We have all seen or at least heard of the breathtaking beauty of Greece. As one of the most visited and loved sailing holiday destinations, this Mediterranean paradise has a lot to offer. Both for beginners and experienced sailors. However, when deciding on the best sailing route for your dream holiday in Greece, things can get a bit complicated. With so many island groups and places you can visit, it’s hard not to feel indecisive.
But no worries, the team of Tubber is always here to help! That is why we have created this one-week sailing itinerary with you in mind. This 7-day adventure from Athens to Corfu will allow you to explore some of the most beautiful places you can find in the Ionian Area and in all of Greece. We would dare to even say in the whole world. Are you ready? Let’s dive in and get inspired…
Day One – Athens
It all starts in the historical capital of Europe. In the city that has existed since the Neolithic Age. This dream sailing holiday begins in ancient Athens. A town that has stood the test of time and is able to capture the hearts of visitors even today with its mix of rich history and high standard modern facilities.
You can enjoy Athens, the capital of Greece for as long as you want before you start your sailing holiday. But remember, this is just the beginning, and there is so much more to see along the way. There are many modern and welcoming marinas in Athens from where you can pick up your charter yacht. Some of the best ones are Athens Marina, Zea Marina, Flisvos Marina, and Alimos Marina. All of them have the highest standard of amenities and knowledgeable staff. Once you are on board, the adventure can begin.
First, you will want to sail towards Galaxidi, a trip that takes around 15 hours to complete, estimated based on an average speed of 5kts. On your way there you will pass through The Corinth Canal. This is a crucial navigational route in the Greek archipelago. It connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and sailing through the canal is definitely a worthwhile experience! Just remember to contact the Isthmia control tower on VHF channel 11 before entering the canal.
Day Two – Galaxidi
Once you reach Galaxidi, be aware you have reached the home of some of the country’s most important shipping families. Galaxidi is a place that was cut off from the Greek mainland until 1950. It relied on the sea for transportation from as far back as the 18th century. This legacy can be observed at the Nautical and Historical Museum, the first of its kind in Greece.
The maritime history of this stunning location, however, is not its only attractive point. Galaxidi is a destination that’s perfect if you want to explore beautiful neoclassical houses, old captains’ mansions, and picturesque ports. Here you can experience the charm of a non-commercialized town and warm, welcoming people.
To complete the experience we highly recommend you stop for a tasty traditional meal in O Bebelis. This is one of the best restaurants in Galaxidi, with a rating of 5.5 on TripAdvisor. One of its visitors Daphne M. even describes it as a true gem and says “I loved this place so much! The fact that it’s hidden in a side street, the vintage decor, the atmosphere of old and better times, the small menu with excellent choices, the delicious cooking, the friendly staff, everything beckons me back!”. Well, we definitely agree with Daphne!
Day Three – Ithaki
Once you have enjoyed the history, food, and beautiful buildings in Galaxidi, it’s time to head on to the next stunning destination. This is the most extended trip when it comes to duration, around 17 hours, but it’s definitely worth it. The sailing to this island is a blessing on its own because you get to enjoy the smooth waters of the Ionian Sea. Furthermore, when you get to Ithaki you will be utterly charmed by its ancient ruins, breathtaking harbor villages and wilderness walks. This island squeezed between Kefalonia and the mainland, it’s the kind of place that seems to have the power to stop time, make you slow down, and leave all cares to slip away.
Known for its mythological significance as the home of Odysseus in Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, this place has so much to offer you won’t even know where to start. Well, we recommend you explore the magical Spring of Arethousa, the Cave of the Nymphs, and white pebble beach Filiatro. That last one is a must, especially if you love clear turquoise water, sunbeds, and stunning nature. All of these are located in and around Vathi, which is the island’s main settlement. A real gem that has many secrets that are waiting to be discovered by you.
Day Four – Lefkada
The next destination of this dream sailing itinerary is an island that is just 3 hours away from Ithaki, which means you will have plenty of time to explore both locations. The beautiful island we are talking about is the serene Lefkada. This is a truly charming place and the home of timeless villages, wild olive groves, and amazing beaches. Furthermore, if you continue all the way to the south, you’ll discover stunning little bays and inlets and perfect conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
In Lefkada, you can find lovely fish taverns right by the sea and surrounded by lush greenery. Here again, we can’t help but mention a fantastic restaurant that has a well-deserved 5 star rating o Trip Advisor. “To Loukoumadaki” is the place to visit if you want to know what Greek food is really all about! From Local Cuisine to Street Food to the most delicious fresh desserts, this place has been described by many as the best, a heaven and a dream come true. While you are there, you can also enjoy the fantastic award-winning wines of the region.
Day Five – Paxos
At this point in the journey you may think you’ve seen enough beauty for the rest of the year, but prepare yourself, because there’s so much more. When you are satisfied with Lefkada, head towards Paxos (also known as Paxi), which is 9 hours away and often described as a hidden gem. That is because this island has no airport, so it can only be reached by boat and therefore, has been able to become one of the least commercial islands in the Ionian Sea. Still, it has breathtaking scenery with clear aquamarine sea and white-sanded beaches.
The local people are warm and welcoming, making you feel at home instantly! Paxos is a small island so it can easily be explored by boat. After a walk along the beach, you can sit and have a drink in one of the seafront cafes. Meanwhile, you can watch local fishermen bring their fresh catch in to sell. Here similarly to Lefkada the wine is to die for and the olive groves are always in sight. A typical Greek island that captures visitors with its authenticity and serenity.
Day Six – Parga
Very close to Paxos (Just 2 hours away) is the picturesque town of Parga. This city is the most popular summer destination in Epirus and our next destination. Parga is situated in a secluded bay, but it has that island feeling. The colorful houses build along the slopes of a mountain create a postcard-worthy picture. At the entrance of the port, you will see a small evergreen islet with a little white church and the walls of a Venetian castle on the top of the hill above the town.
Except for its classical architecture, this place is famous for its amazing beaches. The most popular ones are Valtos and Lichnos that offer a wide range of summer activities, bars, resorts, and many other opportunities to enjoy the perfect summer holiday. Take your time in this place and enjoy it thoroughly before you sail to the final destination of this itinerary.
We also have another Island Hopping Itinerary in Greece that starts from Athens but follows a different route. In this one, the stars are places like Aegina, Dokos, and Hydra. Check it out as well, because as we already mentioned Greece has so much to offer, you can never get enough.
Day Seven – Corfu
We all know that feeling at the end of a fantastic holiday. You wish you could stay, explore, and have fun under the hot sun forever. Well, that may not be possible, but one thing is certain – the last destination we have chosen for you will offer so many beautiful experiences you won’t even have time to think about that. Let’s put the cherry on top and sail to Corfu!
This island that has never fallen under the Ottoman oppression has a rich multi-cultural heritage. Throughout the years Corfu has been dominated by the Venetians, the French, and the British. Therefore the island has become a part of the Western World. This is the home of the first Greek University, the first Philharmonic Orchestra, and the First School of Fine Arts. The historical monuments and architectural treasures are numerous. Furthermore, Corfu is blessed with the stunning natural landscapes, crystal clear seas, and excellent weather all year round.
In addition, the food here offers the ultimate gastronomic experience. Luckily, we have a list of the top ten restaurants in Corfu ready for you. All that’s left is to charter a yacht, pack, and begin this exciting journey!