Sailing Holidays

Ionian Flotilla in Greece

Lighter winds and shorter passages make the Ionian ideal for a relaxed flotilla sailing holiday in Greece, popular with families and less experienced crews.

Flotilla sailing holiday in the Ionian Greece

Explore these beautiful Greek islands and experience gentle afternoon breezes, warm seas and friendly harbour-front tavernas. This flotilla is ideal for couples and families with children seeking a relaxed sailing holiday.

The sheltered waters of the Ionian offer an unlimited number of tranquil bays and enchanting fishing harbours. Navigation is straightforward with no tides, currents or other hazards. There are good sailing breezes late morning through the afternoon, but winds rarely exceed Force 5. Anchor in picturesque bays or moor up in bustling fishing harbours.

We don't believe in 'regimented' flotilla sailing. You're free to plot your own course and schedule for arriving at each day's destination. We won't make you come into harbour just when the afternoon breeze is at its best. The flotilla skipper is on hand to give you advice and support - from sorting out a snarled anchor to reserving you a table for dinner on the quayside.

Less experienced skippers will appreciate his help with mooring "stern-to" or "bows-to" on the quayside at the end of an enjoyable afternoon's sail. And if you are an experienced sailor you can choose to leave the flotilla for a few days, joining up for the barbecue evening or other social event.

To book your next flotilla holiday in Greece, give us a call or fill out the Quick Quote Form.

The Ionian flotillas start and finish on Sundays at Palairos, a charming harbour on the Greek mainland just a few miles south-east of Lefkas Canal facing Scorpios Island and Lefkas. There's a sandy beach close by - the perfect place to start and finish your holiday. We offer a choice of flotilla sailing itineraries for 1 and 2 weeks.

The 1-week flotillas alternate between the SIVOTA ROUTE and the FISKARDO ROUTE and explore the beautiful islands of Lefkas, Meganissi, Kalamos, Kastos, Ithaca and Cephalonia, all with tranquil bays and enchanting fishing harbours.

For a 2-week flotilla holiday, you have a choice. Combine the two 1-week flotillas to spend longer in the Southern Ionian. Or join the exciting NORTH-SOUTH ITINERARY which heads north through the Lefkas Canal to the islands of Paxos and Anti-Paxos, just south of Corfu, before returning south in the second week to explore the Ionian islands of Meganissi, Kalamos, Kastos, Ithaca and Cephalonia.

2015 dates: 3, 17, 31 May  |  14, 28 Jun  | 12, 26 Jul  | 9, 23 Aug  | 6, 20 Sep  | 4 Oct  

SUN : Embark at Palairos. You join your flotilla in our beautifully located Palairos base, just a short drive from Preveza airport. The superb setting, with views across to Meganisi and Scorpio (the island originally owned by the Onassis family), will soon put you in the holiday mood! And there’s time for a stroll around the shops after settling in on your yacht.

MON : Kalamos (14nm). Enjoy a sail south to the island of Kalamos. Port Kalamos is a sleepy little harbour with a few restaurants and shops on the quayside for visiting yachts. Take a walk up to the old town for views and a visit to the bakery.

TUE : Port Leone, Kalamos (3nm). Port Leone is a large bay on the south side of Kalamos island and a perfect place to spend a lazy day swimming, snorkelling and generally taking life easy. Take a walk ashore to see the beautiful small church which is still in use. Beach BBQ tonight!

WED : Vasiliki  (17nm) Vassiliki Bay on the southwest coast of Levkas island is a mecca for windsurfers but the habour on the eastern side is protected. Vassiliki  Townis a lively place with bars, restaurants and shops.

THU : Polis, Ithaka (13nm). Across the channel to the picturesque fishing port Polis on Ithaca. The bay has a beautiful pebbly beach with clear, turquoise waters, and you can take a walk up to the archaeological site of Loizos Cave on the north side, which used to be a worship place during ancient times.

FRI : Sivota, Lefkas (14nm). Enjoy a sail across to Sivota on the East coast of Levkas. This is an unspoiled fishing village which has managed to keep its Greek character through all the years despite the intensive tourism. Here you’re spoiled for choice as there is a variety of shops, cafes and tavernas.

SAT : Return to Palairos (17nm).  

SUN : Disembark at Palairos.

Routes may vary due to weather conditions & other factors.

2015 dates:  10, 24 May  | 7, 21 Jun  |  5, 19 Jul  |  2, 16, 30 Aug  |  13, 27 Sep  |  11 Oct  

SUN : Embark at Palairos. You join your flotilla in our beautifully located Palairos base, just a short drive from Preveza airport. The superb setting, with views across to Meganisi and Scorpio (the island originally owned by the Onassis family), will soon put you in the holiday mood! And there’s time for a stroll around the shops after settling in on your yacht.

MON : Little Vathi, Meganisi (9nm). Vathi is a tiny port on the northeast coast of Meganisi. In a sheltered position at the end of an inlet, it has a few waterfront tavernas. Settle down to a cold beer and plate of mezes by the quayside and watch the ferry and fishing boats come and go.

