procedures will take place the following morning.

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