Top 3 anchorages in the Southern Ionian

Me working exceptionally hard on the bow of our girl PARIS.

There’s a special place in my heart for the Ionian. I have lived, sailed, swam, and grew as a person there. From Lefkas to Kefalonia, these islands are what I called home onboard a 2015, 37ft Bavaria called PARIS.

She may not look like much, but this girl got us through some bad weather, sticky situations, and above all, our refuge.

Like many sailors who have sailed in one particular area, you tend to have your favourite anchorages – your ‘go-to’ place which is versatile and enjoyed by many a ‘crowd-pleaser’ if you will! Below I talk about my top three anchorages and why you should incorporate them in your itinerary.

Number 1. KIONI – Ithaki Island.

The pretty bay and harbour of Kioni on the small island of Ithaki.

Check out our 7-day bareboat sailing itinerary here!

Why?

  • Kioni, in my opinion, has the cleanest water due to how quiet it is. In the evenings you MUST go swimming! It’s absolutely teeming with phosphorescent algae which sparkle when disturbed.
  • You can, more often than not, find a place to drop anchor and tie off to a rock, and if there’s space, on the town quay.
  • The town is quaint, with a few stunning restaurants located along the harbour wall and up in the foothills overlooking the bay.
  • Fantastic holding, and normally fairly quiet.

Where?

Kioni pin drop.

Kioni is located on the northeastern tip, protected from the northwesterly prevailing winds. Many sailors tend to hot-foot it down to (big) Vathy located further south which subsequently means that Kioni is fairly quiet, even during high season.

In this lovely town, the time has stopped in the previous century

When?

This anchorage is best enjoyed overnight. It provides protection from the prevailing NW winds and is best viewed early morning!

Anything to watch out for?

A common phenomenon happens pretty much everywhere in the Ionian and that is the Katabatic winds. Most of the tiny anchorages in the Ionian are hidden and tucked away between hills. As the air cools, and the land is warm, it pushed air and funnels between the hills. From around 5:30 PM onwards it can get pretty breezy. It normally settles by about 7:30/8 pm so make sure your anchor is well dug before heading off for your fresh greek dinner!

Number 2. Foki Bay – Kephalonia.

Yes, before you ask it really is called that – and it is truly stunning.

White yacht moored in the bay of Foki beach with cypress trees in background, Fiskardo, Cefalonia, Ionian, Greece.

Why?

  • The Trees. I nicknamed this bay ‘Little Canada’ because of the Cypress trees that almost fall into the water.
  • The caves. Accessable by tender or simply swim in! Turn your outboard off just as you enter the caves as people swim in and out of them. The Caves were used for mining in the ’50s and still remain now. Don’t worry if you’re scared of small spaces as these caves are absolutely massive. They are so big you could easily fit a two-story house in them! Take a torch and enclosed shoes (don’t wear flipflops as some bits are quite steep).
  • The beach. Sometimes while sailing around you just need some time on a beach! Well, this bay has one. In the top right-hand corner is an adorable beach with a quaint taverna serving the best drinks!
  • You can walk into Fiskardo for some shopping, it’s around 1.5-2km walk.
  • The water is CRYSTAL clear!

Where?

Foki bay is based on the northeastern tip of Kephelonia, a stone’s throw (or 10-minute tender ride) into the famous Fiskardo, boasting up-market restaurants and beautiful jewellery shops.

When?

This is a perfect lunch spot, or evening stopover (if the winds are favourable). Great holding for lunchtime with the most stunning scenery to enjoy your freshly prepared lunch!

Foki Fiskardo with crystal clear and transparent water, Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece.

Anything to watch out for?

In the high season time, the beach is buoyed off to protect the swimmers, make sure you don’t get caught up in there. Try and head as far in towards the beach as possible as most of the superyachts take the entrance area as its deeper. This will also protect you from the swell that is created from the passing ferries.

Number 3. One house bay – Atokos

Beautiful bay in Ionian sea, called One house bay.

Why?

  • The pictures speak for its self. One House Bay, characterised by the one house which sits by its self in the foothills.
  • The crystal blue water and picturesque beach are just some of the reasons you should stop over here!
  • Gorgeous scenery.
  • Deep blue water.
  • Excellent walking.

Where?

One House Bay is on the Southeastern corner of Atoko Island, East of Ithica island. The island is only home to goats, which the shepherd attends to every 4th day.

When?

A perfect lunch spot when travelling from the eastern islands to the western islands. If the winds are favourable, you can possibly stay here overnight, please bear in mind it offers little to no protection.

Getting first-hand knowledge about the area is key to creating a memorable charter. I have traveled extensively throughout Greece and the Meditterenian to visit destinations to provide you with the best recommendations and advice. Looking to explore the Southern Ionian? Speak with Alice today at an@boatbookings.com!

Spending the night in Split.

Before or after your yacht charter in Croatia, a visit to Split should most definitely be on your to-do list. Most of the surrounding ports in Split are only a 10-15 minute taxi from the beautiful city of Split.

Sailing into Split, catching sunsets and watching dolphins.

Restaurants and Bars

Hidden in underground chambers or on beautiful Venetian streets, there is a wide variety of restaurants for everyone in Split. Traditional Croatian food and contemporary fine dining is both available throughout the city. Be sure to visit the palace for some live music, Croatian wine and historical underground tours. Anthony Bourdain once stated that ‘Croatia is the next great thing. If you have not been there, you are… an idiot! I am an idiot’.

Bokeria

Grilled Octopus, traditional lamb shank, truffle pasta, and cuttlefish are some of the best options from this fabulous restaurant. This restaurant is most definitely worth a visit pre or post charter.

The History behind Europe’s Venetian Capital

The story behind Split is one of the most diverse in Europe. The story resonates from Greek settlement in the 3rd century followed by a Roman invasion and taken by Venetian rule in the late 14th century. Venetian architecture can still be seen all over the city. The infamous Venetian Palace was constructed and the city grew around the palace walls.

After the world war, Croatia was transformed into Yugoslavia and this city experienced industrial growth alongside a large shipbuilding industry and a very dynamic port. Despite the destruction caused to Croatia during the Yugoslavian war in the 1990’s however, soon lost its industrial hold during the years following the liberation. The main industry now in Split is tourism. The city is full of hidden gems, beautiful hikes, beach clubs and some of Europe’s most fascinating architecture.

Get in contact with one of the Boatbookings Broker’s to find out more about your net yacht charter in Split.

Provisioning on a bareboat charter!

In October, the Boatbookings London team visited Croatia to evaluate the Bali 4.5 and to discover and test out new itineraries and anchorages.

If you are anything like the Boatbookings brokerage team and love your food – here are some food ideas for you! Follow our provisioning list so you won’t be disappointed with your lunches!

Part of the team after the 40 minutes of shopping!

TIPS

Due to having the flu, I was to look after the bags and water while the rest of the team picked up the food.

– Be prepared and write a list! Don’t go in blind. Plan what you will need. There’s nothing worse than preparing lunch and forgetting that you didn’t buy salt….like we did!
– Delegate someone to sit with the bags while others go off to get the food…leave all the water with the bags so that you don’t exhaust yourself!
– Vegetarian lunches are great while cruising. Have your locally sourced protein for dinner.
– Find out exactly what will be on the yacht prior to writing your list!

Provisioning list

Whether provisioning for the Amalfi Coast, or exploring the cays in the Exumas, provisioning for a week’s charter may seem daunting, but do not to threat! This can be a fun exercise when you know what you are going in to get!

Be organized, planned and get excited for all the fantastic cooking you will be doing!

Fresh Food:
– 10 tomatoes
– Box of salad
– Garlic bulbs
– Carrots
– Courgette
– Lemons
– Bananas
– Honey Pomalloe
– Mushrooms
– Peaches
– Shallots
– Red / yellow / green pepper
– Cucumber
– 30 eggs
– Chilies
– Mangos
– Raspberries

Dried foods:
– Bag of Almonds
– Bag of pistachios
– 2 x Tortellini
– 2 x Gnocci

Dairy:
– 2 x mozzarella balls
– 1 ricotta pot
– Feta bar
– Milk
– 2 x Camembert
– Natural Yoghart
– Butter

Misc:
– Balsamic vinegar
– Salt and Pepper
– Olive Oil
– Ketchup
– Coco-Cola
– Bitter lemon
– Tonic water
– 2 bags of crisps
– 2 x Hommous
– Nutella
– Pesto
– Coffee
– Tea

Breakfast:

6 Guest Frittata
  • Olive oil
  • 3 shallots 
  • 1 diced red pepper 
  • 1 diced yellow pepper 
  • 1 diced courgette
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crumbled feta
  • Crack of black pepper
  • 8 eggs and a knob of butter 