TUE : Fiskardo, Cephalonia (19nm)We cross the channel over to Fiskardo on Kefalonia. This beautiful old fishing harbour is considered the pearl of the Ionian Islands. You’ll find a wide choice of stylish and sophisticated shops, cafes and a variety of tavernas and restaurants.

WED : Frikes, Ithaca (10nm). A cute little harbour on the north-east coast with a couple of bars and tavernas. Ithaca is a sleepy, tranquil island, reputedly the home of Odysseus, with beautiful countryside, and beaches of pebble and stone- Bryon thought Ithaca so beautiful, he even wanted to buy it! 

THU :  Vathi,  Ithaka (9nm). The capital of Ithaca, Vathi (means “deep” in Greek) is large bay with plenty of mooring options for yachts although the wind strength and direction may dictate where we berth. There are plenty of restaurants specialising in fish and seafood and you must sample the home made ice-cream from any of the shops along the seafront.

FRI : Kastos (18nm). Heading northwards we visit this unspoilt island. Port Kastos is in a well protected bay, sandy beach and traditional tavernas.

SAT :  Return to Palairos (16nm)

SUN : Disembark at Palairos. 

Routes may vary due to weather conditions & other factors.

2015 dates: 24 May  |  7, 21 Jun  | 5, 19 Jul  | 2, 16, 30 Aug  | 13 Sep

SUN : Embark at Palairos. You join your flotilla in our beautifully located Palairos base, just a short drive from Preveza airport. The superb setting, with views across to Meganisi and Scorpio (the island originally owned by the Onassis family), will soon put you in the holiday mood! And there’s time for a stroll around the shops after settling in on your yacht.

MON: Lefkas Town (11nm). The day starts with a sail across the bay and then a motor north through the Lefkas Canal. An overnight stay in Lefkas Town gives a good chance to enjoy a typical Greek town with its evening promenade and to go shopping in the little alleys and interesting back streets.

TUE : Mongonisi, Paxos (32nm).  Early start for our sail north to Paxos. Mongonisi, south of Gaios, is really a very small island, now linked to the island of Paxos by a small causeway,flanked by a very pleasant sandy beach. Forming a beautiful and very sheltered inlet, the bay of Mongonissi is popular with yachts and the swimming is superb.

WED : Lakka, Paxos (12nm). We can visit the beautiful anchorages of Antipaxos for lunch. In the afternoon we sail north past the dramatic cliffs on the east coast of Paxos to Lakka, a popular anchorage in an almost landlocked bay, surrounded by pine and olive groves. The tavernas and bars along the quayside provide a lively evening.

THU : Parga (18nm). This attractive harbour on the mainland is dominated by the 'Kasteli' fortress. This historic and picturesque town is now a well established resort with plenty of tavernas and bars.

FRI : Vonitsa (29nm). A lovely downwind run to Vonitsa, a beautiful Venetian port on the Gulf of Amvrakikos with a new quay overlooked by an impressive Byzantine castle. Ashore you will find everything you need including banks, supermarkets, beaches and a good selection of tavernas and cafes.

SAT : Palairos (24nm). Heading south we pass through the Lefkas Canal back to Paleros where 1-weekers will finish. 2-weekers are free to explore any of the other harbours and anchorages in the area such as Nikiana and Nidri on Lefkas or the beautiful bays of Meganisi.

SUN : Free Sailing. Explore any of the other harbours and anchorages in the area such as Nikiana and Nidri on Lefkas or the beautiful bays of Meganisi.

MON : Sivota, Lefkas (16nm). Enjoy a sail across to Sivota on Levkas. This is an unspoiled fishing village which has managed to keep its Greek character despite the intensive tourism. Here you’re spoiled for choice as there is a variety of shops, cafes and tavernas, catering for every desire! While sipping your ouzo on deck, you will be amazed by the beauty of this wonderful bay, surrounded by impressive mountains covered by olive and cypress trees.

TUE :  Fiskardo, Cephalonia (12nm). We cross the channel over to Fiskardo on Kefalonia. This beautiful old fishing harbour is considered the pearl of the Ionian Islands. You’ll find a wide choice of stylish and sophisticated shops, cafes and a variety of tavernas and restaurants.

WED : Kioni, Ithaca (10nm). We head over to Kioni on Ithaka. The village is an exceptional beauty set amidst a setting of olive groves, interrupted by the odd tall cypress, an amphitheatre of lovely houses built around the steep slopes of the bay with its amazing deep blue waters. After an enjoyable sail, you can relax in the local tavernas.

THU : Spartohori, Meganisi (16nm). Sail today to Spartohori on Meganissi just opposite Scorpios island. Those who wish may stop over at one of the beautiful bays on Meganisi for a midday swim. Spartohori is a great setting for an evening, watching an amazing sunset over the top of the village.

FRI : Varco (7nm). Tonight we have our beach BBQ in this quiet anchorage with good shelter.

