Tips for the Ionian yachtsman

 

View from Nidri to Scorpios, Meganisi and Kalamos

 

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Some tips from twenty years of sailing with Island Sailing, Sunsail, Next Island Holidays, Sailing Holidays Ltd (six years) and most recently Sail Ionian.  If you have any comments and/or recommendations please contact The Webmaster.

Destinations last updated in 2003

 

Lefkas Meganisi  Ithaca  Cephalonia  Kalamos  Kastus  Paxos Parga

 

LEFKAS

 

SIVOTA:

 

Your homeport for Sailing Holidays and Sunsail Southern Ionian holidays.  You will no doubt have a group meal at the start and end of your holiday at The No Problem Taverna this is not a Gourmet experience but it is a good opportunity to meet your fellow sailors.  I can recommend Yianni’s Delphina Taverna following an excellent meal on a recent visit.  Showers are widely available in SIVOTA

 

VASSILIKI

 

Vass is the windsurfing capital of Greece.  A lot goes on here and there are numerous tavernas including Indian and Chinese.  We usually use the Penguin on the corner of the harbour, which is very good.  There is excellent nightlife in Vassiliki.

 

NIDRI

 

Nidri is a busy place with a lot going on.  Lead crews do not like this town except for provisions.  Festino’s restaurant on the inland side of the main street has always served excellent food in their garden.  Another taverna we tried last year was TA KALAMIA on the same side of the road.  This has excellent Hellenic Cuisine and you probably will want to try every thing on the menu.  There are lots of places in Nidri including the Chinese nights at the Athos Hotel.  Also from Nidri is an excursion called Sunset and the Stars (http://www.uniqueexcursions.com/) which takes you to a beach free from light pollution and Steve gives a talk about the constellations and the links with Greek mythology, this was one of my all time favourite evenings in Greece. 

 

LEFKAS TOWN

 

Lefkas town is not in my top 20 favourites of The Ionian Islands.  It is known for good shopping and as a stop off on route to Paxos, Parga and Corfu.  The Lighthouse taverna is often recommended.  There is now a purpose built yacht marina at the north end of the Lefkas Canal.

 

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MEGANISI ISLAND

 

SPARTAHORI

 

 

Spartahori 1982

 

Spartahori 1990

Porto Spillia taverna offers simple food.  Fresh lobsters can be viewed at the start of the pontoon.  If mooring here you are virtually obliged to eat here.  Lots of small roof garden tavernas up the hill in the village + Lakis taverna which is good for barbecue chicken.  This stop is not to be missed and is very picturesque with wonderful views of the inland sea, north.

 

PORT VATHI

 

Port Vathi on Meganisi is a wide shallow harbour with a pretty village square and quayside paid for by the EU.  We usually make this a lunch stop after the Barbecue.  Stefanos Rose Garden Taverna is very good.  There are a couple of new tavernas opened recently and last year most of the flotilla except us stayed for the disco in the evening.

 

ITHACA ISLAND

 

KIONI

 

Another beautiful harbour with limited tavernas.  The hostie often books one taverna for everyone but not as a group meal.  The Hotel does a very good breakfast.

 

PORT VATHY, ITHACA

 

Not my favourite place by any means.  There is a purpose built marina to the north of the town but it’s a reasonable walk to the town.  The nearest taverna supplied a superb meal of fresh tuna.

 

PORT POLIS

 

Port polis is a bay on the west side of Ithaca.  A good lunch stop.  A walk to the town of Stavros on top of the hill is best not undertaken in the heat of the day.  Stavros is said to be the home of Odysseus.

 

FRIKES

 

Frikes is a beautiful fishing village with a couple of tavernas, probably best as a lunchtime stop.

 

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CEPHALONIA ISLAND

 

FISCARDO

 

 

Fiscardo c1982

 

Fiscardo c1982

 

One of most people’s highlights is Fiscardo, a very busy cosmopolitan town that is also quite expensive with lots of shops.  The old favourite is The Captains Cabin run by my old pal Tassos.  He has been there from the beginning of Flotilla sailing; his food is good and excellent service.  Tassia’s on the opposite side of the harbour is excellent food especially fish and worth a try.  I cannot recommend Nicholas’s on the headland, the views are good but the food and service were not up to much.

 

!!!!!!!!Agia EFIMIA!!!!!!!!

