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Corfou : What is your kind of boat?

Corfou - Our advice for your cruise



By Anaïs BEDE 

Managing Editor of Filovent magazine. "As a travel enthusiast, my holidays always equate to boat trips!"

 

16 September 2021

 

Reading time: 6 minutes

 

 

IN A NUTSHELL

 

Unmissable destination: Paleokastritsa, Voutoumi, and the Love Canal 

Special features : translucent waters and green landscapes: welcome to the Ionian islands!

Activities : a cruise departing from Corfu is particularly suitable for snorkelling and relaxing on the beaches 

 

 

Contents

 

- 1- Practical information for your boat rental from the port of Corfu

- 2- What to do in the city of Corfu?

- 3- Where to sail departing from the city of Corfu?

- 4- The most beautiful anchorages around Corfu

- 5- Which itineraries should you follow for your cruise?

- 6- What are the wind conditions?

 

 

 

 

"Casting off, leaving all our problems at the dock, and knowing that in a few hours we'll reach the first small cove in the North of Corfu: this is the best memory of my cruise.". These are the words of Bernard, a Filovent customer, when he was telling me about his holiday with his boat rental from Corfu. Corfu and the surrounding islands seduce as much by the beauty of the green landscapes as by their history-laden past between mythological legends and foreign dominations.

 

Thibault and his crew on a Bavaria 38 Cruiser in Igoumenista
Thibault and his crew at anchor in Igoumenítsa on a Bavaria 38 Cruiser (photo by Thibault)

 

 

1- Practical information for your boat rental from the port of Corfu

 

What types of boat are available for rent?

 

From Corfu, there are as many mono-hulls as catamarans rented. The choice for your rental will be made according to your preferences and the type of cruise you prefer.

 

Average rates depending on the season and the size of the boat

 

The table below gives you an order of magnitude of the average prices of rentals. These prices can change according to the season, the availability, the model, the age of the boat...

 

Type of boat High Season
July and August
Mid-Season
May, June and September
Low Season
April and October
Mono-hull (2 cabins) €2,000 €1,800 €1,500
Mono-hull (3 cabins) €2,500 €2,000 €1,500
Mono-hull (4 cabins) €3,000 €2,700 €2,300
Catamaran (between 35 and 40 feet) €5,500 €4,500 €3,500
Catamaran (between 40 and 45 feet) €6,000 €5,000 €4,000
Catamaran (between 45 and 50 feet) €10,000 €8,000 €6,000

 

The port of Corfu

You will leave from the port of Gouvia located to the North of Corfu city. This harbour accommodates 2,800 boats, including 960 places reserved for pleasure boaters. It provides various services: Wi-Fi, electricity, petrol, waste collection, water…

 

Our partners on site

 

Here is the list of our main partners who provide boat rental from the port of Gouvia:

  • Istion Yachting which has been around since 1992. Its headquarters are located in Athens but the company works from several departure bases in Greece (Corfu, Kos, Paros, Mykonos…). This rental company is known for the quality of its service for both pleasure and luxury yachts. Departing from Corfu, Istion Yachting provides both mono-hulls (Oceanis 46.1, Sun Odyssey 410, Hanse 458, Dufour 430…) and catamarans (Lagoon 46, Bali 4.1, Lagoon 380…).
  • Dream Yacht Charter was founded in 2000 in the Seychelles, and offers more than 1,000 boats for charter from some 60 destinations. In Corfu, this charter company has 115 boats, both mono-hulls (Dufour, Oceanis, Sun Loft, Sun Odyssey, Bavaria), and catamarans (Bali, Lagoon, Lipari).
  • Kiriacoulis was founded in 1986 and is based in Athens. From Corfu, this rental company offers catamarans (Lagoon, Elba, Bali...) and mono-hulls (Dufour, Oceanis, Sun Loft…). This rental company is competitive in terms of price per rental, it allows you to start your rental on a Sunday and is flexible in terms of rental duration (the option to rent for 10 days, for example).

 

the fleet of Istion Yachting
Part of the Istion Yachting fleet in Corfu (photo Istion Yachting)

 

2- What to do in the city of Corfu?

 

Before taking charge of your boat, we recommend you visit the city of Corfu which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Strolling through the shady streets in the summer for an afternoon, you will realise that the city of Corfu has many facets, just like its island. The Venetian domination, from the 15th to the 18th century, and then the British domination in the 19th century, are reflected in the old town's architecture, which alternates between colourful houses and sober facades. The tour of the old town will take you to the Spianada Square, the main public gathering place. In this square, you can go to the Liston, a row of buildings with arcades housing multiple cafes, which was built by the French in the 19th century. The resemblance to the rue Rivoli in Paris is uncanny!

