Southern Ionian Bareboat Sailing Itinerary.

An in depth sailing itinerary by someone who lived the route.

Day 1 – Lefkas

lefkas, greece yacht charter, Lefkada town

Arrive at Lefkas marina for 5 pm ready to board your own private yacht! The first evening will be spent in the marina where you will receive a handover of the yacht and some local information. Preavasia airport is a convenient 40-minute journey to the Marina which is roughly 25-30 euros.

Once you arrive at Lefkas Marina, you will then be taken to your yacht and the handover will start. There is a supermarket located in the marina where you can find basic necessities – look out for their figs, the owner of the supermarket grows them! The supermarket will also deliver the provisions to your yacht for free if you wish.

There’s also a Lidl located about a 20-minute walk (or 5-minute car journey) from the marina which offers a broader range of provisions which inevitably is cheaper. Collect a token from the harbor office (10 euro cash deposit) to enjoy onshore showers – really good, clean facilities. One shower costs around 80 cents, even for ladies!

Lefkas is a vibrant, busy town located a five-minute walk from Lefkas Marina. Here you are engulfed by various restaurants, bars and don’t forget the incredible ice cream shops! The ice cream parlous even have sugar free options along with a range of vegan options. In the square, central to the town is home to some of the best Pizza you can get!


Day 2 – Lefkas to Kalamos

greece, greece yacht charter, boat rental ionian

Start early and get out of the Marina! The first day of your holiday! Head south, bear in mind it takes about 40 minutes to get out of the channel. Keep a look out for the larger yachts, they have a tendency to motor up in the middle of the channel, don’t let them bully you! Stay within the buoyage areas as the channel is dredged and it shelves off to under a meter in some places. Once you are out of the channel it’s time to get some sails up! It’s a wide-open span of water so perfect to get the feel of your yacht. The winds normally around force 1-2 in the morning and reaching F3-4 in the afternoons. This makes for relaxing mornings to your first lunch spot.

Over your port side as you head SW you will go past Greek mainland, various sheltered anchorages with good holding. As you travel down to the stunning Island of Kalamos get ready to anchor stern to or raft bow to stern. George, the unofficial harbormaster will come out and greet you on his white motorboat! He’s a really great chap who owns George’s Restaurant at the back of the town quay, great fresh food, locally caught fish. Can get fairly busy in high season, so best to call ahead or get in early and make a reservation.

This town quay does get fairly busy, flotillas come into the quay as well. It’s also possible to free swing near the entrance, which provides good holding. However, best to check the winds as the wind can funnel down through the bay. Limited provisioning here in this small town. You have a small bakery which is on top of the hill with the most incredible bread! Send someone fit and healthy as it’s a 15-minute walk with a very steep incline! Great views over the Ionian and across to Kastos (Kalamos’ sister island).

GREECE YACHT CHARTER GUIDE


Day 3 – Kalamos to Meganisi

meganisi yacht charter, greek yacht charter, bareboat charter, sailing charter, greek islands, ionian, meganisi sailing

Wake up fresh and rejuvenated! Grab some fresh bread from the bakery and set the yacht for another incredible Ionian sailing day. Travelling NW, you will come across a beautiful little anchorage called Port Leoni, there are no tavernas only a small church in the hill which locals look after. Port Leoni was hit by an earthquake in ’53 and was deserted. As a result, it has left a quiet, stunning lunch spot with some of the clearest water. Really great holding here, very sheltered and can even be used as an overnight stop.

Come the afternoon the wind picks up so time to shake out the sails and get going! Head up to Meganisi, to the town of Vathi, nicknamed Little Vathi, as not to be confused with Big Vathi on the island of Ithica. Great provisioning in the town, with some of the best Gyros in Greece, only 2 euros! Restaurants and bars line the harbor wall with a great vegan restaurant. On the port side as you enter Vathi a sunken airplane is just below the water level which is great to snorkel around. Water and electric available on the town quay.


