The popular South Ionian area is full of beautiful harbours and bays to anchor for a swim. This is the perfect area for first time sailors or for more experienced sailors looking to introduce friends and family to their passion.
This route will start and finish on our pontoon at the quaint Iris Hotel near Nidri on Lefkas Island. The hotel has a gorgeous pool and hosts Christos & Evanthia will be there to welcome you with open arms (and much needed cold drinks, of course). Sail from village to village or island to island, stopping for a lazy lunch and swim in beautiful bays along the way. There is a fascinating selection of local tavernas and restaurants on all the islands which you will have plenty of time to explore.
The sailing route mostly consists of easy days of around 10-15 miles. The steep spectacular landscape provides both shelter and lively katabatic breezes in the afternoon. The south Ionian islands are the place if you are after a sailing holiday with the emphasis on 'holiday'!
This popular route will start and finish on our pontoon at the quaint Iris Hotel near Nidri on Lefkas Island. On arrival you will be met by your our crew and shown to you boat. Your lead crew will be around shortly to introduce themselves and give you a short boat brief, before you retire to the taverna for a drink and a bite to eat. The Iris hotel at the end of the pontoon, has a gorgeous pool and bar, where hosts Christos & Evanthia will be there to welcome you with open arms (as well as a delightful array of much needed refreshments).
One of the highlights in this area is picturesque Spartahori village, perched on the cliffs of Meganisi Island. Steve and Gerry’s taverna at the end of the bay, with a beach on either side, has ‘lazy lines’ for convenience. It is the perfect spot for leisurely swimming. Make the effort to walk up the hill to unspoilt Spartahori village for the view and a cold beer at Lakis traditional taverna - it is worth the walk!
You may also spend a night moored at Port Atheni, where you can join in with the traditional Greek dancing. They are always looking for volunteers! From here you can enjoy a walk up to the old village of Katomeri. ‘Little Vathi’ on Meganisi Island is also a favourite spot with several excellent tavernas and a traditional village atmosphere.
This cruise allows the possibility of drifting around the islands in short hops with a loose agenda.
The narrow streets, town square and many small shops of in Lefkas Town are a pleasure to wander around. In the middle of town is a classic Greek taverna called ‘The Lighthouse’ where Steve will recite the menu and Georgia will grill everything perfectly for you.
Lefkas has a popular town quay or, if you prefer to avoid anchoring and are happy to pay, Lefkas marina is a short walk from the centre of town.
Two of our favourite stops are the island villages of Kastus and Kalamos. Both of these traditional Greek islands have idyllic harbours, where the locals warmly welcome visitors. They are fascinating places to visit, having remained relatively isolated until quite recently. The view out towards Kalamos and Atoko Islands is spectacular.
Prising the flotilla back out of village harbours once they have settled in can be a difficult task for our lead crews, but there is always another beautiful place not too far away!
Ithaca is the legendary home of Odysseus. Kioni and Frikes, on the east coast of Ithaca Island are quaint villages in which you can relax. Port Vathi is the largest town on the island and has also become a popular spot to visit.
Pere Pigadhi on the south east corner of the Island is an unbeatable swim stop with crystal clear water - the perfect stop en route to Kefalonia.
You will visit all our favourite spots, such as beautiful Fiskardo, where you can enjoy cold beer, wine and a range of foods in the quayside tavernas. Somehow the anchor seems to dig itself in a bit deeper when moored here.
The flotillas occasionally visit the town of Sami which was central to the filming of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ or picturesque Euphemia on Kefalonia’s East coast. Get ready for some unbeatable sailing across the Ithaca Channel!
Our southern base for many of our flotillas, the picturesque fishing port of Sivota, is an incredibly popular flotilla stop. Choose from one of many quayside tavernas, just a few feet from the water, that have been around for as long as we can remember! A brilliant option for your last taste of 'the real Greece' before returning to base.
Your flotilla will conclude where it all began, at our pontoon and the delightful oasis that is the Iris Hotel, at the entrance to Vliho Bay. Christos and Evanthia’s pool and nearby bar will play host to a fabulous final night barbecue where you can enjoy one last meal with your fellow sailors.
The yachts below are an example of what is available on this flotilla. Please give us a call to check live availability.
The whole Sailing Holidays experience was an example to the rest of the holiday industry as to how to create the best customer experience.
From the initial enquiry stage, through to the pre-departure, and on-board experience, all could not have been more helpful and accommodating.
The team on the Lead boat went out of their way, on a daily basis, to ensure that nothing was left to chance, and so all the usual effort of thinking ahead was taken care of, leaving us, as is stated on your mission statement, to just concentrate on enjoying ourselves.
This was to be a once in a lifetime holiday for us, however, given the care, and good nature of all the teams, but particularly the guys "in-resort", who's attention to detail was first rate, and rarely seen, we will all be looking to repeat the experience with our friends at Sailing Holidays.
A pat on the back for you all - you are a total credit to the company, and exemplary ambassadors for the industry.
