The Ionian Islands & Western
Coast of Greece
The Ionian Sea is one of the most idyllic cruising areas of
The lush green islands hug the western coast of Greece and are distinguished
from most of the other Greek Islands by their fertile
High rainfall in the winter ensures that the hills are covered
with olive grooves and cypress trees that run all the way down
to the turquoise sea.
Closer to the villages, the cottages growing figs, grapes, apricots,
peaches and many other delicious
fruits will make you want to jump over the fence and taste everything!
Most of the islands are
only a few miles away from each other which makes
it an island hopper's paradise.
You can sail as little or as far as you wish each day.
The contrast of lively
resorts and quiet fishing villages is undoubtedly among the many
reasons that make this sailing area so attractive.
And the hospitality of the locals is famous.
Whether you walk through the little alleys of a village or wondering
around the quay where fishermen are mending their nets, you will
often be invited to have some ouzo and a few tasty
bites with them!
The turquoise clear waters and the unpolluted sea make you want to
snorkel for hours.
Just looking over the side of the yacht, you can see every detail
of the bottom even at a depth of 30 meters! And of course you
can feed the shoals of fish swimming
around the keel searching for food.
There are seven bigger
islands starting from Corfu in the North and stretching as far as Zakinthos (Zante) in the South.
Moreover, there are around 80 smaller ones, some inhabited and
many uninhabited, waiting for the more adventurous to explore
Many of them are quite
'Scorpios' for example, is the privately owned island by the
family of the great ship owner Onasis.
You may be able to catch a glimpse of his grand daughter Athena
who recently became 18 years old and thus inherited his unimaginable
The Ionians have a great
history which goes all the way back to the stone
This is where Odysseus started his
trip for the Trojan War, and where he finally managed to
return with his boat almost 20 years later and after many sailing
adventures in the Mediterranean.
When you visit
his gorgeous island (Ithaca) you will
understand why he had this great will to come back.
The islands were occupied by Venice for 400 years
and that left an interesting touch on them, with beautiful Italian
buildings, sculptures and other works of art mainly in Corfu and Zakinthos.
The Mainland Coast
Just to the east of the
islands unfolds the western coast of mainland Greece. Its curly
coastline forms many pretty little bays with fishing villages,
and it is a beautiful area to
The gentle coast gives
its place to massive forest covered mountains
as you go further inland.
An area of special interest
is Ambrakikos Gulf to the north-east of
This is a paradise for wildlife as its entrance from the sea is
so small that it's almost a lake,
with its water just a bit saline.
Two big rivers originating high up on the mountains constantly
empty their waters in it.
The northern coast of Ambrakikos does not offer much interest
as it consists of lowlands, but the southern one is covered with
green hills and is easily accessible by yacht as the
area is not silted up.
Overall, the western side
of Greece is one of
the most beautiful corners of the Med. Its lush vegetation, beautiful
azure sea, local culture and famous hospitality make it a paradise on Earth.
Click below to read more
about any of these islands: