Yacht Charter Guide to the Ionian Islands

Find out more about the Ionian island cruising ground including over 50 different towns, villages, harbours and bays.
 
Click the pins on the map to find out more about each destination. 
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Yacht Charter Greece: Southern Ionian Islands

The array of Islands in the Southern Ionian yacht charter cruising ground consist of Lefkas (Lefkada) with just a narrow sea canal separating it from the Greek mainland, and the smaller islands that surround it including Skorpios, Meganissi, Kalamos, Kastos, Skorpidi, Madouri, Sparti, Heloni, Thileia and Kythros. This group of Ionian islands also includes the larger islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos (Zante) and the much celebrated Ithaka (Ithaki). With so many beautiful islands to explore and never more than an hour away from a sheltered anchorage or taverna the Southern Ionian is the ideal yacht charter destination.

Southern Ionian Islands:  Lefkas

Lefkas is an ideal place to start your Ionian yacht charter and is home to Island Sailing's charter base at Lefkas marina. Also known as Lefkada, Lefkas Town is the capital situated on the northeast coast where the island is joined to the mainland by a causeway and 50 metre swing bridge. Lefkas town is a very pleasant, friendly, traditional Greek town with a pedestrianised main shopping street. Halfway along you’ll find the town square, full of friendly cafes where you can sit and watch the world go by.

Lefkas Town provides one of the calmest harbours in the Ionian sailing area and the new luxury marina is an enjoyable place to be moored. A little further out of town is the impressive Frankish fortress of Ayia Mavra and the peaceful monastery of Faneromeni boasting beautiful views above the town.

Places to sail to on the Ionian of Lefkas:
 
Lefkas Town
Dessimi Bay
Ligia
Nikiana
Nidri
Rouda Bay
Sivota
Skorpios Island
Tranquil Bay
Vasiliki
 

Southern Ionian Islands: Meganissi

With a population of less than two thousand people, the Ionian Island of Meganissi offers complete relaxation in a typically Greek atmosphere - an ideal place to visit on an Ionian yacht charter. Take a slow stroll along the beach or sip on Ouzo with the locals in the village taverna! If you feel like finding your land legs for a few hours on your yacht charter holiday there are various walks and cycle rides around Meganissi Island and a variety of footpaths and trails to more remote parts of the Island.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island of Meganissi:

Abelike & Kapali Bays
Spartahori
Port Atheni
Vathi

Southern Ionian Islands: Ithaca

Ithaca, home to the legendary Greek hero Odysseus, with its picturesque ports, bays and coves dotted around the coastline is an ideal Ionian island to sail to whilst on your yacht charter in Greece. Home to some two thousand inhabitants, Vathi is Ithaca’s capital and the elongated, hidden bay of Vathi is where most people sail to. The town itself is a picture of classical Greece with tavernas and cafes spilling out onto the town square lining the harbour's edge. Frikes is the most northerly of Ithaca's resorts and the relaxed lifestyle of the village revolves around the tiny harbour. Nearby Kioni draws sailors into its dramatic horseshoe bay for the stunning traditional architecture.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island of Ithaca:

Frikes
Kioni
Polis Bay
Vathi

Southern Ionian Islands:  Kefalonia

Made famous with the release of the film Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Kefalonia or Cephalonia has been drawing Ionian yacht charter sailing visitors from far and wide since. Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and a 'must see' whilst on your yacht charter holiday - a scenically stunning Greek island of lush flora and fauna, exceptional beaches and secluded sandy coves. Throughout the years the people of Cephalonia have retained their own brand of Greekness and their friendship and hospitality to visiting Ionian sailing yachts wins them many friends. Whatever you’re looking for from your yacht charter in Greece, whether it be a beautiful beach, clear blue seas, rugged mountains, lush green valleys, wild flowers, loggerhead turtles, dolphins or a little peace and quiet, you’ll find it all on Kefalonia.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island of Kefalonia:

Fiskardo
Assos
Sami
Agios Euphemia

Southern Ionian Islands: Kastos

Quiet and tranquil the Greek island of Kastos is a beautiful Ionian yacht charter setting and ideal for swimming and snorkeling with stunning views to enjoy from the windmill above the village with its stone houses and tavernas built around the pretty harbour.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island of Kastos

Port Kastos
 

Southern Ionian Islands: Kalamos

Its crystal clear sea and tranquillity makes Kalamos a favourite destination for Ionian yacht charters and dolphins alike and although easy to get to, its charm makes Kalamos difficult to leave. The port town of Kalamos on the east coast of the island has a regular ferry service connecting the island to Mytikas on the mainland. Epskopi is the only other inhabited village on the island although the beautiful small church in the village of Kefali, also known by its Venetian name Porto Leone is still in use. 

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island Kalamos:
 
Kalamos town
Episkopi
Port Leone

Yacht Charter Greece: Northern Ionian Islands

Corfu (Kerkyra) forms the most significant part of the northern group of Ionian Islands. A popular Greek Ionian yacht charter destination it is also the administrative capital of the Ionian Islands Region. The northern group also includes the smaller Diapontia islands of Othoni, Erikoussa and Mathraki, the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos to the south and the uniquely beauty Gulf of Amvrakia.

Northern Ionian Islands: Corfu

Corfu is probably the most famous of the Greek Ionian islands and a popular destination for sailing enthusiasts. Corfu old town is stunning and if you are in the area we recommend a walk around at the very least.

There are many small bays and stop off points along the coast. Corfu’s northeast coast is ideal for exploring whilst on your Ionian yacht charter, with its easy access to shore, and calm, warm waters. The west coast of Corfu has the most variety. Its northern section, with a rugged, rocky coastline, is crowned by the cliffs of Palaiocastritsa, perfect for Corfu's exciting underwater exploration, where the small harbour offers a safe anchorage and cosmopolitan entertainment. The group of three Diapondia Islands, or Faraway Islands of Erikousa, Othoni and Mathraki a few miles north west of Corfu offer some of the most beautiful scenery, beaches and crystal clear water in the whole Ionian Further south, Corfu's landscape softens and there are endless beaches of golden sand lapped by an aquamarine sea.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Island of Corfu:

Kassiopi
Agios Stefanos
Agni
Kalami Bay
Gouvia Marina
NAOK Yacht Club & Mandraki Yacht Club, Corfu Town
Benitses
Petriti
The Diapondia Islands (Faraway Islands) of Erikousa, Othoni and Mathraki

Northern Ionian Islands: Paxos and Anti Paxos

The unique beauty of the coastline of Paxos island or Paxi is renowned throughout the Ionian island sailing area. The natural harbours of Lakka, Gaios and Mongonisi teem with boats in the summer months. The importance of the anchorage they offer increases when the maestro blows and the microclimate is a refuge from the currents and the swell of the Paxos straits. The impressive cliffs with sea caves and underwater caves along the west coast of Paxos are a ‘must see’ in favourable weather on your Ionian yacht charter.

Antipaxos is a tiny and extremely beautiful Ionian island located about 1.5 NM to the South of Paxos. As the island of Anti Paxos is uninhabited for most of the year, the people who visit Antipaxos, other than Ionian yacht charterers, are usually daytrippers from Paxos and Corfu. Anti Paxos has a similar charm to its big brother, Paxos, however, less in the way of facilities. There are no harbours but various good bays to anchor. The beaches are stunning and the aquamarine waters of Anti Paxos’ north eastern coast is crystal clear.

Places to sail to on the Ionian Islands of Paxos and Anti-Paxos:

Lakka
Longos
Gaios
Anti-Paxos
Island of Mongonissi

Yacht Charter Greece: Western Coast of Mainland Greece

To the east of the Ionian Islands stretches the western coast of Mainland Greece (Epirus) offering an array of beautiful Ionian yacht charter destinations to explore. The ports and harbours that nestle along these shores washed by the same crystal blue waters of the Ionian Sea sharing the same natural character and ambience of the Ionian islands making these towns and villages popular for visiting sailing yachts.

Places to sail to on the western coast of mainland Greece:
 
Sivota Mourtos 
Plataria
Parga
Mitika
Preveza
Vonitsa
Paleros
Mytikas
Astakos
Amvrakikos Gulf
Dragonera Islands