11 February 2022
In a nutshell
When to go Between the months of May and October the sailing conditions are perfect. The sailing area is quite busy during the summer months.
Special features : Lush vegetation, mountains as far as the eye can see, heavenly coves, and Greek mythology.
The most beautiful anchorages : Python cove and its pretty cave, Katsiki and its huge cliffs, Foki with its pine forest.
- Practical information for your boat rental from Lefkas
- What to do in Lefkas?
- Where to sail from Lefkas?
- Which activities should I choose during my cruise in the Ionian Islands?
- The most beautiful anchorages departing from Lefkas
- Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?
- What are the weather conditions?
"What struck me most during our cruise in the Ionian Sea was that it felt like we were sailing in a huge lake, with gigantic mountains as far as the eye could see. It was just beautiful and very exotic ! "Valentine, who went sailing in the Ionian Islands from Lefkas with her family, told me. The Ionian Sea is certainly extremely different from other seas. The interior is full ofislands and islets, and the landscape is very mountainous.
Also known as Lefkada, the island of Lefkas enchants its travellers. Considered to be the island where the goddess Aphrodite was born, Lefkas has an exceptional natural landscape! If you want to discover another natural wonder, boat rental in Lefkas is the ideal solution! Let yourself be transported by the exoticism and idyllic setting of the Ionian Islands.
1. Practical information for your boat rental from Lefkas
Renting a boat in Lefkas: with or without a skipper?
The table below gives you the advantages of renting a boat with or without a skipper. This information may be useful to know for your boat rental in Greece.
|With a skipper||Without a skipper|
Here is Eva's advice from Beyondyachting : "For people who come to Ionia for the first time, skippers will help them discover all the beauties of the region. They will show you the most spectacular bays, the most amazing beaches, the most breathtaking views, the most picturesque harbours and the best tavernas with the most delicious cuisine. They are also true professionals who know what to do and where to sail as the climate changes."
Average rates depending on the season and the size of the boat
Here is a table that shows the average prices of boat rentals departing from Lefkas, for one week. These prices are a rough estimate and may vary depending on the season, models, and age of the boat.
|Type of boat||High Season|
July and August
May, June and September
April and October
|Mono-hull (2 cabins)||€2,200||€1,700||€1,300|
|Mono-hull (3 cabins)||€3,700||€2,900||€2,200|
|Mono-hull (4 cabins)||€4,600||€3,500||€2,500|
|Catamaran (between 35 and 40 feet)||€6,000||€4,500||€2,900|
|Catamaran (between 40 and 45 feet)||€8,400||€6,000||€3,900|
|Catamaran (between 45 and 50 feet)||€11,400||€9,200||€6,900|
The port of Lefkas
"We chose to land in Athens and to rent a car to reach the Marina. It's true that it's complicated to reach Lefkas, but it's worth it!" Matthieu Deperraz, a Filovent customer, told me. To get to Lefkas, the easiest, most common, and quickest way remains theplane. From France, the airports of Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse provide flights to Corfu with or without stopover(s), located 100 kilometres from Lefkas. Once you arrive at Corfu airport, there are several options to get to Lefkas. You can take a flight to Preveza airport, located only 10 kilometres from Lefkas. For a more economical trip, take the ferry from Corfu to reach the mainland and arrive in Igoumenitsa. Once there, many buses connect Lefkas. You can also take a taxi from Igoumenitsa.
When you get there, you'll arrive at the port of Lefkas. This one has 400 places and you can enjoy the multiple shops, restaurants and bars around the port.
Our main partners on site
- Dream Yacht Charter was founded in 2000 in the Seychelles and provides nearly 1,000 boats in some 60 destinations worldwide. In the port of Lefkas, this rental company provides 111 models of yachts and catamarans.
- Sunsail Mariner Travel has been offering sailing holidays for 45 years and today offers sailing to more than 20 destinations around the world. With 75 boats available in Lefkas, you will find what you're looking for, from catamarans (Lagoon, Leopard) to mono-hulls (Sun Odyssey, Oceanis).
- Istion Yachting has positioned itself as a leader in the nautical sector in Greece for 30 years. In Lefkas, this charter company offers 40 boats for rent: mono-hulls (Sun Odyssey, Bavaria, Oceanis, and Hanse) and catamarans (Bali, Lagoon).
- Beyondyachting offers quality yachts for rent at several departure bases in Greece. In the port of Lefkas, about 10 boats are available: mono-hulls (Oceanis) and catamarans (Elba, Lagoon).
