This year I headed to the Ionian Sea. As not so much is written about Greece, I’ve decided to share with you the latest tips and spots for mooring, anchoring and swimming. I’ll be here practically the whole summer so I’ll be gradually adding more and more tips.
If you have any questions about the Ionian Sea, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recommend this marina because of its convenient location (a short distance from the capital Kerkyra) and services (water, electricity, showers and berths). Water is paid for in advance by charging a chip in the office and then inserting it into the water column to activate it. However, it’s just a few euros and pretty easy on the wallet. On the other hand, the water in the bay is quite dirty, so it's not really for swimming, and with cars and motorcycles driving past the boats, it's not very quiet at night or in the early morning. But there are sandy beaches nearby, which are great for swimming.
Tip: Head into town in the evening for some nightlife or rent a scooter at the marina to explore the island.
It’s tricky to find this place on maps, as a marina with the same name is also located on Rhodes. In any case, this marina offers electricity, water and safe berths at the pier. It is located directly below the castle in Kerkyra, the capital of Corfu.
Tip: Go for a walk along the ramparts or over the drawbridge into town. Don't forget to take a photo of your boat in the marina, because you’ll have to pay to get to the ramparts unless you can prove you are staying in the marina. There is a very interesting ancient temple nearby.
A small peaceful fishing village off the beaten track. Here you’ll discover a beautiful beach and excellent home cooking in restaurants on the shore which will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. The sea is relatively shallow here, so you can anchor at ease.
Tip: Try feta baked in puff pastry and octopus stifado in the restaurant by the pier. These are the best dishes to sample here and the prices are very low compared to other restaurants in Greece.
A beautiful bay in the western part of Corfu
To be honest, I don't know its name, if it has one at all. It is simply a beautiful bay on the west coast of Corfu, which looks like it was created by a fallen meteorite. Only the truly adventurous can anchor here, but I recommend anchoring to the shore, and by shore I mean to one of the rocks in the sea or the rocks lining the bay. It’s calm, quiet and you’ll be sheltered from the wind. And definitely do some snorkelling here. There is an abundance of smaller and larger fish. If you can't find this particular bay, try another one, there are plenty in Greece :)
Tip: At night, go for a swim or just ripple the surface of the water with your hand. There are luminous algae that react to the movement of your hand and light up the sea surface. It's really beautiful!
If you were to visit just one bay in the Ionian Sea, Lakka Bay would be a superb choice. The bay is relatively shallow with a sandy bed and the azure waters make you feel like you're in the Caribbean. Stay at anchor here or anchor with lines ashore. Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot, as a lot of boats head here in high season. In the town there are some really wonderful chilled bars, shops and restaurants.
Tip: We had a great time here in the Alexandros tavern on a small picturesque square. Surrounded by growing vines and Greek music, you’ll feel like you’re in typical Greece.
In a word, charming. Charming little houses, small piers lined with little boats at anchor, small streets, relatively few people, peaceful and a beautiful sunset, what more could you ask for? Its distinguishing feature from afar is the chimney that sticks out rather oddly from the abandoned factory.
Tip: Bar Roxi is worth a visit. It has an amazing view and, apart from alcoholic beverages, they serve great fresh juices. However, in our opinion, the Vasilis tavern, mentioned in all the guidebooks, is not actually worth it. The setting is unpleasant with cars constantly driving by, the food is nothing special but the bill will be (ridiculously expensive).
Not for those who prefer peace and quiet, but definitely for lovers of nightlife who will be in their element here. With numerous bars and restaurants, the place really comes to life at night. You can also fill up on water, connect to the electricity and even a car arrives in the evening with a tank of diesel, so it’s actually full-service. Plus, of course, there are several grocery stores. Berthing at the pier is in the tens of euros and we paid 23 euros for a 50-foot boat.
Tip: Visit the Taka Taka restaurant. This place is breathtaking and especially perfect for a romantic dinner.
