Discover the intriguing landscapes and seascapes that enticed the ancient gods with a charter through the Greek Ionian Islands.
Picturesque villages, cerulean skies, and a deep cultural heritage – the glories of the Greek Ionian Islands continue to seduce the yachting crowd. Each of the Ionian islands is a unique world filled with outstanding beauty and rich history. As such, this East Med archipelago is a paradise for the discerning charterer, providing endless cruising itineraries, fine dining, beautiful beaches, and traditional Greek tavernas. Steeped in legend – Homer’s mythical hero Odysseus ended his quest on Ithaca – an island-hop from ancient towns to ruined temples, from sandy beaches to lively waterfront towns, finding your own hidden treasures as you go.
The archipelagos of Greece are suffused with intrigue, adorned with whitewashed houses and stunning beaches lapped by the beautiful warm waters of the Ionian Sea. Located off the northwest coast of mainland Greece, the seven Ionian Islands run from the basin of the Adriatic to the Peloponnese. Encapsulating the beauty of the Greek countryside combined with a distinct Venetian flavor, thanks to their proximity to Italy, the archipelago delivers mythic grandeur in spades. The most verdant islands in the region, the crystal-clear waters offer some of the best sailing in the Mediterranean with bright blue skies and hot afternoon breezes.
From the bustling fishing harbors of Zakynthos and Corfu to the tranquil fishing villages of Levkas and Ithaca, island hop and discover secluded beaches, welcoming locals and fascinating archaeological sites. Once home to the legendary Greek king Odysseus, a pioneering island hopper himself, the Ionian island chain will weave its spell over you with endlessly compelling charter possibilities.
A yacht charter holiday in the Ionian Isles offers a unique and unforgettable experience, combining the freedom of exploring beautiful islands and pristine waters with the luxury and comfort of a private yacht. Whether you prefer to relax on secluded beaches, visit historical sites, or enjoy water sports and outdoor activities, your charter broker and crew can tailor the trip to suit your preferences.
If you want to enjoy an Ionian yacht charter holiday, Northrop & Johnson’s Greece yacht charter brokers can help. We have access to the best luxury crewed yachts for charter in the Ionian Islands, including elegant sailing yachts and stunning motor yachts, and can tailor an incredible charter itinerary that perfectly matches your desired vacation. Contact our team today.
Northrop & Johnson stands out as a prominent global yacht brokerage, offering access to top-tier, luxury yachts available for charter, including those in the Ionian Isles. Our commitment lies in attentively understanding our clients’ preferences and curating outstanding charter routes throughout and around the Ionian Isles.
Contact our experienced Ionian yacht charter brokers today for inquiries about chartering luxury yacht charter holidays in this region. We’re eager to lend our expertise and support throughout your yachting and sailing holidays.
The archipelagos of Greece are suffused with intrigue, adorned with whitewashed houses and stunning beaches lapped by the beautiful warm waters of the Ionian Sea. Located off the northwest coast of mainland Greece, the seven Ionian Islands run from the basin of the Adriatic to the Peloponnese. Zakynthos, Ithaca, Corfu, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Paxi (or Paxos), and Kythira are the big names among the Ionian Islands, drawing in many on a Greek yacht charter or those on a sailing holiday.
While there are more than seven islands in the Ionian archipelago, the term “Seven Ionian Isles” traditionally refers to the following major islands:
From the bustling fishing harbors of Zakynthos and Corfu to the tranquil fishing villages of Levkas and Ithaca, island hop and discover wonderful beaches, welcoming locals, and fascinating archaeological sites. Once home to the legendary Greek king Odysseus, a pioneering island hopper himself, the Ionian island chain will weave its spell over you with endlessly compelling charter possibilities.
One of the main attractions, and the reason why the Ionian Isles receive so many repeat visitors, is its spectacular natural beauty. Charterers can explore scenic landscapes like the Blue Caves and the Blue Lagoon in Zakynthos, the Melissani Cave and Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia, and the waterfalls of Nidri in Lefkada.
Those who prefer to indulge in the delicious cuisine of the Greek Ionian Islands can do so through fresh seafood, local cheeses, olive oil, and traditional dishes such as moussaka and souvlaki. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local wines, including Robola from Kefalonia and Verdea from Zakynthos. Charterers can also wander through cypress trees or spend a relaxing afternoon in one of the many olive groves.
