Off the west coast of Greece is a group of islands known as the Ionian Islands. They are surrounded by pristine blue waters bathed in sunshine nearly every day of the year. Not only are they a popular tourist destination in general, but they are also hot destination for tourists whose idea of a great vacation is sailing. Indeed, sailing the Ionians has become a bucket list among avid recreational sailors.
NauticEd, a world-renowned sailing school specializing in online sailing courses, sponsors a trip somewhere in the world every summer and the Ionians is the pick for 2019. Demand is so great that they immediately start booking the next year’s trip as soon as the current excursion is complete. If you are an avid recreational sailor, this might be a trip for you.
So what is it about sailing the Ionian Islands that is so attractive? NauticEd says there are five things in particular:
1. Easy Navigation
Recreational sailors can sometimes have difficulty sailing in unknown waters due to not having the time to hone their navigation skills. The beauty of the Ionians is that sailing them involves line-of-site navigation. Sailors can certainly break out their maps and other navigation tools to brush up on their skills – and they really should – but any sailor who can keep the coast in sight can hop from one island to the next without difficulty. Distances between ports are relatively short as well.
2. Smooth Sailing
The central Mediterranean is known for its glorious whether and calm seas. Though there are storms that blow up from time to time, sailing along the western coast of Greece from one Ionian island to the next is almost always smooth sailing during the summer. This makes it a great trip for new sailors looking for an international experience without having to navigate rougher waters. The smooth sailing of the Ionian trip also leaves plenty of time for leisure activities.
3. Beautiful Scenery
The Mediterranean region is one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Moreover, seeing the coastline from the water offers an entirely different perspective. Sailors are in for some gloriously lush landscapes as they cruise the crystal-clear waters from one island to the next. That says nothing of the majestic mountains and the quaint seaside towns encountered along the way.
4. Plenty of Activities
Sailing the Ionians doesn’t restrict you to the boat for your entire trip. There is so much more to do. Water-based activities include snorkeling, diving, swimming, fishing, and so much more. Sailors wishing to go ashore will find no shortage of restaurant and shopping options. And of course, the Ionian Islands have a very rich history all their own. Plenty of historical excursions take off from the ports every single day.
5. Casual, Family Fun
Lastly, the Ionian Islands offer casual, family fun for adults and kids of all ages. Whether a person is just learning how to sail or sailing school is a distant memory, sailing the Ionians is one of the most relaxing experiences one can have on the water. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.
One last thing to note: you do not have to know how to sail like an expert to enjoy an Ionians sailing vacation. You can hire a skipper while your family provides the crew manpower. A few sailing courses online can prepare you for that kind of trip. If expense is not a concern, you can hire both skipper and crew. It is your choice. Regardless of how you choose to do it, sailing the Ionians is an unforgettable experience every sailor should do at least once.