The Ionian

The charter area in the Ionian Sea stretches from the islands of Corfu in the north to Zakynthos in the south. In between are Paxi, Lefkas, Ithaca, Kefalonia and a number of other small islands. The landscape is lush green, there are vineyards and pine forests, in between small fishing ports and rocky bays with beautiful sandy beaches that can often only be reached by water. The Ionian Sea usually has only light winds. The Meltemi, feared by many charter crews in the Aegean, does not exist in the Ionian Islands. Therefore, this area is also suitable for family crews and charter newcomers.

A highlight is the island of Zakynthos. The Venetians gave it the nickname “Fiore di Levante” (Flower of the East). They were right! Even in late autumn, it is still in bloom everywhere, and vines, olive trees and orchards dominate the picture. There are quiet mountain villages, the famous Keri grottos, sea turtles and kilometres of fine sandy beaches. Also not to be missed are the magnificent cave labyrinths on the island of Paxos, which can be reached by dinghy.

The sailing infrastructure is rather modest, and this applies to the whole of Greece. There are only a handful of fully equipped marinas. Instead, you moor in town harbours (stern to the quay, or on a mooring). The standards are very different – water and electricity are only partially available, the same applies to sanitary facilities, diesel comes directly to the jetty in a tanker. On the other hand, you can moor your charter yacht right in the centre of town, with shops, restaurants and a promenade within walking distance. And free of charge.

Good starting ports for a yacht charter are, for example, Corfu, Lefkas or Preveza. There are direct flights to Corfu and Preveza or a stopover in Athens. From Preveza it is only a stone’s throw to Lefkas, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Corfu can also be reached by ferry from Italy.

Route suggestion for a one week charter from Corfu:

Corfu – Levkas – Kephallinia – Paxos – Corfu

1st day
in the afternoon sailing to the town harbour Sivota near the island Mourtos approx. 23 nm, bow anchor with stern lines to the pier,

2nd day
along the mainland coast to the south, through the channel of Levkas to the port of Levkas, 42 nm, anchor with stern lines to the pier, lively town with some good restaurants,

3rd day
further through the channel of Levkas, bathing stop south of the island of Skorpios, further to Fiscardo on Kephallinia, 23 nm, bow anchor with stern lines, pretty little harbour,

4th day
north of Ithaka and Atokos to Kastos to the town harbour, 17 nm,

5th day
heading NW to Levkas, swim stop in one of the many beautiful bays on the island of Meganision, then Levkas again, 22 nm,

6th day
through the channel from Levkas to the port of Gaios on Paxos approx. 33 nautical miles, bow anchor with stern lines to the town pier, small lively harbour in beautiful surroundings, before that bathing stop with Caribbean flair ½ nautical mile off the NE cape of Antipaxos,

7th day
back to Marina Gouvia, before bathing stop in the picturesque Laka Bay just before the North Cape of Paxos, after refuelling to the berth, approx. 30 nm.

Total approx. 190 nautical miles.