The Ionian sea is part of the Mediterranean sea, positioned in the middle of Italy and Greece.
The Ionian islands also known as Eptanisa, are strung out along the west coast of Greece from the Albanian frontier down to Peloponnese and consists the following islands : Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaka, Kefalonia and Meganisi. For centuries they have maintained their own identity and culture, each is unique, set into captivating landscapes of rugged mountains, green hills and the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea.
The Ionian Sea is heaven for sailors with calm, clear waters which makes it one of the safest Navigation areas in the world. Yachting holidays in Ionian islands are ideal for both beginers and experienced sailors because it’s geographical position combines beautyfull landscapes and many unique anchorage places, mild climate and an International airport. The landscape is beautiful with many picturesque villages, numerous fortresses from the sovereignty of the Venetians. Well insulated bays surrounded by pine forests and olive trees, Noisy cosmopolitan cities and endless beaches where you can swim and eat in local restaurants. Sailing will offer you the freedom to reach places that are completely inaccessible by road.
Corfu or Kerkira, is one of Greece’s most popular islands and attracts every year thousands of visitors. The green nature and beautiful surroundings are exceptional, and the island is ideal for sailing around and exploring it.Corfu is famous for it’s mild climate (the local sailors call the sea “Sacred”), and visitors, with yachts, can enjoy their holidays
In Northwest Corfu are the Diapontian islands ,Mathraki, Erikousa, and Othonoi. Around Mathraki there are a lot of shoals and rocks making access difficult but a wonderful experience. The two other islands are the first that yachts approach when sailing from Adriatic. The coasts are heaven for wildlife lovers.Along the north coast of Corfu from Sidari to the peninsula of Agios Spiridon, waters are usually shallow with sandy shores ideal for children. The north-east coast of Corfu is ideal for sailing, provides easy access and has calm, warm waters. The west coast of the island has the most contrasts. The northern section has many difficult capes that are ideal for diving. More Southern the landscape softens with endless beaches, with the sea painted blue and green from the trees around the coast. In the east side south of Corfu town, the coasts are more uniform with shallow warm waters ideal for children and beginners.
Beautiful Paxos and Antipaxi are a group of islands famous for their ports Lakka, Gaios, Longos and Meganisi, filled with yachts during the summer. The west coast of the islands consist with impressive cliffs and sea caves. Although Antipaxi is not available for safe anchorage, the beautiful beaches with the spectacular crystal turquoise waters on the northeast coast are extremely popular.
Nowadays, those who discover an “other Lefkada” using a yacht are more than those who just visit the mainland. The modern Lefkas marina in Lefkada town, has shown the way for more sailors visits, and has the ability of docking 620 boats. Thus, the evolution of sailing on the island, is now truly impressive.
The island of Lefkada is hiding many surprises for the modern Robinsons, with its amazing coves, fishing villages and white beaches, many of them inaccessible by land.
The Prigiponisia opposite Nidri, focusing on Aristotle Onassis, Skorpios island, impress the keen sailors with the uniqueness and natural beauty, and further Meganissi island with numerous ports forming small fjords.
A little further south are the two islands of Kalamos and Kastos, with lovely isolated beaches and sea caves. Western Lefkada offers striking images and emotions. Along with small beaches of just a few meters, isolated with pine trees and amazing transitions. Lefkada is also a paradise of windsurfing. Beach Vasiliki which is amongst the top ten in the world and the three best in Europe, along with the Agios Giannis beachcover almost all the needs of water sport friends. The area of the Ionian Sea during summer months “cools off” from thermal winds called maistros or mistral. The winds and the topography of the area to which they relate, is the reason for allowing surfers to “take off” in new tricks and maneuvers. Every day, around the same time, in these two beaches, the thermal wind strengthens steadily until late afternoon. In Vasiliki indeed, this phenomenon is striking.
Kefalonia is an island that impresses every visitor with its unique natural beauty, historical monuments and warm hospitality of the people. It is the largest island in the Ionian Islands located opposite the opening of Patras Gulf, south of Lefkada and north of Zakynthos. It is an island with strong contrasts. Green fertile land, sandy beaches, bays, caves and picturesque villages. All these create the unique character of the island.
Kefalonia is the most mountainous island in the Ionian Sea. The most important is the Enos Mountain.The mountainous region of Enos the rich flora and fauna has been designated as a National Park since 1962.
Apart from the endless natural beauty of Kefalonia, also has a rich history, which is reflected in the remarkable historical monuments, forts and archaeological sites on the island.
Each year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the island to discover it’s beauties and mysteries
It is one of the most beautiful and famous islands of Greece, which inspired the Hollywood producer that filmed here the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which had great commercial success.
The gorgeous rocky island of Ithaca is separated from Kefalonia by the 2 nm wide Ithaca channel and is almost cut into two by the long Gulf of Molos on its east side; the isthmus is only 600 m wide. Ithaca, together with the Echinades isles – forms a marvellous area for yacht charters.
The must-see harbours and anchorages include: Frikes, Kioni, Vathy, Polis Bay, Pera Pidagi, Atokos, Astakos, Oxia, Efimia, Poros, Fiskardo, Assos and Argostoli plus the series of bays south of Fiskardo.
As in Kephalonia, Ithaca is a shelter for Caretta-Caretta turtules and several monk seals Monachus-Monachus . Their numbers are small, but it needs special attention, especially in sandy beaches, because it is not uncommon to see traces of baby turtles going for the sea. It means that other eggs from the protected species turtle Caretta-Caretta can be found buried in the sand, waiting for the incubation time. Also, in the western rocky coast island seals Monachus-Monachus,often rest before continuing their journey to the Mediterranean.
Categorised in: Destinations
This post was written by Christoforos Karydis