2. What to do in Lefkas?
The landscape of Lefkas is mountainous, with lush vegetation that will delight hikers. Stroll the streets to admire the pretty typical houses with wavy tiles. Churches and museums succeed one another and invite you to a little historical stroll, such as the archaeological museum, occupying the centre of the city. Visiting the interior, you will pass through olive groves and vineyards, before reaching some remote villages where time seems to have stopped, such as Karia. Located South-West of the town of Lefkada, this mountain village is surrounded by lush countryside and majestic waterfalls.
Lefkas will delight lovers of idleness, with its long coasts and its splendid small beaches of fine sand and pebbles conducive to relaxation. To enjoy its beaches, go along the Western coast. You will definitely come across the lovely beach of Pefkoulia, where white sand and pebbles mix, surrounded by wooded hills with jagged slopes. Don't leave Lefkas without visiting the bay of Porto Katsiki , featuring among the island's most beautiful beaches with its white limestone cliffs plunging into an azure sea.
3. Where to sail from Lefkas?
Located 68 nautical miles North of Lefkas, the island of Corfu covers 641 square kilometres and is one of the largest and most beautiful islands in Greece. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the island has everything to please: turquoise and translucent waters, sheltered anchorages, idyllic beaches, mountainous landscapes, and lush vegetation. Boat rental in Corfu is also very practical for starting a cruise in the Ionian Islands.
Among the must-do activities, a visit to the old town will take you to an atmosphere comparable to that of a village in Italy. Wander through the narrow streets and admire theVenetian architecture from the top of the ancient citadel. You can eat in one of the many cafés in the old town. Don't hesitate to walk to the white church of the peninsula of Kanoni and the islet of Pontikonisi , where Ulysses' ship is said to have run aground during his journey.
Finally, holidays mean sunbathing and swimming! Enjoy Corfu's many beaches, including the coves of Paleokastritsa Bay, the pebble beach ofAgios Gordios surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, or Paradise beach with its magnificent cliffs, accessible only by boat.
Paxos and Antipaxos
During your cruise in the Northern Ionian Islands, you will have to stop at Paxos and Antipaxos, two wonderful islets in the Ionian Sea. Greek mythology tells us that the island of Paxos was created after Poseidon tore it away with his trident, in order to create a more intimate place to live with Amphitrite. You can go to Lakka and enjoy the beaches of Kanoni and Paralia. On the island of Antipaxos, little sister of Paxos, we recommend the beach of Voutoumi (which means "paradise" in Greek). The water is so clear that you will have no trouble distinguishing the many fish during your exploration of the sea floor.
The island of Meganisi is located South-East of Lefkas. It is one of the lesser known Greek islands and you can anchor there at the beginning of your cruise, or on your way back to Lefkas. You will have peace and quiet during your visit, even in the summer. We suggest you anchor at the port of Vathi (which has the same name as the capital of Ithaca), where you can have lunch in the seaside restaurant, Errikos. "We went to the small village of Spartochori on the island of Meganisi" Françoise told me when she described her cruise in the Ionian Islands on-board a Bavaria 42. At the anchorage of Spartochori, you can enjoy a swim in very clear waters and enjoy the tavernas and bars on the beach.
"We anchored in some really quiet, wild places. I highly recommend going sailing around the islands of Ithaca and Kefalonia", Jean-Baptiste told me.
Very famous in Greek mythology, the island ofIthaca is, according to the myth, the native island of Ulysses. For those who are interested, we invite you to visit some of the many archaeological sites on the island such as the Palace of Ulysses, or the Cave of the Nymphs. This island has many bays full of pine and cypress trees. With a breathtaking landscape, the island's beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, such as that of Gidaki. Discover Ithaca through Vathy, its capital. This port city has the largest natural harbour in the world! Vathy is also one of the most iconic places in Greece, stop by to enjoy a good meal with a view of the sea in a calm and cheerful atmosphere.
The sixth largest Greek island, Kefalonia is also the largest of the Ionian islands and is popular with tourists for its idyllic scenery. Take advantage of this stopover to visit Mount Ainos National Park , and the island's many historical monuments. Between St. George's fortress, the Caves of Melissani, the beautiful beaches and picturesque villages, you won't have time to be bored in Kefalonia. Don't leave without visiting Fiskardo, which is located in the North of the island. This charming little fishing village with a lovely marina provides the option of dining in good, typical restaurants on the waterfront.
