Sailing the Ionian Sea: Itinerary from Corfu to Ithaca Sailing the Ionian Sea: Itinerary from Corfu to Ithaca
Itineraries April 26, 2024

Sailing the Ionian Sea: Itinerary from Corfu to Ithaca

Corfu is home to plenty of charter services that will ensure you are equipped with the yachts of your choice. The 188-nautical-mile itinerary takes you through five picturesque islands:

  • Corfu;

  • Paxos;

  • Lefkas;

  • Meganisi;

  • Ithaca;

The voyage is a challenge even for experienced sailors. You will encounter challenging navigational sections and lengthy passages that demand skill, stamina, and teamwork.

Arrival (Marina Gouvia)

The waterfront destination of Marina Gouvia can be a starting point for tourists who want to discover the secrets of the Ionian Sea. The port is modern and conveniently located on the island. It takes roughly 15 minutes to travel from Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport. Gouvia Marina is more than just a marina; it resembles a modern island with a well-managed tourism industry. Here is a one-stop shop for all yachting needs, with yacht charter businesses providing a wide range of powered and fly-bridge alternatives to suit all boat lovers. The marina is a sanctuary for yachtsmen, offering all they require throughout their stay.

Day 1 (Corfu — Sivota)

On our first voyage, we will depart from the Gouvia Marina and arrive at one of the anchorages of a small archipelago called Sivota. The distance between them is 24 nautical miles, and the Corfu Sea (Thalassa Kerkiraiki) on its shore is in the northwest-to-southeast direction.

Sivota is the perfect choice, offering a variety of options, from the marina in the picturesque tourist resort of Mourtos to seclusion in the charming little coves. It is rightfully one of the most picturesque places in mainland Greece, with untouched forests, clean beaches, and heavenly landscapes. The sparkling water is often described as beautiful as the Caribbean Sea.

Day 2 (Sivota — Preveza)

Our next destination is the island of Lefkas. We chose a place to spend the night as close as possible to the entrance of this channel. Yachts from all over Europe are moored at the town’s pier. Many kilometers of stunning sandy beaches line the town’s northern side.

We have to pass through the channel between the mainland and Lefkas. It is important to avoid the straits between the islands as they can be dangerous due to the shallow water. The entrance to the strait is narrow and requires careful navigation. As the depth is less than six meters, it is recommended to arrive in Preveza before sunrise.

Day 3 (Preveza — Meganisi Island)

Meganisi, the neighboring island, views the sea as a source of fish rather than a place of uncertainty. Meganisi is a true paradise with a special atmosphere that attracts visitors. This crossing is small—only 18 nautical miles. The first part of the route passes through the channel between Lefkas and the mainland. It is important to exercise caution due to the narrow channels and shallow waters.

The main stage of the route is the entrance to the canal. It is shallow and narrow, so extra caution is required. The fairway is marked and deepens periodically, but depths may differ from those indicated on the map. The distance from the start to the drawbridge, a clean and desolate beach, is only 0.3 nautical miles. The bridge opens every hour from 6:00 to 21:00, except for the summer of 2022 when it is closed from 1 pm to 3 pm. By noon, the channel is crisscrossed with yachts, making navigation difficult. Once out of the canal, you can finally set sail. Statistically, the wind will be a tailwind, and the navigational difficulties will be over.

Day 4 (Meganisi — Ithaca)

We are on the road again! This time, we are heading towards the island of Ithaca, which has an area of only 96 km². This makes it the smallest island in the Ionian Sea. Just under three thousand people live here, far from the bustling metropolises. 22 nautical miles separate the island of Meganissi from the legendary Ithaca. The route follows the Inland Sea, the azure waters that surround the Greek islands. The summer months bring tailwinds that fill the sails of the yachts, making the journey even more enjoyable.

Day 5 (Ithaca to Paxos)

The passage to Paxos Island is 64 nautical miles. The prevailing northwesterly winds make most of the journey an exciting maneuver, requiring the skipper and crew to work well together. Setting off at dawn will optimize the utilization of crosswinds and reduce the impact of headwinds. The final destination is the port of Lakka, located in the north of Paxos, where a serene harbor and Greek charm await. There are no navigational difficulties.

Day 6 (Paxos to Corfu)

The last crossing will take us back to the island of Corfu. The distance is 30 nautical miles. An early departure will enable us to take full advantage of the tailwinds and reach Marina Gouvia before nightfall. There are no navigational problems. Active yachting enthusiasts who want to minimize their time ashore will find this itinerary ideal. It can easily be transformed into a relaxing two-week voyage, allowing you more time for sightseeing and relaxing on Greece’s azure shores.


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