The Ionian Islands are renowned for their stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings. From the famous Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) on Zakynthos to the stunning Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia, there are numerous beaches to explore and relax on.
Island hopping on an Ionian charter vacation is a fantastic way to explore this beautiful archipelago, offering travelers the opportunity to discover the unique charm of each island while enjoying the convenience of short ferry rides or private boat charters between destinations. Each island in the Ionian archipelago has its own distinct character, landscapes, and attractions to explore. From the lush greenery of Corfu and the rugged coastline of Kefalonia to the pristine beaches of Zakynthos and the traditional villages of Lefkada, island hopping allows you to experience the diverse beauty of the region.
Charterers can also discover the rich culture and history of the Ionian Islands by visiting archaeological sites, museums, and traditional villages. Learn about the region’s Venetian, Byzantine, and Greek influences as you explore ancient ruins, Byzantine churches, and local handicrafts.
The Ionian Islands are known for their lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties to enjoy after dark. Head to Zakynthos Town for vibrant nightlife, dance the night away at beach clubs in Lefkada or sip cocktails overlooking the marina in Corfu. Charterers can experience the island’s vibrant atmosphere and party until the early morning hours.
The best time to explore the Ionian Isles on a superyacht charter is typically during the summer months, from May to September. During this period, you can expect warm and sunny weather, ideal for cruising and enjoying the stunning landscapes and turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Booking your yacht charter holiday well in advance is advisable, especially during the peak summer months when demand is high.
May and September offer slightly cooler temperatures than the peak summer months of June, July, and August, which can be quite hot. However, the weather is still pleasant, and you may find fewer crowds during these shoulder seasons.
Whether chartering a sailing yacht, motor yacht, or catamaran, you’ll find a superb selection of anchorages in the Ionian Islands.
Located on the island of Corfu, Gouvia Marina is one of the largest and prettiest harbors in Greece, offering excellent facilities and services for yacht owners.
Situated on the island of Lefkada, Lefkas Island Marina is a modern marina, the perfect location for yachts of various sizes. It’s conveniently located close to the town of Lefkada, offering easy access to amenities, spectacular views, and attractions. Nidri Marina is a smaller marina located in the town of Nidri on Lefkada Island. It provides berthing options for yachts and is a convenient starting point for exploring the nearby islands.
While not within the Ionian Isles, charterers can also opt to drop anchor in Porto Montenegro. This is a prestigious marina located in the neighboring country of Montenegro. It’s a popular destination for yacht owners exploring the Ionian Sea, offering luxury amenities, excellent food and services.
Argostoli Marina is the main marina on the island of Kefalonia, situated in the capital city of Argostoli. It offers berths for yachts, easy access to the town’s amenities, and great restaurants.
Located in the capital city of Zakynthos (Zante), Zakynthos Marina provides berthing options for yachts on a charter in Greece. It’s close to the town center and offers facilities for yacht owners.
The price of chartering a yacht in the Ionian Islands varies based on factors such as your preferred yacht, the duration of the charter, and the chosen itinerary. Generally, the larger and more prestigious the yacht, the higher the rental cost. For a luxury crewed charter in the Ionian Isles, prices typically start at around US$50,000 per week, with rates exceeding one million for the most luxurious superyachts and mega yachts. Should you wish to embark on a luxury yacht charter in the Ionian Isles, the team at Northrop & Johnson is ready to assist you. Our experienced yacht charter brokers will help you select the perfect yacht and curate an unforgettable getaway in the Ionian Isles, which may include arranging reservations at exclusive restaurants, beach clubs, and spas. Get in touch with us today to begin planning your dream charter experience.
The amenities aboard every Ionian yacht rental will differ depending on your choice of vessel. Typical amenities you can expect aboard a luxury superyacht include:
Yacht charters in the Ionian Isles often come equipped with various water toys and equipment, including snorkeling gear, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. You can enjoy swimming in secluded coves, exploring underwater caves, and engaging in a range of water sports activities. Speak to a charter broker to find the right yacht charter for you.
