New harbours at Ericousa and Othoni have prompted a return to the Faraway Islands! A safe haven at Ericousa gives us more flexibility when heading out to ‘the Faraway’s’. In reality the “Faraway Islands” really aren’t all that faraway. They are named this as they are Greece’s furthest away islands from Athens! (Like Lands End in the UK or Finisterre in Spain.)
Most of the time we will head north in the first four or five days to the sparsely populated Faraway’s. Sometimes the flotilla will call into historic Corfu Town. This offers everyone an opportunity to immerse themselves in Venetian and Greek history. It has a unique atmosphere in the evenings. Ericousa has a large bay, great for free swinging or anchoring off at night. It is certainly a relaxing thing to do and your morning swim will be invigorating!
A new harbour has been built at Ericousa but it remains a well kept secret. So not many yachts usually venture this far north of Corfu making for a relaxing couple of nights under the stars. Othoni is clad in a thick cover of pine and olive trees with rocky scrub on the hilltops looking out over the sea to Mathraki and other smaller islands. All three of the islands feature beautiful sandy beaches. The most spectacular beach is the golden sands of Mathraki. The water is transparent with a backdrop of the white cliffs of Corfu. (Yes, Corfu has white cliffs too!) About four or five days will be spent around the Faraway islands.
Most flotillas will spend a night at anchor in remote Port Timoni and a night in spectacular Paleokastritsa. The flotilla will usually then head for Paxos on the “outside route”, down the mountainous west coast of Corfu. If the wind is blowing the wrong way, the flotilla may take the “inside route” (east of Corfu). This flotilla is a great way to “get away from it all”, although you are still likely to visit Paxos and a few other more populated places. Paxos never fails to provide wonderful memories, with the beautiful bay of Lakka and the Greek dancing nights of Mongonisi to name just a couple.
Generally warm and sunny, which is why we love sailing in this part of the world! The regular but steady afternoon breezes between the islands creates exciting sailing for those with previous flotilla experience.
Gouvia Marina on Corfu Island is your flotilla starting point - with plenty of choices of restaurants, shops and facilities it is a perfect place to begin your holiday! Corfu Island offers a complete mixture of the buzzing old town contrasted with sleepy fishing villages to the north and south. The highlight of this flotilla area is, of course, the fantastic Faraway Islands of Ericousa, Mathraki and Othoni! You'll also be visiting the beautiful island of Paxos with its four beautiful harbours - Lakka, Longos, Gaios and Mongonisi.
Following a short transfer from Corfu airport you will arrive at Gouvia Marina. Here you will meet your lead crew and home from home for the fortnight (your yacht). After a short boat brief you have a range of restaurants to choose from in the Marina for a bite to eat!
On Monday morning there will be a thorough boat brief and a chat about where you are heading that day. There is a supermarket in the marina for you to stock up on provisions before you head out for a lazy lunch at anchor...
A likely first evening stop is a little fishing village called St Stephanos. It has become a very popular 'up market' resort in the peak summer months. There is a thriving local Greek community that welcomes its visitors with the warmth and hospitality Greece is famous for. The village is extremely pretty and is situated within the shelter of hills that sweep down on either side, making it a very safe harbour. Evenings here are spent in one of the several Tavernas looking across the water to Albania. The local restaurants take waterside dining to a new level...
The next couple of days will take you off the norther coast of Corfu, away from the crowds! The three Faraway Islands are Ericousa, Othoni and Mathraki. Depending on weather you could visit these in any order, the sailing between the islands is excellent, and often on your side. Meaning that you can often sail on one tack between the islands, nice and relaxing!
Ericousa has one small harbour on the south coast of the island, it is also handily located right next to a gorgeous sandy beach. You can also just drop you anchor just off the beach and swim in the crystal clear waters.
Othoni is the largest and most westerly of the Faraways. As with all of these three islands the water is a stunning turquoise colour and as this is the furthest island from Corfu it is one of the quietest in the Ionian.
Mathraki is the epitome of ‘getting away from it all’. There is a stunning golden beach right beside the harbour and a taverna that overlooks the bay.