Day 4 – Meganisi to Kioni 

Kioni yacht charter, ithica, sailing in greece, sailing in the ionian, bareboat, greek islands,

Slip the lines and head SW to the most beautiful island in the whole Ionian! Ithica, a beautiful lush green island that sits next to the famous Kefalonia. Head straight onto the town quay, or long line to the port side of the bay for a quieter evening. Kioni is a tiny little village littered with fishing boats and stunning restaurants. Kioni provides great holding, there can be some deeper patches on the sea bed, so our advice is to motor in and find a good depth to anchor.

Kioni does have the tendency to get windy from 6 pm but dies off towards 8 pm. Do make sure that if you’re long lining that you have both port and starboard tied off and anchor are set properly. The wind is caused by the NW prevailing wind that funnels between the hills around the village. The water around Kioni is some of the best around this island for several reasons.

It’s really clean and clear, so great for snorkeling and discovering shoals of fish, come the evening you can expect to see phosphorescences! As you disturb the water on your midnight swim underneath the stars you will notice sparkles, this is the Algae, they emit a glow whenever they are jostled!

ENQUIRE NOW


Day 5 – Kioni to Vassaliki

Porto Katsiki yacht charter, vassaliki, lefkada, sailing in greece, yacht charter from lefkada

As you leave the stunning bay of Kioni, why not pop round to the island of Kefalonia. The famous Fiskhardo town filled with high-end shops and upmarket restaurants. There’s a bay just south of the town called Foki bay. A stunning inlet where tall green ferns grew, we named it Little Canada when we visited! Once you’ve moored up you can either go to the small beach or explore the disused limestone mine which is home to a labyrinth of tunnels. Takes shoes and a torch, no flipflops as your feet will slide everywhere! You can access the caves by dinghy, or you can swim. Foki Bay can be used as an overnight stop but is exposed to easterlies.

Head North to Vassiliki, a popular destination for windsurfers due to the anabatic winds. It is our advice that you get onto the quay before 2 pm or after 3:30 pm. The prevailing winds travel from west to east and can affect your mooring on the quay. It has been known to reach F6. within 10 minutes. If you are wanting to explore the land, we can recommend going to Porto Katsiki by car, or day charter from the harbor.

Poto katsiki provides blue warm waters with bright white cliffs offering dramatic landscapes for miles. This side of the island is very exposed to the prevailing winds, so our advice is to not sail around there but to go by car or ferry instead.


Day 6 – Vassiliki to Sivota 

sivota yacht charter, sailing in greece, greek sailing, ionian, ionian sailing,

Why not start the day off with a walk along the sandy beach of Vassiliki? Don’t forget your swimming costume! The water is so warm on this coastline due to a large sandbank that retains its heat. Stop off on the way through town and pick up a freddo cappuccino at one of the many town quay coffee shops.

Crossing anchors in this harbor can sometimes happen, keep a look out on any unusual vibrations or strain on the windlass. Head out and travel NW. There are some lovely anchorages on the east side of Lefkada island, all providing great shelter and supremum swimming opportunities, head past Sivota to the next bay around – Poros for a swim and a spot of lunch. Head back around to Sivota, a hidden town up in the hills. Sivota is a small town with a row of restaurants, be sure to pop into the Pirates and 12 Gods, one of our favorite restaurants with great service. They also have a quay which has water and electric for free if you eat there. They also have onshore showers for free! Phone beforehand because they do get busy! There’s also the opportunity to free swing in the bay, but it does get busy.

ENQUIRE NOW


Day 7 – Sivota to Lefkas 

Nydri waterfalls yachtcharter, sailing yacht charter, greece sailing, greek sail, sailing in greece,

Leave Sivota and head across back to the western side of Meganisi to explore the incredible Papanikolis Cave! It’s too deep to anchor here, so someone will have to say on the yacht. Go in by paddleboard or dingy, watch out for the bats! Do not sail into the cave, although it looks big enough it isn’t! 

As you come further north you will come across the island of Skorpios, keep well away from this island! It is privately owned, and there are armed guards that patrol the grounds and the surrounding waters. The channel between Skoripos and Sparti is blocked off and is also out of bounds. Up along the coast, you have various points of anchoring, one of which is the town of Nydri.