Anchoring at the village of Fiskardo on the island of Kefalonia and walking in the centre (photo by Valentine)
Speaking of pretty villages, Jean-Baptiste and Françoise also advise you to go to the small village ofAssos in the North-West of Kefalonia.
Also called Zakynth or Zakynthos, Zakynthos is an island off the coast of the Peloponnese. World-famous for its fine sandy beaches where you will encounter many sea turtles, the island of Zakynthos is the second Ionian island that attracts the most visitors after the island of Corfu. On this island, the activities are numerous and varied! History lovers, discover the Venetian citadel and the churches, testifying to the time when Byzantium dominated the region. Before leaving on your boat, take the opportunity to visit the port of Zakynthos and discover the market with freshly-caught fish.
"For me, the anchorage that stood out the most was the one in Zante with the wreck, it was extraordinary, it's an absolutely stunning landscape! It's worth the detour, but you have to go early in the day, or late, to avoid the tourist boats" Xavier said, when he was telling me about his cruise in the Ionian Islands on-board a Lagoon 50. Do you want to immortalise your visit to Zakynthos? Go to Shipwreck Bay, the "baie des Naufragés" in French, and take a break, this world-famous place reflects the beauty of Greek coves.
4. Which activities should I choose during my cruise in the Ionian Islands?
"There's a lot of kitesurfing activity at Lefkas Beach! I wasn't able to go, but it's a good place to kitesurf during your cruise." Xavier, a Filovent customer, explained to me. For kitesurfing and windsurfing enthusiasts, the best-known spots in the Ionian Islands are the beaches of The Bridge, The Church, Agios Ioannis and Milos, in the North of the island of Lefkas. The wind usually picks up in the early afternoon around 2pm. On days when the wind blows stronger, don't hesitate to go to other beaches than Milos, which is often busier. To rent equipment, you will find several rental companies on the beaches. We recommend Kite Club Greece on the beach of Agios Nikolaos.
An adrenaline rush awaits you as you begin your paragliding flight over the island of Corfu from the cliffs ofAgios Gordis or Myrtiotissa. The island of Lefkas is also popular with paragliding beginners, who can fly over Kathisma beach, accompanied by an instructor. You will enjoy from a fifteen-minute flight to take your best photos!
Hiking and cycling
Also on the island of Lefkas, many hiking trails are accessible which will enable you to get away from the tourist resorts into the quieter backcountry. On foot, you can follow a route through Melissa Gorge or along the Dimosari Waterfalls. By bike, you can ride on the flat paths around Nidri, crossing olive groves and waterfalls. For experienced mountain bikers, choose mountain routes like the one between Nidri and Haradiatika.
The islands ofIthaca and Kefalonia also have a mountain range that will delight hiking enthusiasts. Mount Ainos National Park, with the highest point rising to 1628 metres above sea level is an ideal location in Kefalonia. In Ithaca, various types of tours are offered atIthaca Tourist Office.
Diving and animal encounters
With regards to diving, you will find the best sites around Lefkas, Corfu and Zakynthos for beginners and the more advanced. We advise diving enthusiasts to explore the seabed to discover the British submarine HSM Regulus, which sank in Corfu's seabed in 1945. Transformed into an artificial reef, HSM Perseus, off Kefalonia, is also a popular dive site. You will find many diving centres on the various islands. In Corfu, you can visit the Achilleon Diving Center.
For lovers of marine animals, we advise you to go to theisland of Marathonisi. It's the only island of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos that is open to the public. This area is home to Caretta caretta turtles and Mediterranean seals. The island is otherwise known as "Turtle Island" for its turtle-like shape.
5. The most beautiful anchorages departing from Lefkas
"What's nice is that there are quite a few places where you can anchor easily. The coastline is quite straight and you can get within a few metres of the land. Sailing in the Ionian Islands has a very practical side to it" said Jean-Baptiste, when he was telling me about his cruise. The sailing area of the Ionian Islands is certainly full of all kinds of anchorages, between large beaches and small hidden coves. "To find the best anchorages, you have to take the time to look, there are anchorages hidden all over the place" he added.
"We discovered a very beautiful anchorage, stunning, just before the village of Fiskardo, which is called Foki . It's a real wonder, I recommend it!" Matthieu told me. In the North-East of Kefalonia, you will be charmed by the calm and peaceful anchorage of Foki. The small beach surrounded by pine trees is located right next to the village of Fiskardo, and you can eat at the restaurant on the beach, Taverna Foki .
