7 Days Sailing Around the Ionian Islands

Off the western shores of Greece lie the mythically beautiful Ionian Islands known to have drawn curious seafarers for centuries since the protagonist of Homer’s Odysseus found refuge there. A variety of cultures have left footprints on these lands and their people while the islands are bordered by crystalline cerulean waters that are the perfect cruising grounds for any luxury charter yacht. Golden sun-kissed beaches, luxuriant olive groves with sparkling leaves, secluded coves, quaint harbors and charming villages to explore are only some of the reasons to visit the region. Not to mention delicious Greek food served in traditional taverns, including hot souvlaki which is meat served on skewers or in pita bread and traditional white wine known as retsina. These gorgeous islands boasting of magnificent green flora all summer long were named after Io, a nymph and mistress of Zeus.

Hop onboard with Sunreef Yachts Charter for a memorable and mythical vacation that will take you on a journey through time.

Day 1: Corfu

Start your luxury getaway in Corfu where you will board the yacht and sail straight away to the charming village of Syvota where you will enjoy a relaxing swim in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. From this picture-perfect cove head south to the island of Paxos boasting of verdant olive groves and splendid sandy beaches. While there, visit the enchanting port of Galos with a fortress, monasteries and the magnificent sea grotto of Ipapantis.

Day 2: Levkas

Levkas in an island connected to mainland Greece by a causeway and floating bridge where the landscape is dominated by windmills set amid verdant forests. Visit Santa Maura Castle or cruise over to Vassiliki, an utter windsurfing paradise, to spend some time lounging around in the sun. Porto Katsiki is a striking beach set against an imposing rocky bluff. Take out your underwater camera and prepare for some breathtaking shots.

Day 3: Meganisi

Sail further north to Skorpios, a privately owned island belonging to the Onassis family before heading south-east to reach Meganisi. Discover charming villages including Spartkhori or Vathy, one of the world’s biggest natural harbors. Swim, snorkel or take out the water toys available onboard for a fun-filled afternoon. In the evening, the yacht will moor in a secluded cove where you will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with care by the Chef.

Day 4: Kefalonia

Cruising further south around quaint islets and set in the Ionian Sea, you will reach Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia. This stretch of powdery white sand backdropped against rocky bluffs covered in verdant flora borders crystal-clear azure waters and is considered by many as one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. A little to the East of Myrtos you will find the picture-perfect village of Assos located on a charming minuscule peninsula pushing into the water. Sitting atop Assos are the ruins of the Venetian Castle with breathtaking panoramas over the sparkling bay. Hop back onboard in the afternoon and head to Fiskardo. Spend the evening in town where the enchanting port lights up with docked yachts while waterfront tavernas become animated with locals celebrating life.

Day 5: Ithaka

Today you will sail over to Odysseus’ birthplace and kingdom, Ithaka. On your way there from Kefalonia, pass by Afales Beach on the island’s northern tip, a pristine stretch of sand where you will delight in caressing blue waters or enjoy a picnic of Mediterranean specialties prepared by the crew. Continue your voyage south along the island’s eastern shores until you reach Vathy, a pastoral village in Molos Bay. Take an evening stroll through Vathy and stop by one a taverna for dinner or go back to the yacht to spend a tranquil soiree onboard.

Day 6: Kefalonia

While heading back to Kefalonia, visit the Cave of Nymphs where Odysseus was believed to have been abandoned by Phaeacians in his sleep. Choose to sail over to Aetos Beach, one of the most beautiful and most immaculate on the island. The unspoiled bay is surrounded by evergreen pine trees Mediterranean vegetation while boasting of an appealing and inviting ambiance. For the evening sail over Antisamos in Kefalonia, one of the best destinations for sunbathing and swimming on the island. The beach itself has gained international fame after having been featured in the Hollywood production “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. There is a café and restaurant on-site and after dinner you might want to go for an evening hike.

Day 7: Zakynthos

Debark in Zakynthos but before you do, visit Navagio, or the Shipwreck Bay, one of the most well known in Greece. This quaint narrow cove is the site of the wreck of the smuggler ship Panagiotis built in the late 1930s and wrecked in 1980. It is believed that the vessel was carrying cigarettes while being chased by the Greek Navy. Enjoy lunch ashore if you have some spare time before heading to the airport.