You’ve made up your mind, after researching all the Greek Islands, you’ve finally made the decision that the Ionian Sea is the place to be.
All the islands are beautiful, and the truth is told, no matter where you decide to lift your sails you won’t be disappointed. But there is truly something about the exotic green landscape that the Ionian Islands bring that just pulls you in. The location of these islands is absolutely perfect for summertime sailing as you won’t encounter Meltemi, making sure your sailing vacation goes as smoothly as possible!
We’re here to tell you that you’ve made the right decision and that you can count on experiencing the best week of your life if you choose to follow this itinerary.
Let’s get into details about Greece Islands to see where the breeze will take you.
The day has finally arrived for you to start your sailing trip, the excitement is getting to you and all you want to do is run to the marina for boat handover, start the engine and enjoy the waves. While this sounds like a great plan, you’ll want to keep in mind how you prepare the first day and set yourself up for the rest of the week.
If you’re already in Lefkada from the morning, use at least an hour or two to explore the town, as it has its own charm that you wouldn’t want to miss out on, and it doesn’t hurt to get to know the town a little better. While you’re walking around it’s worth your while to enter a supermarket to get what you need for the day, and the week ahead. Especially if you know that your charter doesn’t have food and drinks included. You can do your shopping in town, or if you’re tight on time there is a little supermarket by the Lefkada marina where you can get what you need.
After you’ve been informed about the boat, sailing routes, and handover the time has come to turn on your engine and start heading out of the harbor (which will take you about 40 minutes), and make your way over to Palairos (11 NM).
So you’ve arrived at the Palariros port and are ready to rest and relax. This is the perfect town to do so! Palairos isn’t big so you won’t have to encounter tons of tourists and busy streets, so walking around town or checking out the ancient ruins of Palariros will be easy breezy.
Exploring probably won’t take you that long given the size of this town so after that you can fuel your own engine in one of the beautiful waterfront restaurants, or the Ammos All Day Beach Bar where you can go for a swim and a drink at the same time.
If you want to perhaps relax in a different kind of way you can also visit the Viticulture & Winery Gerokostopoulos where you can try some authentic Greek wine.
After you've filled up your batteries in the sunshine for the day, aim to set your sails approximately 3 hours before sundown, because that’s how long it will take you to get to Kalamos (16NM).
There are two ways you can spend your day in Kalamos depending on what floats your boat. This Island is packed with coves and bays that are only accessible by sea, or you can dock in the marina and spend the day on land.
Option A, searching for hidden bays, is great for soaking up the beautiful views and getting away from crowds. Not only will you get to experience what it is like to be at a private beach, but you’ll also get to see a part of Greece that not many tourists have seen.
Option B, explore the mountainous landscape. It can be your opportunity to check out the town, eat some fresh seafood, and lie out in the sun at Agrapidia or Mirtia Beach. If you’re ambitious, perhaps you can visit both beaches. On this island, you have a little more time for enjoyment because it will only take you about an hour or less to get to Kastos (5NM).
Drop the anchor in Kastos marina and get a taste of the simple life. This island will show you that you don’t need a lot to be happy, just the view gives you something to smile about. Befriending a local or town might be good to catch up on the history of the small town as well as get some recommendations about where to spend the day. After all, they know the island best.
Near the port itself, you have the Tavern Belos, Il Porto Tavern, and Traverso Wine Bar where you can try amazing Greek wines. From the port, it will take you about 10 minutes to walk to the main Kastos beach, or you can go over to Pisina beach and anchor yourself there.
Bear in mind that it will take you about 2 hours to get to Sivota Lefkadas (13NM), so plan your time wisely.
Now that you’ve gotten into the sailing routine, get ready for a day spent in a beautiful fishing village, with a stunning green backdrop. If you’re a seafood lover, you cannot leave this village without trying some local seafood dishes. You’ll notice that the majority of taverns and houses have a very natural aesthetic to them, covered in splendid greenery and flowers. This gives the town its charm.
As you walk along the coast you’ll have an array of cafes and taverns to choose from. The closest ones to where you dock are Tavern Spiridoula, 12 GODS (maybe if you can name them all you’ll get a discount), and Tavern Delfinia. There aren’t really any nearby beaches but in just one quick sail south (staying close to the coast), you’ll come across Ksilokeratidi Cove.
In order to get on time to the last (but not least) island, Meganisi (8NM) you’ll need to pencil into your schedule about an hour and a half of sailing to the Spartochori or Vathy port.
If you have some time to de-route it might be nice to check out the second largest cave in Greece, Papanikolis Cave. Fun fact, this cave used to be a secret hideaway for the submarine Papanikolis.
You saved the best for last when choosing Meganisi to be your last island on this sailing route because if you manage your time well, in Meganisi you’ll get to visit two towns, Spartochori and Vathy
You’ll probably lower the anchor in Spartochori first because it’s the closest to Sivota. Here you can quickly head into town to grab some Meganisi delicacies, or check out the stone-built cottages and traditional taverns.
Once you are done with Spartochori, hop on your boat and make your way north to Vathy! A white-sand beach where you can spend the day around here is Pasoumaki. Or in a short 20-minute walk, you can visit yet another village, Katomeri, and check out Limonari and Elia beach, along with the village itself.
Fun fact about Meganisi is that it means “Big Island”, despite it only being 25 square kilometers.
When it is time to start wrapping up your sailing trip, take into account that it will be a 2-hour sail back to Lefkada (11NM).
Just when you’ve gotten into the list of sailing it's time to head back. But that’s alright because now that you’re done with island-hopping you can spend your last day getting to know Lefkada in-depth, and possibly doing some activities that you weren’t able to do on the islands.
You have the Archaeological Museum of Lefkada if you want to learn more about the history of Lefkada Greek architecture or see some cool artifacts. You can go mountain biking if you’re craving some movement. Or of course, you are always alluring beaches such as Milos, Paralia Agios Ioannis, and Ammoglossa.
We hope this itinerary for a 7-day sailing trip around the southern Ionian Islands will help guide you in the right direction or at least give you an idea of where you want to go
For those who have been to these islands, let us know in the comments your favorite island so that those who have yet to visit can make sure to explore it as much as possible.
Marin @Danielis - November 21, 2017.
Marin @Danielis - May 19, 2017.
Marin @Danielis - February 16, 2017.
Marin @Danielis - July 25, 2017.
Marin @Danielis - November 07, 2017.