Greece has been one of the most popular holiday destinations for travelers across the world. It’s a great choice – particularly for those who love to know about the life of an islander. This Southeast European country is amazing for island hopping. With its vibrant collection of islands, each known for its own attributes and appeal, Greece brings to you a variety of options to explore its characteristic islands. Also known as the cradle of western civilization, Greece has some of the best island hopping itineraries! You can either choose to sail aficionados or opt for one of the itineraries offered by island tour operators.
Located in the Ionian sea, on the western side of Greece, the verdant Ionian islands are well-known for various things. Think about the breathtaking beaches, the lush vegetation, the temperate climate, crystal clear turquoise water, the cultural heritage, cheerfulness of the residents, the picturesque mountains and beautiful villages. The shorter passages, as well as the lighter winds, make it a perfect, relaxed destination that can be explored not just by the solo travelers but also by couples and families. Ionian islands is an ideal place for an adventurous as well as relaxed holiday. If you want your holiday to be adventure-packed, you can choose your itinerary accordingly. If you’d rather relax, you can simply laze by the beach, doing nothing at all. It’s entirely up to you!
For all those who want to get the real taste of the Greek islands, you can book one of the Ionian Flotilla holidays that can take you around some of the best islands in Greece. You can sail with the beautiful sea creatures during the day time and stop on a new scenic island each night. It is a great option for even those travelers who want to have a relaxed holiday with a decent sail.
If you are wondering where all you can travel with these flotillas, they can take you to all the best bits of Ionian stretch. From hustle bustle of the busy towns on the Ithaca and Cephalonia islands to some of the remote islands such as Kalamos, the flotillas can help you get the flavor of real Greek islands with a friendly Greek welcome on each port.
Depending on how much time you have in hand and what you are interested in, you can choose from one of the itineraries given below.
The Happening Ithaca Island Hopping
One of the classic one-week itineraries available is the Flotilla Island tour to Meganisi, Cephalonia and Ithaca. Meganisi, also known as a private island of the Onassis family, is located at a short distance from the southeastern shores of famous Lefkada island. With a coast expansion of 46 kilometers, it is well-known for its natural beauty and spooky caves. Almost all the beaches of this miraculous island are surrounded by lush green forests and crystal clear water. The beaches get crowded only on rare occasions or during festivals. Therefore you can count on them to enjoy some peaceful and relaxing moments. On the other hand, the large Greek Island of Cephalonia, which was once home to Odysseus, attracts a well-heeled crowd with its Italian influenced eateries and boutique shops. Bonus: the surrounding forest of Cephalonia has been declared as an area packed with natural beauty.
Cephalonia is much talked about, much photographed and loved by tourists. Its dazzling beaches, emerald green lush mountains, and sparkling water are surely going to win your hearts. And the Ithaca island – popularly known all over the world as one of the mythical islands of Odysseus!
A perfect island for families and those who love laid-back holidays, Ithaca has several secluded coves to swim, hiking trails, etc. Some of the awesome beaches of Ithaca include Sarakiniko, Agios, where you can swim in the crystal clear water and bask in the sun. Vathy and Kioni are both scenic villages where you can spend some time talking to the locals.
The flotillas can be boarded in Lefkas marina; from Lefkas (also known as Lefkada). It’s an easy 3-4 hour sailing to the beautiful harborside of Sivota. You can choose to have an easy morning in Sivota, which is just 10-15 miles sail to Ithaca, which is associated with the history of Odyssey. From Ithaca to Cephalonia, it is a fun-filled journey.
The Magical Tour of islands of Kalamos
If you have more time, you can opt for the two-week itinerary that includes Ithaca island hopping as well as Kalamos route. This two-week island hopping island itinerary includes the best of southern Ionian – Kalamos, Ithaca, Meganisi, and Cephalonia. The Ithaca route is covered in the first week, and the second week is spent in the beautiful lands of Kalamos region. There are several stopovers that could be added depending on the weather conditions.
If you want to spend some time away from the mad rush of the bustling cities, you could include Kalamos in your to-do list. Why? It’s one of the least inhabited islands in Greece. It is a very mountainous island, with two settlements by the sea – Episkopi, and Kalamos. You can tour around the beautiful islands in bareboat and flotillas, or try out some water sports or mountain biking while you’re there.
You can get some free sail days as part of the two-week tour or you can alternatively explore the islands on your own. As part of the packages, you also get to enjoy the beach parties around some of the most stunning bays.
There are different types of yachts available for flotilla and bareboat packages. This means you can decide depending on your budget and requirements.
The flotillas available from Lefkas offer a real taste of Greek sailing. Like various other islands of Greece, the best beaches can be found on the sloping east side and the west coast is a majorly sheer cliff. There are several resorts on the east coast side and that’s why it is a favorite stopover for the yacht flotillas.
From Lefkas, it’s generally an easy sail to the scenic bay of Spartochori, which is followed by 3-4 hours sailing to the tiny yet cute village of Episkopi that gives a natural insight into the rural life of Greek islander.
From Kalamas, the sail to the next destination Ithaca is mind-boggling as you get to experience scenery along the way. Also, you can enjoy swimming in the sun or paddle boarding off your yacht. From here, you have an option to either free sail or enjoy the complimentary sports at the surf hotels.