SAT : Return to Palairos (5nm). Rather than head straight back you can return to one of the many anchorages on Meganisi, perhaps Abelike Bay, for a last lunch stop and swim before returning to Palairos.

SUN : Disembark at Palairos.

Routes may vary due to weather conditions & other factors.

The Ionian flotilla is run by Odysseus Yachting Holidays, a family-run charter company which owns an excellent fleet of over 40 sailing yachts based in the Ionian. They have been organising flotilla holidays in the Ionian for over 20 years and offer a very popular flotilla sailing program with a first-class reputation. You can choose from a selection of yachts, including spacious 2-cabin yachts, ideal for couples and small families, 3-cabin yachts with 1 or 2 heads which can sleep up to 7 and acouple of larger 4 cabin yachts to sleep a maximum of 10 people.

All the flotilla yachts in the Ionian have furling genoa, electric windlass, hot water, refrigerator, GPS, CD player, bimini sunshade, wind scoop ventilator, toilet waste holding tanks and fixed passarelles - all for your cruising comfort. Yachts 39'+ come with a complimentary outboard for the tender.

Flotilla prices are shown PER YACHT. Just divide by the number of people onboard for a per person price.

This flotilla has been priced WITHOUT flights but including transfers from Preveza airport (one transfer per yacht). Ask us for a quote for an ATOL-bonded flight-inclusive holiday from a choice of UK airports or arrange your own flights. There are charter flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

Whether you book flights through us or not, the flotilla holiday package starts at Preveza airport and you will be met and taken to your yacht, a 30 minute taxi ride straight to the harbour. An excellent supermarket is within easy walking distance.

 

planning
2015 Ionian flotilla

2015 Ionian flotilla

Book your 2015 Ionian flotilla sailing holiday now at  EARLY BOOKING PRICES!

BOOK BEFORE 31 DEC

looking
Sail & Stay in the Ionian

Sail & Stay in the Ionian

A Sail and Stay holiday will keep the whole family happy. Add an extra week to your sailing at the Nikiana Beach Club with a superb range of windsurfers and dinghies.

FUN FOR THE FAMILY

Prices given below. Click on the yacht names to view yacht layout & specification

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights. Airport transfers from/to Preveza airport included in flotilla rate (one per yacht).

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016.

FLIGHTS TO PREVEZA:
Thomson and Monarch have flights on Sundays from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester to Preveza. Transfer time to Palairos 30 minutes.

To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew.

At present you need an RYA Day Skipper qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for charters in Croatia, Mallorca, Tenerife and Malta.

The RYA ICC will be ever more required by overseas port authorities but if you have skipper experience it is easily obtained in a day from RYA sailing schools in the UK such as Hamilton Sailing or Brixham Sea School

Whether you are an experienced sailor or setting foot on a yacht for the first time, we can offer you a holiday afloat to suit you. We have given all the sailing areas a level with 'Experience Level 1' suitable for less experienced crews and 'Experience Level 3' for the experts.    

This takes into account the wind strength, tidal range and currents, distances between stops and ease of mooring. Of course even experts may choose to sail in Level 1 areas as they still offer stunning scenery and great sailing.

Experience Level 1: Ionian

Generally light winds Force 2-4, line of sight navigation, shorter sailing distances under 20nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 1 week or 100nm as skipper

Experience Level 2: Saronic Gulf & Sporades

Stronger winds up to Force 3-5 with some longer passages up to 30nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 2 weeks or 200nm as skipper

Experience Level 3: Aegean & Dodecanese

Stronger winds up to Force 4-7 which can lead to bigger seas on long passages between the islands. You will be Coastal Skipper standard with experience to a higher level having sailed at least 4 weeks or 400nm as skipper

Nick Crane sailed on our Ionian flotilla with his family and his account of the week's holiday appeared in The Telegraph Travel Section in Dec 2012. Click here to read the article >>

He says "Dolphins, swimming in deserted bays and eating at village tavernas were the highlights of the Crane family's boating holiday in Greece. Just don't mention the parking."

The island of Cephalonia in the Ionian is a firm favourite. The harbour at Fiskardo delights with its candy-coloured, 18th-century Venetian buildings that have been transformed into smart restaurants and shops. The romantic epic, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed on the island, mostly at Sami and on Myrtos Beach. Hire a car and explore inland - the Drogarati Caves and Melissani Lake are worth the trip.

Was Ithaca the home of legendary Odysseus? Was it here he returned after 10 years to see off his rivals for his wife Penelope? An 8th BC century palace which Greek archaeologists claim was the home of Odysseus was discovered in Ithaca in 2010, fuelling theories that the hero of Homer's epic poem was real. Whatever the truth, it adds interest to visiting this beautiful island.

"One of our best ever holidays. Sun, sea and sailing! The term 'social sailing' is spot on, we met some wonderful people, the scenery was spectacular, moorings and anchorages delightful, boat and organisation suited us perfectly and lead crew made our first flotilla holiday truly memorable."
Ionian Flotilla in Greece 2014 - J.W.

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