Nydri is prone to being busy during the high season which can affect anchoring space. Inland Nydri is host to a collection of natural waterfalls that can be accessed by car or tour bus. Surprisingly Nydri has a brilliant Chinese restaurant that is well priced on the quay wall! This town is great for trinkets and gifts for those at home.

Keep traveling North up the channel and you are back where you are started! The channel can get busy with Sunsail yachts, as their base is in Lefkas harbour. The flotillas and bareboats are normally filled up with diesel at Lefkas fuel quay by 5 pm. Once you are in the harbor, head over to Portos Cafe for a refreshing drink and talk about the holiday! Lefkas also has a fantastic laundry department which iron, clean and fold 1 load for 15 euros. Head into town for the last dinner and enjoy the last moments of your Ionian holiday!

Check out our Lefkas bareboats if you would like to experience all of the above!

Boatbookings’ Favorite Cannes Beach Clubs

Cannes is known for its luxury lifestyle, with the Croisette being the hub of high-end couture brands and ultimate celebrity spotting destination. Along this promenade, there are so many beach clubs to choose from; we’ve rounded up our favorites and why so you can make the most of your time in Cannes!

Hire a yacht for the day from Cannes to experience the Riviera to the fullest!

Vega Luna

Great for: Families with children and larger groups

Vega Luna is located in the middle of the Croisette, opposite the InterContinental Carlton Hotel; it boasts a large seating area for dining undercover, and many sun loungers, perfect for larger groups. It is always very popular with families as it is child-friendly, with a kids menu for those under the age of 12.

Maema Plage

Great for: Lower prices and a relaxed atmosphere

Maema Plage is a firm favorite amongst the Boatbookings team; it is located further from the center of Cannes, past the Radisson Blu Hotel, making it less busy and more inexpensive than the other Beach Clubs along the Croisette. Their Thai Salad and House Burger are delicious and food always comes quickly and is freshly prepared! Sun loungers are only €12 for the whole day, starting at 9 am till closing time at 6 pm.

Z Plage

Great for: Afternoon drinks and the best music

Z Plage is Hotel Martinez’ Private Beach Club, at the left end of the Croisette near Port Canto. It features a chic ‘Rotonde’ circular bar that is perfect for cocktails or some Provence Rosé. Sun loungers are available for the day for those wishing to bronze themselves before dipping into the cooling waters of the sea!

O’key Beach

Great for: Friendly staff and tasty seafood

O’key Beach is also located on the further side of Cannes past the old town and therefore is usually less busy than other beach clubs along the Croisette. The staff are friendly and some incredible seafood dishes include the Lobster Spaghetti, Salmon Burger and Seafood Pasta; portions are generous and the wine is delicious!

Rent a boat for the day to Cannes and we can book sun loungers and lunches for you at any beach club you like; just get in touch today and we’ll organize everything for you.

Broker Ben’s Top 5 Insights for Your 2019 Charter

1. Book your 80-150’ motor yacht in Greece now, or you will miss out. Some of my top recommendations are JULIE M, BLADE 6, THEORIS, TACOS of the SEA and BARENTS SEA. Explore the secret anchorages of the Peloponnese, as well as the Cyclades hotspots (Paros, Mykonos, Milos) in 2019.

 
2. Everyone loves Italy, particularly the Amalfi Coast but have you considered Sicily? With fantastic island hopping throughout the Aeolians, chic hillside villages (Taormina) and volcanoes to explore (Etna), the area has something for everyone.
 
3. Give Ibiza a go. It has the best beach clubs and nightlife, but it also offers natural beauty and some of the finest sunsets in the Mediterranean. Check out Cotton Beach Club (Cala Tarida), Benirras Bay and Isla Tagomago for some of our top picks.
 
4. The Bahamas are the ultimate water sports playground. Easy island hopping, cerulean waters, hidden cayes to explore, it’s the perfect family retreat.
 
5. Explore somewhere off the beaten track and learn to sail in Sweden. Yacht: ICHIBAN (Swan 70) Captain Jan is the perfect teacher to guide you along your Scandinavian adventure, while Chef Kirsten will showcase the wonderful local cuisine. Bring on the Elk meatballs!

