The Sailing Tip – Lefkada

Lovely Lefkada! Beautiful nature and magnificent sailing trips. And why? This exquisite part of Greece is filled with the captivating history of antic myths and legends, incredible attractions and tons of spectacular sites to see! Keep reading and check out our this week´s sailing itinerary just for you. 

Day 1: Lefkada – Sailing route Lefkada-Meganisi:  +/- 10nm
Day 2: Meganisi – Sailing route Meganisi-Poros: +/- 34,8nm
Day 3: Poros – Sailing route Poros-Ithaca: +/- 19,5nm
Day 4: Ithaca – Sailing route Ithaca-Fiscando: +/- 5,2nm
Day 5: Fiscando – Sailing route Fiscando-Kefalonia: +/- 11,4nm
Day 6: Kefalonia – Sailing route Kefalonia-Lefkada: +/- 40nm

Total distance: +/- 121 nautical miles

First day: Lefkada

  • Most desired beaches:
    One of the most popular beaches in Lefkada Town is Agios Ioannis. Situated just a few kilometers west from the main town, this Blue Flag beach is known for its exceptional shallow sea and turquoise water, which makes it suitable for families with children. Windsurfers can also get to the northern part of Agios Ioannis (which is often called “Gira”) for strong winds. A bit closer to the town are Amoglossa and Kastro beaches. Both beaches have very narrow, well-protected seabeds filled with coarse sand and much warmer waters compare to other areas. Due to its proximity and favorable swimming conditions, these beaches are perfect for families with small children, which make them often quite crowded during weekends. But if you would like to get away from the crowd, we suggest set sail to Nikiana, around 10 kilometers south from Lefkada Town. The beach is a small unspoiled stretch of sand and small pebbles, bordered by crystalline waters and an enchanting landscape. Since there aren’t many tourist facilities available, Nikiana remains a calm paradise for locals to avoid the crowded scene in bigger beaches.
  • What not to miss:
    The ancient city of Nirikos, which is the island’s first capital from the 2nd millennium BC, is definitely worth visiting. Visitors to the ruins of Nirikos can see the remains of its fortress walls, pre-Roman theater, and parts of the ancient cemetery. The small chapel of Agios Ioannis Antzoussis is one of the most important churches, as well as the oldest church on the island of Lefkada. This 16th-century whitewashed church is built into a rocky cliff above the Agios Ioannis beach, with many rare Byzantine icons that depict Orthodox saints and scenes on the inside. Legend has it that Apostle Paul preached here in the 1st century A.D during his journey to spread Christianity, which is one of the reasons that make up the importance of this church for locals. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about Lefkada, don’t miss out the Archaeological Museum of Lefkada, where visitors can see exhibits dating from the Middle Palaeolithic Age (also called the Old Stone Age) to late Roman times.
  • Berthing:
    There are 2 mooring options in Lefkada Town:
    1. Lefkada Marina is located at the N end of the canal that separates Lefkas from mainland Greece. The marina offers 630 berths in 7 pontoons and associated quays for yachts, in depths of up to 4 meters. The marina is probably the calmest harbor in the Ionian islands, very well-protected from western streams and big waves. It is also well-equipped with a wide range of facilities and services, from repair facilities, showers, laundry to restaurants, bars, supermarkets, etc. However, the marina can be a bit pricey during the high season.
    2. Town Quay extends for 500 meters, out of which 200 meters are available for visiting yachts. Depths at the quay range from 2.5 – 4 meters, and anchoring depths around 8 meters. Holding can be from moderate to good, but it can require some effort to dig in your anchor. The quay offers good shelter in prevailing NW winds, although it can be uncomfortable when strong easterly winds blow.