Thanks very much.
We sailed on a September/October Flotilla and despite being at the tail-end of the season, our Lead Crew were as fresh and enthusiastic and just wanted us to have a really great holiday. And we did!
The best holiday ever. First timers..little anxious to begin with but crew were amazing. Twistie, Chris and Jess. They could not have been more helpful or encouraging. Nothing was too much trouble...Chris was brilliant even when some of our questions seemed minor he was on the boat immediately to explain everything. Twistie was relaxed and this gave us confidence even when we were feeling a bit out of our depth! (Literally)
As we sit by the pool in the rain on the last day of our holiday,I have a chance to send this email.Another fantastic time and made so easy by our lead crew on Dessa.I think this is our fifth sailing holiday and every lead crew has been brilliant,however I feel that Jake,Ben and Naiomi deserve a special mention. The unflappable Mr cool, Jake never once gave the impression that he was wound up by the antics of his little ducklings.Instructions clear and concise without being over bearing. Naiomi is a darling,beaming smile at any time of the day and always ready to find out anything she was asked. And then there is Ben. Most of the foot have concerns about the long hours you force him to work,often til late into the night to complete the tasks set for him. Seriously,a talented engineer with a willing manner and sense of humour.He is another crew member with a huge smile,even when unblocking the heads in 40 degrees. Please convey my thanks to them all, they are an asset to sailing holidays. Rob Lewis
Excellent company with superb staff at all levels - it all starts with Barrie! We have used Sailing Holidays 5 times now, and will continue as long as I can stay afloat!! I always feel that the staff are trying to help me, personally - not just "a customer"
Best crew we have had and really made our holiday special. Louise the hostie was fantastic - very organised, personable and capable. She engaged the children well and put in lots of effort to provide social events.
Our sincere thanks to Louise, Patch and George from lead boat Christine. Very different but hugely talented individuals, not just in their sailing ability but their customer service, attention to detail and positive 'can do' attitude to absolutely everything. The chemistry between the three just worked so well and made a very good holiday a fantastic and memorable one. They are an absolute credit and valuable asset to your company. There enthusiasm, energy, sense of fun and adventure was infectious. Can't praise them highly enough. Sincere thanks to all. We will be back! Kind regards John, Lee, Callum and Ben. Xxx
Our crew were very patient reassuring polite and just dam right fabulous , the holiday was perfect
The crew of 'Natassa' just arrived home, feeling a tad blue!
Can't thank George, Netty, and Luke enough for the most amazing holiday. Hope to see you again soon love the Brearleys.
Our overnight stop at George`s. Beautiful! Thank you Cookie, Josh and Mus for a fantastic week. We really miss you guys!
Yamas to good times and good friends!
Thanks for another great sailing holiday, Best lead crew ever !! Philip and Anne
I would just like to pass on my most sincere thanks to all at Sailing Holidays for a wonderful trip to the South Ionian last week. (lead boat Kamara). The lead crew of Jesse, Abi and Thomas were absolutely amazing. They were so kind and patient with everyone, helping us with our moorings and putting us at ease. They worked really well together, professional and relaxed with a huge amount of experience and a great sense of fun! We had a fabulous time and have returned to England relaxed and counting down until the next time we can go sailing. With thanks!
I have recently returned from my first sailing holiday and I went on the two week South Ionian flotilla. The lead boat was Elpida skippered by the fantastic Liz who was accompanied by Pippa the hostie and Jamie the mechanic. I just wanted to say that this crew were absolutely fantastic they helped us when we needed it and left us to it when we didn't. The mix of people on our flotilla was just right with couples and families alike. we will definately be booking again in the future. Thank you to you all for letting us have the opportunity to sail without any experience at all. We have now got the sailing bug!!!
Sailing the Beneteau 331
This was our first time sailing and we had the Beneteau 361. Fantastic times had by all four of us, plenty of room, amazing crew! Well, we have rebooked to come back this year in September!!!
A perfect holiday on a lovely yacht, in beautiful weather, in a stunning part of the world!
Hi, I would just like to say how much my girlfriend and I enjoyed our holiday. We have just got back from a two week Southern Ionian flotilla with Kyra as lead boat. Liam, Aaron and Crystal were absolutely awesome, allowing us to find our feet with just the right amount of support when required. We even entered the S Ionian regatta which was quite an experience but great fun an we came a quite respectable 99th! The whole experience exceeded my expectations and I hope to return on another trip in the future. Many thanks
Hi, Just wanted to say what a fantastic holiday we had with lead boat Kyra having returned home last Sunday. Liam, Knife and Catcus worked hard for two weeks and ensured we all had a great time; a 3 man crew seemed to work with our flotilla exceptionally well. All 12 boats are now good friends and busy putting their pictures on FB. Highly recommend this holiday to anyone, no matter what their experience. Thanks for a very memorable holiday.Show more
Don't worry, our experienced crew will be able to help you get your sea legs in no time.