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IONIAN SEA

The Ionian Islands are a chain of islands to the west of mainland Greece and are home to one of the Mediterranean’s most popular yacht charter sailing destinations providing the perfect cruising ground for fun, relaxed and varied Greek island sailing.
The Ionian has a wonderful Mediterranean climate with beautiful warm summers and the sun shines here for over 3000 hours a year!

The Ionian sailing area consists of major islands including Kefalonia, Lefkas, Ithaca and Meganisi in the south, Corfu and Paxos in the north as well as the Greek mainland and the Ambracian Gulf with its own array of beautiful villages, harbours and bays.

A sailing destination that suits all sailing abilities as distances between the main cluster of islands are short so you don't have to sail for hours at a time if you don't want to but for more adventurous sailors the northern and southern extremities of the Ionian islands offer longer passages.

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Launch & Ambracian Gulf

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The beautiful Ambracian Gulf thrives with sea life like nowhere else in the Ionian Sea, dolphins and turtles are common sights here. The harbour town of Preveza, nearby the Aktion National Airport, at the entrance to the Amracian Gulf is a tourist hub with marinas, museums, cinemas, theatres, clubs, tavernas and cafes. All along the coast there are several stunning anchorages such as Two Rock Bay and the charming Koukouvitsa near the port of Vonitsa.

Vonitsa & Nikopolis

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Vonitsa is a beautiful venetian port on the Amracian Gulf 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 restaurants. Across the bay are the ancient ruins of the city of Nikopolis built by Augustus to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Actium in 31BC in which Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra.

Parga

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On the mainland coast, east of Paxos, Parga is an active anchorage with a mix of mellow and more lively activities on offer. A large resort, Parga is a popular tourist destination. The harbour is not ideal for sailing yachts and most sailors make for Ormos Valtou. The town itself is charming with good tavernas and nightlife while the tiny whitewashed chapel and ruins of a Venetian castle on near-by Panayia make a photogenic backdrop to this mainland port.

Mourtos (Sivota)

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Mourtos is a small village on mainland Greece, north of the Ionian Sea hidden behind a group of tiny islands, called Sivota or Syvota. Mourtos has a beautiful boulevard and a number of terraces along with to stroll, take a cold drink and admire one of the most beautiful sunsets in the area. The town quay is perfectly laid out for sailing yachts with a few places to eat and drink. Nearby there are lots of anchorages and places to stop off for lunch.

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Mourtos to Paxos

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The unique beauty of the coastline of Paxos island together with its understated air of sophistication and elegance makes it renowned as one of the most beautiful of the Ionian islands. Crystal clear water surrounds the island covered in olive groves, Lakka and Mongonisi are perfect places to anchor and swim off the back of your yacht, while Gaios is a lively town which attracts many visitors. Just south is Anti-Paxos which is where the super yachts go.

Paxos Sea Caves

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The western coast of Paxos abounds in sea caves, some are so big that cruise boats can easily go inside (like Ypapandi cave). They can only be reached by sea so either take advantage of the organized daily boat trips, or sail to the caves yourselves by yacht or dinghy, and explore the greatly eroded steep white, chalky cliffs and snorkel in the many underwater 'blue caves'. Please don't forget to support the good work of PAWS(Paxos Animal Welfare Society).

Levkas Canal & Nidri

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Levkas(Lefkas/Lefkada) on the west coast of Greece retains an authentic Greek charm, a lush green island with an amazing landscape, beautiful beaches and paradise-like turquoise waters. Nidri is the most popular tourist resort on the island which is surrounded by stunning satellite islands which can be explored by yacht. The 3.5 mile long Levkas Canal has existed since ancient times, the road from the mainland passes over the canal via a floating bridge.

Meganisi

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The beautiful Ionian Island of Meganisi offers complete relaxation in a typically Greek atmosphere. Although it is small enough to explore in a day there is plenty on the island to keep you entertained; the enclosed anchorages on the east side which are great for snorkelling, the ‘capital’ Vathi with its traditional tavernas and café culture, and the breathtakingly beautiful Spartakhori on top of the island offering breath taking views and a sleepy charm. 

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Kastos

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The tiny island of Kastos has many anchorages with sandy beaches and rocky areas to explore with your snorkel. This beautiful island has a population of around 200 people with quaint stone houses and the surrounding water is crystal clear. Stunning panoramic views of the Ionian Sea can be enjoyed from the windmill tower which has been restored into a lovely cafe bar. The Agios Ioannis church is decorated with paintings by Eptanesian painter Spyridon Gazis.

Ithaca

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Home of the legendary Greek hero Odysseus, Ithaca really is a place where you can feel the ancient myths come alive. From the charming village of Frikes on the North of the island through the chic, picture postcard beauty of Kioni to the bustling capital Vathi. There are numerous stunning anchorages including Polis Bay, which is reputed to be the site of Odysseus’s farm. The village of Stavros offers a glimpse into the traditional Greek island way of life.

Cephalonia

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The largest of the Ionian islands, Cephalonia (Kefalonia) was made famous by the book and film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’, it has always been a key holiday destination and in the summer the island is bustling with visitors. Pretty, colourful buildings and several stunning beaches make it is easy to why it is so popular. For visiting yachts perhaps the most special places to explore are the numerous caves in the anchorages along the east side of the island.

Nikolaos to Wreck Bay

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Although small, Agios Nikolaos is an important harbour for ferry boats to Cephalonia. Small boats drive tourists to nearby Cape Skinari, the northernmost point of the island, and to the “Blue Caves” on the coast between. The caves are shallow orifices in the white cliffs, combined with numerous rock arches. They are named after the turquoise colour of the sea, sunrays reflect through the water off white stones, creating visual lighting effects in the caves. 

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Zante Wreck Bay

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Navagio Beach, or Shipwreck Beach, is an exposed cove, also known as "Smugglers Cove", on the coast of Zante (Zakynthos). Originally known as Agios Georgios until 1980, when a freightliner, the MV Panagiotis, ran aground after stormy weather and bad visibility. Many falsely claim that the ship was smuggling contraband, it was abandoned and rests buried in the limestone gravel beach beneath the towering cliffs.The unique location is a favourite for BASE jumpers.

Keri and Turtles

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Limni Keri is a small village in the south of Zante with many attractions; explore the sea caves and view marine life by boat, but please go slowly as The Bay of Laganas is a protected Marine Park and the prime nesting area for endangered loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. Take special care on the islet of Marathonissi where eggs are destroyed by deck chairs on breeding grounds, and speeding boats and pollution endanger the turtles.

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