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The sheltered Ionian on the west coast of Greece is ideal for a relaxed sailing holiday, so popular with families and less experienced crews.

Gentle afternoon breezes make the Ionian one of the safest areas in the world for a relaxed sailing holiday and yet there is plenty to do and see. The scenery is beautiful and there are numerous secure anchorages, picturesque harbours and lively towns.

A sailing holiday is the perfect way to discover the beautiful unspoilt Ionian islands, nestling in clear blue seas, hillsides clad in olive and cypress. Being skipper of your own charter yacht gives you total freedom to explore. There's always time to anchor in a secluded bay for a swim off your yacht, enjoy a walk to a market or cliff-top view, or simply relax. Once you’ve moored up in a picturesque fishing harbour for the evening, step ashore for dinner at a waterfront taverna.

This sailing holiday is perfect for families with children. There's so much going on afloat and ashore - it's such an adventure and no time to get bored! It’s fun to swim ashore for an ice cream at the beach bar, take a trip in the dinghy to explore some caves or eat a picnic on a secluded beach.

Ionian Yacht Charter

  • Overview

    Nidri, Lefkas


    Lefkas Town






    Sailing holidays in the Ionian

    • Great choice of flights from the UK
    • A family run fleet in Palairos or a huge range of yachts from Lefkas
    • Line of sight sailing
    • Level 1 sailing
    • Average summer temperatures of 26-30 degrees
    • Average winds force 2-5
    • Great for families and less experienced sailors
    • Flotilla option
  • 1 Wk Itinerary

    Suggested 1 week sailing itinerary from Palairos

    DAY 1 : Palairos

    A charming Greek harbour with a choice of restaurants and a nearby beach. The superb setting, with views across to Meganissi and Scorpio, will soon put you in the holiday mood!

    DAY 2 : Sivota, Lefkas (16nm)

    Enjoy a sail across to Sivota on the east coast of Levkas. This unspoilt fishing village is surrounded by hillsides covered in olive and cypress trees. The shops, cafes and tavernas on the waterfront cater for visiting yachts.

    DAY 3 : Fiskardo, Cephalonia (11nm)

    On the way you pass a choice of bays on Meganisi for a lunchtime anchorage. Fiskardo on the northern tip of Cephalonia is one of the prettiest waterfronts in the Ionian and offers a safe and picturesque harbour. Enjoy cocktails and ice creams on the harbourside and watch the yachts mooring up.

    DAY 4 : Vathi, Ithaca (16nm)

    Ithaca is reputedly the island home of Odysseus and the east coast offers numerous bays and anchorages. Vathi has good shopping and numerous tavernas in the town.

    DAY 5 : Port Kalamos (20nm)

    Walk up to the traditional village above the harbour for fresh bread in the morning and a stunning view.

    DAY 6 : Spartochori, Meganissi (15nm)

    Sail to Spartohori on Meganissi, just opposite Scorpios island, with fabulous view from the town up the hill.

    DAY 7 : Palairos (15nm)

    Stop for a last lunchtime swim in your favourite bay on Meganissi.

    Ionian 1 week sailing holiday itinerary

  • 2 Wk Itinerary

    Suggested 2 week sailing itinerary from Lefkas

    DAY 1 : Lefkas Marina

    The marina is in the centre of Lefkas town. Restaurants and small supermarkets are within walking distance.

    DAY 2 : Sivota, Lefkas (15nm)

    Head south through the Lefkas canal. Sivota has a very pretty waterfront with shops and tavernas.

    DAY 3 : Fiskardo, Cephalonia (19nm)

    Fiskardo offers a safe and picturesque harbour on the island of Cephalonia.

    DAY 4 : Ay. Eufimia, Cephalonia (15nm)

    Attractive harbour and convenient for visiting Lake Melissani and the underground caves of Drogarati.

    DAY 5 : Poros, Cephalonia (13nm)

    Small harbour on the southeast corner of Cephalonia.

    DAY 6 : Zakinthos (22nm)

    Port Zakynthos was rebuilt in 1953 following an earthquake but retains its Venetian charm.

    DAY 7 : Poros (22nm)

    Stop off at Ay. Nikolaos on the north of Zakynthos for a lunchtime swim.

    DAY 8 : Vathi, Ithaca (20nm)

    Ithaca, reputedly the home of Odysseus, has numerous bays and anchorages on the east coast. The main harbour at Vathi has good shopping for provisions and numerous tavernas in the town.

    DAY 9 : Kioni (14nm)

    Kioni is one of the prettiest harbours in the Ionian. Sip an aperitif in one of the waterfront tavernas and watch the harbour activity.

    DAY 10 : Kalamos (20nm)

    Kalamos offers remote anchorages and spectacular scenery. Limited shops and restaurants in Port Kalamos, although the walk up to the village centre is worthwhile.

    DAY 11 : Spartokhori, (Meganisi) (9nm)

    Choice of bays on the north side of Meganisi for a lunchtime anchorage. Overnight at Spartakhori. The view from the village at the top of the hill is worth the walk!

    DAY 12 : Nidri (5nm)

    Nidri is fast becoming the sailing/watersports centre for Lefkas and has good shopping for provisions and many waterfront tavernas.

    DAY 13 : Lefkas (10nm)

    Shopping for souvenirs in Nidri before heading back up the canal to Lefkas marina.

    DAY 14 : Lefkas Marina.

    Ionian 2 week sailing holiday itinerary

  • Sailing Conditions

    Sailing conditions in the Ionian

    Weather conditions in the Ionian are very favourable for a relaxed sailing holiday. There are good sailing breezes from late morning through the afternoon, with winds from the northwest Force 2-5 subsiding around sunset. The winds tend to be stronger at the start and end of the season. Summer temperatures reach 26-29ºC

    We have rated this destination a 'Level 1' (levels info) and you will need an ICC qualification for bareboat charters in the Ionian.

