Yachtcharter Ionian Sea

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From Corfu to Lefkada to Zakynthos sailors will find in the Ionian Sea a great beginner and enjoyment area with light winds and relaxed Greek flair. The Ionian Islands are very green compared to the other islands of Greece and there is no shortage of small bays and beautiful beaches. The proximity to the Adriatic Sea brought various cultural influences to the islands, which are still visible today. Each of the islands is distinguished by its own character, which makes a yacht charter vacation in the archipelago a varied one.

Climate: Mediterranean with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees
Winds: Maestro
Sailing season: May to October

Yacht charter Ionian Sea

The area of the Ionian Sea stretches from the west coast of Greece to the south coast of Italy and to Sicily. The highlight of this area are the Ionian Islands, which belong to Greece. Due to the calm and steady winds, this area is also suitable for less experienced sailors and family cruises.

The mild climate produces a green vegetative diversity and attracts hikers. Because of their location, the islands are also characterized by a wide variety of cultural influences, which are still recognizable today. Over the centuries, the French, British and Italians have left their mark, for example, in the culinary arts and architecture. Partly the coast is flat with white sandy beaches, partly it consists of steep coasts with small bays, which are only accessible from the sea. Yacht charterers in particular have the chance to explore these special places and experience the diversity of the islands while island hopping.

A yacht charter cruise in the Ionian Sea is possible from several charter bases, such as Corfu, Lefkada and Preveza.

Especially Lefkada is known for its dream beaches. Here the Egremni beach is shown in bright sunshine © Lucian Bolca/AdobeStock

A cruise in the Ionian Islands

Corfu, the green island, and the northern group

Corfu, on the border with Albania, forms the northwesternmost edge of Greece with the Diapontic Islands. Corfu is the most populated of the Ionian Islands and offers a good infrastructure. There is also a wide choice of yachts. On the threshold of the Adriatic Sea, the mild temperatures and heavy rainfall during the winter season make the island green and blooming, inviting to hikes. On the coast there are beautiful sandy beaches for swimming and sunbathing as well as water sports, such as kite surfing. Stroll through the alleys in Corfu Town, Kerkyra in Greek, and take in the island's various cultural influences in architecture and cuisine. Visit the "mouse island" of Pondikonisi, with its 11th-century Byzantine chapel, or the palaces of the wealthy who used Corfu as a resort destination, such as the Empress Sissi.

Of the Diapontic Islands, three are inhabited, Othoni, Errikousa and Mathraki. There is less tourist infrastructure here, so you should secure your supplies beforehand. On the other hand, around the islands you can find beautiful sandy beaches, nature and peace and quiet even in the high season. The uninhabited islands of Diaplo, Trachia and Diakopo are characterized by rocky reefs.

15 kilometers south of Corfu is Paxos. The island can be reached only by ferry and is little developed in terms of tourism. It has thus preserved its name, which is derived from the Latin word for peace. The three main villages Gaios, Lakka and Laggos have their own harbors with beautiful promenades. In the east you will find sandy and pebbly beaches, in the west out to the open sea dominate limestone cliffs with caves. Olive and pine forests provide shade for walkers.

Green, white, turquoise blue - these are the colors of Antipaxos. It is one of the smallest Ionian islands and is located only a few kilometers south of Paxos. It is known for its beautiful beaches surrounded by white limestone rocks. Wine is grown on the island, which you can taste in the taverns. It is best to stock up beforehand, because here the opportunities are scarce, but you can enjoy the tranquility.

The colors of the Ionian Islands - on the smaller islands you can always find a quiet bay, like here on Antipaxos. ©kite_run/AdobeStock


The southern group of the Ionian Islands

The island of Lefkada is located about 100 kilometers south of Corfu and is less frequented by tourists. Therefore, it impresses with dreamlike bays, white limestone cliffs and lush vegetation. In the interior, the villages have preserved their originality, because they are located in the mountains, which can easily reach heights of over 1000 meters. Towards the east, as on the other islands, the coast is flatter than on the rocky west coast. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Lefkada or try other water sports like windsurfing or kitesurfing.

On Ithaca, walk in the mythological footsteps of Homer's epics. From the monastery Katharo you can get an overview from the highest point of the island. In the capital, Vathy, you can delve into the history of the region at the maritime and archaeological museum.

Kefalonia, the largest of the islands, rises more gently from the Gulf of Patras than the other islands. Argostoli, the capital, is located on the west coast. It is more modern, as the original town fell victim to an earthquake in the 1950s, so you won't find an original old town here. You can stock up on fresh provisions at the fish and vegetable market, and sample the local cuisine in the restaurants. Around the island, small bays with beaches and caves have washed into the limestone.

Zakynthos is the southernmost of the Ionian Islands. Here, too, you will encounter the mixture of beautiful beaches, clear water, limestone caves and green inland. Explore Zakynthos town and plunge into the nightlife. A visit to the Blue Caves with their great colors is also worthwhile. The south of the island belongs to a marine national park. Go on adventures in the famous Shipwreck Bay or snorkel and dive with protected sea turtles.

Zakynthos town at sunset. ©Feel good studio/AdobeStock

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