The number of crew will vary depending on the size of the vessel; however, at a minimum, you can expect a crew of at least four, including a captain, deckhand, stew or stewardess, and a chef. Aboard larger superyachts, you can expect a crew of around 10, including specialist crew members such as personal trainers and spa therapists, with the largest yachts boasting a crew in excess of 20.
Tourists visiting the Ionian Isles can immerse themselves in various events and festivals that showcase the region’s rich culture, traditions, and vibrant atmosphere. Here are some top events and festivals in the Ionian Isles:
Corfu Carnival (Apokries)
Experience the lively Corfu Carnival, one of the biggest and most famous carnival celebrations in Greece. The festivities include colorful parades, street performances, and masquerade parties, culminating in the burning of an effigy of King Carnival on Ash Monday.
Attend the Varkarola Festival in Paxos, where locals and visitors gather to celebrate the island’s maritime heritage. The festival features boat processions adorned with lights, fireworks displays, and live music performances.
Join the festivities of the Zakynthos Carnival, featuring colorful parades, traditional dances, and costume contests. The carnival events occur throughout the island, with highlights in Zakynthos Town.
International Music Festival
Enjoy the International Music Festival held annually in Kefalonia, featuring performances by renowned musicians and orchestras from Greece and abroad. The festival showcases various classical, jazz, and contemporary music.
Lefkada International Folklore Festival
Experience the Lefkada International Folklore Festival, where dance groups and musicians from around the world come together to celebrate traditional music and dance. The festival includes performances, workshops, and cultural exchanges.
Taste the local wines of the Ionian Isles at various wine festivals held throughout the region. Kefalonia, Lefkada, and Zakynthos are known for their wine-producing regions, and visitors can sample a variety of wines while enjoying live music and traditional food.
When planning your luxury yacht charter in the Ionian Isles, consider the most convenient airport for your arrival. Options include Corfu International Airport (CFU) on Corfu Island, Zakynthos International Airport (ZTH) on Zakynthos Island, Kefalonia International Airport (EFL) on Kefalonia Island, and Aktion National Airport (PVK) near Preveza on the mainland, serving Lefkada and nearby islands. Each airport provides domestic and international flight options, facilitating seamless access to your luxurious yachting experience in the stunning Ionian archipelago.
Summer (June to August): During the summer months, from June to August, the Ionian Isles experience hot and dry weather, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). These warm temperatures create ideal conditions for outdoor activities and beach excursions. The sea temperature during this time typically ranges from 22°C to 27°C (72°F to 81°F), perfect for swimming and water sports.
Autumn (September to November): In autumn, from September to November, temperatures in the Ionian Isles begin to cool down slightly. Daytime temperatures range from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), offering pleasant weather for exploring the islands. The sea temperature gradually decreases during this period, averaging between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
Winter (December to February): During the winter months, from December to February, the Ionian Isles experience mild and wet weather. Daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), with occasional rainfall. The sea temperature decreases further during this time, averaging between 15°C to 18°C (59°F to 64°F).
Spring (March to May): Springtime, from March to May, brings moderate temperatures to the Ionian Isles as the islands transition from winter to summer. Daytime temperatures range from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F), making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The sea temperature gradually rises during this period, averaging between 17°C to 22°C (63°F to 72°F).
The currency used in the Ionian Isles, as well as throughout Greece, is the Euro (€). It is advisable to carry euros when traveling to the Ionian Islands for ease of transactions, including payments for accommodations, dining, shopping, and other expenses. Most businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, accept major credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting more remote areas or smaller establishments.
Greece, including the Ionian Isles, is part of the Schengen Area, which allows citizens of certain countries to enter Greece for short stays (up to 90 days within a 180-day period) for tourism, business, or family visits without needing a visa.
Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as many other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, do not need a visa for short visits to Greece.
However, visa requirements may vary depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the length of your stay. It’s essential to check the specific visa requirements for your country of citizenship before traveling to the Ionian Isles. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on visa requirements, don’t hesitate to speak to a Northrop & Johnson yacht charter broker.
The official language spoken in the Ionian Isles, as well as throughout Greece, is Greek. While English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas and establishments, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic Greek phrases to enhance your experience and show appreciation for the local culture. Many locals appreciate visitors making an effort to communicate in Greek, even if it’s just simple greetings like “Kalimera” (Good morning), “Efharisto” (Thank you), or “Parakalo” (Please).
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