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Yacht Charter Ionian Islands

Yacht Cruise Guides to Destinations around the Ionian Islands

The Ionian Islands lie of the west coast of the Greek Mainland. There are a number of large islands in the Group which welcome tourists every summer. On your yacht charter, you can visit them all if your holiday is long enough. Seismic activity created the islands which were once part of the Mainland itself. The Pindos Mountain range that runs across Central Greece means that the islands each have a high peak, while the Sea is at its deepest here; approaching 4,500 metres and deeper than any part of the Mediterranean Sea.

Temperatures are pleasant; a little lower than further south in the Aegean. There are often breezes coming from the north west and they have helped the islands become popular with windsurfers. The main islands to consider if you have a choice in selecting your own itinerary because you have booked the whole yacht for your charter yacht vacation are these.

Zakynthos is one of the most fertile of the Greek Islands. As well as the fresh fruit and vegetables grown on the Island, there are a huge number of different species of flowers on the Island. In addition, there is a chance you will see two endangered species while you are in its waters; the loggerhead turtle, caretta caretta and the monachus monachus seal. An earthquake back in 1953 destroyed much of the historical architecture though rebuilding has been sympathetic to tradition. Ithaca is smaller, and also very green. If you enjoy fishing, this place is famous for its calamari. In any event, while you are in the Ionian Region, fresh fish is a ‘’must’’; perhaps even something that you have caught yourself.

Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands and probably the best-known. It was the first to attract significant tourist numbers. Over the years it was occupied by the Romans, yet a feature of the Old Town is the Venetian architecture, two fortresses included. Kefallonia is the largest island in the Group. It is known for its wine, and agriculture in general. It has ancient castles and monasteries as well as plenty of nice beaches. Because of its size, nowhere is ever too crowded so you can probably find a beach to yourself somewhere.

Lefkada has a bridge and long causeway connecting it to the Mainland. It is one of the less well-developed islands and therein lies its charm. Sleepy villages still exist on Lefkada though there are also two coastal towns where water sports have become popular. Paxi has olive groves and vineyards, lovely beaches and the sunset viewed from the white cliffs of Eremitis makes a fantastic photograph. The Venetian influence is also seen here while the Governor’s Mansion and the Church in Gaios, the capital, are worth some of your time.  The other main island, Kythira is separated from these other large Ionian Islands across the southern Peloponnese and the coast of Laconia. As a result, it may be that you do not want to visit Kythira even though it is a lovely island. 

Once winter recedes, the warm weeks of the Eastern Mediterranean make the Ionian Islands a great holiday destination for the many millions of Europeans who live just a relatively short flight away. During the dark, cold nights of winter in many parts of Europe, what better way to give yourself something to look forward to that to plan for the summer, and plan something different, a yacht charter in the Aegean Sea?

Each yacht comes complete with experienced captain and crew so your only task is to enjoy yourself. It is extremely difficult not to with the warm seas, sandy beaches and stunning islands to enjoy. Wherever you sail in this region, there is centuries of history, as well as mythology which talks of ancient gods and goddesses, legendary battles and heroes. There are many sites to visit, archaeological gems that time has weathered. It is worth remembering that this is a region that suffers from earthquakes so some of the ruins that you see today are a result of seismic activity. Your charter company will provide you with plenty of information about the places that you are going to visit. You can do some research for yourself because that is a good way for you to prepare for asking questions.

One final point!  Ariva Yachting will actually collect you from your airport on arrival and take you back after your wonderful holiday. Just inquire a personal quite, decide to charter best suitable yacht for you and look forward to your luxury yacht charter holiday.

POINTS OF INTEREST
Corfu Island

Corfu was the first of the Greek Islands that opened to European mass tourism. The Island had always looked to the west which did not add to its popularity. Its rich history included the Romans and Byzantines and then the Venetians in the Middle Ages. There are several reminders of these occupiers still to be seen on Corfu.

Lefkada Island

Lefkada is actually connected to the Greek Mainland by a bridge, but it likes to retain its island identity. It is largely unspoilt despite the number of visitors each year who come to enjoy its lovely beaches and stunningly colourful sea. There is an air of sophistication in Lefkada Town yet the island also displays simplicity. 

Kefalonia Island

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands. It is very popular with tourists but such is the size of the Island that it is always possible to avoid crowds. The Island is covered in pine and cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards. In addition, there are many historic reminders of its past and delightful small villages where the pace of life is never quicker than slow. 

REASONS TO VISIT IONIAN ISLANDS

  • A Well-Established Tourist Infrastructure
  • Sunny Days and Warm Nights
  • Warm Seas and Welcoming Beaches
  • Greek Cuisine from Fresh Local Produce.

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WEATHER & CLIMATE

The climate throughout the Aegean consists of clear blue skies, week after week in the holiday season. At times in the middle of summer, temperatures may touch 40C though gentle breezes should moderate that somewhat. It is still warm at nigh time, well over 30C with no reason to change from shorts because holiday life on these Islands is distinctly casual.

FAST FACTS

Greek is the local language but English is widely understood in tourist areas

The local currency is the Euro

The Ionian Islands are one hour ahead of UK time all year round.

Fly to: Corfu has its own international flights from many regions of Europe from Spring until the winter arrives. There are also airports on Kefalonia and Lefkada with domestic connections in place to Athens.  Athens is a popular airport of arrival into this region and some holidaymakers may even arrive on the Turkish Mainland, typically Adnan Menderes Izmir or Milas-Bodrum to then take an extensive charter into the Aegean. Flight times vary from 3.5 hours to 4.5 hours.

MARINAS

Each of the islands has facilities for yachts sailing these seas but there are two marinas in the Ionian Islands worth special mention.

Lefkas Marina on Lefkada compares favourably with any modern marina in the Aegean. It has 620 berths with capacity for yachts up to 40 metres in length. There are full maintenance and service facilities on site as well as bars, restaurants, shopping and banks.

KG Marina on Corfu can hold an impressive 1235 boats, including craft up to 80 metres long. It is a modern facility with everything a yacht might need for service and maintenance. There are bars, restaurants, shopping facilities on site.

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