The Ionians are a cluster of 12 islands, including Kefalonia, Paxos, Zante, Ithaca, Lefkas and Corfu that have been inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age. The islands are surrounded by some of the deepest waters in the Mediterranean and in the hot summers, are cooled by the meltemi wind.

Ionian highlights

  • Kefalonia – Explore the Drogarati caves or relax on Myrtos beach, known as one of the most impressive views in Greece. Also visit the prettiest harbor in the Ionian at Fiskardo
  • Ithaca – The island was the home of the hero in The Odyssey by Homer and, today, famed for its sandy beaches, including Gedaki beach or the coves near Frikes beach
  • Zante – The rocky coastline, peppered with olives and vineyards, provides a stark contrast to the sandy beaches. Explore Keri Caves and the turquoise lagoon of shipwreck beach
  • Paxos – Take a photo of the rock formation, Tripitos Arch from the sea, relax on Erimitis beach or sail to Antipaxos’ Voutoumi beach and stroll pretty fishing villages
  • Corfu – Discover the winding streets of the old town and Porto Timoni beach

Meganisi  and the Onassis owned private island of Skorpios are also well worth adding to your itinerary.

Sailing conditions

The sailing conditions in the Ionian islands are calm with good sailing breezes from late morning through the afternoon. The summer winds are usually north-westerly winds between Force 2-5. Wave height is low so passage is smooth and nights are pleasant, as the sea is usually calm. The wind tends to be stronger at the start and end of the season and blows from the south-east in the afternoon, between 10 and 25 knots.

The Ionians have deep water, so remember that when anchoring. Some of the beaches in Corfu, Lefkas and Kefalonia are very wide and not suitable for overnight anchorage, as there is little protection from open seas.

Getting there

To sail the Ionians from the US, take an indirect flights with a transfer in Athens or alternatively by ferry from Italy. Boston and New York city offer direct flights to Athens. Talk to our team for advice.

Area map

Itinerary

7 Day Corfu

DAY 1: Embark at Gouvia Marina and get to know your boat. A short sail south takes you to Corfu Town (5nm) where you can stroll around the historic town and enjoy dinner in one of the traditional tavernas.

DAY 2: Head to Plataria (18nm) and discover this fishing village on the mainland. Enjoy generous servings of fresh prawns and ice cold beer while watching the sun set over Corfu.

DAY 3: Made for Sivota (24nm), which is great for waterskiing, wakeboarding, cycling, and more. Discover tiny coves, green hills and secluded beaches.

DAY 4: Lakka, Paxos (18nm) is a pretty harbor in a bay on the northern tip of Paxos, surrounded by pine and olive groves.

DAY 5: Make time for Antipaxos (14nm)and the waters of Emerald Bay, which truly live up to the name. Antipaxos is south of Paxos, smaller, and almost uninhabited. Sample the local wine at one of the tavernas.

DAY 6: Carry onwards to Petriti, Corfu (14nm), and moor in the pretty harbor on the south coast of Corfu island.

DAY 7: Return to Gouvia Marina (15nm).

7 Day Corfu (Alternate)

DAY 1:Corfu, Gouvia Marina
DAY 2: Gaios (Paxi) 35 NM
DAY 3: Nidri (Lefkas) 43 NM
DAY 4: Vathi (Meganisi) 5 NM
DAY 5: Lefkas – marina 11 NM
DAY 6: Mourtos/Syvota (North Epirus) 41 NM
DAY 7: Corfu, Gouvia Marina 24 NM

14 Day Corfu:

DAY 1: Gouvia Marina
DAY 2: Mourtos (North Epirus) 24 NM
DAY 3: Gaios (Paxos) 5 NM
DAY 4: Nidri (Lefkas) 43 NM
DAY 5: Fiskardo (Kefalonia) 19 NM
DAY 6: Zante 43 NM
DAY 7: Agia Efthimia (Kefalonia) 37 NM
DAY 8: Vathi (Ithaca) 16 NM
DAY 9: Porto Leone (Kalamos) 17 NM
DAY 10: Vathi (Meganisi) 11 NM
DAY 11: Lefkas 11 NM
DAY 12: Parga (Epirus) 30 NM
DAY 13: Lakka (Paxos Island) 13 NM
DAY 14: Gouvia Marina 31 NM

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