Renting a sailboat is one of the best ways to explore the Ionian Sea and its beautiful islands. The Ionian Sea is located west of Greece, east of southern Italy, and is part of the Mediterranean Sea. The seven Greek islands of the Ionian Sea have numerous beaches of outstanding natural beauty. There are also historical and cultural points of interest that are definitely worth visiting. The Ionian islands also have a plethora of marinas where you can easily find the ideal sailboat of your choice. You can directly contact the owners of the vessel or simply allow a BednBlue travel expert to guide you with some suggestions.
You have plenty of options:
You can book and hire a sailboat with a skipper or without one if you have a license, and enjoy a day cruise along the coastline of your preferred island. You also have the option to rent a sailboat for a three-day or four-day charter and plan your own itinerary with your family and friends. Finally, you can hire a luxury sailboat at a fair price, and enjoy a week cruise around Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Zakynthos.
The Ionian Islands all offer an excellent climate, mountains with alternating green landscapes, and plenty of historical sights. The Ionian Islands are also known as Eptanisa and are characterized by warm summers and mild winters, making them a year-round destination to visit! Kefalonia, Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Paxos, and Kythera all offer endless fun and adventures. By sailing the Ionian islands, you are given the opportunity to explore the best beaches in the world, all from the comfort of your vessel. The exotic beaches of Lefkada for example will enchant you. Egremni, Porto Katsiki, and Kathisma, to name a few. The famous Navagio beach in Zakynthos is also highly recommended. Some other favorite beaches noticed by our guests are Voutoumi and Vrika in Antipaxos, and, Schinos in Ithaca. In Kefalonia, there is also the beach of Myrtos with its imposing cliffs, white sand, and deep blue waters. Moreover, there are dozens of beaches for water sport and diving activities in the Ionian Islands.
An Ionian sailing charter would ideally begin from Lefkada, Corfu, or Zakynthos. Not only because they offer an airport and their marinas are easily accessible, but also because they are common starting points that will allow you to explore the islands one by one with ease. An ideal holiday proposal is to rent a sailing boat from the port of Zakynthos and visit Kefalonia, Ithaca, Corfu, and the Paxi islands. From Zakynthos, you can also explore the nearby coastal destinations such as Kyllini and Katakolon.
Zakynthos airport has frequent connections to Athens and is only 3.5 km from its main port. From here you may also enjoy a day cruise to the western beaches of the Peloponnese such as Glyfa Beach, and Loutra Beach of Kyllini. In Zakynthos, you will find some of the most famous beaches of the Greek islands, such as Navagio, Laganas, and Volimes with the Blue Caves.
You can rent a sailing boat with or without a captain from Kefalonia and set your journey to Zakynthos or Ithaca. Kefalonia also has its own international airport, is a popular ground for bareboat sailing. From the marina of Agia Pelagia, you can tour the coast on the south side of the island. An equally great suggestion is to depart from Lixouri Marina and tour the coastline on the western side of the island. The main beaches of Kefalonia include Myrtos beach, Antisamos, Skala, Petani, Makris Gialos, Pessada, Vouti, Mounda, Foki, Avithos, and Lourdas. If you are visiting Ithaca, Filiatro, Tsitsimida, Skinos, and Piso Aetos are recommended beaches to add to your Ionian sailing charter. Finally, renting a sailboat in the Ionian islands will allow you to approach new destinations at a steady pace and at the best price.
Below you will find some useful information for your sailboat rentals in the Ionian Islands.
Marina Gouvia, Corfu: has a large berthing capacity for 1400 yachts. Very well-maintained sowers, toilets, and provisioning for all kinds of yachts with expert staff.
Port Lakka- Paxos: a beautiful village, but the bay can get very busy during the high season since lots of yachts cross from Corfu to Lefkada. The shelter is good in most conditions, but the anchorage is perfect. Lots of great tavernas and restaurants with typical Greek cuisine.
Port Gaios- Paxos: the main harbor of the island of Paxos, during the high season, it gets crammed with day-trippers from Corfu. The shelter in the harbor is excellent in most conditions, the S part of the harbor can get a little uncomfortable due to strong winds.