Broker Alice’s Top 5 Insights for Your 2019 Charter

1. Book your sailing boat to beat the winter blues and head to the Bahamas before its too late! Some of my top recommendations for the Bahamas are the Lagoon 42 and 450 catamarans and Pegasus, a 40 foot Jeanneau. Either charter in Nassau, island hop around the Exumas and visit pig beach or in Marsh Harbour to anchor upon amongst the idyllic Abaco Islands.
Catamaran – Lagoon 42
Catamaran – Lagoon 450
2. Get your friends together to book the ultimate vacation sailing around Croatia this summer. Starting from Split or Trogir a two-hour sail a day in crystal blue waters can take you from quaint fishing villages to the party islands of Hvar. I would suggest the Lagoon 52 for a skippered experience, the Saona 47 or a Sun Odyssey 449 for the ultimate sailing experience.
3. Guadeloupe- find France within the Caribbean. Navigate around the archipelago of islands and immerse yourself amongst the green landscapes of this fascinating mixture of the Caribbean and French influences.
Be sure to visit the waterfalls of Grande Terre, eat Creole dishes with the friendly locals and visit Jaques Cousteau’s dive site at Bouillante which offers some of the best diving in the world, the instructors will even pick you up from your yacht to take you diving!
Sailing around this island is rugged, inspiring and sophisticated at the same time. I would suggest the Sun Odyssey 509 for exploring and sailing performance or the spacious Catana 47 catamaran for the ultimate Guadeloupe sailing trip with friends and family.
Visit my Guadeloupe blog to see why this Caribbean island needs to be on your 2019 sailing to do list!
4. August on the French Riviera – Sail from Cannes to Monaco and spend the nights at anchor overlooking some of the most glamorous locations in Europe or in the slightly smaller ports of Golfe Juan or Villefranche to avoid the busy ports of Cannes or Nice. Boats to charter are the monohulls such as the Sun Odyssey 349  or the Oceanis 48 for a romantic break or a family holiday or add a hostess on a catamaran such as the Lagoon 450 to receive the five-star treatment of the French Riviera.
5. Summer island hopping the Cyclades from Athens. Start your bareboat charter in the ancient city of Athens and spend a week exploring the iconic Cyclades islands. Spend each night on a different island and explore some of the finest Mediterranean beach clubs, ancient ruins and the traditional white rooftops of Santorini and Mykonos. Catamarans are the best way to explore these islands with friends and family but if you want to profit from some of the most idyllic winds in the world take the Oceanis 62 and profit from its sailing capabilities.

The Very Best of Greek Gastronomy

Greek cuisine offers an incredibly rich and diverse array of foods and beverages that are the result of thousands of years of living, cooking, and eating. Greek gastronomy is known for its simple and elegant flavors, quality ingredients and nutritious and healthy content. It is a journey through Greece‘s history and the culinary influences that were left by numerous invasions, be them Roman, Venetian, Balkan, Turk…even English.

One of the many joys to be found in chartering a yacht in Greece is not just relaxing in such a tranquil area on your luxury yacht, but also being able to discover, taste, and experience the unique local Greek cuisine. On your yacht you might choose to charter in any number of fantastic areas, be it around Corfu and the Ionian Islands, Mykonos and the Cyclades Islands, Skiathos in the Sporades Islands or Kos in the Dodecanese Islands, but each of these areas and indeed each island in Greece has its own unique cultural heritage and cuisine.

Greece food

The Sporades islands for example are well known for their use of dairy products and produce the most delectable spoon sweets and thyme honey. The local cheese pie and lobster and spaghetti are highly recommended!

The Cyclades islands are known for their charcuterie tradition while the Ionian islands retain more of a western European influence in its cuisine as it was the only area not be be conquered by the Ottomans in the 15th century. It  is known for its braised veal sofrito, an exquisite dish flavored with garlic, parsley, and vinegar, its Semolina pie with almonds or perhaps its delicious spiced fig cakes.