 

View of the old town of Corfu
View of the old town of Corfu and its various architectural inspirations (photo Istion Yachting)

Your tour of this city continues East to the Old Fort. This Venetian fortress resisted several Ottoman attacks in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

 

View of the Old Fort
View of the Old Fort (photo Istion Yachting)

Finally, in the South of Corfu, you can visit Achilleion palace with an emblematic figure of the European aristocracy: Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sissi. This palace was built at the request of the empress at the end of the 19th century. His name is a tribute to Achilles, hero of The Iliad, whose strength and beauty the empress admired. The references to this hero are numerous: the fresco in the staircase representing Achilles victorious after having killed Hector at the gates of Troy, and the statue of Achilles on the terrace of the palace.

 

3- Where to sail from the city of Corfu?

 

Places of interest on the island of Corfu

 

Before heading to the islands around Corfu, some coastal villages are worth a visit!

You can make a stopover, first of all, in Benitses located South of Corfu. This fishing village is nestled against the green mountains that surround it. Despite its success, it has kept its biodiversity intact. For history buffs, you can appreciate the ruins of a Roman villa and the remains of Roman baths, discovered following archaeological excavations.

Below Benitses, you can anchor at the port of Petriti, a small fishing village. Rather unknown to tourists, this village will fully immerse you in the typical Greek atmosphere thanks to its harbour and a few restaurants alongside where freshly-caught fish is served. Bernard told us that the best place to taste fish (squid and octopus in particular) is the restaurant "Oi Oraies Benitses". This restaurant is quite popular, so make sure you make a reservation beforehand.

Finally, to the West of Corfu, Paleokastritsa is the last stopover not to be missed with your charter boat from Corfu. Paleokastritsa bay is comprised of six small coves separated by rocks. Translucent waters, and beautiful coastal scenery with a mountainous backdrop; in a word, Paleokastritsa has by far the most picturesque and beautiful beaches in Corfu. The mythological past of this place makes it even more magical since, according to the legend, it was in Paleokastrítsa bay that the city of the Phaeacians was located, where Ulysses made a last stop before reaching Ithaca.

 

Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa, a feast for the eyes (photo Istion Yachting)


Paxos

 

Paxos, to the South of Corfu, will delight you with its legends as well as its landscapes. According to Greek mythology, Paxos was separated from Corfu by the Trident of Poseidon who wanted a more intimate place to live out his love with the goddess Amphitrite.

While there, stop at Lakka located at the Northern end of the island. Here you can enjoy two beaches: Kanoni and Paralia. For those who like to hike, Lakka offers beautiful walks. Trails 2 to 3 kilometres long will give you access to the West coast of the island and in particular to the wild Plani and Meattie Buir'sbeaches. Speaking of beaches, Erimitis beach, in the West, is a must-see on the island. It appeared in 2007 after the collapse of a limestone cliff, leaving a rocky and undeveloped beach.

 

Paxos
It's all in this photo: beach, turquoise water, and cliff, with a sailing boat in the distance. Welcome to Paxos! (Adobe Stock photo)


 

Antipaxos

Antipaxos is the little sister of Paxos. Located in the South of Paxos, no one lives there except for the few farmers who come to tend the vineyards and olive groves, and the staff of the few seasonal restaurants on the beaches. As you can see, going to Antipaxos is a relaxing day. There's not much to do except enjoy the beaches and the turquoise water… and that's already a lot! Two beaches in particular at the North-East end are worth a visit: the fine sandy beach, Vrika, and just below it, the pebble beach, Voutoumi. Between the two, choose Voutoumi, which means paradise in Greek. Once there, you'll better understand why it's called that! "Beyond the turquoise water, it's the perfect place to swim among the fish" Theo, who works for our local partner Athenian Yachts Enterprises, told me

 

Voutoumi Beach in Antipaxos
View of Voutoumi Beach in Antipaxos (Adobe Stock photo)


The Diapontic Islands

 

This archipelago to the North-West of Corfu is comprised of 3 main islands Erikoussa, Othoni , and Mathraki, and some small islets (Gravi, Diapo). An ode to relaxation awaits you if you visit these islands. Indeed, the main activity is to enjoy the beaches which are often surrounded by green cliffs, typical landscapes of the Ionian islands.

Most of the beaches of Othoni, the largest island in the archipelago, are accessible by boat. Nevertheless, we recommend you go to Fiki beach in the North, or Aspri Ammos beach in the South-West. Aspri Ammos, which means "white sand" in Greek, is particularly remarkable because it's bordered by a cliff and lends itself especially well to underwater photography. To the West of this beach is Calypso's Cave. Indeed, although there is debate around the exact location, Othoni could be the island on which Ulysses was Calypso's prisoner for 7 years.

In Mathraki, the smallest island in the archipelago, you will find several sandy beaches including Portelo and Arvanitiko with translucent and shallow waters.

Finally, in Erikoussa, the Northernmost island of the archipelago, you will have the choice between two beaches: Porto or Bragini. Their Italian consonance recalls the Venetian domination over the Ionian islands from the fourteenth century until the eighteenth century. The most important thing to remember about the Diapontic Islands is that they are virtually uninhabited and promise a timeless getaway.

