Ionian Islands Yacht Charter
The Islands of Ionian provide the ideal setting for an exhilarating and authentic Eastern Mediterranean yachting holiday for those looking for a rustic Greece luxury yacht charter experience. An Ionian yacht charter will take in the popular island destinations within this region, including the islands of Zakynthos, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Paxi and Corfu and these famous islands are seeing an increase in visits by private superyachts, as is the rest of the Mediterranean and Greece.
Known as the “Seven Islands” of Greece, yacht charter sailors and tourists from various points of origin visit the Ionian islands each year, and their number hits all-time high during the summer months. This is all the more reason to be relaxing at sea where you can unwind away from the crowds. Amongst the top attractions for visitors to the Ionian Islands are the idyllic sandy beaches and sunshine - which together produce one of the best Mediterranean vacation experiences in all of Greece. Here you have beautiful azure waters and breath-taking verdant views of the Greek landscape as your backdrop.
If you are spending your holiday in the Ionian Islands for the first time, you will learn that the islands in the region are dotted by several secular communities. Ionian Islands are actually composed of several islets surrounding the larger islands, which include the favourite holiday destinations of returning yacht charterers. The aggregate land area of all the islands in the region accounts for almost 2 percent of the total land mass of Greece.
The Ionian Islands feature top-of-the-range and rustic facilities to suit the purpose and interests of your yacht charter group, and everything that a yacht charter holidaymaker would expect from an ideal resort destination. Sailors and yacht charterers will find several marinas within the Ionian Islands, and all of them are properly-equipped and positioned in various strategic locations within the region.
From the perspective of sailing yachts, this group of exotic islands and their various marinas provide sailors and tourists on board a charter yacht with a plethora of anchorages and excellent conditions to travel from one port to the next.
This exotic and idyllic yacht charter destination easily comes to mind when thinking of a place where you can spend some relaxing time to discover and enjoy an authentic Mediterranean holiday.
5 quick reasons to visit the Ionian Islands:
Mesmerising dive sites, Stunning beaches, Dramatic ruins, Unique local and international shops, Thriving nightlife
More about this part of Greece
The Ionian Islands are situated in the Ionian Sea, west of which there is the cruising grounds of Malta and Sicily, while to the north the Aegean Sea cruising grounds have the Dalmatian Islands and Istrian Coast in Croatia, and Venice in Italy. Although summer is the most popular time to visit, a cruise to take in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, blue-white coastlines and ancient villages untouched by time.
Take your loved one on a honeymoon and dine alfresco at sunset with a three course meal prepared by your expert chef, or soak in the Jacuzzi and watch the stars come out in the sky. Make use of your bar and top-notch entertainment systems to host your own party on board, or sample the local delights in the restaurants and bars along the marinas.
Ionian Islands Yacht Charter Experiences
The lush landscape of Ionian Islands, considered as the greenest and richest among all of the island destinations in the region, is one of the best reasons why you have to set sail to its islands on your holiday vacation in Greece. Seasoned sailors and repeat visitors to the islands swear that the enthralling view of the local terrain is what we normally imagine of our dream holiday in a Greek paradise.
Important aspects of your yacht charter holiday in Ionian Islands are the archaeological landmarks, artefacts and architectural marvels of historical significance. These important relics are the clear testaments of the rich history and culture of Greece and highlight the strong influence of Venetian, Byzantine, Ottoman and Roman civilizations.
Before it became a favourite destination of sailors and tourists spending their holidays on board luxury yachts, Ionian Islands were primarily known for its sheep herding, agriculture and fishing industries. Today, you will be thrilled by the warm reception of locals who have grown to enjoy the presence in their shores of tourists coming from all points of the Globe.
Corfu has long been a popular tourist destination, whether visiting by foot or cruising by luxury yacht. Outdoor activities are plentiful and beach bars, restaurants and cafes line the waterfronts. La Grotta is one of the most beautiful locations to discover by vessel and Roman ruins, the Achilleion Museum, Spianada Square and The Liston will easily fill a day of adventuring on land.
Beautiful Paxos is home to a magnificent collection of beaches, of which Kloni Gouli Beach, Kipiadi Beach, Monodendri Beach and Erimitis Bay Beach are some of the favourites. Tripitos Arch is another stunning coastal feature to visit by superyacht and in town the Pythias Gallery, Paxos Museum and churches will make for an interesting day in town exploring the Ionian Islands' living culture.
