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Greece is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world’s top 20 countries. Visitors are drawn to the country’s beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty. Instead of staying in a hotel or resort where your scenery stays the same, consider chartering a yacht to capture the true essence of the Mediterranean lifestyle! Although there are hundreds of destinations to explore by luxury yacht, this article will provide you with a 7 day itinerary in the Ionian Islands, known as the green coast of Greece…
Day 1: Fly into Corfu – One of the most beautiful and green of the Ionian Islands combining a populous east coast with many beaches and a Wild West coast with cliff-faced inlets and coastlines. Opposite Corfu lie the Sivota islands with the village of Mourtos on the mainland in a pleasant wooded setting. A gentle first day would give you time to settle aboard before sailing to these outlying islands for a calm and peaceful first night’s anchorage.
Day 2: Paxi is a lush little island 7 miles south of Corfu with lofty olive trees covering practically the whole island. With idyllic coves, picturesque little harbours, huge rocks and marine caves it is bound to make an impression. Antipaxi a smaller island south of Paxi is known for its turquoise water and sandy beaches.
Day 3: Lefkas in the middle of the Ionian, it was once joined to the coast of western Greece and was a peninsula until the 7th century BC when Corinthian colonists dug a channel and separated it from the mainland. White rocks sit vertically along practically the whole island which is why it is called “The White One”. The eastern coast is verdant, calm and full of perfect anchorages to choose from.
Day 4: To the south of Lefkas lies Onasis island Scorpios and the island of Meganisi. The strait between Meganisi and Lefkas is one of the prettiest channels in the Ionian. The area has a lot of wooded bays and quaint fishing villages. Dependant on weather, you could either head for Meganisi or to Vasiliki, in a protected anchorage on the south of Lefkas.
Day 5: 31 nautical miles south of Lefkas is Ithaca, famous island of Homer’s hero Ulysses. The west coast of the island is steep and almost barren in contrast to the green, gentle shoreline on the east. Ithaca has many charming bays and villages like the main harbour Vathi, Frikes and the amphitheatric Kioni. Vathi is a possible anchorage for today or we could head straight to Fiskardo on the north of Cephalonia.
Day 6: Sailing south from Fiskardo, you can explore the island recently famed by Louis de Berniere’s ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. Cephalonia is the largest and most mountainous island in the Ionian with Mount Ainos towering 1,628m high. Bare rocky slopes alternate with valleys of pine forests unique to the Ionian. Fiskardo town in the north entrance of the narrow channel between Ithaca and Cephalonia is a popular spot for yachts. If you wanted to head for the capital at Argostoli for the afternoon and evening, there are plenty of lunch anchorage options along the way.
Day 7: Fly out of Zakynthos – the southernmost of the Ionian islands. It is a beautiful island distinguished by the emerald green of its sea, the pine-studded mountains and by beaches as far as the eye can see. The Venetians called Zakynthos “the flower of the Levant”. It is also the home ground for the Careta-careta or loggerhead turtle nesting ground at Laganas beach on the south coast.
To experience the natural beauty of the Mediterranean by luxury yacht, contact Nicholson Yachts at email@example.com or (401) 849-0344