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My Greek crusing journey: throughout the Ionian sea to Ithaca | Greece holidays



Tright here’s this place I do know. It’s on the southern finish of a flamingo-flanked canal winding by way of the wetlands that separate Lefkada from the Greek mainland. The canal is unremarkable, however bear with me. You cruise previous the wading birds and the outdated guys fishing, by way of the channel markers, by a ruined Venetian fort. Look forward, breathe all of it in. This spot, for me, holds a promise of journey.

To port are the Acarnanian Mountains, wanting barren and delightful. Earlier than you, the Ionian islands are lush and inexperienced from winter rain, their edges white with sand and lapped by turquoise sea. The crusing right here is forgiving: the situations are average, there’s a dependable afternoon breeze, shelter is plentiful and the water is as clear as glass.

A view over Lefkada.
A view over Lefkada. {Photograph}: Calin Stan/Alamy

The toughest half is selecting the place to go. Most islands are a simple day’s sail from Lefkada City, however this space lends itself completely to a meander – and why not, you’re on vacation. Off to starboard on Lefkada itself is Ligiá, dwelling of respectable fish tavernas. And take into account the mainland. Roughly an hour south, to port, lies Varko, an excellent swimming spot, with a laid-back seashore bar. Below an hour’s crusing to the north-east is the colorful harbour and energetic city sq. of Paleros, the place the distinctive ridge of the 1,100m-tall Serekas mountain sweeps up from the waterfront and turns flaming purple in the sundown.

To the south-west, sits quiet Meganisi island, blessed with deep coves and quite a few wooded walks. In your approach there, dawdle previous Skorpios, the non-public island the place Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis (the chapel holds the household tomb). Or make for Kalamos, the place Port Leone’s deserted village lies baking within the solar, empty since a 1953 earthquake despatched folks operating.

For those who dream of quiet seashores, keep on south to Kastos (be sure you have meals and wine – most boats moor close to tavernas so independence will increase your likelihood of isolation) and search for one of many many coves lining its japanese coast. The small city makes an ideal cease, too.

Kioni village on Ithaca.
Kioni village on Ithaca. {Photograph}: Hercules Milas/Alamy

A jaunt additional south is Atokos island, the place wild pigs bathe within the sea and the wind rushes to satisfy you. West is gorgeous Kefalonia, well-liked however usually so busy that I want little Ithaca, simply over the strait. Kioni, on its east coast, is fairly, and Vathy, the principle city, has an outside cinema, good sourdough within the bakeries and scooter rent – Ithaca is definitely explored in a few days. There are vacationer points of interest, however they’re reached alongside grime tracks and potholed again roads – the islanders don’t are inclined to push the Odyssey connection. On my final go to, the cave of the nymphs was a deep treacherous gap, blocked to cease folks plummeting in.

A greater use of time is to hike to the acropolis of Alalkomenes and gawp over the isthmus of Aeothos and the northern half of Ithaca. The spotlight although is all the time getting again to the boat and on to that crystal water, the place vibrant fish dart across the shade of your keel. For freedom and journey, nothing beats being at sea.

Crusing boat charters from Sunsail Lefkada price from £1,530 every week in Could for a 34ft (two-cabin) craft, or from £2,055 in a flotilla. ICC licence (equal to day skipper) required. Skippers can be employed

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