Second day: Meganisi

  • Most desired beaches:
    One of the most popular beaches in Meganisi is Spilia, which is located around 5 kilometers west of Katomeri. It is also one of the main ports in Meganisi, so the area is often quite crowded with private yachts and boats. But, the beach itself is very beautiful, with white pebbles surrounded by pine trees, cypresses, and turquoise seawater. There’s a wide range of facilities for tourists as well as a couple of taverns here, so visitors can enjoy a nice, stress-free day by the beach. A bit less popular option is Fanaribeach, which is located 3km north of Katomeri. The beach is known for its picturesque atmosphere, with a pebbled coastline surrounded by lush green vegetation and beautiful, crystalline waters. Fanari is ideal for swimming and sunbathing, especially during high season. But if you’re searching for a real hidden paradise, we suggest set sail to Herniades beach, which is located 4km west of Katomeri. This unspoiled beach offers an extremely quiet atmosphere, with a narrow coastline, turquoise waters, and lush vegetation that provide perfect shaded areas for a nice, relaxing sunbathing day under the sun.
  • What not to miss:
    Papanikolis sea cave is the second largest cave in Greece. It is believed that this majestic cave used to be the secret hideaway for a Greek submarine after an encounter with the Italian armada during World War II. With an impressive size of 120 meters in length and 60 meters in width, the cave could easily accommodate even large shipping vessels, which makes it a preferred anchorage for ships during inclement weather.
  • Berthing:
    There are 4 berthing options on Meganisi:

1. Odyseas Marina (38°39.884’N, 020°46.978’E) is situated in the harbor of Port Vathi. It offers 68 berths for yachts up to 30 meters and in depths of up to 8 meters. All berths are along the quays. The marina is well-equipped with a wide range of facilities and services for visitors. It is recommended to book your berth in advance, especially during high season. The marina office can be contacted on channel 72.

2. Port Vathi
(38°39.91′N, 20°46.94′E ) provides 12-15 berths for yachts in its inner harbor and 68 berths in the Odyseas Marina. Depths at the quay in the inner harbor are only 1.5 meters and increase to 3.2 – 10 meters off the quay. Most yachts moor stern-to or bows-to using their anchors along the E quay. Around 20 yachts can also moor on the pontoon of Karnaylo Taverna on the NW of the harbor. Shelter in the port is good in most conditions, but strong northerlies can send in a surge which is uncomfortable in the inner harbor.

3. Port Spilia
(38°39.74′N, 20°45.71′E) offers 50 berths for yachts on various quays and pontoons. Shelters is good in most conditions, although strong northerlies can send in a surge that would be dangerous in some parts of the harbor, especially at the SE end. The NW quay offers around 35 laid moorings, with depths around 3 meters at all berths. Water and electricity can be obtained here, though very limited. The Porto Spilia Taverna offers around 25 berths for yachts. Depths here ranging from 2 – 3 meters in the northerly pontoon to more than 20 meters at the end of the southerly one. However, it can get very uncomfortable in bad weather. The SE quay offers laid moorings for around 25 yachts. Depths here are only 1-1.5 meters, so most yachts must go bows-to. The quay makes a good shelter in settled weather, but strong northerlies can send in unpleasant swell.

4. Port Atheni (38°39.9′N, 20°48.01′E ) is located on the NE coast of Meganisi. It offers moorings for around 10-12 yachts in the S quay and around 10-12 berths for visiting yachts in the Nagias Taverna. Depths along with the quay range from 2.5 meters at the N end to 2.25 meters at the S end. Holding is good in mud and weed. The shelter is also generally good, except when strong NE winds blow. Depths in the Nagias Taverna are only 1.5 meters, so it is best to moor bows-to.

Third day: Poros

  • Most desired beaches:
    The Blue Flag beach of Mikros Gialos is located just at the bottom of Poros village. It is a beautiful white pebble beach surrounded by evergreen shrub and clear blue water. With high slopes covered in pine trees, the beach is very well-protected from wind and sea currents. It is also well-equipped with many rental services for tourists, tavernas, restaurants, coffee shops, and a water-sports center, all of which make up an ideal destination for a calm, relaxing day by the beach. Another good and less crowded option is the beach of Koutsoupia, located between Antisamos and Poros. This sandy beach is pretty much secluded, covered in lush nature, oaks, and cypresses. There aren’t any services for tourists here, so it is most suitable for those who enjoy being in nature with a much calmer atmosphere.
  • Note-worthy landmarks:
    The Dimossari waterfalls, which is located in Nidri, is one of the most popular destinations for nature lovers on the route from Lefkada Town to Poros. This gorgeous 12-meter tall stream of water forms a beautiful, sparkling lake in the middle of lush green surroundings, which makes it a highly desired place for both locals and tourists during summer.
  • Berthing:
    Poros town harbor (37°30.200’N, 023°27.210’E) provides great shelter all year round. Visiting yachts can berth using their anchors stern-to or bows-to the quay or the long pontoon on the NW side of the harbor. Depths along with the quay range from 2.5 – 3.5 meters, and on the pontoon from 3.5 to even 10 meters (at the outer end). Holding is very good in mud. Water and electricity can be obtained on the quay, but not on the pontoon. On the S quay, visiting yachts can moor with their anchors stern-to or bows to the quay. Depths along the quay range from 3 – 4 meters, and you’ll be dropping your anchor in 5 – 6 meters. Holding is also great in mud.
  • Anchorages: 