Breakfast

Simple breakfast
  • Butter
  • 12 eggs 
  • Hot chilies
  • Fresh bread
  • A Spoon of ricotta with the eggs
  • Mango
  • Raspberries

Lunch

6 guest bruschetta and salad
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots 
  • 4 balsamic glazed tomatoes
  • 1 diced yellow pepper 
  • 4 tablespoons of ricotta
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rocket
  • Pesto for drizzling
  • A crack of black pepper

Lunch

Carbs, with a side of carbs and salad – PERFECT! Pesto Gnocchi, Caramalised onion bruschetta with a fresh greek salad.
  • Olive Oil – everything
  • Half a loaf of toasted bread – bruschetta
  • 4 balsamic glazed shallots – bruschetta
  • Mozerella – bruchetta
  • 3 tomatoes – salad
  • 1 diced green pepper – salad
  • Half a cucumber – salad
  • crumbled feta – Gnocchi
  • Salt and pepper – everything
  • Rocket – Salad and Gnocchi
  • Pesto for the Gnocchi

Eating fresh food on the back of a yacht in a pretty anchorage for lunch is possibiliy one of the best things you can do in life. Food always brings family and friends together, its a great time to talk about the morning’s sail and discuss the options over the next following days. The best way to view a country is from its coastline, speak to one of our team members today about chartering.

A Day in the Life of an Intern – Part XII

My day as a VIP began, along with some of the other Boatbookings team members, from the old Port of Cannes – a delightful port that welcomes prestigious yachts, and also small authentic fishing boats. A group of us were going through the motions of a typical French Riviera day charter, such that we could greater understand the day charters our clients enjoy.

At 10 o’clock we boarded the Prestige 500s, a sleek day charter yacht of 16 metres. Once settled, we started cruising across the bay of Cannes, and within 15 min we arrived at the Iles des Lérins, the two islands just off the coast of Cannes. Between the two islands, the captain dropped anchor such that we could have a swim!

boatbookings, boatbookings team, day charter, day on a yacht, iles des lerins

On one side we had the island of Saint-Honorat, an impressive backdrop with the imposing Cistercian monastery. On the other side, the island of Santa Margherita is covered by a forest of pines and eucalyptus whose perfumes reached us on the water. All around us, the sea was all sorts of shades of blue. Who would have thought that we were just a few minutes from the glamorous and chic Cannes? Here the atmosphere was of peace, beauty and unspoiled nature.

boatbookings, day charter, day on a yacht, french riviera, iles des lerins, prestige 500s cannes, lerins islands day charter,
The aquamarine waters of the Iles Des Lerins really are that colour!

Immersed in this breathtaking landscape, the crew offered us an exquisite breakfast, made of croissants, pain au chocolat, coffees and water. (They then offered us towels, other soft drinks and snacks for the rest of the day – we were spoilt.) When we finished breakfast, we went for a swim in the crystal-clear, turquoise waters. After an hour, we set off cruising East the coast towards Monaco. We passed right in front of the wonderful Gulf of Juan les Pins, the Cap D’Antibes and Nice. From the yacht we admired the beautiful villas surrounded by the Mediterranean nature, as well as the magnificent yachts that we met on our way.

We stopped in the bay of Villefranche-sur-mer. Here the sea was incredibly calm and flat. This is a very popular destination along the Riviera for yachts and sailing boats, and we often recommend our clients to drop anchor here. Along the coast, there was the delightful (village/small town) of Villefranche-sur-mer with its picturesque houses painted in bright colours.

french riviera, villefranche sur mer, day charter, day on a boat, villefranche, eze, monaco

We had a quick swim here and then headed off again towards our lunch destination. We passed Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat and arrived in the bay of Eze Sur Mer where our captain called the tender for our restaurant of choice, Anjuna bay. We landed on the beach like real VIPs or almost, and we sat down at our table that had an amazing view of the sea. The restaurant was decorated in a nautical, shabby style.

anjuna, anjuna beach, eze, eze sur mer
The eclectic decor at Anjuna Beach, Eze sur Mer.

We had a wonderful and relaxing lunch, chatting and laughing and soon realised that the time had come to embark our yacht once again, and head back to Cannes. At 5 o’clock we went back on board and started cruising towards Cannes with the sun slowly descending. We enjoyed the view of the French Riviera coast once again, impressive as it is, from the comfort of our private boat. Arriving in Cannes, we disembarked around 6pm from the Old Port of Cannes – all very excitable about the magnificent day we had just had!

