This route is perfect for beginners or those of you introducing friends and family who are new to sailing. The North Ionian Islands are full of quaint and scenic harbours coupled up with picture perfect anchorages with gin clear water. What's not to love?
This route takes in some of the most picturesque harbours in the Ionian Islands. This sailing area is largely sheltered by Corfu and Paxos Islands, with regular afternoon breezes. We always tend to spend our evenings in wonderfully ethnic Greek village harbours and bays where you can swim and simply relax.
Head to Emerald Bay on Anti-Paxos Island for a swim stop! The water is reminiscent of the Caribbean. But make sure you get there early before the day trip boats! Mooring fees in Greece aren’t really a thing unless you head for a marina (which are few and far between)! If you do get asked by the port authorities to pay you can expect it to be no more than €10 for a 38ft yacht but this most likely won’t happen.
Once you have arrived at the base in Gouvia and done your check in with the local charter company you are free to explore Corfu. The town is around a 15 minute taxi or 20 minute bus ride away from Gouvia Marina. It is the largest town out of all the Ionian Islands and was built between two fortresses which are still there today. There's a great choice of restaurants, whether searching for a Gyros, Kleftiko or maybe some Italian; you will find it there in the hidden streets.
Corfu Town is a great place to explore for your first day sailing as it is only a few miles down the coast. If you fancy exploring further afield and getting away from it all why not head down to Petreti? Petriti is a charming village on the island of Corfu on the east coast. The village is a popular fishing area and if you get up early enough you will see all the boats returning to harbour with their fresh fish on board. In recent years the village has gained lots of popularity and now offers many more restaurants and cafes. Although the village still retains its old charm and unique character.
For the next few days you will enjoy the beauty of the Ionian, sailing from island to island surrounded by stunning views.
From Corfu you can sail south for 10 miles until you find Paxos. Paxos Island is our highlight of the north Ionian. It is a picturesque little island with coastline covered in dense vegetation which makes for many a picture postcard scene. There are four small ports on the island; Lakka, Gaios, Longos and Mongonisi. All are great places to stay overnight.
The west coastline is also dotted with hide-a-way caves, mesmerising arches and shear drop cliffs. The west coast is very exposed to the prevailing north west wind and so offers a great days sailing!
A short sail east from Paxos will take you over to the Greek mainland. Parga, is a stop not to be missed. Anchor in the the bay of Valtos Beach and either take a ferry boat or have a wander into town. Plataria, Mourtos and Sayiadha are briliant small harbours to visit as you travel up the coastline back towards Corfu. These west facing harbours all have incredible sunsets!
As you head back to Corfu why not stop off in Ay Stephanos or Kassiopi on the north of Corfu Island. These are both gorgeous spots for either lunch or an overnight stop before returning to Gouvia Marina on your final full day.
Ay Stephanos is a small resort and one of the first fishing villages on Corfu Island. The beach resort is a stunning picturesque place with sloping hills and olive groves. The beach itself runs for over a mile long and offers shallow clear blue water that are safe for children.
Finally it's time to conclude your island hopping adventure, by making your way back to Gouvia Marina, for your last night before checking out the next day.