We firmly believe that the Ionian islands are one of the best luxury yacht charter destinations in the Mediterranean. They are likely to come as a welcome surprise to those familiar with other areas in Greece, especially the stark Aegean. They are vibrant green in colour with forested mountains covered in pine, cypress and olive trees and are encircled by a sea that turns from a milky turquoise to a deeper darker azure.
The luxury motor and sailing yachts based in the Ionian are already being booked for next year. Some of the reasons that we think make the Ionian so popular and so special, and why you should book your charter for 2018 now, are:
1. The Size
The islands and mainland are all contained within a relatively small area so that the distances that you need to travel each day are short. This close proximity allows you the time to explore all that this lovely area has to offer from the stunning beaches and forested mountains to the quaint seaside villages and romantic historic towns, all at a relaxed pace.
It also allows you the time to take advantage of all that your luxury charter yacht has to offer. Have some fun with the water toys, soak up the sun with a good book or relax in the jacuzzi with a cool drink in hand. Whatever your ideal holiday looks like your attentive Captain and crew will be there to pamper you and make it happen.
2. The Climate
As with the rest of Greece the Ionian is blessed with a wonderful Mediterranean climate - 6 summer months of sunshine and warmth. Spring comes early and covers the hills in colourful wildflowers from as early as March and April, and summer extends through until September with long sunny days and very little, if any, rain. However unlike other areas of Greece the Ionian is not exposed to the strong Meltemi winds that cause gale force winds most afternoons and are particulalry strong in July and August. The Ionian does have it's own special wind, a Maestro, which is very much gentler; another reason why we love the Ionian.
3. The Variety
The Ionian is an eclectic combination of peaceful charm and secluded beaches along with a well developed tourism infrastructure. There are a variety of sights, historic buildings, monuments and museums to visit as well as pretty seaside villages and picturesque cliff-backed beaches and colourful fields of flowers. The islands combine a happy mix of modern tourism and traditional daily Greek life.
Each of the islands has a different feel to them – Kefalonia remains a quiet, peaceful place unspoilt by mass tourism while Corfu's main town is a cultured, cosmopolitan gem of a city. Ithaka has a laid-back charm while Lefkada offers spectacular mountains with beaches that are beloved by both kite and windsurfers.
4. The History
Influenced over the years by the Corinthians, Byzantines, Venetians, French and British the architecture, culture and cuisine is also a rich historical mix. Corfu Town – or Kerkyra, to give this handsome city its proper Greek name – is home to the grandest of Neoclassical monuments and buildings, the hostorical affect of the British Protectorate of the Ionian islands in the 19th century. Kefalonia boasts some inspiring Byzantine monasteries and a feast of religious art. Zakynthos is known more popularly by its Italian name Zante and merits the Venetians "Flower of the Orient" description.
5. The Cuisine
More than anywhere else in Greece the cuisine of the Ionian is influenced by the Italians. While there are, of course, the traditional staples of Greek fare the Ionian has developed an individual style of cooking that reflects the long-time Venetian domination, as well as the close geographical ties to Italy. Some of the dishes typical to this area include pastitsada, a thick pasta dish with a tomato sauce flavoured with cloves and cinnamon, cumin and allspice. While Sofrito, thin slices of floured veal panfried with garlic, parsley white wine and vinegar, takes it's name from the Italian word for fried, fritto.
The Ionian is a very special place that we love and we would love to help you have a holiday in 2018 there. For details about the luxury private crewed charter yachts available here please contact one of the specialists at the Luxury Charter Group.
For more information about the islands in the Ionian