The Dodecanese islands boasts a host of dishes based on bread and grains with bulgur and cracked wheat claiming a prominent place. Look out for delicious local dish of home-made pasta with caramelized onions that the islanders make throughout most of the Dodecanese! However, regardless of where you are on your yacht charter, you will come across some of the more famous Greek dishes such as the stuffed Paschal lamb and sun-dried octopus.

Our expert broker, Lambros Tsolakis, knows everything there is to know about the best greek delicacies. Varoulko Seaside, Funky Gourmet and Bill & Coo are his top 3 recommendations! At Boatbookings, we have years of charter experience in Greece and intimate knowledge of the yachts and the best places to go. Enquire today for a bespoke proposal.

Miami: Prepare your Tastebuds for a Culture Shock!

Miami offers a myriad of dining options, ranging from the cheap and cheerful coconut stalls and authentic Spanish gelato vendors all the way up to the top-star, fine dining restaurant experience. Miami, rippling with endless culture, never ceases to keep originality in the foreground, as illustrated by such restaurants as SuViche– a Japanese, Peruvian fusion. It’s difficult to even imagine such an unlikely pairing, but, in true Miami style, they’ve nailed it. At SuViche you can enjoy either lunch or dinner tapas-style dishes such as Tiradito, and with 3 locations across the city (Wynwood, Brickell and Miami Beach), there’s no excuse not to stop by!

Photo taken from http://www.suviche.com/suviche-sushi-ceviche-peruvian-menu-miami-fort-lauderdale
Tiradito- a speciality dish by Su Viche

Miami is renowned for its alligators, and, whether you like them or not, a restaurant called Kush offers you the chance to bite back- in true Miami style. Kush’s menu consists of alligator bites and alligator tacos- but don’t worry- you’ll also find some tasty, alligator-free burgers if you’re not feeling up to it! But, for those of you who may be interested in munching down on an alligator, apparently it tastes like a mixture of chicken and turkey! Kush is located in Wynwood, which is definitely worth a visit!

Photo courtesy of https://www.kushwynwood.com/
The interior of Kush

Another notable restaurant to look out for in Miami is NaiYaRa– a fusion of Thai, Japanese and other Far Eastern street food. This restaurant offers a vast range of high-quality seafood; even flying in rare fish and delicacies from all over the world! NaiYaRa offers original takes on some familiar dishes, for example a Salmon Taco, topped with spicy mayonnaise, avocado and truffle oil.

Photo courtesy of https://modernluxury.com/miami/features/6-miami-dishes-we-love
A Sushi Donut from NaiYaRa

Wynwood is the place to be for foodies, instagrammers and even coffee-enthusiasts. Panther Coffee, located in the Wynwood Art District, is well-renowned for -you guessed it- coffee! Panther boasts the freshest coffee around; who would say no to daily roasted coffee beans, providing that fresh, full flavour that just resonates with all of your senses? From the farm, to the table- this coffee house is simply a must for those who know what a good cuppa joe should taste like!

Photo courtesy of http://www.panthercoffee.com/
Panther Coffee

If you are up for trying new foods and embracing different cultures, then you would love a trip to Miami! Why not take it one step further and have a look into Miami yacht charter?

Start your summer with a bang! Cannes Fireworks 2017

Cannes Fireworks 2017
Image from www.festival-pyrotechnique-cannes.com

Cannes is one of our most popular destinations amongst yacht charterers, and for good reason! It has held the annual Cannes film festival for years and is often home to celebrities and VIPs alike. There are endless restaurants, bars and nightclubs that bring the town to life in the summer months – but there is something else too!

Continue reading

Places to Wine and Dine in St Tropez

St Tropez rose to fame in the 1950’s due to its feature in Brigitte’s Bardot’s successful film “Et Dieu Créa la Femme” (And God Created Woman), and it has since been a hotspot for celebrities, VIP’s and yacht charterers alike. What used to be a peaceful fishing village is now a thriving tourist destination with a diverse array of restaurants, bars and clubs – providing the perfect place to stop on your French Riviera yacht charter holiday!

L'Opera St Tropez, Boatbookings Luxury Yacht Charter
Image from www.opera-saint-tropez.com/

Continue reading