David Bentley - Whole Ionian through the lens!
With the modern age of camera phones you’re now less likely to come home with a set of questionable holiday photos than ever before. Someone who knows all about getting the perfect set of holiday snaps is David Bentley who ventured out on one of our Whole Ionian flotillas last year in August. Being a professional photographer excellent photos are what you might expect, but we think they are some of the most stunning photographs of the Ionian Islands we’ve ever seen.
The Whole Ionian Flotilla is one of our most popular flotillas and from David's pictures you can tell why, he sailed from the South Ionian up to the North Ionian over two weeks. Read on to find out where they visited and to see some of David's collection of photographs.
The South Ionian
David began his flotilla in our base of Sivota on Lefkas Island before exploring the delights of the South Ionian. He spent his first few days journeying around Meganissi Island, Kefalonia and Ithaca.
His shots show the delights of an Ionian sunset from Spartahori and then the lovely sail that can be had between the tip of Meganissi and Ithaca. The flotilla pulled into the tiny harbour of Kioni and rafted all of the yachts together, here you can use your dinghy to get ashore for some lovely Greek Taverna food and browse in the beautiful shops.
They then headed to Kefalonia (another flotilla favourite) where they moored up in Fiskardo which is one of the busiest harbours in the Ionian. This is the perfect spot for a cocktail and a bit of people watching, We like to park ourselves in Theodora’s cocktail bar for a couple of pre-dinner drinks before exploring the plethora of waterfront restaurants.
The Whole Ionian flotilla then started to head north to prepare for the trip through the Lefkas Canal. They made some overnight stops in Big Vathi and Port Athini back on Meganissi Island, Port Athini is one of our favourite stops on the flotilla because of the fabulous Greek Dancing evening.
The Lefkas Canal
The next day the flotilla started on the longest day through the Lefkas Canal, this is the area of water between Lefkas Island and the mainland that is connected by a floating bridge. The bridge opens every hour and the flotilla then has a limited time to shoot through into the North Ionian. This is always a great spectacle with the whole flotilla travelling through the canal together.
The North Ionian
The most popular spot once you are through the canal is Parga, the flotilla sailed up the coast and by the looks of it they all had a fabulous sail (including the lead crew). In Parga the flotilla parks in a slightly unusual way by beaching all of the yachts! You can then take Yanni’s famous water taxi into Parga town.
Parga is one of the more bustling towns in the Ionian, there is an amazing choice of restaurants on the water front but you may hear whispers amongst the flotilla about Castello’s Restaurant. This is a restaurant located in the back streets of Parga that is legendary in the area. Your flotilla lead crew will almost definitely eat here and we would highly recommend it as it is some of the best food in the area, there is a great selection of dishes and the wine cellar is the thing dreams are made of!
A Day to Wind Down...
David’s Whole Ionian Flotilla did a two day stop in Parga, there is some much to explore that this is one of the most popular place for people to have a relax. If relaxing isn’t what you had in mind then Parga is always a hit with the kids because of the huge beach and water sports and we have the parents who are young at heart getting involved! On the two day stop David took advantage of the time by exploring the castle on the hill, the views down to the beach and town are incredible, there also happens to be a handy bar and café with in the castle. If the wind is in looking good then you can choose to go out for a sail, this is a great way to explore the bays on the coast to the north and south of Parga.
After recharging their batteries in Parga the flotilla travelled the 15 or so miles across to Paxos, they pulled into the glorious harbour of Lakka on the northern tip of the island. Here you can choose to drop an anchor in the bay and spend the evening free-swinging or moor up on the quay. David took a stroll around the head line to the small beaches around the bay, the views from on the cliffs present beautiful vistas of the gin clear water! Lakka has some amazing vibrant backstreets with beautiful small tavernas and bars.
The lead crew briefed the flotilla in the morning letting them know that they would just be doing a short hop down the coast in Gaios. David took advantage of the short hop by heading down to Emerald Bay; this is on the northern coast of Anti-Paxos and a popular spot with yachts. The water is crystal clear and the coast line offers up some excellent snorkelling.
After this the Whole Ionian flotilla sailed across to the main land to fairly new find for us called Iggy Creek, here there is the chance for some water sports and a fabulous beach picnic! The whole flotilla has a gathering on the beach for some sundowners.
For the penultimate night of the flotilla David and the rest of the flotilla moor up in Perri’s Quay just outside of Sivota Mourtos. This is a popular alternative to Sivota town quay in August because it does tend to get quite busy and the water is a lot clearer here meaning it’s great for swimming. There is a short 10 minute walk into town where you can take a stroll along the harbour front.
The flotilla wake on the final morning of sailing and have a short hop up the coast to Plataria, which is in the south east corner of a deep bay. The bay is at the end of a deep valley, the wind tends to channel down this bay allowing for an amazing sail down to Plataria.
The final group meal takes place close to the boats and the flotilla is blessed with the famous Plataria sunset as the sun drops below Corfu providing a very dramatic end to the flotilla.
Want to see more?
We don’t know about you but these pictures have got us dreaming of lazy lunches, afternoons of sailing and waterfront strolls. If you want to have a browse at some more of David’s work then head over to his website - David J Bentley Photography