Sailing in Greece

Our luxury Greece sailing holidays

The Ionian is one of the world’s best sailing destinations. Our yachts here are just like floating private villas, with all the toys and equipment you can imagine and an expert crew. You can even have on board Spa treatments. The perfect itinerary and route are planned with all your preferences taken into account – leisurely cruising or as much sailing as possible – for one week or two. It’s even possible to do a one way trip if you’re combining your holiday with a villa break, say in Kefalonia. You don’t need to be an expert sailor, in fact, you might never have set foot on a yacht before. This is your holiday, so you can sit back and have it all done for you, or you can learn the ropes and be at the helm at the end.

Why sail here?

The waters around Corfu are some of the best for a relaxed sailing holiday. Generally calm, with gentle breezes that get up a little in the afternoon, allowing you to hoist the mainsail and jib fully out. And a stunningly beautiful coastline sprinkled with empty bays for mooring for lunch or overnight, islets inhabited just with goats, caves for exploring and deserted beaches for combing.

The colour of the sea, especially close to shore, is a turquoise like you’ve never seen, and the water is so incredibly clear, you can see the seabed tens of metres down. The view is different every day, but always stunning. Each Ionian island is unique from the next, and in the evening, as the sun goes down, they take on a magical silhouette between the sea and the sky. And then there’s the food. Greek food is some of the freshest and best in the Mediterranean, and as you sail from taverna to taverna, it’s truly a gourmet’s odyssey.

A day in the life...

From the moment you step aboard, to the morning where you wave goodbye to your crew, each day is entirely different, with no set routine. Your skipper will talk through your itinerary with you – completely to suit the kind of sailing holiday you’re after – would you like to head to quiet little bays, vibrant marinas, or a bit of both? Chart your course, and depending on the breeze, the sea is yours. The beauty of a sailing holiday, is that you can change your plan at any point.

If there’s a particular place you love, why not stay a little longer? If you spot a pod of dolphins, stop and watch…

Dive off the boat for a swim before breakfast, then pull up the anchor and head to another cove for the morning. Take full advantage of the toys on board, or lie on deck with a book. After lunch is served and the breeze has picked up, the sails are hoisted and you’ll point to your next destination. Maybe you’ll find an empty bay for another dip and some beachcombing, then perhaps decide to anchor here for the night. Or maybe you’ll sail a bit further round the island to the next impossibly perfect bay, enjoy a sundowner and let the crew tender you to shore for dinner.

Food & Drink

Waking up to breakfast on board, all laid out and ready, is rather a fabulous way to start the day. Think thick, fresh Greek yoghurt, watermelon, with a backdrop of cerulean water. Greece has some of the best cuisine in the Mediterranean, mainly thanks to its climate, and its fertile soils and seas. Your crew prepare breakfast and lunch each day using local, seasonal ingredients, and have a wide repertoire of dishes. Evenings are usually a village or beach taverna, with a fresh catch of the day on the menu, and some very delicious local wines. One of the evenings is usually spent on board, so you can dine as the sun sets – it’s a truly magical way to end the day.

Activities & Experiences

Many of our boats in the Ionian come with a range of toys, and the experienced crew are on hand to set everything up for you. Snorkelling off the boat, especially in some of the coves where the steep cliffs drop deep down, reveals all sorts of marine life. Colourful reef fish, and starfish on the seabed are common spots. Paddle boards are the perfect way of exploring a quiet bay, or the caves that line many of the coastlines here.

If there’s waterski or wakeboard equipment on board, the tender can take you out for a spin – the best time is often before breakfast when the water is flat – or an afternoon in a ringo – always a favourite of the younger sailors on board! Some of the boats come equipped with a windsurf rig – again, a great afternoon pursuit before you set sail for an overnight anchorage. And maybe put a line out to see if you can catch your lunch. When you step ashore, there’s plenty to explore – each island being very different. Many of the villages have a handful of boutiques to browse, and the quieter bays have paths leading up to abandoned villages, or vantage points where you can look out over the Ionian.

Our favourite spots

It’s a long list! We love these waters for their perfect mix of quiet coves, fishing villages and taverna lined marinas. If you have a week, you can reach the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos – tiny jewels just 10 miles south of Corfu. Stop in Gaios for its wonderful choice of places to eat, and dance late into the night, or Lakka for its laid back charm and turquoise harbour. Depending on the breezes, head north west to the evocatively named Faraway Islands – tiny, mountainous, covered in olives and with some gorgeous beaches.

The waters between Othoni, Ericousa and Mathraki promise a gentle sail, and all are ideal for an overnight stop. Petriti, a pretty village on the east coast of Corfu is one of our favourite places to anchor, as is Boukari, with its choice of tavernas serving delicious seafood. The west coast of Corfu has some of the island’s best beaches – Agios Iliodoros makes for a lovely lunch stop, and one that we love on an itinerary is on the north east at Imerolias Kassiopi, where the water is stunningly clear and the scenery breathtaking. Spend a day or a night in the marina in Corfu Town with its Venetian citadel and other ancient monuments – it’s a lovely place just to mooch around. And if you’re lucky enough to have longer than a week, set sail to the south where the shores of Ithaca, Meganissi and Kefalonia beckon.

Example Yachts

Find out more about the yachts you could be sailing on: