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Ionian Flotilla - Northern route

At a glance

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About the Northern route

Our North Ionian flotilla route takes in the magical islands of Paxos and Sivota as it makes its way to Corfu and an option to visit Kalami, the famous ‘Durrel’s bay’ (the home of Gerald Durrel) if you’d like to do more mileage. 

You can expect longer distances, more open sea sailing and a little more wind than the southern route, but still very manageable and relaxing. It’s the perfect route when coupled up with our southern route for two week holidays; and suits sailors with more experience such as our previously qualified IYT Flotilla Skippers or skippers to (at least) Day Skipper standard. 

Typical of the Ionian, conditions are calm in the morning before the wind builds around lunchtime to offer exciting sailing each afternoon, with easy line-of-sight navigation. 

You can opt for a Flexi Flotilla, where you combine our flotilla with bareboating and it’s a popular route for a Stay Sail holiday to our Vassiliki Beach Club.

Arrival day

After a short, 30 minute transfer from Preveza airport you’ll arrive at Lefkas marina where our Ocean Elements lead-crew will meet and greet you before introducing you to your yacht. 

After a short briefing to show you the systems onboard, it will be time to unpack and get acquainted with your new home before going for a drink and a meal ashore and a chance to meet the other flotilla sailors. Early arrivals will enjoy making use of the marina hotel pool and provisioning for the week at Lefkada’s many grocery stores.

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Day 1: Lefkas to Preveza

  • 10 Nautical miles
  • 3-4 hours sailing 
  • Anchorage after Lefkas for a lunchtime swim

The first morning starts with a full skippers briefing at the marina cafe over breakfast, on Monday morning to run through the week’s plans and some technical advice on mooring, anchoring, safety and seamanship. The crew will then be on hand to help you cast off for your first day’s sail (and they’ll be at the other end in Preveza ready to meet you as you arrive). It’s an easy 10-12-mile sail through the Lefkas canal to Preveza. There’s a nice easy holding lunchtime anchorage for clearwater swimming on the way. 

Preveza is a buzzing harbour town and we always enjoy a group meal ashore after our Welcome Punch Party, (which you can’t miss!). There are lots of shops and tavernas to provision for the next stop, to a beautiful anchorage on the island of Paxos.

Day 2: Preveza to Paxos

  • 26 Nautical miles
  • 6-8 hours sailing
  • Stunning island. Visit Emerald Bay.

Paxos is one of our favourite islands in the Ionian. It’s a spectacular place with sandy beaches and clearwater anchorages, nicely sheltered from the predominant wind. We love to anchor the flotilla here and eat onboard for a ‘wild night’ away from the tavernas and our own private swimming pool off the back of the boats.

On route to our next stop, we always recommend a lunchtime stop in Emerald bay. A famous clear water anchorage and sandy beach to swim or paddleboard over to.

Day 3: Paxos to Sivota Islands

  • 12 Nautical miles
  • 3-4 hours sailing
  • A collection of pretty islands and a lively town.

Expect an easier day of sailing (3 hours +) to the Sivota Islands. So set off later and enjoy the delights of Emerald bay or any of the other clear anchorages on Paxos.

Sivota is a charming harbourside town, very pretty and with lots of bars and cafes to have a group meal ashore and our sailing quiz night which promises fun for adults and kids.

Day 4: Sivota to Petriti or Kalami, (Durrel’s bay)

  • 12NM (Petriti) or 22 NM (Kalami)
  • 3 or 6 hours sailing
  • Lunchtime anchorage on Corfu

*On Day 4, you’ll have the choice to sail to Petriti (12NM) or the beautiful Kefali (25NM) - known as Durrel’s Bay - the famous family home of Gerald Durrel

Petriti is a short hop to the southern tip of Corfu to visit this small (and very Greek) harbourside village with some lovely waterside tavernas and a beautiful sandy anchorage. We’ll either swing-at-anchor in the bay or go ‘stern-to’ along the town quay. Here, you can top up with water and provision at very reasonable (local Greek) prices. 

Or choose to head up to the cosmopolitan Kalami which is a beautiful bay and home of TV programme The Durrel’s (of Gerald Durrel) which is now a very tasteful restaurant and winebar for enjoying evening sundowners

Day 5: Petriti or Kalami to Parga

  • 22NM (Petriti) or 35 NM (Kalami)
  • 4 or 7 hours sailing (predominantly downwind)
  • Lunchtime anchorages on the way

A longer sail and all downwind, so it’ll be very relaxing for the family and faster too! Parga is another beautiful ‘tick-list’ destination with taverna’s ashore for our group meal and beautiful water with sandy beaches to bathe on.

Day 6:  Parga to Lefkas 

  • 24 Nautical miles
  • 7-8 hours sailing
  • It’s a long run - but a great sail back - and downwind all the way!

It’s a great sail back to the Lefkas on your last day and the predominant wind is from behind, so it’s always faster. The canal opens every hour so getting through is quite easy and won’t add too much time to the day. 

We like to get back to the marina at about 5 pm so you can refuel (our lead crew will help you at the fuel jetty) before mooring up in the calm of Lefkas marina. Soon after you moor up, we’ll be aboard to let you know about the next day’s travel plans. Then we like to gather ashore for a farewell drink and awards ceremony in the marina bar.

Stay for two weeks...Get an extra day sailing!

If you’re staying for two weeks on flotilla, then you can sail our Southern route for week two. You can choose to stop with us in Lefkas or bareboat to another island - and sail through changeover day - while our lead boat welcomes the new week’s arrivals.

If you choose to free-sail to another island, you can arrange to hook up with the flotilla as they cruise down the southern route after changeover day.

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