The summer is here and you’re looking to experience the ultimate yacht charter getaway. Maybe the time has come for you to discover the magnificent Ionian Islands in Greece!
Located to the west of mainland Greece, the Ionian Islands are a group of seven primary islands, namely, Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Paxi, Ithaca, and Kythira, and many more. They are amongst the most popular sailing destinations in the Mediterranean, renowned for their pristine waters, dramatic coastlines, lush green vegetation, and unique culture that offers a once in a lifetime experience to sailing enthusiasts and visitors in general.
Yacht Charter in the Ionian: Our Guide
In this guide, you will discover the most beautiful islands that can be visited while on a yacht charter in the Ionian Islands. The islands we will explore range from popular destinations to lesser-known but equally enchanting places. Get ready to be amazed by the stunning destinations that await you!
Corfu, probably the most popular island in the Ionian Sea, is a must-visit destination on a yacht charter. With a rich and varied history that spans centuries, the island offers a plethora of cultural attractions, including the Old Town, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its Venetian architecture. The old town of Corfu is an architectural masterpiece that boasts Venetian-style narrow streets and stately buildings adorned with wrought iron balconies overflowing with colorful plants.
Corfu is famous for its beautiful beaches that stretch endlessly with crystal clear waters and soft golden sand; to name some of the most stunning beaches, Barbati, Glyfada, and Paleokastritsa. The picturesque coastline is dotted with charming fishing villages and green-filled cliffs, which is a sight to behold.
When it comes to cuisine, Corfu is a food lover’s paradise, with an array of delicacies that reflect the island’s unique history and geography. Foodies will relish dishes such as Pastitsada, Sofrito and Bourdeto, prepared using traditional methods and cooking techniques of the region. A visit to Corfu is a treat for the senses, with the island’s unique blend of history, natural beauty, and culinary delights providing an unforgettable experience for yacht charter guests.
Our tip: Spend at least a couple of days ashore discovering Corfu’s historic Old Town. You will surely appreciate the beauty of the town’s old buildings and the exceptional food that you can taste.
Yacht Charter in Kefalonia
Kefalonia is the second largest island of the Ionian Sea, located in the center of the Ionian islands as they span from north to south. For those looking to experience the ultimate luxury vacation, a yacht charter is the perfect way to explore the beauty of this island.
With miles of stunning uncrowded beaches, Kefalonia offers a plethora of opportunities to soak up the Greek sun and take a refreshing swim in the clear turquoise waters. Kefalonia offers some of the most magnificent beaches in the world, ranging from soft sandy shores to secluded pebbly coves, like Myrtos Beach, located on the island’s northern end and featured on countless postcards for its amazing waters and white pebble beach. Another must-see is Xi Beach on the island’s southwest coast, known for its distinctive reddish-orange sand made from crushed shells and eroded white clay from the surrounding cliffs . As you sail around the island, you’ll be surrounded by abundant greenery that is just as breathtaking as the sea views.
From rugged cliffs to hidden coves, Kefalonia’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring. While admiring the island’s landscapes, make sure to immerse yourself into its rich local culture. The island’s traditions, with Greek folk music and dancing, offers an authentic Ionian experience like no other. With all that this beautiful island has to offer, it’s clear that a yacht charter in Kefalonia is an experience that is not to be missed.
Our tip: Plan to visit as many beaches and coves as possible since Kefalonia has an abundance of different sceneries for everyone’s taste.
Yacht Charter in Zakynthos (Zante)
Zakynthos is a must-visit destination for anyone passionate about the beauty of nature, the charm of local traditions, and the thrill of an unparalleled nightlife scene.
This Greek island boasts some of the world’s most renowned beaches, with transparent waters and soft, white sands. Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is undoubtedly a must-see and it is accessible only by boat, justifying a yacht charter trip. Overall, beaches in Zakynthos are a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and vacationers who seek the ultimate relaxation in a serene environment.
Moreover, the green nature of Zakynthos creates a stunning backdrop for exploring local flora and fauna, and hiking or biking adventures. Visitors can also discover the unique local traditions and flavours of the island, from sweet pastries to delicious seafood. When the sun sets over Zakynthos, the island transforms into a hub of entertainment, with its vibrant nightlife that lasts until dawn. A yacht charter adds the perfect touch of luxury to this experience; the perfect opportunity to enjoy the island’s beauty and charm in the most sophisticated way possible.