Λιμάνι Άμμου bay
On the map, it is just marked as “Λιμάνι Άμμου”, which I understand is not easy to write in any way. Put simply, it is a bay on the south side of the island of Othoni, a short distance from the fishing port of Othoni. You can stay at anchor here even in the port, but as we weren’t sure of the depth there, we chose to anchor in the bay. On the shore there are many restaurants, scooter rental, a supermarket and a beautiful sandy beach.
Tip: We visited the New York restaurant, which sounds strange for Greece, but it's Greek cuisine was excellent. However, there are a lot of other taverns to choose from, so I don't have specific recommendations.
Finally another port in Greece where you can fill up on water and hook up to the electricity. Plus, there is a beautiful sandy beach just a short walk away. Right behind the port, there are restaurants and small supermarkets, so you can easily stock up. There is also a port authority with customs here, so if you are sailing to or from Greece from a country outside the EU, you can register here and go through the customs procedure. In the port, you can moor to the shore but we recommend booking in advance, as it gets crowded in high season.
Tip: If you want to enjoy something really romantic, take a stroll to the Sunset Bar on the other side of the island. It's about a 20 minute walk, the drinks are pretty good and the view at sunset is gorgeous. We were even lucky enough to spot dolphins leaping in the distance at sunset. Absolutely magnificent!
This bay is known for its great conditions for windsurfing and wingsurfing. In the afternoon the thermals get started and the wind really picks up. It has a beautiful promenade with numerous shops. There are no mooring lines but there are pontoons where you can anchor stern to or sideways.
Tip: If you go to the Miramar restaurant for a meal, you get free water refills.
If you’d also like to experience some fresh water after a week at sea, take a trip to the waterfalls near the town of Nidri. How much water flows down them depends on the weather (whether it has rained or not), but you can always take a dip in the pool below. There are signs along the road about 20 kilometres before the falls showing which way to go.
Tip: There is a small bar along the walking trail to the falls where they have a non-alcoholic cocktail on offer called something like the Waterfall Surprise. Try it, it's fun.
A beautiful bay with white sand and crystal-clear water. Ideal for those who love swimming or for a family with children. Most boats moored here are at anchor with a line to the shore (on a rock or tree). However, some boats were only at anchor. Waves are likely to come here from the ferry about 3 times a day, so be prepared for a slight swell.
Tip: There is a beach bar on the shore where they serve excellent food and drinks.
Absolutely breathtaking place, especially at night. It’s a town built on a rock. You can stay at anchor in the nearby bay or anchor to the shore. A water taxi operates here all day and into the night which will take you from your boat to the city for 2.50 euros.
Tip: There are plenty of restaurants, but the Kastro restaurant has the best view as well as excellent food.
Over our more than month-long voyage, we rated this place as having the best food and surroundings. The Los Nobelos restaurant is absolutely perfect but we recommend booking in advance at www.nobelos.gr. It is a family business, with a restaurant, hotel, small garden, shop, ice cream parlour and a private beach with sun loungers … an oasis of tranquility.
Navagio beach and shipwreck
We don't really recommend anchoring overnight in this bay, as the waves often come in, creating a nice sway. However, this beach is worth a visit and it is probably the most photographed spot on Zakynthos. Supposedly it is the nicest beach on the island, which isn’t quite true as the crowds that head here every day leave a lot of litter.
Tip: Come here early in the morning or evening. Avoid the crowds and you will have a photo like no one else’s (a shipwreck without tourists).
Greece can be reached by car, but the journey is quite long. There are also international ferries that come here.
The most convenient and fastest connection is by air. In high season, regular flights to Corfu (the capital of Kerkyra) are operated by Corfu International Airport 'Ioannis Kapodistrias'.
Aktion National Airport, also known as Preveza Airport, is located about 3 km from the town of Preveza and 21 km from the very popular tourist island of Lefkada, which it primarily serves.
Feeling excited about sailing in the Ionian Sea? Take a look at the boats we offer in Greece.
FAQ Tips for mooring in the Ionian Sea
Speaking of mooring in this article, it is also worth mentioning that it is not so common in Greece to have mooring at the pier. Take a look at our article on Tips for Safe Anchoring.
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