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GREEK ISLANDS FLOTILLA CRUISE — CORFU AND THE IONIAN ISLANDS
JOIN THIS VERY SPECIAL COLGATE SAILING ADVENTURES®
GREEK ISLANDS FLOTILLA IN THE IONIAN SEA
June 12-19, 2021
The last Colgate Sailing Adventures® Greek Sailing Vacation was in 2018, and many who participated said they wanted more! So, in 2021 we’re heading to new cruising grounds for a week-long Ionian flotilla sailing holiday in Greece that includes sheltered coastal sailing and exciting open water jaunts. And again, Cruise leaders Nate and Heather Atwater are your guides on your flotilla holiday in Greece!
Nate and Heather are fantastic. Thorough, professional from start to finish. They work hard to ensure that every adventure is fun for all participants while keeping safety at the forefront.
Mike Mahan – Offshore Sailing grad and Bahamas, St. Lucia, Italy, Belize, Greece cruise participant
Corfu is the northernmost of the seven Ionian Islands, with connections from Athens Airport and many other international airports in Europe and Scandinavia. The starting point to explore the sun-drenched islands of the Ionian Sea, Corfu has lovely beaches, impressive castles and, of course, delightful dining along the waterfront. The Ionian Sea area of the Mediterranean enjoys an average of 315 cloudless days a year. In June expect highs around 82°F, night time lows around 61°F, average water temperatures 72°F, tides ranging no more than one or two feet, and comfortable, relaxed sailing in light to moderate winds.
SAILING RESUMES REQUIRED
For all Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruises, a sailing resume is required to be filled out by all participants. Please download the resume form below, fill it out and email it to Cheryl@OffshoreSailing.com when you book.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CORFU GREEK ISLAND SAILING CRUISE
Each of the seven main islands of the Ionian Islands archipelago is an eye-popping delight, with panoramic views from high mountain peaks, sheltered bays and sandy beaches ideal for snorkeling, delicious traditional food and drink, and ancient history spanning hundreds of years of western civilization. Named after the Greek nymph Io, the Ionian Islands are among the most beautiful in Greece. Get your cameras and smart phones ready for picturesque towns and fishing villages along the waterfront and up in the hills where you’ll find modest white-washed homes with colorfully painted doors, humble and grand churches and monasteries, and iconic fishing skiffs. You will enjoy delightful sailing, snorkeling and swimming, exploring small towns and historic monasteries and castles, and delicious dining in tavernas lining the shores on your Greek sailing vacation.
Our fleet of four, four-cabin catamarans from Sunsail and The Moorings are available to board by 6 p.m. so plan your trip to get to the base sometime in the late afternoon at the latest. Your cruise leaders will be there to greet you as they will have arrived the day before to oversee last minute details. There are restaurants and bars in the marina, so if you come in early relax with a cup of strong Greek coffee or a glass of local retsina wine. The “official” itinerary for this Greek sailing charter, organized by the Atwaters in consultation with the Corfu base manager, will be given to you at the Meet and Greet Party arrival night. Here are some destination highlights in no particular order.
Gouvia Marine Corfu
Gouvia is Corfu’s main harbor where the boats are located. In the small former fishing village of Gouvia, you’ll find ancient Venetian architecture and several modern hotels. You can go horseback riding or rent bicycles nearby if you’d like to explore. Facilities at the marina include a supermarket, restaurants, showers and ATM in case you need to get some Euros (the currency in Greece). Shopping in Corfu during your Greek island sailing cruise is also fun. You can find wonderful gifts and souvenirs, gold and silver worked with a skill found in Byzantine days with western influence, and ceramics known as Corfiot craft.
This is a nice harbor for an overnight stay, situated within an Old Venetian Fortress. Moorings are available here, and once you are settled you can explore the fort by crossing the large bridge over the moat, then sip a cocktail while listening to the harmonic sounds emanating from the Corfu Music School. In the evening, explore Corfu Town’s nightlife, local culture and enjoy yummy authentic Greek cuisine.
On the northeast coast of Corfu is Kalami, a charming former fishing village surrounded by lush olive groves and scenic hilltops great for hiking. The natural beauty of Kalami’s horseshoe-shaped bay is an idyllic place to enjoy beaches and water activities. Its bustling harbor town is home to traditional restaurants where you can tempt your palate with authentic Greek cuisine and sample the local wines. Here you will also find fun shops and a supermarket to replenish boat provisions. Protected from northwesterly winds, the bay is a superb anchorage for our flotilla.
Cruising north along Greece’s verdant coast takes you to the rugged Sivota Islands where you’ll find a tranquil little village tucked behind three of the Sivota Islands. On the south side of the Sivota Islands you’ll find lots of water sports activities and late-night action on Sand Bar Bay.
A short hop north from Sivota Mourtos is Plataria. A long breakwater leads to a bustling harbor with tavernas and cafes dotting the quayside. A short walk south takes you to a sand and shingle beach. Gratsouna Art Gallery near the harbor has unique handmade items and gorgeous souvenirs. At the far end of the harbor are cafes and restaurants where you can sample freshly caught calamari and grilled sardines (sardela).