 

4- The most beautiful anchorages around Corfu

 

Anchorage at the Love Canal near the village of Sidari

 

An emblematic anchorage and very popular with tourists in the North-West of the island of Corfu, legend has it that if two lovers swim through the Canal of Love, their love will last forever. The Love Canal is surrounded by two cliffs and has a small beach at the bottom.

 

Love Canal
View of the Love Canal (Adobe Stock photo)


Anchorage in Erikoussa

 

Erikoussa is part of the Diapontic Islands located North-West of Corfu. This is Bernard's favourite: "even though it was the middle of August, there were few boats around us, which is very enjoyable. Moreover, the village is adorable with its few small houses. In short, a very nice anchorage! "

 

Erikoussa
Anchoring at Erikoussa on Bernard's Bavaria Cruiser 51 (photo by Bernard Haon)


Anchorage in the port of Gaïos

 

The port of Gaios, east of Paxos, has two rather narrow entrances to the north and south. "This harbour is really pretty and authentic with restaurants and cafes overlooking the pontoons. The particul feature of this port is that there is no harbour master's office, so to find a place, first come is first served! To do the manoeuvers, we had to rely on the help of the boaters around us" Thibault told me.

 

Anchorage in Gaïos
Anchorage at Gaïos (photo by Bernard Haon)

 

The exit of the port of Gaios
The exit of the port of Gaïos (photo by Thibault)


Anchorage in the inner bay of Preveza

 

Preveza bay is located on the South-Western coast of Greece. This anchorage is one of Thibault's favourites: "Preveza bay is well-protected from the wind and not so frequented by boaters. The setting is really beautiful: we are surrounded by greenery and the water is less turquoise than what we are used to seeing in Greece; it changes and it was really nice! "

 

Anchorage in Mourtos

 

This anchorage is one of Bernard's favourites. It is located in the bay of Syvota which has 3 islands: Nisida Syvota, Nisida Ay Nikolaos, and Nisida Moyrtos. "What I liked most was the environment we were in. On our sailing boat, we were between three islands at sunset, it was magical!" he told me.

 

Syvota Bay
View of Syvota Bay (photo by Thibault)


Anchorage in Igoumenítsa

 

Igoumenítsa is a town located in the North-West of Greece, opposite Corfu. The point of anchoring there, beyond the beauty of the bay, is the protection that the city's port provides against the North wind. It's ideal for enjoying your boat, swimming in the turquoise water and doing water sports, like Thibault!

 

Anchorage in Igoumenítsa
Anchorage in Igoumenítsa Bay (photo by Thibault)

Paddle-board in Igoumenítsa
The ideal cocktail: paddle-board in the middle of Igoumenítsa Bay (photo by Thibault)


5- Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?

 

To discover the Northern Ionian Sea, you can follow Thibault's week-long itinerary. For him, this route is reassuring because you can still see the coastline in the distance.

Here are the steps: Corfu -> anchoring in Corfu Bay at night -> South of Paxos (42 nautical miles) -> Lefkada and anchoring at the port for the night (51 nautical miles) -> Preveza Bay (10 nautical miles) -> Paxos and anchoring at the port of Gaios to the East (40 nautical miles) -> Syvota on the West coast of Greece (20 nautical miles) -> Igoumenitsa (13 nautical miles) -> Corfu (25 nautical miles).

A second possible itinerary is the one proposed by Istion Yatching, here are the steps:

Gouvia -> Kassiopi to the North of Corfu (13 nautical miles) -> Diapontic Islands, in order: Erikoussa, Othoni and Mathraki (20 nautical miles) -> from Mathraki Palaiokastritsa (13 nautical miles) -> Sidari to the North-East of Corfu and the Love Canal (16 nautical miles) -> Kalámi on the North-East coast of Corfu (19 nautical miles) -> Gouvia (9 nautical miles).

If you are sailing for more than a week, Konstantinos Stamelos, who works for our partner Istion Yachting, advises you to follow the above itinerary and head for Lefkas for the second week of your cruise.

 

6- What are the wind conditions?

 

The geographical position of Corfu is interesting because it is protected from the Meltem, a typically dominant Mediterranean wind from the North-West.

You will only encounter a thermal wind due to the difference in temperature between the sea and the land, which does not constitute a real obstacle to the smooth running of your cruise. Thibault, who sailed from Corfu in August, told me: "the wind was rising at around 2pm and reaching 10-12 knots, and sometimes 16-17 knots. Before 2pm, we were sailing on a smooth sea. The sailing conditions were pleasant even though sometimes we missed the lack of wind in the morning."

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Bernard Haon and Thibault for their testimonies and photos which perfectly illustrate this article. I would like to thank in particular, Konstantinos Stamelos from Istion Yachting for his kindness, his photos, and his valuable information about Corfu.

The specialists who advise you with trustworthiness, reactivity, and transparency

Marina
François
Ismael
Lina
Samuel
Estefania

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