    1. Russian Bay (37°31.098’N, 023°25.962’E) is located around 1.4 miles W of Poros. Anchor in about 6 meters. The bottom has both sand and weed, which provides good holding once through the weed. It is generally a good anchorage, but water can frequently be disturbed by wash from ferries.

2. Neorion Bay (37°30.9′N, 23°25.98′E) is located 1 mile NW of Poros town. Anchor in 6 – 8 meters around 50 meters off the shore. Holding is good in mud and weed, but similar to Russian Bay, water can frequently be disturbed by wash from ferries.

3. Vidhi Bay ( 37°30.92′N, 23°23.76′E) is located on the Peloponnese at the W end of Poros bay. It offers good shelter except when strong E winds blow. Anchor in 5 – 6 meters in the bay. Holding is good in mud and weed.

4. Poros Bay (37°30.4′N, 23°28′E) is located E of the town. Depths here are over 10 meters, but holding is relatively poor. It is more suitable to use as a day anchorage.

Fourth day: Ithaca

  • Most desired beaches:
    Due to its proximity to Vathy, Dexa is arguably the most popular beach on Ithaca. This Blue Flag beach is well-known for its beautiful white pebbles, turquoise water, and a wide range of facilities and services for visitors. So if you’re looking for a nice, organized beach to rent a sunbed and umbrella, have a sip of cocktail while enjoying warm sunlight, Dexa will be the perfect beach for you. If you prefer sandy beaches we suggest sailing to Platys Ammos, located on the northern side of Ithaca. The beach is formed on the foot of a steep white sand cliff, which makes it only accessible by boats. Or, you can also set sail to the western coast of Ithaca and visit Polis, another beautiful sandy beach with deep blue waters surrounded by lush green vegetation that provides great natural shade. For the most striking scenery, we suggest visiting Frikes beach. This secluded beach is a stretch of beautiful white pebbles covered by tamarisk trees, where you can swim in calm emerald waters while admiring the beauty of its verdant mountainous surroundings.
  • What not to miss:
    While you’re in Ithaca, make sure to visit the capital city of Vathy, which was recognized as a traditional settlement by the Greek government for its characteristics red tiles roof houses, charming alleys, and many historical heritages. The seaside village of Kioni is another beautiful, well-preserved settlement that visitors definitely should not miss. With many little coffee shops and restaurants, stone dwellings with patios covered in flowers, and lovely red-tile roof houses, Kioni is considered one of the most picturesque villages in the Ionian islands, and we totally agree. For those who enjoy learning about ancient Greek, don’t miss out the Acropolis of Alalcomenae, which dominates the mountain slopes above the village of so Aetos. Established during the 6th century, many valuable artifacts have been found here, making it one of the most important historical sights on the island. Another interesting sight is Cave of the Nymphs (or Marmarospilia), which was used as a place of worship of the Nymphs in ancient times. Situated around 180 meters above sea level, the entrance of Marmasopilia is a narrow path that leads to a perfectly leveled chamber with grimy speleothems and an overall haunting ambiance.
  • Berthing:
    There are 3 ports in Ithaca:

1. Port Vathi (38°21.910’N, 020°43.110’E) is the main harbor of the island, which is located on the eastern coast. The port offers 4 main berthing options, depending on the wind direction and your yacht’s draft. The main yacht quay extends along the SW side of the harbor, offering around 20 berths for yachts at the quay. Depths here range from 3.5 meters at the S end to 4 meters at the N end. Holding in soft mud and weed is reasonable once the anchor is well dug in. Shelter on the quay is relatively good in prevailing NW winds. The customs quay is located 200 meters SE of the main quay, offering around 8 berths for yachts. Depths here are more than 2 meters with the exception of the inner corner. The shelter is not as good as the main quay, especially when strong northerly winds blow. The SE quay offers around 8 – 10 berths for yachts, in depths of 2.25 – 2.5 meters. However, shelter is poor with strong NW sea breezes. The NE quay is divided into 2 sections, with an outer part with depths from 5.5 – 6.5 meters, and inner part with depths of 2.25 – 2.75 meters. The quay offers around 18 berths for yachts. The inner berths offer the best shelter in the harbor, but it is not recommended to moor here if your draft approaches 2 meters or if there is any swell expected.

2. Kioni harbor (38°26.845’N, 020°41.668’E)  is situated on the NE coast of the island. There are 3 main berthing options, depending on the wind direction and your yacht’s draft. The main quay extends along the N side of the harbor, offering around 20-25 berths for yachts in depth ranging from 2 – 2.25 meters. Holding is moderate in soft mud and weed. Shelter on the quay is good from prevailing NW winds, but not when strong E or SE winds blow. W quay offers around 6 – 8 berths for yachts to moor stern-to or bows-to the quay. Depths here are too shallow to go close in, so yachts need to drop anchor in 6 – 7 meters and take long lines ashore. If you arrive after 4pm, chances are you’ll have to moor alongside the inside of the breakwater. Depths here range from 2.25 to 6 meters.

3. Frikes harbor is located on the NE coast of the island. There are 4 main berthing options, depending on the wind direction and your yacht’s draft. The breakwater quay offers around 6-8 berths for yachts in depths ranging from 2-2.5 meters at the outer end to only 1.5 meters at the root. Shelter here is good in prevailing winds and light easterlies. The E quay offers around 3 berths for yachts in depths of 2 meters. These are the most secure berths in the harbor. The outside breakwater offers 8-10 moorings for yachts, but only in settled weather.

Fifth day: Fiscando

  • What not to miss:
    Of course, as boaters, we can’t come to Kefalonia without visiting the famous seaside village of Fiscardo. Often referred to as one of the most (if not the most) beautiful village in the Ionian Sea, Fiscardo is truly a paradise for sailors. With a combination of clean safe water, spectacular coastline and amazing underwater topography, Fiscardo is also the desired destinations for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. The village is blessed with amazing scenery, with mountains covered by lush forests, a series of blue bays and small coves, and pebble beaches surrounded by olive trees. Though suffering from the terrible earthquake in 1953, the village still manages to retain its 18-century Venetian-style architecture, which is expressed through numerous red-tiled roof houses painted with ochre, blue, and pink walls. This makes Fiscardo the only village on Kefalonia to be protected by the Greek government for its traditional character and unique scenery. The beauty of Fiscardo is definitely widely known around the world, especially with sailors. Around the port of Fiskardo, visitors can find a great number of fish tavernas and eateries filled with skippers, crews, and passengers talking about sailing and sharing stories of their adventures. Thanks to its strategic location at the entrance to the channel between Kefalonia and Ithaca, this port is also one of the safest ports in the regions.