Our tip: If you don’t enjoy frenzied nightlife then you might skip the region of Laganas which is filled with tourists, bars and clubs.
Yacht Charter in Lefkada
Lefkada, located close to Kefalonia, offers a one-of-a-kind experience that is bound to captivate anyone who visits this island.
One of the most alluring reasons to set sail on a yacht charter to Lefkada are its exquisite beaches, which are renowned worldwide for their beauty and amazing scenery. From the stunning Porto Katsiki to the secluded Egremni Beach, there’s no shortage of breathtaking shorelines to explore, relax, and marvel at.
The island is also adorned with verdant greenery that adds to its charm, making it an ideal destination to unwind and reconnect with nature. Furthermore, Lefkada boasts a vibrant local culture, and visitors can immerse themselves into the rich tradition by attending local festivals and events. And let’s not forget about the food! With a plethora of restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine nearby, there’s no better way to indulge in the local cuisine and savor the flavors of the Ionian.
Our tip: If you’re planning on visiting the island’s most popular beaches during August, think twice. Tourists flock in great numbers during this period and this can ruin the whole experience.
Yacht Charter in Ithaka
Ithaka is the island of Ulysses; he spent 10 years roaming the seas in his quest to return home. He must have had a good reason, right?
If you’re looking to escape the tourist hotspots and venture to a truly tranquil island, then Ithaka is the perfect destination for your yacht charter adventure. This beautiful island in the Ionian Sea offers a serene atmosphere that can be hard to come by in more popular locations, making it an ideal choice for those seeking some peace and relaxation.
From visiting charming seaside towns, like Vathi, to exploring secluded beaches, such as Kioni, there’s something for everyone on this idyllic island. Whether you’re seeking stunning views of the turquoise waters or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, Ithaka is an unforgettable destination that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.
Our tip: Ithaka is located between Lefkada and Kefalonia, so you can combine these destinations for a perfect sailing cruise.
Yacht Charter in Paxos – Antipaxos
Paxos and Antipaxos, two of Greece’s most amazing Ionian Islands, are often overlooked by tourists seeking the glitz and glamour of the country’s more popular destinations. However, those who do make the journey to these peaceful islands are rewarded with a truly unparalleled experience.
The limited number of visitors, due to the islands’ relative obscurity, creates a tranquil atmosphere that can’t be found in bustling tourist hotspots. Yacht charters offer the perfect way to explore these serene havens at your own pace. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Paxos and Antipaxos are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Discover hidden coves and secluded bays, drop anchor in a quiet spot and simply take in the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. Visit the quaint villages and their traditional tavernas, where the friendly locals will eagerly welcome you with their warm hospitality.
If you’re looking for an alternative to all the crowded destinations, a visit to Paxos and Antipaxos on a yacht charter is an unforgettable experience that offers a true taste of Greek island life.
Our tip: Corfu is the nearest island to Paxos and Antipaxos so don’t miss the opportunity to spend a couple of days there as well.
Best time to Visit the Ionian Islands in Greece
Like the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands are not different when it comes to timing your yacht charter. The Ionian islands are less expensive in June and September when there are fewer tourists. However, the weather may not be as ideal as it is in July and August when prices are much higher. You should book your yacht charter as early as possible to secure a spot during peak season.
Be mindful when selecting your beginning and end locations as certain islands may be more difficult to access than others.
If you want to fully explore all the beauty these islands have to offer, make sure to plan for a minimum of two weeks.
Make sure to attend the local festivals and celebrations that take place.
You can enhance your yacht charter experience by adding activities such as diving, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, or surfing for an added dose of excitement and enjoyment!
If you want to avoid large crowds on some of the islands, it is best to avoid travelling in late July or August, especially if you value your privacy.
For a more distinct and one-of-a-kind experience, utilize the expertise and local services available such as private tours and food tastings.
Exploring the Ionian Islands on a yacht charter is an experience unlike any other. From stunning beaches to vibrant culture and delicious food, there’s something for everyone here. With a little bit of planning and some insider knowledge, you can easily make your yacht charter to the Ionian Islands an incredibly memorable experience