Nidri Port, Lefkas: Situated on the east coast of Lefkas and is good for boat trips in any direction. From here many ferries and yachts go for day excursions to Kefalonia and Ithaca or for a simple cruise towards the beaches of Lefkada.
Marina Lefkas: Holds a berthing capacity for 620 yachts. A well-organized marina with great services, some restaurants may be a bit expensive but overall the marina is well-equipped and ideal for boat rentals in the Ionian Sea.
Vliho marina, Lefkas: lies on the east coast of Lefkas in a large gulf known as Vliho bay. Accessing the bay may be difficult in the high season due to a large number of yachts and ferries coming in and out. There are several yacht clubs and quays for extra anchoring and provisioning. The Vliho Yacht Club is an excellent place for anchoring in winter, great shelter, staff, food, and showers.
Sivota Marina, Lefkas: Siovta is one of the main resorts of north-western Greece, and within one hour’s reach from the airport of Corfu. It is a very beautiful and preserved marina with a capacity of 90 berths. Apart from the great number of shops and restaurants, it makes a great stop for an Ionian sailing route from Corfu, as it offers great services for all types of yachts and sailors.
Marina Vathi, Meganisi: offers berths to 72 yachts and overall it is an excellent mooring spot for yachts who go for day trips to Ithaca or Meganissi from Lefkada. It offers both water and electricity and has a few shops, restaurants, and bars close to the town quay.
Spiglia, Meganisi: an excellent choice for yachts of all types with safe anchorage. Free berthing with all kinds of supplies and a very good restaurant above the bay. The village of Spartochori is perched above the Spiglia Bay and offers spectacular views of the Ionian Sea from the mountains.
Vathi Port, Ithaca: a picturesque long, and narrow port that is great for mooring. The small road network in the village of Vathi makes this port very useful for all kinds of sailors and visitors who want to visit the wonderful capital of Ithaca.
Kioni marina, Ithaca: 24 km from Vathy port of Ithaca, allows yachts with a max length of 60 m and a depth of 2.5 m. A medium-sized marina with two quays that offer an immediate escape to the Ionian Sea and a relaxing vacation.
Assos Marina, Kefalonia: The small quaint village of Assos is very popular for boat hire as one can explore the coastline of Kefalonia. Parking is not so common in Assos because of the narrow streets, so is ideal for hikers, sailors, and other nature lovers who want to spend time by the small beaches by the port.
Port Fiskardo, Kefalonia: One of the cleanest ports of the Ionian islands, offering rich restaurants, shops, and easy access to the beaches of Kefalonia. Many boats tend to go from Fiskardo to Assos for a pleasant day tour.
Zakynthos Marina offers a capacity of 150 berths and provides good shelter from the prevailing NW winds. From fishing boats to large yachts, mooring in the marina with great services. Not so overcrowded with tourists and offers great leisure opportunities such as swimming and fishing.
Porto Vromi Maries, Zakynthos: The nearest port to the Shipwreck beach, Navagio. Lots of speedboats and boat rentals in Zakynthos depart from here to explore the sea caves at Porto Vromi which has incredible water and views. The port offers facilities, restaurants and a very nice pebbly beach in the small bay.
Ferries to the Ionian islands are operated from ports in western Greece. Ferries from Patra go to Kefalonia and Ithaca. Ferries from Igoumenitsa go to Corfu and Paxi. Ferries from Killini go to Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Unfortunately, the island group cannot be accessed by ferry route from Athens, but you can fly from Athens Airport.
Ferry routes from Italy to the Ionian islands are possible (ferries leave from Bari and Brindisi ports along the Adriatic coast) and reach Corfu, Sami (Kefalonia), and Zakynthos. (these routes are limited and mainly available during the summer months.
Ferry routes from the town of Igoumenitsa take roughly 45 minutes a day and are quite frequent throughout the day.
Ferry routes from Saranda, Albania are also available, taking just half an hour.
From Athens airport, you can fly directly to Kefalonia, Zakynthos or Corfu which takes approximately 1 hour. To get to Paxos or Ithaca then you would need to fly to the nearest largest island, for example, Corfu for Paxos and Kefalonia to Ithaca.
From Patras: Patras Araxos Airport, flight to Corfu takes 40 minutes (1 flight per week)
From Italy: 6 hours duration on average.
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