The wonderful village of Kassiopi is on the northern coast of Corfu. This spot hasn’t changed much in thirty years. There are excellent tavernas, bars, restaurants and shops as well as a secret beach in a bay a short walk around the coast.
Another stop on Corfu include the small fishing village of Petriti. You can either choose to free swing in the bay or moor up stern to on the town quay.
You will then wend your way south to the delightful villages of Lakka, Longos, Gaios and Mongonisi on Paxos Island.
The crystal clear emerald water of Lakka Bay is not to be missed for a lunch stop within a stone's throw of Lakka Village - a favourite evening destination. Gaios is a traditional Greek town, with a number of tavernas to explore. Mongonisi is a highlight for many - the only stop on Paxos without a village. Mongonisi's charm lies in the idyllic environment where you can swim of the back of your boat and Greek dance the night away.
A highlight of the trip is a lunchtime stop in Emerald Bay on Anti-Paxos Island for a lazy lunch and swim. For the more adventurous sailors among you, a sail down west coast of Paxos, with its stunning cliffs is a great way to spend a day.
Sayaidha is a small fishing village on the greek mainland, close to the Albanian border. The village is best known among sailors for it sunsets and the prawns at Alex's taverna - served by the kilo and not to be missed!
The first or penultimate night stop is likely to be Corfu Town where you can moor in the yacht club beneath the citadel and spend an evening wandering the rustic backstreets of the town.
Below is an indication of the yachts that will sail on this flotilla. Please call us on 020 8459 8787 to check live availability.
Our Shore to Sail holidays are a combination of a one or two week flotilla sailing holiday with another relaxing week or two ashore.
These holidays will appeal to those who enjoy sailing but have family or friends who are not quite so enthusiastic about sailing - a compromise can now be made!
Most people opt for a week of sailing followed by a week of winding down on shore. However it is entirely up to you to do what you want to do (and when!)
The Iris Hotel has been a popular choice for flotilla sailors for many years. This accommodation option will fit in with any of our flotillas starting and finishing on Lefkas Island. The hotel itself is a small family run hotel located close to Nidri Town. It has a combination of studio rooms for two or three people and apartments that can sleep up to 4.
The Salvator Spa Hotel is perched in the hills above Parga town and is a slightly more luxurious offering. The rooms on offer range from the Deluxe Room for two people, up to the Superior 2 Room Villa for up to 6 people. The hotel itself has an excellent restaurant, pool and spa facilities and all villas come with their own private pool.
Our brand new villa in Sivota on Lefkas is exclusive to Sailing Holidays Ltd. Built with families and groups in mind, the 3 double bedrooms all feature en-suite bathrooms. Built into the hill the ground floor level comprises of the master bedroom, a large kitchen and living space. On the same level you will find a huge outdoor seating area and a private pool.
All 3 of them were absolutely FANTASTIC ...They did a great job every day. Their patience and knowledge was outstanding..10/10 .
We renewed our wedding vows for our 20 years of marriage and the lead crew Brae, Danny and Krisha were absolutely superb. Arrangements were fantastic - they made our day and whole holiday very memorable. Best holiday we have had.
I have just completed your on line survey regarding our recent and 1st flotilla holiday around the north Ionian, but I wanted to contact you personally as well.
We have just had a fantastic week in Greece. All the Crew were excellent - Brae, Krisha and Danny. They were professional and friendly and nothing was too much trouble.
However our sailing trainer Ben was outstanding. I know he is new to sailing holidays, but he really is a credit to your team. For someone so young he had a very mature approach to teaching us the ropes. He clearly explained and demonstrated, then sat back and let us sail, only really getting involved if we did something wrong, or suggesting ways to get more out of the sails etc.
I have been extremely impressed with the whole experience and wanted to convey that to you personally rather than via the survey.
We will definitely be booking again.
Richard and Dan.
I thought our lead crew were exceptional, Matt in particular. Nothing was too much trouble or tedious for them. They remained patient, good humoured and courteous at all times and put our safety and enjoyment before all else.
First rate crew. Best hostie so far and have been some fantastic ones before. Excellent engineer in all areas. Very professional skipper with whom we felt very safe.