Sixth day: Kefalonia

  • Most desired beaches:
    Myrtos is probably the most popular beach in Kefalonia. Located 30km north of Argostoli, this semi-circular shaped beach is surrounded by impressive verdant hills covered in lush vegetation. Its white pebbles, crystalline waters, and stunning scenery have put the beach among the best beaches in Greece, or even the world to some. The beach is also well-organized, so visitors can expect a wide range of facilities and services here. Another equally beautiful beach is Antisamos, which is situated very close to Sami port and around 27km east from Argostoli. If you have watched the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, you’ll probably recognize this world-famous beach. Like Myrtos, Antisamos captivates visitor with its marvelous white cliffs, green scenery, and beautiful turquoise waters. The beach is also very organized, so it’s a great destination for a stress-free holiday. If you’re into water-sports, check outMakris Gialos, a nice tourist resort located only 4km south from Argostoli. Aside from its azure waters, golden sand, and interesting rock formations, the beach also attracts visitors for many water-sport activities offered here. During high season, when most beaches get crowded, we suggest sailing to Platia Ammos, which is around 30km west from Argostoli and only accessible by boats. This secluded beach is surrounded by massive cliffs, creating a very dramatic backdrop. There are no facilities for tourists here, which helps retaining its peaceful, unspoiled atmosphere, perfect for a nice getaway from the crowd.
  • What not to miss:
    One of the most impressive natural sights on Kefalonia is the cave lake of Melissani. Located nearby Sami town, this wonder of nature mesmerizes visitors with waters in countless shades of blue and an open roof that allows you to have an amazing view of the sky while exploring the inside. With sunlight dropping from above, the cave is filled by silky gold shreds of light, reflecting its shiny blue waters, together make up a heavenly experience like no other. The Drogarati Cave, 3km from Sami town, is also an impressive natural wonder that nature lovers shouldn’t miss. It is estimated that the cave is about 150 million years old. With the depth of around 60m, the cave constitutes a rare geological phenomenon that can still be observed till this day. For those that are searching for a more lively, vibrant holiday, the capital Argostoli will definitely be a great destination. This charming town seems to have something for everyone, from tasteful shops, lovely cafes and restaurants, to laidback bars and electrifying nightclubs that represent its amazing nightlife. If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Kefalonia, don’t miss out the Korgialeneios Library, known for its rare collection of books and manuscripts, which also operates as a folk art museum.
  • Berthing:1. Arogistoli Port

    is the main harbor of Kefalonia. There are 2 berthing options in Argostoli. TheYacht Quay is where most yachts berth as it has the largest space and also the best shelter from prevailing NW winds. It offers around 10-15 berths for yachts in depths ranging from 2.5m at the S end to 3m at the N end. Anchoring depths are around 4-5 meters at the N end. Holding is good in mud. The shelter is excellent in prevailing NW winds but can become quite uncomfortable when strong E winds blow. The incompleted Argostoli marina is also a good berthing option. The marina offers a large space for yachts to go alongside 3 concrete jetties. Depths at te jetties are 3.5 – 4 meters. The shelter is excellent in all conditions. However, there are no facilities here.2. Sami Port is the main ferry port on the E coast of the island. The port offers sheltered harbor protected by breakwaters with berths for around 30 – 35 yachts. There are 3 berthing options in Sami. The W Quay has the largest space. It offers around 25 berths for yachts in depths ranging from 2.5m at the inner end to 3.5m at the outer end. Holding is good in mud. The shelter is generally good in most conditions, except when strong W and NW blows sending some swell. The S Quay offers 4-5 berths in depths of 4-5 meters. The shelter is good in winds from S to NW, though strong N winds can be uncomfortable. The N Quay offers around 5-5 berths for a yacht in depths ranging from 4m at the inner end to 5.5m at the outer end. The shelter is good in most conditions, except when strong S winds and W winds blow. It can also get quite noisy here when ferries arrive.

    3. Ayia Efimia port is situated on the E coast of the island. The harbor offers around 30-40 berths for yachts in depths of 3-4 meters at the quay. Anchoring depths are around 6 – 7 meters. Holding is acceptable in sand with a few rocks and weed, but it is advisable to lay out more chain and make sure your anchor is well dug in.

    4. Lixouri Port is a large purpose-built harbor situated at the SW end of the island. There are 2 berthing options in the harbor. The Yacht Quay is where most yachts usually berth as it has the largest space and very good shelter from prevailing NW winds. The quay offers around 10-15 berths for yachts along the quay, in depths ranging from 2.5m at the S end to 3m at the N end. Holding is good in mud, and shelter on the quay is excellent from prevailing NW winds but can be a bit uncomfortable when NE winds blow. Another berthing option is a private marina 200m N from the main harbor. Depths here are 3.75m. The marina offers water and electricity on the pontoons and excellent shelter in all conditions. However, you might need to negotiate for a berth.

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