Imagine, a day spent on your very own exclusive sailing yacht. Eight blissful hours of secluded bays, quiet beaches, snorkelling in a turquoise sea and catching the warm breeze as you cruise from one island to the next and it’s all topped off with a delicious, freshly prepared Mediterranean style lunch served on board, just for you, accompanied with crisp wines and chilled beers… Sigh…
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well, this is exactly what we offer on our Day Trips from Nidri.
When booking their day trips from Nidri we are often asked “Where will we go?” and “What will we do?” This is a slightly tricky question for us because where you go and what you do, is entirely up to you. We offer advice on the best places and a rough itinerary for the trip but this is your yacht for the day, so you should be able to decide exactly how you spend your time on it. So whether you want to spend hours in a bay snorkelling or doing some serious sailing between the islands it’s completely up to you! We’re happy if you’re happy.
We do find that our guests are usually quite content with us taking the helm and allowing themselves to be chauffeured from bay to beach and we are more than happy to oblige. This particular area of the Ionian is the perfect place for relaxed, safe and enjoyable day trips from Nidri, sailing between the islands in the glorious sunshine with plenty to see, explore and experience on the way.
A short sail down the Meganisi channel brings you to the rather beautiful bay of Desimi. This has become a regular first stop for us on our day trips, it’s closeness to Nidri, stunning views and the added special treat of a cave makes it a great way to start the day. The cave, although not particularly large in size, does allow you to swim all the way in, where you will find a small beach which affords a rather special view out into the bay and the beach beyond. The beach itself curves around the bay, surrounded by lush green woodland and mountains and along with the contrasting white cliffs, makes Desimi Bay a truly spectacular place to sail into and drop the anchor for the first swim of the day.
After an hour or so enjoying Desimi we are usually rewarded with a lovely breeze from the south and a sail over to the island of Meganisi. The island of Meganisi sits to the east of our home port of Nidri and is a popular travel destination. With the exclusivity of only be accessible by boat, this island has quickly become somewhat of a mecca for yachts and luxury vessels and is on everyone’s top must visit list whilst here in the Ionian.
The island itself has two main towns, Spartahori and Vathi, both of which sit on the north coast. We regularly visit the small town of Vathi and have spent many a warm summers evening sipping Gin and Tonics in Petrino bar looking out over the pretty town square and debating which fabulous restaurant we should end up in that night. If we have guests joining us from Lefkada or the mainland we always offer them the chance to spend a few hours wondering around the quiet streets of the town and time to enjoy a cold Mythos or two. We had a lovely family on board last summer who decided to have lunch in the town instead of on board, we were more than happy to oblige as it allowed us to indulge in a small feast of Dakos salad and smoked pork chops in Mikas restaurant while we waited.
To me, the islands layout makes me think of the veins in a leaf, reaching out into the open sea, like splayed fingers creating a huge number of extraordinary hidden coves and secret hide aways. It really is the perfect place to visit during your time on board. Not only does it offer bays and beaches, perfect lunch spots and snorkelling, it has one of the most breath-taking views out over the Ionian and the dramatic mountains of the mainland I think you’ll find in this whole area. It’s definitely one of my favourites.
The Onassis Islands
On our sail back to Lefkada we pass the famous and much revered Onassis islands. Bought in 1963 by the Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis they have become something of great attraction and interest in the area. This was only added to when, in 1969 Onassis married the late Jackie Kennedy on the island of Skorpios. There is a huge amount of speculation and mystery when it comes to these islands and over the year’s rumours have been rife throughout the world. All three of the islands are still owed by the Onassis family and can never be sold. However, all three of the islands have now been leased to a Russian billionaire for 99 years, so that’s one way around it I suppose.
The history of the Onassis dynasty is said to be one full of tragedy and sorrow. However, as you sail closely by this archipelago you see nothing but the manicured lawns, pristine tree line and the helicopter overhead coming into land on the hillside. Although we are not permitted to go ashore at any time, when Mr Rybolovlev isn’t in residence we can sail between the two islands of Skorpios and Scorpidi, getting a great view of the private island and during last summer, whilst out with the lovely Macfarlane girls we discovered that the small bay on Scorpidi, makes a great Mojito stop.
To the south of Lefkada lies the small fishing village of Syvota. This tranquil village, hidden from view from the sea, boasts an abundance of traditional tavernas, bakeries, shops and bars. We are more than happy to visit Syvota for a few hours to allow people a chance to explore. Last summer guests actually wished to end their day with us in Syvota. They wanted to a lovely enjoy dinner before returning to their hotel. We agreed it was a fabulous idea. So once they had departed, we decided to spend the night at anchor in the bay and enjoy an evening of dinner and drinks in the old olive press bar.
Lunch On Board
I’m a feeder. My husband is always telling me and anyone who will listen that I am a feeder. I’m constantly worried that I haven’t made enough or that someone might still be hungry.
I love it though. I love to cook. Try new things. The amount of amazing fresh produce that I am able to get my hands on here is just wonderful. So, I really do enjoy creating the dishes for our lunches on board. It often varies from trip to trip but a typical lunch will start with homemade tzatziki and warm pitta breads. Dolmades and fried red peppers stuffed with feta cheese and mint. I’ll serve a beetroot and feta salad topped with fresh parsley and lemon juice. And a traditional Greek salad filled with juicy tomatoes and cucumber.
Overcoming the galley
Now, we must remember that we are on a boat, and as such the oven facilities are not what you would find in an average kitchen. I have tried many methods of cooking chicken souvlaki over the years. None of which resulting in the char-grilled skewers we know and love. This has led to me creating an oven cooked version. Marinated overnight in the same herbs, garlic and olive oil that souvlaki is flavoured with. However, sliced rather than cubed, this helps to reduce cooking time and guarantees lovely juicy results. It seems to go down rather well. Served with a good few slices of fresh lemon on the side and a nice glass of chilled white wine. Maybe one day I’ll find myself in the luxurious position of owning a yacht with a grill bigger than a postcard but until that day we must make do.
As well as lunch, a late morning snack of yummy Greek olives, crisps and seeded bread sticks are served. An afternoon pick me up is usually giant juicy slices of watermelon or chunks of sweet pineapple. When we have children on board, I’ll always make sure there’s ice creams as well, just in case anyone is still hungry.
Drinks On Board
For our standard day trips from Nidri, we supply a wide selection of drinks. We have the usual Fanta, Coca Cola and Sprite as well as sparkling water, iced tea and juices. There’s always fresh coffee and tea available as well. Wines come included and if the family hasn’t been to visit, there’s usually a bottle of Ouzo in the cupboard. And naturally chilled beers are in abundance on board. We sometimes have guests who like to bring their own if they have a specific preference. We had an email once enquiring as to whether a lady could bring champagne and cheese… Yes, yes you can!
Day Trips from Nidri
We’ve found that eight hours is plenty of time for a day out sailing. And depending on how energetic you feel; you can really get a lot in in that time. But if you prefer a relaxing, carefree day then rest assured we’ve got you covered. There’s no set time in which we have to leave a spot and there’s no fog horns summoning you back on board. If you wanted to spend the entire day in one bay, then that’s completely fine. It’s up to you!
It’s your day, it’s your yacht. We are just here to make sure you get exactly what you want from your time on board with us.
What are you waiting for?
I hope this post has given you a good idea of what’s possible when embarking on day trips from Nidri. Where’s possible and most importantly what our day trips are all about; You!
Take a look at our Day Trips page for more details and come join us for an exclusive days sailing like no other!