The Ionian Islands...
a magical combination of myth & tradition
Sailing in the Ionian islands rising out of sparkling blue water, scattered with tiny, colourful villages nestling on the slopes of hills clad in olive and cypress, a magical experience. Women in traditional costume sit in their gardens, shaded by vines and apricot trees and surrounded by glorious profusions of flowers, gossiping as they tat intricate lacework. The gnarled fisherman in his picturesque boat nods a smiling "Yassou" of greeting, helps you to tie up at the quay, and offers the pick of his catch to be freshly cooked for your supper: mullet, lobster, swordfish, octopus.
These islands are quite different from those of the Aegean. To start with, high rainfall in the winter ensures that the hills remain green and fresh all year round. The waters are clean and clear. The winds are pleasant and very "friendly" thus making your sailing exceptionally enjoyable.
The whole area simply oozes historic atmosphere. It's the setting of Homer's Iliad, while numerous forts and other ruins bear witness to centuries of domination by Venice. Indeed, many of the olive trees date back to Venetian times, when they were widely planted to enable the islanders to pay taxes to their overlords in the form of olive oil.
During spring and autumn the temperature in the Ionian islands is similar to a bright summer's day in Northern Europe. In high summer it gets considerably hotter - but the sea breezes ensure that, even then, you remain comfortable. The sea is warm enough to swim in throughout the season.
The prevailing winds are north-westerly, but vary from island to island and even bay to bay. Winds are usually just the right strength for a pleasant afternoon sail, but can occasionally reach Force 5 or 6 - which gives keen sailors a chance to put the yacht though its paces, whilst the less energetic can relax in one of the many ports of safe anchorages.