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Northern Ionian Sea: Corfu, Erikoussa, Othonoi: One week sailing route

 

 

Indulge yourself in the serenity of the Northern Ionian islands and explore they breathtaking Coast of an amazing area.

This is  a sailing route in the Northern Ionian islands: starting from Corfu, we sailed to the northernmost islets of Greece, Erikoussa and Othonoi and were astonished by their calmness and natural beauty. Then he headed south to the amazing Paxos and Syvota islands, before we returned to the home port. It was a week of exploration of the wild aspect of nature, the sharp cliffs and the crystal waters of the Ionian Sea.

Sailing conditions are easy in the area of the route, because most of the times wind force does not exceed 3-4 beauforts (up to 16 knots), only for few hours in the afternoon. However, it takes to be a good captain to manage comfortably in the small ports in the area. Yachts are chartered from Gouvia marina in Corfu island.

Click on the image to view the chart of the route and read below more information about magic destinations and sailing conditions.


 

Day 1: Gouvia marina - Agios Stefanos, Corfu island (8 nautical miles - nm)

Start your sailing trip at 5 pm on Saturday. There is enough time in the day to have a walk in the historic and so beautiful town of Corfu. After that, fill your boat with required supplies and start your trip north to the coast of Agios Stefanos. There are various other options in the northeastern coast of Corfu, but we selected Agios Stefanos for the picturesque landscape and the few taverns on the coast, where we finally had dinner. There is also a dock in that bay, but there were no spots when we arrived, so we enjoyed a beautiful night on anchor.


Day 2: Corfu - Erikoussa (20 nm)

Next day was the first full day on the yacht. We had breakfast and a beautiful swim in the morning and then continued west, toward Erikoussa, which is the northernmost island of Greece. The place is awesome! There is an organized  marina on the southern coast, well protected from the Northwest wind that comes mostly in the afternoon. Nearby, there is a long, sandy beach, a wonderful place to swim and relax. At the beach you can also find few restaurants offering fresh fish and other delicacies, while the small village is well preserved by the locals. The whole place looked cozy and we enjoyed a very pleasant evening on the islet.

The Old Fortress of Corfu; view from the boat


Day 3: Erikoussa - Othonoi (8 nm)

We started the next day quite relaxing, since there were not much to do. After a swim in the beach and a walk in the village, we sailed west for almost an hour to get to Othonoi, which is the westernmost island of Greece. This is another magnificent islet, small but gifted with wonderful swimming spots, natural colors and wild nature. First, we made a stop at the spectacular eastern coast. The long beach looked very attractive as we approached the islet, but also needed a lot of attention due to the numerous reefs in the area. After a while, we sailed to the cove of Aspri Ammos. There is a lovely beach, surrounded by shiny cliffs, while the water is also shiny and so transparent that everything at the sea bottom was so clearly visible. We also spent a few hours there snorkeling and relaxing.

In the afternoon we docked at the port of the islet. That is a dry place, without any houses around and it takes some 10 minutes walk to reach the center of the village for some basic tavernas, where we had dinner. Some of the group visited the Old Village uphill, which had a more traditional feeling than the place by the sea. As the nature is unspoiled in Othonoi, the ride to the Old Village gave the chance to appreciate the natural beauty as well. 

The alternative to spending the night in Othonoi was to sail further south, to the western coast of Corfu, to the cove of Palaiokastritsa, about 19 nautical miles to the South. This option would shorten the long trip of the following day to Paxos island, while we could visit another impressive destination in Corfu. Instead we opted to stay in Othonoi and enjoy a relaxing day, although the landscape in the port of the islet would not satisfy our expectations... However, the beauty of the beach, especially in Aspri Ammos cannot be easily forgotten.

 


Day 4: Othonoi - Paxos island, Bay of Lakka (50nm)

We left Othonoi with the first light of the day, in order to make it on time to Paxos and the bay at the north, Lakka. It was a long trip of about 7 hours, but it was calm, as usually the winds are low in the area in the morning hours. We arrived in Lakka in the afternoon, and the place was already full with yachts. The sea in that bay is surprisingly bright and has an intense turquoise color. We enjoyed swimming and stayed the night on anchor, since the small dock was always occupied. Still, we enjoyed dinner in the picturesque village, which was delicious! 

 


Day 5: Explore the caves on the western coast of Paxos (10 nm)

We left the bay of Lakka after breakfast, so we could enjoy the day in the amazing caves of Paxos. We headed north and after we reached the western coast of the island, we moved slow exploring the rocks and stopping wherever it seemed interesting. We had plenty of stops throughout the day and the places we visited were just incredible. Watching the shiny cliffs and snorkel in coves under the water created a unique experience that amazed us more and more as the tour continued. After the southern part of the island, we headed to Gaios port in the afternoon, prepared to struggle for a berthing spot. Indeed, we were lucky to find one of the last spots! Later in the evening we visited the restaurants of the traditional town for dinner.

 

Few ports are so charming as Gaios, with the islet of Panayia opposite to the main island offering a unique shape and character to the port.


Day 6: Paxos - Syvota islets (13 nm)

The day started early with breakfast in the colorful port. We were looking forward to visit the beautiful Syvota, a handful of small islets scattered in close distance to each other and the marina, by the small port. We spent most of the day exploring the islets and swimming in the amazing coves, among wonderful landscape with crystal waters and lots of greenery on the hills.

The marina is rather spacious and the Harbor Master is there to assist with docking in the right spot. We were lucky to have all facilities (water - electricity supply). Dinner in the restaurants of the port was fair.

 

The islets of Syvota, covered by dense forest


Day 7: Return to Corfu island (23 nm)

The next day, Friday, we headed back to Gouvia; we left the port early and enjoyed breakfast back in the islets, among the natural colors that we needed to soak deep in our souls. We left for Corfu before noon, so we had the time for another quick swim and lunch at the coast of Corfu. Later in the day we headed to Gouvia marina, where we returned around 5 pm. It was a wonderful cruise, among amazing destinations!

 


Note: Above data (distances, berthing information, etc.) are included merely for informational purposes and are not accurate. Please assess a nautical chart before your trip, to ensure a safe and pleasant trip.

 

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