Located off the western coast of Greece, the Ionian is a wonderfully gentle sailing area that British sailors have made their second home for decades now. Stretching from Corfu to Zakynthos, the Ionian is characterised by light winds, a green coastline, short sailing legs, small villages, authentic quayside tavernas and a generally relaxed disposition.
Ionian Islands at a Glance
Light winds, short hop sailing, sheltered and flat seas make for the most gentle of Mediterranean sailing areas
The most popular Greece sailing area for the British, primarily due to the gentle winds and traditional Greek experience on offer
Split into the north and south Ionian, each has its own airport and bases on Corfu and Lefkas Islands respectively
Ionian Islands Sailing Itineraries
The Ionian islands consist of six primary islands: Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Zakynthos. The group also includes many smaller islands, most of which offer secluded bays, a traditional taverna or two, clear waters and a true Greek experience. The Ionian is offered as two parts, the north and the south Ionian. Both have their own airport and primary base, though on a two week yacht charter you can do the 'whole' Ionian, which is a lovely holiday.
Taking a two week sailing holiday to the Ionian allows for the exploration of both the north and south areas from either Lefkas or Corfu.
Further Ionian Yacht Charter Information
The southern Ionian is the more popular and busier of the two areas, consisting of several large islands including Lefkas, Kefalonia, Ithaka and Zakynthos. There are also a range of lovely small islands including Meganisi, Kalamos and Kastos.
Combined with generally gentle winds, no tides and a lot of protection from the surrounding islands, this area holds very few demons even for inexperienced sailors, families and those on a sailing holiday who perhaps see ‘sailing’ as secondary to the ‘holiday’. While of course you can choose to indulge in longer sailing legs if you wish, the south does tend to encourage short sailing legs, perhaps leaving you more time for the tavernas or beaches!
Our primary base is in Lefkas town, 40 minutes from Preveza airport.
The north is dominated by Corfu, a perennial favourite holiday island for western tourists; the Greek mainland, which has many lovely villages to discover; and the wonderful Paxos and her smaller sister island, Antipaxos, which hold a fond place visitors' hearts. Picturesque and welcoming, these islands are a real highlight of every sailor's visit to the north Ionian.
The North Ionian offers lighter sailing winds and does benefit from slightly longer sailing legs so you can sail and enjoy the wind in your hair. With lots of flights, a base with close proximity to the airport and lots of sailing to be had in a compact area, the northern Ionian won't let you down.
Gouvia Marina, our base in this area, is located just 10 minutes from Corfu airport and has a smattering of bars, tavernas and hotels.
Greece enjoys a long season, with May and October temperatures in the mid 20s. July and August sees temperatures in the mid 30s, while June and September experience temps in the late 20s.
Generally in the Ionian Islands you'll find light winds throughout the summer, but particularly in the peak summer season with winds ranging between Force 1-3. Generally the northern Ionian has better sailing winds than the south, though only marginally.
How to Get There
There are two airports to fly to for sailing the Ionian; Corfu and Preveza.
Preveza is on the Greek mainland, approximately 40 minutes from Lefkas town where most of our yachts are based. There are flights on Saturdays from Manchester, or on Sundays from London, Manchester and Bristol.
Corfu Airport is just 20 minutes from our base at Gouvia Marina. London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester flights are available.