Working at Boatbookings, you very quickly learn that you are in a collaborative, team-focused environment and this day was no exception. Spending a day out of the office with my colleagues was a fantastic way to get to know them a lot better, and also the business of yacht chartering! I very much look forward to joining the Boatbookings team full time in London, upon graduation.

 

A Day in the Life of an Intern – Part XI

June 14th was a special day during my internship at Boatbookings. After spending a couple of hours in our office in Cannes, I headed to Antibes to meet Broker Ben, who had spent the morning meeting some of his clients for their embarkation. We headed to Port Vauban for a brokers’ day out on REHAB – one of our all-time favourite day charter yachts along the French Riviera. Broker days are organised by the owners of the yachts such that the Brokers can get to know the boat and its crew better.

We were greeted on board REHAB by the fantastic crew made up of Captain Chris and Stewardess Justine. Once the other brokers arrived and had settled in, we headed west, past the stunning Cap D’Antibes, towards Cannes and the beautiful Iles de Lérins. The islands are an incredibly popular destination thanks to the crystal-clear water, making them the perfect place to drop anchor, relax and swim. As it was still early in the season, we were able to experience the beauty of the islands without many other people there.

Broker Ben, always chatting to clients!

Once we had found the perfect spot to anchor, our lovely hosts had prepared a quiz for us. As brokers are of the competitive kind, it’s not like us to ever back down from a challenge, so we quickly got into our teams, boys vs. girls of course, and the game of 20 questions commenced. After a mix of technical questions about REHAB and other yachts, as well as general knowledge questions about the industry, the girls came out on top!

In the afternoon, everyone enjoyed relaxing on board this stunning Sunseeker yacht, whilst indulging in French crudité platters overflowing with local cheeses, baguettes and olives beautifully prepared by Justine. It was incredibly interesting meeting other people from the Industry and getting to know the faces behind the names. As the day came to an end, we cruised back towards Port Vauban past the stunning villas on the Cap d’Antibes.

Anna taking in the views from the bow.

This day was a fantastic way to get a taste of what Boatbookings’ clients experience, whilst also getting to know REHAB and it’s lovely crew as well as the other Brokers. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to talk to so many fascinating people – is there a better place to mingle than aboard a beautiful yacht?

A Day in the Life of an Intern – Part X

Half the team reviewing Sailing Yacht DARK SHADOW

On a beautiful sunny day in April, the Boatbookings team took the morning train from our Cannes office to the Port of Nice for the ECPY Yacht Show, which featured a myriad of charter boats, including huge luxury motor yachts and crewed sailing yachts.

Upon arrival, we were given our official Brokers badges and split up into two teams for yacht viewings. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the very best of what was on offer and discuss within the team what we loved about the boats and which we would most likely recommend to clients.

Some of the Boatbookings Team networking with other young professionals in the Industry

Stepping on board the yachts, it became clear that chartering is unlike any holiday experience you could imagine! The interiors of some of the Motor Yachts were truly stunning, each with their own unique style and characteristics; from green marble floors to disco-like karaoke rooms and winding metallic staircases, each yacht had its own surprise that made it as memorable as the last.

One of the most spectacular yachts we had visited had to be KIJO – with Southern Pacific inspired decor of light bamboo and neutral browns, it was confident in its style and was something I had never seen before! The crew on board were outstanding, with the chief stewardess being passionate about the boat and making it clear that she went above and beyond to make guests have the best time on board. The chef had laid out an amazing selection of nibbles and the boat was in immaculate condition!

Broker Anna and I enjoying a glass of champagne on board Motor Yacht QUASAR after the show

After a day of viewings, the team finally came together once again to discuss the highlights of the show; it was amazing to hear how the Brokers really dug into the details of every aspect of the yacht to know it inside and out, in order to be able to make the best recommendations to clients. After 6 pm, the official show wound down and the yachts went into aperitif mode! We were invited onto the yachts for a glass of champagne and to relax and enjoy the evening, as if in our client’s shoes. The service was impeccable and it was a great opportunity to network and speak to others from within the industry – with music flowing from the aft deck, cocktails being served and canapés appearing from the galley, it was truly an evening of luxury in the most stunning setting!

A stunning sunset at the Port of Nice

Being able to meet other young professionals in the industry, as well as yacht crews, and central agents gave us all a real insight into the inner workings of the industry, and it was a wonderful experience touring the yachts with the senior brokers! Boatbookings gives interns a hands-on experience of the industry, offering responsibility that few other internships can beat.