To get to the Bay of Lakka Paxos you sail in open water, past the southern end of Corfu into the heart of the north Ionian Sea. Paxos and Anti Paxos are two lovely islands with remote, quiet ambiance. Sparsely populated and fertile, you can explore the interior of Anti Paxos on easy paths, where you’ll find vineyards and olive groves interspersed with flocks of sheep. Several anchorages beckon. On the south coast of Paxos are sea caves to explore. You may want to take a ferry to Gajos, where there are shops and several tavernas, hot springs reputed to have therapeutic properties, the Monastery of Panagia and the Museum of Paxos.
A straight shot of blue-water sailing from Lakka takes you to Parga on the mainland, where you’ll find music bars, tavernas and coffee shops (kafenios). There’s a lovely anchorage in nearby Valtou Bay or you might stay in bustling Parga harbor. The village of Parga is a small town with shops and restaurants. On the west side are ruins of a Venetian fortress high on the hill with fantastic views. Parga is known for its wonderful sandy beaches, lined by tavernas, cafes, and restaurants.
This sleepy working fishing village is located on the east coast of Corfu. Its sandy beach and gentle shallow waters provide superb conditions for swimming and snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Here you will anchor and dinghy ashore for dinner at a traditional seaside tavernas, where you can enjoy freshly prepared fish straight from the boat to your table.
Greece is traditionally one of our most popular Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruise destinations so don’t wait to sign up. The cruise is open to all sailors, with a $300 discount per person for Offshore Sailing School grads who hold US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification. Find a friend or loved one, or come alone, and call 888-454-7015 today to reserve your cabin.
Non-Discounted Package Rates:
- Single in a private cabin – $3,995
- Two sharing a cabin – $3,395 per person
Package Rates for Offshore Sailing School Graduates with US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification (BCC)
If you are an Offshore Sailing School grad with US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification (BCC) and are traveling with a sailor who does not hold that certification, you pay the discounted rate, and your partner pays the regular rate.
888-454-7015 ♦ 239-454-1700
To guarantee a cabin on this Ionian flotilla sailing holiday in Greece, full payment is due now, along with a $300 refundable damage deposit. No refunds are allowed. Please purchase Travel Insurance.
- Private or shared cabin on one of the flotilla yachts, assigned by the Atwaters
- Welcome party arrival night with heavy hors d’oeuvres (meze in Greek) or light dinner
- Mid-week or end-of-week party and dinner
- Starter pack of provisions to include breakfast and lunches for two days
- Fuel charge for the duration of the charter
- Ice, full water and fuel tanks prior to departure
- Damage waiver applied by charter company
- Commemorative shirt and cap for this cruise
- Comprehensive cruise e-book prepared by Offshore, to help you plan your trip
Nate and Heather Atwater will assign cabins and boats based on resumes we receive from participants, appointing a Skipper and Navigator (mate) from those with Bareboat Cruising or higher certification levels. The Skipper is also required to hold a US Sailing or ASA IPC (International Proficiency Certificate) which can be achieved easily with the required certifications mentioned here.
- All travel costs to and from Greece and the Sunsail/Moorings Plan to bring enough cash to support a kitty on each boat, which will be used for docking/mooring fees and shopping excursions with your crew for fresh baked goods, veggies, and meals you want to prepare aboard. Restaurants on the islands offer local cuisine, usually at modest prices. Greek is the official language, but many people speak English and French. The currency in Greece is the Euro. base
- All meals aboard or ashore during the cruise except for the starter pack
- Beverages you wish to have aboard while cruising (Greek wines are quite good)
- Any costs incurred to visit sites during the cruise
- Extra provisions, water, ice or fuel bought for the boat while on the cruise – shared by all aboard each boat
- Docking/mooring fees per night (range from 10 Euros per boat for stern-to Med-moorings on town quays to 50 Euros per boat in marinas) – shared by all aboard each boat
- Shore showers (some charge a small fee)
Plan to bring enough cash to support a kitty on each boat, which will be used for docking/mooring fees and shopping excursions with your crew for fresh baked goods, veggies, and meals you want to prepare aboard. Restaurants on the islands offer local cuisine, usually at modest prices. Greek is the official language, but many people speak English and French. The currency in Greece is the Euro.
THE IONIAN ISLANDS OF GREECE FLOTILLA CRUISE FLEET
The catamarans we have reserved for this very special Greek Islands Flotilla cruise include Sunsail 454 and Moorings 4800 catamarans. All four boats have four cabins, four heads (bathrooms), five showers (one on the stern to rinse off after swimming), and ample storage for your luggage in small areas reached via the forward cabins.
HOW TO GET TO CORFU AND WHERE TO STAY BEFORE AND AFTER THE CRUISE
Corfu airport (CFU) is on the east side the island 5 miles from the base. Airlines servicing Corfu are several flights a day from Athens on Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines, and daily direct services from several UK airports and others in Europe. Due to the number of flights organized by The Moorings you may be able to get better rates by contacting Soon Saysomvang, 866-649-2003, a Moorings/Sunsail Travel Specialists. There is also bus service from Athens if you like to explore (approximately 6 hour ride plus a 1.5-hour local ferry crossing to Corfu). Moorings and Sunsail list three hotels near the base: Hotel Debono, Corfu Palace Hotel, and Kontokali Bay Hotel. When you sign up for this Ionian flotilla sailing holiday in Greece you will receive a complete handbook with a lot more information to help you plan your trip. Have more questions about our Greek Island sailing holidays? Contact us and we’d be happy to help.