The Ionian Sea is an archipelago of inhabited and uninhabited islands with emerald waters, safe anchorages, scenic harbours and historical temples, towns and castles make the Ionian Sea a perfect place for unforgettable holidays.
The Maestro, (Greek:Μαΐστρος), the prevailing NW wind, tends to be light in the morning, around force 2-3, and builds up during the afternoon, to around force 4-5 (Beaufort Scale). Therefore if you are sailing on the Eastern side of the islands you enjoy the breeze and avoid big waves. Weather forecast consultation is always recommended and especially if you are planning to visit the picturesque and rough West coasts of the islands (www.windfinder.com, www.sailflow.com).
There is plenty of detailed information for the Ionian islands in tourist guides and the internet.(Ionian islands www.visitgreece.gr, www.guidemediterannee.com, Les iles ioniennes www.routard.com). Brief information is shown below:
The beautiful beaches, the landscape of rough rocks, cypress and olive trees, makes Corfu one of the most beautiful Greek islands.
The capital, Corfu Town, is a mixture of Venetian, French and English architecture and on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Walking around the narrow streets is a unique experience, where with each turn you stumble upon a new discovery.
The Venetian Fortress, the Mon Repos Palace with the ancient Temples as well as the Palaiokastritsa Monastery and the Achileion Palace are some of the places worth visiting.
Othonoi and Ereikoussa
These two islands, off the beaten track on the westernmost border of Greece in the NW of Corfu, are a real challenge for the experienced sailor since the sea may be rough with the Maestro blowing. Calipso cave, the beautiful beaches and the unspoiled landscape are worth visiting.
Paxi is an island of dense beauty. The east coast is protected from the Maestro and has pebble beaches, picturesque villages and safe anchorages. Steep cliffs and marine caves characterize the west coast. They are worth visiting with your yacht in calm weather.
Don’t miss swimming at the light blue waters of Voutoumi and enjoy the view from the taverna on the cliff above.
A narrow canal separates the island of Lefkada from the mainland. The bridge over the canal opens for the yachts every hour on the hour. Having crossed the canal you enter the Lefkada archipelago, protected from the waves of the open sea and with plenty of inhabited and uninhabited islands, with calm beaches, safe anchorages and cosmopolitan or picturesque villages. The northern gulfs of Meganisi, the southern beaches of Kastos and the safe anchorages of the uninhabited Atokos island are popular destinations.
Ithaki (Ithaca) and Kefallinia (Cephalonia)
These two islands were the mythical kingdom of Odysseus. Visiting them you will understand why he desperately wanted to return, after the Trojan war. Ithaki, is an unspoiled island with emerald waters, small harbours and creeks. Vathy and Kioni are worth visiting.
The mount Enos (1628m), a national park, with the unique alpine tree “Abies cephalonica” dominates Kefallinia. Sandy beaches, like Myrtos, unspoiled villages like Fiscardo and Assos and the Melisani cave are the jewels of the island.
According to the Venetians, Zakinthos was the “Fioro di Levante” (flower of the East). Don’t miss the breathtaking sea caves close to cape Skinari, the famous Shipwreck Beach (Navagio) and the Lagana beach, the beach of choice for Caretta caretta sea turtle, which is under protection, together with the Monachus monachus seal.