North Ionian Sailing Itinerary
North Ionian Sailing Itinerary
North Ionian sailing itinerary – Are you looking for the ideal, strong winds and sailing thrill of the Solent without the cold temperatures? Then the North Ionian might be just the place for you. Home to the North Ionian Regatta, which attracts up to 100 sailing yachts each year, the northern part of the Ionian Sea, is well known for its ideal sailing conditions, sunny and warm weather reports and mesmerizing anchorages.
We confidently recommend our carefully selected North Ionian sailing itinerary, for our slightly more experienced sailors (Level 2) looking for their next adventure out in the Greek waters.
Due to the slightly bigger, but definitely manageable distances between the islands, our North Ionian sailing itinerary is ideal for those looking for mile-building routes, with a total of 101,93 nautical miles covered throughout the week.
Our Guide to the North Ionian Sailing Itinerary
Home to the legendary “Odysseus”, the Ionian Sea consists of 7 main islands (also known as the “Heptanese”), but during your sailing adventures, you’ll find many smaller islands to explore on our North Ionian sailing itinerary.
What is interesting about our North Ionian sailing itinerary is the contrast between the places you’ll get to visit. From the cosmopolitan and proud representative of the Venetian culture and architecture Corfu town to the breathtaking combination of blue and green hues in Lakka bay to the traditional fishing villages, one thing is for certain. You’ll be going home with more than a handful of stories and experiences to share.
Our North Ionian sailing itinerary is well served by flights, buses and ferries. If you prefer flying, you’ll find a lot of charter flights to Corfu airport (Easyjet flies to Corfu regularly). From there a taxi can comfortably take you to your boat in the marina (usually 20-30 EUROS). Buses from Athens and other Greek cities run all year round with reasonable prices, and if you’re a big road trip fan, it should take you 2-3 days to drive to the Ionian through France and Germany. Modern and fully equipped ferry boats run daily from Igoumenitsa (mainland ) as well as Italy.
Mooring in most of the places in our North Ionian sailing itinerary is “stern to” with mooring lines or anchor at the bow. You can also enjoy “free-swinging” in idyllic, secluded bays, with or without long-lines ashore.
True to Mediterranean standards, weather in the area of our North Ionian sailing itinerary is usually very warm and sunny, with the wind gusting up to 20 – 30 knots, providing excellent opportunities for a good day’s sail.
Voutoumi Beach, Antipaxos Island
Gouvia Marina → Petritis Bay (16.5 NM)
It’s the first day of your North Ionian sailing itinerary, you’ve arrived in Corfu, tired of all the food shopping and paperwork, thinking there’s no choice but to stay in the marina. After all, it’s just one night, right? Wrong! When you have a sailing yacht for a week, every day is a valuable opportunity for … a sailing adventure!
We estimate you’ll be leaving the marina around 17:00, which gives you enough time to sail down to Petritis. A picturesque fishing village, with good, sandy holding, and of course crystal clear waters for your first swim of the week.
Overnight Anchorage: Choice of free-swinging or stern to with anchor.
Petritis → Panorama Bay → Lakka Bay, Paxos Island (20.6 NM)
After a nice and relaxed breakfast surrounded by turquoise waters and fellow sailing adventurers, it’s time for your first midday stop. Just South of Petritis village as you exit the bay, you’ll find a small, magical anchorage, known to locals as “Panorama bay”, that can put even the Caribbean to shame. Anchor off, use your dinghy to get closer to shore and get ready to be amazed. A crystal clear, shallow and sandy “swimming pool” surrounded by palm trees is waiting for you, with signs like “Stress-free zone” inviting you for a refreshing cocktail ashore.
For your second night in the North Ionian sailing itinerary, we suggest the World-famous for its iridescent waters Lakka bay on Paxos island. Good holding and safe shelter from most winds, make this bay an ideal stop for the majority of sailing yachts in the North Ionian.
Overnight Anchorage: Anchor off with or without long lines ashore.
Caves, Paxos Island → Mongonisi → Gaios Port (8.6 NM)
For your second day on Paxos, we suggest a morning sail around the whole island, to visit impressive sea caves. With a total size of 30,12 square meters, it won’t take you too long to do so and the views are really breathtaking and rewarding.
Halfway back up to Gaios port, we recommend Mongonisi bay for a quick lunch break and a much-needed swim. Anchor off and take your dinghy to the shore for some traditional “Mousaka” and fresh fish, or stay aboard and enjoy a refreshing dip in the clear, inviting waters.
For your 3rd night in the North Ionian sailing itinerary, Gaios port seems to be the ideal destination. Only a mile away from Mongonisi, Gaios offers good shelter, along with a number of bars, cafes and traditional tavernas to cover your needs. We advise you to try and get there quite early, to secure a good spot, as it is very famous among tourists and can get very chaotic during the summer.
Overnight Anchorage: Stern to with anchor on the town quay.
Gaios, Paxos Island → Voutoumi, Antipaxos Island → Parga, Mainland ( 15.7 NM)
It’s your 4th day of the North Ionian sailing itinerary, and most probably the most interesting, exciting one. Why’s that you ask; well, because our dear adventurers, in only one day, you get to visit not 1 but 2 different islands and a mainland destination.
But let’s take it from the start; after a nice, relaxed breakfast on Gaios’es waterfront, its time to set sail for your first stop of the day. And that is non-other than the award-winning for its crystal clear, perfectly pristine waters Voutoumi beach on Antipaxos island. As beautiful as it is though, we don’t suggest it for an overnight stop as it can get very uncomfortable soon as the NW wind starts picking up.
In approximately 3.5 hours you should have reached the picturesque Parga town on the mainland. Although you need to keep an eye on your plotter for the reef off AK Ai Spiridonia, it is generally a safe anchorage. Not to mention stunningly beautiful, with the old castle standing protectively over 2 picturesque bays, separated by Parga’s lovely village.
Overnight Anchorage: Choice of stern to with anchor on a small town quay, or free-swinging in the bay
Parga → Katsonisi → Sivota, Mainland (11.4 NM)
Time for a challenge! Just as you exit Parga bay, keep your eyes peeled, and try to spot the lonely (and only!) little white house on the tiny island known to locals as Panagia. Lovely isn’t it?
But dear sailors, don’t put your cameras away yet. For your lunch midday stop, we suggest Katsonisi bay (Agia Paraskevi). White little chappel at the South end of the bay, inviting emerald waters, all members of the crew smiling on deck and there you have it; the perfect holiday photo!
For your 5th night in our North Ionian sailing itinerary, we recommend the ever-impressive Sivota Mourtos on the mainland which consists of 3 different islands (The Sivota Islands) and the Mourtos village on mainland.
Overnight Anchorage: 7 different choices including stern 2 with anchor on the town quay or free-swinging.
Sivota, Mainland→ Benitses, Corfu Island → Port Mandraki, Corfu Island (21.1 NM)
For your 6th day of basking in the Greek sun on the North Ionian sailing itinerary, we suggest a sail back North to Corfu island; to explore more beautiful places of course. On the east side of the island, just south of Corfu town, you’ll find the lovely Benitses Bay, for a nice swim, or lunch ashore in traditional tavernas and cafes, should you desire it.
And because a North Ionian sailing itinerary is not complete without a visit to the legendary Corfu town, we recommend spending the night in Port Mandraki, just under the old fort on Ak Shidero, and less than 15 minutes walking distance from the town centre. Corfu town’s astonishing Venetian architecture will leave you absolutely speechless, and a walk through the castle and old fortress is one you won’t want to miss!
Overnight Anchorage: Stern to with mooring lines on quay.
Book In Advance: VHF channel 68 / (+30) 6945377674
Free Sail → Gouvia Marina (8 NM)
Its Friday and you need to head back to the marina. Did you think there weren’t any more places to see in the North Ionian sailing itinerary or you didn’t have enough time? Think again dear sailors!
Free sail Friday calls for some amazing last-minute stops on your North Ionian sailing itinerary. Although your choices are numerous, we recommend a swim stop in Ipsos bay, known for its elegant sandy beach, turquoise waters and lively beach bar.
Alternatively, arrive at Gouvia marina early to make sure you fuel up in time, as it can get very crowded and uncomfortable in the afternoon, and then go to the bay which is just outside the channel for a swim, so you’re close enough to moor up on time.
Overnight Anchorage: Stern to with mooring lines in the marina
Contact: Gouvia Marina VHF channel 69