HISTORY, TRADITION AND NATURE
The Greek Ionian islands are considered a paradise for sailors, either experts or not.
Formerly called the Seven Islands, this is an archipelago made up of seven main islands and a multitude of smaller islands and islets, once exclusive destinations for the international jet set, as Skorpio. Today they are easily reachable and affordable to everyone. Perfect for those who are looking for tranquility and solitude.
The islands are laid out along the coast of Epirus and the beginning of the Peloponnese: Corfu, Paxos, Antipaxos, Lefkas (or Lefkada), Skorpio, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Atoko, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kitira.
Lefkas is separated from the mainland by a channel 30 meters wide only, and connected to the mainland by a swing bridge that opens on the first 5 minutes of every hour, to reach the city of Lefkada, a very picturesque and lively city by the sea. You can moor in the nearby marina, modern and comfortable, or on the public dock in the heart of the town. Lefkada deserves a visit to her spectacular beaches on the west coast: Milos famous for kitesurfing, Kathisma, Egremni, Megali Petra aand Porto Katsiki with the leap of Sappho, where the legend says she found her death falling from the rocks overlooking the sea. From Lefkas and the mainland border the so-called Inland Sea where we will sail towards Meganisi, Scorpio (the island of Onassis), Atoko, Kalamos and Kastos.
Here the myth comes true. Ithaca is the home of Odysseus, the hero that crossed the seas for twenty years before coming back to his land. It is a name that immediately reminds you of the eternal conflict between the indomitable human will and the strength of destiny.
“I am Odysseus, Laertes’ son, world-famed for stratagems: my name has reached the heavens. Bright Ithaca is my home: it has a mountain, leaf-quivering Neriton, far visible. Around are many islands, close to each other, Doulichion and Same and wooded Zacynthos. Ithaca itself lies low, furthest to sea towards dusk; the rest, apart, face dawn and sun.” (Odyssey 9.19-26.).
The beaches of Ithaca are surrounded by olive trees along the east side and shine white in the north of the island. Do not miss Vathi, Frikes and Kioni, picturesque villages with many seaside taverns.
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands. It is a land rich in archaeological evidence of her glorious past. In Homeric times the island was dominated by Ithaka, Ulysses’ kingdom. We will sail on a clear sea and reach hidden bays, mysterious caves and beautiful beaches, as Myrtos, whose coast is surrounded by an amphitheater-like cliffs. Ancient monasteries are worth a visit also for their position, for example Agrilion, erected on a hill surrounded by wild olive trees, which offers a magnificent view of the bay and of the close Ithaca. Do not miss the Venetian castle of Assos, in a spectacular location, and the cave of Melissani, 160 meters long, filled by a deep lake and with large stalactites, where ancient Greeks used to adore the god Pan. One of our ports of call is Fiskardo, colourful, lively and full of flowers.
Birthplace of Ugo Foscolo, one of the main Italian poets, named “Fior di Levante” (Flower of the East) from Venetians, Zakynthos is well known for its crystal clear sea. The beaches have fine golden sand, the water is warm and hospitable. The famous beach of Lagana is the nest for hundreds of turtles Caretta caretta that come here to give birth. Zakynthos is also famous for its caves, as the Blue Cave where the sun penetrates, producing breathtaking scenery of blue color with all its nuances. Part of our cruising itinerary will be St. Nicholas, Porto Vromi and the famous Navagio beach, also known as the Shipwreck beach.