Explore the Ionian islands from our new base in northern Greece

13th Nov 2018
Shipwreck Beach Zakynthos

The next time you set sail on a bareboat yacht charter, why not do it from our new base in Northern Greece, the gateway to the Ionian islands. We are delighted to welcome Preveza Marina to our list of Mediterranean bases and are excited about the opportunities it opens up for our keen sailors.

Situated on the north-western coast of Greece and acting as an ideal starting point to explore the wonderful islands of the Ionian Sea, Preveza Marina is just a 15-minute drive from Aktion National Airport (PVK) making it easy to get to. Its position at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf makes exploring the seven main islands of the Ionian, or Heptanese, very easy, including Corfu and Zakynthos as well as the smaller delights of Paxos and Antipaxos.

Before setting sail, discover the region of Preveza itself, with its beautifully clean beaches, lush forests and cerulean coloured seas. Visit the Castle of Pantocrator with its namesake church pinnacle and Monolithi Beach to the north of Preveza town, home to miles of sea and shore. Once you jump on board you’ll be spoilt for choice with so many wonderful islands to discover, so we’ve pulled together a list of our top five favourites to help you plan the perfect itinerary.

  1. Corfu: the largest of the Ionian islands, this island is the capital of the group and  a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of sunseekers from May to September. There are a whole host of wonderful things to see and do in Corfu, but if you’re restricted to just one or two days on the island, there are a couple of activities that should definitely make the must-do list. Head to the Old Town, where labyrinthine lanes lead to the ancient fort, which, dating back to the Byzantine era, offers up some superb views over the island. For those who enjoy exploring below the water line, dive off the Agní Reef, where the 40ft Agni shipwreck lies eerily awaiting your visit, while fireworms dart through the vibrantly coloured coral reef. Make sure you stop at a local taverna and try some of the delicious Greek cuisine, including stuffed vine leaves and some of the most flavoursome olives in the world
  2. Paxos and Antipaxos: the smallest of the Heptanese are the islands of the Paxi municipality. At just over 30 square miles, Paxos is the larger of the two islands and is teaming with old-fashioned charm and wonderful history. Thanks to the thousands of olive trees planted there by the Venetians, Paxos is a great place to moor up and spend some time hiking thanks to the splendid shade that keeps the air cool. Stop off at one of the local tavernas for a traditional Greek lunch of feta salad and locally produced wine before heading back to your yacht and enjoying a spot of snorkelling around the clear waters that surround the island. Two miles south you’ll find Antipaxos, a tiny island with only three beaches and 20 inhabitants! As the island is so unpopulated, visitors can focus on exploring some of the islands many vineyards which take up most of the land, or relax on one of the beaches, surrounded by beautiful teal coloured water. You can get there by mooring at Agrapidia harbour or jumping on a sea taxi from the main island of Paxos which takes around 15 minutes.
  3. Ithaca: for those familiar with Greek mythology, the island of Ithaca will reinvoke memories from the conclusion of ‘Odyssey’, one, if not the greatest, of the Greek stories. And what a wonderful homage to this beautiful island where, when you visit, you’ll understand why Odysseus chose it as his final destination. The second smallest of the seven Ionian islands, Ithaca has a much smaller population than Corfu and Zakynthos, second only to the Paxi islands. Visit one of the 30 archaeological sites erected during the Neolithic era, relax at the bay of Kioni, reachable only by boat, or simply enjoy the perfect sailing conditions that the island has to offer.
  4. Syvota: head 65km north along the coast of mainland Greece and you’ll come to Syvota, one of Greece’s unsung heroes and a location worth visiting. With its cosmopolitan feel, cosy islets and village attitude, this little location is a true Greek gem, perfect for a relaxing day on the beach. Head across to Mourtos island and spend the day at the Blue Lagoon beach, where the blue-green water surrounding the area make for the perfect snorkelling destination and you can watch the marine life.Visit one of the family-run tavernas for a delicious lunch of stifado, a local dish made with cubed beef, herbs and spices and served with locally grown vegetables.
  5. Zakynthos: no visit to the Ionian islands would be complete without a day trip to the world-famous Shipwreck Beach, situated on the north-west coast of Zakynthos, or Zante. The beach attracts many visitors throughout the high season and we recommend getting there early, perhaps mooring off the coast the night before so the morning offers a calm sail to see the infamous cove. If time allows, head to the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and see the turtle spawning farm, where tiny chicks jump playfully among one another in this protected environment. Here, you’ll also be able to see some of the Ionian Islands’ most decorated flora and fauna, with brightly coloured orchids growing in their natural environment.

Why sail in Greece?

Greece is often considered to be one of the world’s most exceptional sailing grounds, with long seasons and exhilarating windstreams. For quieter sailing, visit in April and October, where the seasons are just starting and finishing, making for a much calmer experience. You can still expect warm weather and calm seas without the masses of tourists that May to September usually brings. Or, for a more challenging experience, visit during July and August where the Meltemi windstream is at its best.

Find out more

Together with Preveza, we have +50 bases around the world, including newcomers Belize, St Lucia and Turkey, giving you more destination choice than any other company. Learn more about our fleet or get a quick quote, tell us your needs at [email protected] or talk to us at 02380 455527.