Pottering about Paxos!
Having previously sailed in the South Ionian many times, what better way to expand our knowledge of the area as new Sailing Holidays employees than to navigate the emerald waters of Paxos. From start to finish the trip was faultless – yes, this includes the superbly rearranged flights following the collapse of Monarch (thank you Francis)!
Setting Sailing for Lakka - 20 miles
Arriving in Plataria, it was not long before we were yearning for the taste of Greece’s most quintessential snack – gyros! It was at this point that we were introduced to our home for the week, a Maxi 95 called Maria. A few beers later and we were sufficiently revved up for the week’s sailing ahead.As we left Plataria’s harbour pondering what lay in store for us in Lakka, we were keen to do some exploring before reaching our evening’s destination. Following a quick lunch stop and swim in Sivota Mourtos, it wasn’t long before our first opportunity to get the sails out arose. Making full use of the afternoon breeze and notching up a nippy 6.5 knots, we were anchored and sat down for dinner in Lakka in no time at all. Nionios proved a taste sensation and with many of the flotilla filling the restaurant alongside us, we certainly felt we were getting into the spirit of things.
Admiring Emerald Bay and Mongonisi - 7 miles
The beginning of the second day promised more blue skies as we set a course for the aptly named Emerald Bay. With a mere handful of boats anchored by, it was not hard to see why this bay is often cited as one of the most beautiful in the Ionian. A few cliff jumps and paddleboard races completed, we quickly motored South and dropped anchor in the conveniently sheltered Mongonisi. Paddleboarding, alcoholic refreshments and home cooking accounted for what was an extremely relaxing evening.
Gorgeous Gaios and beyond - 2 miles
The tranquillity of the previous evening in our wake, a speedy pasta lunch was matched by an even pacier sail as we tacked between the mainland and Paxos. Now successfully moored in Gaios, it was time to hit the town! A delicious dinner at Koyzini necessitated a few well deserved beers, eventually finding our way to Maria several Alphas later. Day three had not disappointed!
Exploring Two Rock Bay - 16 miles
Feeling suitably hazy and with our stores replenished, Thursday was set to be another peaceful evening at anchor in Two Rock Bay. Today’s activities varied from exploring caves in the tender to spectating the friendly fishing competition taking place amongst a few Sailing Holidays boats. Lucky for us, our very own Charlie from the London office was generous enough to share the day’s catch. A short while later and a freshly cooked tuna salad was on the table. The perfect end to the perfect day.
Gallivanting in Gaios (again) - 16 miles
With our last full day looming, it was decided that we should revisit our favourite places of the week. Evidently, once was not enough as we dropped anchor in a different part of Emerald Bay yet again. With the sun beating down and a lovely sandy beach all to ourselves, we had to continually remind each other that it was, in fact, October! Our Emerald Bay quota certainly fulfilled, we parked up one last time in Gaios where we treated ourselves to the fantastic food and hospitality at Koyzini for the second time (I wish we had had an opportunity to return a third).
Back to Plataria - 21 miles
Before giving ourselves up to the inevitable holiday blues felt by all at the end of a week’s sailing, we were determined to hoist the sails one last time en-route to Plataria. Fortunately, the Ionian’s reliable afternoon breeze was sure to kick in as we switched off Maria’s engine and flew up the coast towards our final destination. Coming into harbour with the sight of Sailing Holidays’ masts lining the scene of what was a picture-perfect sunset, our final evening on board Maria was delightful. Aubergine curry cooked in the galley and a final few cans of the finest Hellenic beer and it was time for bed. What a week!