    For those wanting more support or who are looking for more of a social holiday then why not take a look at our Ionian flotilla holidays

    You can see a full list of the bases we offer in Greece along with the level ratings here so that you can find the most suitable destination for you. If you are at all unsure about a destination then please get in touch and our sales team will be more than happy to make their recommendations for you.

  • Getting There

    Getting There

    Flights to Preveza

    Bonded for your financial protection under ATOL 3016For yacht charters from Palairos or Lefkas, the nearest airport is Preveza. Thomson have flights on Sundays from Gatwick and Manchester. Easyjet also fly from Gatwick to Preveza on Sundays and Wednesdays as well as on Fridays from mid June. We can also offer seats on a chartered British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Preveza on Sundays.

    Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights. If you would prefer a flight-inclusive holiday then Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016.


    The transfer time from Preveza airport to both Palairos and Lefkas is around 30 minutes. We can often arrange transfers in advance with the base and costs vary depending on time of day and number of guests. Please speak to one of our helpful sales team who can advise you on current transfer information.

"Just to say thank you for a brilliant holiday. The flotilla lead crew were excellent and could not have been more helpful and friendly. Bobby, who was our instructor for 3 days, was also excellent and we are already recommending Nautilus to other friends. We are looking forward to our next trip with you."

Ionian flotilla 2016 - S.R.

Ionian Yacht Charter prices

Prices shown are in GB£ per yacht for 1 week

Extra 5% OFF for 2 weeks.

Yacht details 01 Jan-22 Apr23 Apr-20 May21 May-24 Jun25 Jun-22 Jul23 Jul-19 Aug20 Aug-16 Sep17-30 Sep01-14 Oct15 Oct-31 Dec
Model / layout Year Cabins WC
Bavaria 30 Cruiser2006219631411170120002327200017011411963
Bavaria 322004219631411170120002327200017011411963
Bavaria 33200621106515891888216825232168188815891065

Prices shown are in GB£ per yacht for 1 week

Extra 5% OFF for 2 weeks.

Yacht details 01 Jan-22 Apr23 Apr-20 May21 May-24 Jun25 Jun-22 Jul23 Jul-19 Aug20 Aug-16 Sep17-30 Sep01-14 Oct15 Oct-31 Dec
Model / layout Year Cabins WC
Sun Odyssey 349201731143021222514295334212953251421221430
Oceanis 37200831139320652449275731782757244920651393
Bavaria 37 Cruiser200731130819442346265430372654234619441308

Prices shown are in GB£ per yacht for 1 week

Extra 5% OFF for 2 weeks.

Yacht details 01 Jan-22 Apr23 Apr-20 May21 May-24 Jun25 Jun-22 Jul23 Jul-19 Aug20 Aug-16 Sep17-30 Sep01-14 Oct15 Oct-31 Dec
Model / layout Year Cabins WC
Bavaria 39 Cruiser200732149521402589299134582991258921401495
Oceanis 41.1202032219632993963464551404645396332992196
Sun Odyssey 419201732202830093654432748604327365430092028
Bavaria C42202332233635144383508455145084438335142336
Oceanis 43 - 3 cab.201133174825893421400044774000342125891748

Prices shown are in GB£ per yacht for 1 week

Extra 5% OFF for 2 weeks.

Yacht details 01 Jan-22 Apr23 Apr-20 May21 May-24 Jun25 Jun-22 Jul23 Jul-19 Aug20 Aug-16 Sep17-30 Sep01-14 Oct15 Oct-31 Dec
Model / layout Year Cabins WC
Sun Odyssey 449201942254236454598530857945308459836452542
Oceanis 45 - 4 cab.201242223433644131471052904710413133642234
Bavaria 46 Cruiser200642179426073159378542063785315926071794
Sun Odyssey 479 - 4 cab.201644280439254935559860755598493539252804

Fleet 1 - Yachts from Palairos


FREE outboard on yachts 39'+. Autopilots on yachts 36'+

Extras payable on embarkation:

Yacht security:

  • Yachts up to 41': £1900 refundable deposit
  • Yachts 42' and over & catamarans: £2800 refundable deposit

End cleaning:

  • Yachts up to 37' £80. Yachts 38-42' £100. Yachts 43'+ £130
  • Fuel used (fill up on return)

Optional extras (i.e Outboard, SUP's etc) available on request.

SKIPPER: GBP1100/week + food and drink + own cabin

Sailing Qualifications

To skipper a bareboat charter or flotilla yacht, you need to hold a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC). For charters in Greece, you must now have the ICC certificate. You must also be assisted by at least one competent crew member over the age of 18.

For charters in Croatia, Malta and the Canaries, at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a VHF licence.

RYA qualifications can be obtained by RYA sailing schools in the UK or alternatively choose from one of our overseas centres in Gibraltar, Greece or Turkey.

For Caribbean and Tropical charters, formal qualifications are not compulsory, however, you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew. A brief sailing resume should be provided to outline your experience.

If you don't hold the relevant qualifications then why not add a skipper?

Sailing Levels

Level 1

Winds force 2-3 (4-11 Knots)combined with generally shorter distances. Good for beginner or intermediate sailors. Line-of-sight navigation but basic knowledge of charts and ability to plot your position required.

Level 2

Winds force 3-5 (7-21 Knots) with approximately 15-20nm per day. Intermediate experience required. Predominately line of sight navigation but an understanding of how to sail in open water.

Level 3

Winds force 4-6 (11-27 Knots) with mileage of approximately 20nm+ per day. Ideal for experienced skippers looking to venture out to new destinations. Day skipper standard but with experienced crew would be recommended.