In Antipaxos the towns are mostly within the hills, leaving the soft sandy beaches devoid of any development. The Bay of Antipaxos is a popular anchorage and a wonderful serene environment to wake up for breakfast and a cool morning swim.
Lefkada offers an excellent balance between the latest modern conveniences and untouched natural wonders. Moor in one of the fantastic anchorages and spend a relaxing afternoon sunbathing aboard you luxury yacht with the Jacuzzi, BBQ and wet bar at your fingertips, or disappear under the waves with the Seabobs, snorkelling equipment of Scuba diving gear. The dramatic cliffs and coves are just calling to be seen by Jet Ski or kayak, and after the sun sinks over the horizon pull into town for a nightcap or the start to a night of dancing.
East of Lefkada, Meganisi is known for Papanikolis Cave and the winding coastline produces plenty of coves for overnight anchorages and water sports in a sheltered environment.
On Ithaca there is the site of Homer's School, archaeological digs and a slew of stunning isolated beaches where you can unwind in privacy for a candlelit meal at sunset. Spend an afternoon on the pristine white shores of Gedaki Beach.
Myrtos Beach and its cave on Kefalonia is one of its main attractions but far from its only draw, and wine connoisseurs will be in their element with the number of vineyards and tasting sessions on offer.
Couple your fine dining with the amazing seaside restaurants or the exceptional skills of your own on board chef, or catch your dinner in the crystal clear waters as you kayak along the cliffs. When cruising along the Kefalonian coastline be sure to have your cameras ready to capture the ruddy clay cliffs and sands of Xi Beach. The south east corner of the island has a great selection of Scuba dive sites where there is a sponge wall, caves and wrecks to satisfy more experienced divers.
Zakynthos is an island known for its nightlife and there is a fantastic selection of beach bars covering the coast in all directions. For shopping and artwork, ceramic arts are characteristic of the region and some jewellery will make a great present for family or friends back home. The intricate icon walls can be found in Zakynthos churches, among which is the colourful Agios Dionisios Church. Navagio Beach is the site of the famous shipwreck, and if visiting in summer, avoid the tour groups by going early in the morning or later at night. Those looking to delve into the island's history have museums covering byzantine times through to the Second World War.
Things to Consider:
Yachting Seasons & Climate:
The summer months are the best time to visit when the temperature in July and August is an average of 25°C/77°F and rainfall is at its lowest. Spring and autumn are also excellent times to visit, and in winter the temperatures still sit at a cool but comfortable 10°C/50°F for exploring the ruins and visiting the museums.
Clothing to Pack For Your Charter:
Smart-casual dress is acceptable through the local towns and villages, while on more conservative and traditional islands long-sleeved clothing is more appropriate. An extra layer is advised in the evenings to keep off the coastal winds.
Main Ports and Marinas:
Marina Lefkas (Lefkada), Nydri Marina (Lefkada), Gouvia Marina (Corfu), Gaios Marina (Paxos), Ithaca Port (Ithaca), Argostoli (Kefalonia)
Famous Restaurants & Clubs:
De Blanck Wine & Champagne Bar (Nidri), Elli's Restaurant (Ithaca), Phevos (Corfu), The Venetian Well (Corfu), Etrusco (Corfu)
A Must See Attraction:
Melissani Cave (Kefalonia), Drogarati Cave (Kefalonia), Casa Parlante (Corfu), Navagio Beach (Zakynthos), Nydri Watrefalls (Nydri), Gedaki Beach (Ithaca)
Best beaches to visit in your yacht:
Myrtos Beach (Kefalonia), La Grotta (Corfu), Halikounas Beach (Corfu), Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach (Zakynthos), Gerakas Beach (Zakynthos), Porto Katsiki Beach (Lefkada)
Local Yacht Events:
Southern Ionian Regatta, Regatta Trophy "800 Martyrs" Erikoussa Otranto, Fiesta Open Regatta
Best time to go:
In July and August the temperatures soar to 31°C/88°F and the sea water is a warm 25°C/77°F. Visitors looking to enjoy the warm weather without the crowds at their peak should visit in June or September, with May and October even quieter on the edge of the shoulder seasons. The latter months will ensure that the beaches, shops and restaurants are relatively quiet, although not all of the landmarks (e.g. religious sites) might be open to visitors.
Further Charter Information
Yacht Rentals Available: Go here for the current list of yacht rentals in the Ionian Islands.
Full Ionian Islands Yacht Charter Guide: Go here for the essential Ionian Islands yacht charter guide.
Islands Itineraries: Here is a selection of broker itineraries for the Ionian Islands.
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