 

                          

 

Paradise Beach Taverna (centre) 1983

 

Gonatas Hotel & Paradise Beach (left of centre)

               

 

Efimia has been modernised very tastefully over the past few years and was “benefiting” from the Captain Correlli boom last year.  The yachts moor outside several tavernas, the lead crew usually supports Finikas and the food is quite good however one of the Pearls of the Ionian is Stavros’s Paradise Beach Restaurant.  Here you will get superb Greek food.  I could recommend almost anything on the extensive menu.  The dolmades, stuffed vine leaves, are homemade here and should not be missed.  The chocolate soufflé is a speciality.  We have stayed at this port for a couple of days several times so as to eat here!!

 

POROS

 

Poros is a harbour on the southeastern coast of Cephalonia.  I have not visited for many years but this was a welcome stop on the return from Zakynthos in a northerly gale.

 

 

ZAVERDA (mainland Greece)

 

This small town on the mainland is very quiet early season.  We like to come back to this town just to see Kathy and Kronos at The New Mill House.  This establishment is reasonably priced, you will need a big appetite as there is plenty to eat and drink and it is an experience.  Especially worth a visit if several people want to eat together.  Dionysis on the seafront is excellent for breakfast and also has showers

 

KASTUS ISLAND

 

There is not much to Kastus however it is quiet and has a wonderful restaurant called the Windmill.  Worth a night visit.

 

KALAMOS ISLAND

 

A big mountainous island parallel with Kastus, with a picturesque harbour, and a welcome relief from the bustle of Nidri etc.  Not a lot of choice of tavernas but again worth a visit if you have time.  Port Leone, as described in the harbour guide, is worth a lunchtime stop.  Rumour has it that there is now a taverna in Port Leone.

 

 

 

 

This is a quick summary and you probably will not be able to visit all these places in two weeks, as you have to fit the barbecue and regatta in from port atheni, another taverna!

 

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PAXOS

 

Gaios

 

Gaios is the capital of the beautiful island, Paxos.  Mooring is on a quay, which is a short walk from the town centre.  Pan and Theo’s taverna, on the waterfront, is a favourite especially for their speciality, cheese and spinach pie.  We have also tried the Authentica taverna, which has a speciality of stuffed calamari.  A recommended spot for a relaxing ouzo or beer is the Genesis bar near the entrance to the harbour.  Breakfast is very good at Mambo’s.  We have tried the walk from Gaios to Mongonisi beach; this is less than two miles by boat but two and a half hours by foot.

 

LONGOS

 

Longos has a very pretty harbour and is a favoured village by tourists staying on the island.  There is limited mooring and is recommended as a lunch stop.

 

LAKKA

 

Lakka is my favourite stop in the northern Ionian.  The large bay has mooring on the quay and anchoring off in the bay.  The town has many good tavernas.  The Rose of Paxos has excellent Greek cuisine. The Pergola and Dionysis are also recommended.  Akis provides an excellent breakfast on the waterfront.  The Harbour Lights and Romantica cocktail bar are well known Lakka nightspots.

 

 

PARGA

 

Parga on mainland Greece is a bustling tourist town with plenty of shops and tavernas.  A Venetian Castle is prominent on the approach.  Mooring in Parga is situated a couple of miles out of town.  You can either walk to town or go to and fro via Yianni’s water taxi for 3 euros.  Recently we returned to Castello’s restaurant, unusually for Greece this is silver service and the food and wine is top quality.

 

 

PLATARIA

 

Plataria is another mainland town, our final port of call in 2003, which has not yet experienced mass tourism.  Facilities were fairly limited however we given a warm greeting from Stefanos who supplied food and free showers but on this occasion not the weather.

 

LUNCHTIME SPOTS

 

There are lots of bays around Meganisi, Cephalonia, Ithaca and Lefkas.  Andreas bay at the south end of Ithaca is sheltered from the north wind.  Also several bays coming south from Fiscardo to Efimia.  Also one house bay on east of Atoko.

 

 

Medicines

 

To keep mosquitoes away I use Jungle formula roll on.  If you are bitten a supply of Piriton is useful also waspeze.

 

 

 

These are a few tips to , maybe help you on your way.  Remember when in Greece GMT (Greek Maybe Time, maybe you will get your order or maybe not) applies.

 

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Last updated 4th June 2003