In early October Graham and I flew out to Preveza from Manchester to arrive at Nidri where we had arranged to sail for a week. The Thomson Airlines flight was trouble free and we transferred to Nidri which is a town on the coast of the island of Lefkada or Lefkas in the Ionian group of Greek Islands. It is a pleasant little town….a bit higgledy piggledy but nice enough with the most delightful vista of islands and blue sea and more islands. At first the weather was challenging and so we just stayed tight as the most humungous thunderstorm and lightning rolled on and on for over 36 hours. 

  We stayed in the Cosmos apartments which were well appointed and comfortable with good bathrooms and hot showers, a hairdryer and adequate snack making facilities and we were given a blanket because of the poor weather! Then the sun returned and shone strongly for the rest of the time and we embarked on our Ionian journey which was a great success. 

  We sailed from Nidri on Lefkas to Meganissi and stayed overnight at Port Spiglia which is under the cliffs of the ancient village of Spartakholi. This is an enchanting place with a simple taverna and lovely beach with good moorings and good showers. People walk up to the old village in the evening or just stay at the water’s edge. I loved it and that night the Full Moon was superb and shining into the cabin. In the dawn light it was calm and silent and beautiful and we nosed out into the Meganissi Strait.

  We loved our time sailing in the Ionian and took it gently; the next port was Frikes on the Island of Ithaca which was beautiful too. We were so hot that having moored Graham just walked into the water. The food was excellent and there were several cafes and also some very good showers which also had hair dryers. We enjoyed a pleasant meal and it was really busy that evening with whole flotillas coming in of varying sizes of yachts. 

  The following morning we took it lazily and after a good cappuccino left and went towards Kioni which we looked at and saw that it is an attractive little harbour but we made for Vathi the capital of Ithaca.  Vathi has a long attractive entrance and then one comes into the bay. We were able to moor up right in the middle of the town centre which was useful for us with not far to walk to the cafes and shops. Again there was plenty of yachting traffic and we enjoyed some disgustingly sticky gorgeous Greek sweets and also later a good dinner and some wonderful fresh sardines and Greek salad….the Mythos (beer) is always good!

  The next morning we made the journey across the Ionian to Sivota on the Island of Lefkas. A rather sinister sleek yacht came thundering up on the starboard quarter and reminded us of James Bond and we dodged the various huge ferries whose wake one doesn’t need to become enmeshed in. Sivota is yet another charming little place with several restaurants and a couple of nice beaches.  It is the HQ of Sailing Holidays and there are nice flats and villas to rent. 

  We left early the next morning to sail back into Nidri and moor up the yacht and leave everything ship shape – we had arranged this sail independently. I found the excellent Hotel George down a quiet road where they very kindly agreed to rent us a room for a lovely welcome shower; this is a nice hotel which I would recommend for a comfortable stay as it has a lovely swimming pool, some well-kept garden and lawn, tranquillity and obviously a nice bar and service. The rooms were well appointed with balconies. A sail and stay holiday could be done with this hotel I think. All too soon it was our departure. Sailing in the Ionian I would recommend as the waters are calm and the distances are minimal and it is so beautiful.  

Greece is so lovely; last year I had been asked to help promote four of The Cyclades Islands and that feature was published for The Buyers’ Guide for World Travel Market 2013 and can also be seen on my own website.

Article and picture by ALINE DOBBIE

https://www.thepeacockscall.co.uk Ionian Idyll Photos Rhapsody in Blue Photos