"Just across from Nidri on the island of Lefkada is the Tranquil Bay anchorage, we've been back there several times. It's a very quiet anchorage and you can reach Nidri easily by dinghy." said Françoise, when she told me about her cruise in the Ionian Islands. It's a very well-positioned anchorage for visiting Nidri, and the bay is protected from the wind. You can walk around the city and dine in one of the many restaurants!
South-East of Lefkas the anchorage of Python Cove is known for its cave which you can access by swimming or paddle-board. Once anchored in the deep waters of this anchorage (about 15 to 20 metres deep), enjoy a good swim while admiring the island's rocks and lush vegetation. Calm and serenity await you.
Video of Python Cove anchorage with its small cave (Valentine's video)
This anchorage was recommended to me by Eva from Beyondyachting. Located on the West coast of Lefkas, at the Southern tip, you will love Porto Katsiki for the contrast of colours to admire, between the turquoise waters and the huge white cliffs that overhang the sea.
The small island of Kastos is located just South of Meganisi and Kalamos. Anchor at the port of Kastos and enjoy a swim in the clear waters, and then eat in one of the port's many tavernas.
6. Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?
Cruises in the Ionian Islands are usually short. I have selected below 3 examples of itineraries in the South of the Ionian Islands.
Itinerary followed by Valentine: one week in the South Ionian Islands (total distance: 77 nautical miles)
- Day 1: Lefkas → Skorpios (9 nautical miles)
- Day 2: Skorpios → Spartochori, Meganisi (3 nautical miles)
- Day 3: Spartochori, Meganisi → Python Cove, Lefkas → Fiskardo (13 nautical miles)
- Day 4: Fiskardo → Bay in Ithaca → Vathy, Ithaca (16 nautical miles)
- Day 5: Vathy, Ithaca → Kioni (7 nautical miles)
- Day 6: Kioni → Frikes (3 nautical miles)
- Day 7: Frikes → Lefkas (26 nautical miles)
Itinerary followed by Matthieu Deperraz: one week in the South of the Ionian Islands (total distance: 116 nautical miles)
- Day 1: Lefkas → Meganisi (10 nautical miles) → Kalamos (14 nautical miles)
- Day 2: Kalamos → Kastos (5 nautical miles) → Atokos (8 nautical miles)
- Day 3: Kastos → Atokos (8 nautical miles)
- Day 4: Atokos → Vathy, Ithaca (9 nautical miles)
- Day 5: Vathy → Sami and Melissani Cave (18 nautical miles)
- Day 6: Sami → Foki (13 nautical miles) → Fiskardo (1 nautical mile)
- Day 7: Fiskardo → Lefkas (30 nautical miles)
5-day itinerary proposed by Beyondyachting, departing from Lefkas (total distance: 87 nautical miles)
- Day 1: Lefkas → Skorpios (7 nautical miles) → Sivota Bay (8 nautical miles)
- Day 2: Sivota Bay → Porto Katsiki (12 nautical miles)→ Vasiliki (8 nautical miles)
- Day 3: Vasiliki → Afales beach (9 nautical miles) → Fiskardo (5 nautical miles)
- Day 4: Fiskardo → Frikes (9 nautical miles) → Kioni (3 nautical miles)
- Day 5: Kioni → Kitros (9 nautical miles) → Lefkas (17 nautical miles)
Video of a detailed itinerary by Beyondyachting
⛵️ In its Magazine, Filovent also describes a week-long itinerary in the Ionian Sea departing from Lefkas!
7. What are the weather conditions?
The Ionian Sea sailing area enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. At this time of year, temperatures range from 27°C to 34°C. Take the opportunity to make a splash and cool off in a 25°C sea !
"In the Ionian Islands you encounter a thermal wind that rises in the morning at around 11 am and sets at around 5-6 pm. Between the islands the conditions are different: we may encounter some variations with venturi effects, but nothing insurmountable! " Jean-Baptiste told me. The prevailing winds in this sailing come from the North-West. You will probably not encounter winds exceeding 18 knots.
"In Greece, every month is conducive to sea adventures" Andrea Yalamova, rental manager at Beyondyachting in Lefkas, told me. "The sailing conditions are perfect, which is why the Ionian Islands are often preferred to other, windier Greek islands such as the Cyclades" she continued. We suggest that you go to Lefkas between May and October to enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean climate, while avoiding the very busy summer period.
I would like to thank all the Filovent customers (Françoise, Jean-Baptiste, Xavier, and Matthieu) for their testimonies which illustrate my article perfectly. A big thank you as well to Eva and Yalamova from Beyondyachting, for the valuable advice and photos!