You’d be amazed at how much you can experience in just 3 days sailing in Greece. It’s all about choosing the right starting point to embark on your sailing adventure from.
Before you decide on where to begin your holiday, consider what you hope to do in the time that you have.
Here in the sunny south Ionian we are lucky enough to be surrounded by so many beautiful places to visit, all of which are just a short sail away, making this area the perfect place for island hopping and escaping for a mini vacation!
Greece by boat
The best way to see this extraordinary part of the world is by boat. From our home port of Nidri, on the island of Lefkada, we can reach Kefalonia, Ithaca and Kalamos as well as a number of exciting towns such as Palairos, Syvota and Lefkas, all within the space of a few hours sailing!
When we first founded Stern2Sailing, we decided to offer short sailing breaks, anything from 1 to 5 nights on board, with the same perks you could expect when booking for a week at a time. These bespoke charters would be aimed at people who may not have spent much time, if any at all sailing, who weren’t sure how they would feel sleeping on-board and they just wanted to try out their sea legs first or even for those who love to sail but just didn’t quite have the time to commit to a full week. Mini Charters are also a great way to extend your summer holiday! Why not enjoy a week on land and 4 days at sea? Fabulous!
So, where can you go in 3 days? Well you can go to Italy in 3 days but that’s a bit unrealistic. Let’s say you are looking for a relaxed weekend sailing and exploring the Ionian. Plenty of swim stops in stunning bays, snorkelling, lunch at anchor, a few late nights in different ports soaking up the atmosphere followed by lazy starts to the day. Doesn’t sound to bad does it?
Our home port of Nidri on the island of Lefkada is the perfect starting point for your holiday. Join your yacht on a sunny Friday morning and return on Monday afternoon after a glorious 3 day sailing adventure.
Whether you are a seasoned pro and sailing without a skipper or you’re being chauffeured by a professional you’ll be dying to get going.
After setting off from Nidri spend a few hours catching the wind and enjoying the stunning coast line and scenery as you head for the Greek island of mythology and wonder Ithaca. With beautiful bays in abundance you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to drop the anchor and dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim and a bite to eat. Of course, if you fancy lunch ashore you can always visit the small fishing port of Frikes and visit one of the traditional restaurants in the harbour, before sailing on to your evening destination of Kioni.
I love sailing into Kioni, there is just something so special about it. The long wide entrance that curves to the right, guiding you towards the town. Surrounded by hills covered in ancient olive groves and dotted with houses, it really is one of the most picturesque places you will ever see. The harbour itself is small and quaint which means space can be limited and the far side tends to be taken up by local boats and fisherman but there is safe mooring by anchor with a line ashore on the left side of the bay, so don’t worry if you’re unable to find a spot on the quay. Once moored, head off into town and explore the hidden back street’s and browse the shops that line the sea front full of local crafts and produce. End your day in one of the many fabulous restaurants that overlook the harbour and enjoy a night cap in one of the back-street bars which are full of locals and a fantastic atmosphere.
The following morning wander into town to the bakery and pick up some spanakopita, spinach pies. Eat them sitting in the morning sunshine whilst drinking delicious coffees and watching the town wake up before slipping the lines and sailing north east towards the islands of Kastos and Kalamos.
Whilst heading north east you will pass the small remote island of Atokos. You can choose to stop for lunch in either of the two main bays. Cliff Bay on the south of coast is the first you will find. Carved out from the rock, you can’t miss the sheer white cliffs that surround it, making it a breath-taking place to stop for a swim. A little further north along the east coast is One house Bay. The island of Atokos is uninhibited, save for a shepherd who is said to visit once a month to tend to the goats. The only house lies a little way inland at the foot of the islands main hill. There is a small chapel that sits just off the beach in the bay which some confuse as the “one house”. This sheltered bay is the perfect place to enjoy lunch at anchor, a swim in its turquoise water and a laze on the warm sands. Once you decide you’ve had enough of the tranquillity, carry on your way to that evenings port.
The island of Kastos and its main town lie just 12km north east of Atokos. This quiet and remote island which is only accessible by boat becomes a mecca for yachts in the summer and can get a little crowded. For boats with a low draught, mooring is possible off the small sandy beach but if you’re lucky you may nab a spot on the quay. Don’t worry though, we have happily sat with our anchor out and a line ashore to the breakwaters before now and simply used the dinghy to get a shore. When we were there last, in July 2018 the small shop that you can normally get a few essentials from was closed, they had no stock. So, do be aware you may not be able to stock up on your visit. The troubles of island life. There are a few nice bars and restaurants to choose from in the harbour and a short walk along the coastline you’ll find a small cocktail bar set in an old windmill that is a pretty special place to enjoy a drink or two as the sun goes down.
Across the deep channel that separates them lies the mountainous island of Kalamos. Home to a few more residence than Kastos but still less than 500 as of 2017, Kalamos is a wonderous island to visit. The small harbour is lined by restaurants with their tables and chairs spilling out onto the front and down to the sea. If you have sailed into the harbour before you will be familiar with George, a local taverna owner and altogether character. I have blissful memories of last summer sitting in the afternoon sun enjoying an ice-cold Mythos and chewing the fat with George whilst waiting for my crispy saganaki cheese and fresh octopus to arrive. Its also worth taking a stroll south from the town towards the pebble beach. The walk is pleasant, taking you up and along the coastline before winding its way down between old windmills and traditional stone buildings. There’s a small bar on the beach as well so you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Waking up on your last morning on board with thoughts of heading for home in your mind. You may think the adventure is over but there is still plenty to be seen! The journey along the coastline to the top of Kalamos is so beautiful. The island is covered in luscious green woodland and surrounded by shallow waters that reflect the sky and land creating dazzling colours in the sea. And as you sail past you catch glimpses of small houses and traditional mills nestled between the tress. This channel is also a great place for dolphin spotting, so be sure to keep an eye out.
As you round the top of Kalamos the channel opens to the vast inland sea, enclosed by the steep mountains of the mainland, the island of Meganisi to port and in the distance Lefkada. There’s usually some late morning breeze to be found here so you can enjoy a gentle sail across to Meganisi.
Shaped like the veins of a leaf, Meganisi reaches out into the sea that surrounds it, creating stunning hidden bays and secluded beaches. There is so much to discover about this extraordinary island. Like the port of Spilia, nestled beneath the hilltop town of Spartochori, the traditional fishing town of Vathi and of course the stunning Abelake Bay.
So you see, you can experience a lot of Greece is just 3 days. And as you make your way home to Nidri, with the sun begging to cool in the afternoon sky, passing the private islands of Onassis, with the scent of warm pine filing the air after the long hot day, your only regret will be that you didn’t book a longer trip. There’s always next time though…
Follow the links to our Yacht Charter page and discover your bespoke sailing adventure.