One week Ionian Sailing Diary

Island Sailing Yacht Charter Greece: 2010 Charterer's Cruising log

Island Sailing Yacht Charter Greece, Lefkas, Southern Ionian: May 2010

Our Greece Sailing holiday - Diary of Rob and Claire

Island Sailing, Greece yacht charter base, Lefkas marina - Sivota,Lefkas - Port Atheni, Meganisi - Port Kastos, Kastos - Atokos - Frikes, Ithaca - Fiskardo, Kefalonia - Assos, Kefalonia - Sivota, Lefkas - Island Sailing, Greece yacht charter base, Lefkas marina  

Arrived at Lefkas marina and enjoyed a relax on the yacht and at Il Porto cafe bar in the marina. Set off the next day to Sivota, a beautiful little place filled with colour and local Greek life going on before you in a lovely slow way...The vibrant colours are most striking on the quay side, ranging from the bright yellow of the local fishing nets laid out to dry to the many pinks and reds of flowers strewn over balconies.  Lush greenery is visible also against the clear blue of the sea.  

We decided to leave exploring Sivota further until our return and set off for Port Atheni on Meganissi as we heard it was lovely and quiet there and a perfect place to attempt our first go at stern to mooring and dropping the anchor!  This is no mean feat and something we were both a bit anxious about but game to try!  Luckily, on our arrival, our potential neighbour came out to watch or help whichever way you want to look at it!  Once settled we had a lovely swim but not after rowing in doughnuts back to the yacht (must improve my technique).  We then had a lovely simple Greek dinner at the only Taverna on the quay.

In the morning, we did a ten minute walk up the hill to Katomeri, a delightful little village, with dinky streets you could imagine being home to miniature people.  Lovely little villas strewn amongst shanty huts and yet more vivid colours and yellow butterflies fluttering everywhere.  Local elders sit in doorways waving and muttering goodness knows what as you quietly walk through their day to day life.  We rounded back on ourselves and enjoy the views of our passage the days before.  After stocking up, we made our way towards Kastos. Whilst enjoying a lovely breakfast on deck, we were joined by a sailfish about a meter long leaping out of the water half way across to our destination.  Each passage we took was so tranquil as there is very little if any swell do to the many clusters of islands, making it the ideal place for families with children or those wishing to build on their confidence with sailing.

Kastos was a lovely place to anchor for the night.  Beautiful clear waters, perfect for a pre-dinner snorkel.  Three places to eat, we went to the Windmill for the views and good food and Belos in the morning for a coffee.  Kastos is a tiny place.  Tidier than Port Atheni and very few people around but we liked this as were looking for a total chill and ‘not do much’ day. 

In the morning we headed to Frikes on Ithaca via One House Bay on Atokos to have our brunch on deck.  Once at One House Bay, we took our time enjoying the stunning views of the beach and small house and soft lapping of the perfectly clear water around us and the cliffs.  This was our favourite stop so far.  After eating our fill, we continued to Frikes on Ithika and were joined by a pod of dolphins about half a mile off the coast!  They played with us for a few minutes before disappearing again and leaving us grinning from ear to ear. 

It was a reasonable sail to Frikes and it was very pretty coming into harbour.  The anchorage wasn’t great at first due to the swell from the ferry which comes in and out.  Once settled however, we were relaxed enough to enjoy the scenery.  Two old forts or castles over look you in the bay.  We had a lovely dinner in a place called Ulysses where the owner did a good job of selling us on his fresh fish displayed outside.  A couple of places were busy due to having deals with some charter companies, but food where we ate was fresh and lovely and we had the place to ourselves with full water frontage!  We then wandered along to a gorgeous little modern place with brand new décor called Dodoni where we enjoyed some amazing ice cream.  I had nuts and berries which was heaven! 

After Frikes, we headed for Fiskardo on Kefalonia.  We left early in the morning to get the best spot which for us was on the inside of the bay as you come in which meant we were not stuck right by the tavernas and in full view of all the diners gawping at us!  Once settled, we went into town and hired a scooter and headed for Assos.  My goodness, what a hair-raising ride!  This is not for the faint hearted, for even if in a car, you are so high up the mountain that at one point we had a light aircraft flying alongside at the same height we were!  After half an hour or so, the views down towards Assos are truly breathtaking and worth it if you can deal with the height.  Bendy, steep and windy roads took us into Assos, a small and humble-feeling town.  The beach is small but waters are so clear we spied a small octopus not too far from the shore!  A grand old castle stands atop the corner and some impressive rocks on the other side shows off the soft corals on the non-commercial side of Assos.  After a quick look around, some ice cream for fuel, we set off on a 15 min ride to a stunning stretch of beach (accessed by another steep, windy road) which has a stunning turquoise stripe running its length which can be seen from above.  You don’t come here for the facilities, as there are next to none, just a couple of WCs and a small café.   Once we had cooled off with a swim, we headed back into Fiskardo town.  There are many places to eat, and they politely fight for your custom as you wander by.  There are the usual shops for trinkets to take home and a couple of bars too. 

After Fiskardo, we left for Sivota and it was a very straight forward sail back.  Just before we entered Sivota bay we anchored off and enjoyed a snorkel just past a place called the dogs legs.  Once back in Sivota, we made ourselves comfortable and then took a stroll.  It is a very peaceful place and is very sheltered from any swell.  We ate in Delfinia owned by Yiannis and had some great local fresh food.  We had the ever famous Greek salad, some amazing Calamari, a lamb hot pot and some gorgeous BBQ chicken. 

After Sivota we made our way back to Lefkas to the marina where we had a great night out in Lefkas town enjoying cocktails at Cafe Karma bar until the early hours and slept soundly aboard Yacht Arista, the brand new Bavaria 32 sailing yacht. Sadly, that was all we had time for but we know we can come back to carry on exploring the many more islands and look forward to discovering some more amazing places in Greece.

Many thanks to Rob & Claire Cross for allowing us to post their charterer’s logbook onto the site.

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