The sheltered waters and light winds between mainland Greece and the beautiful islands of the south Ionian create ideal conditions for less experienced sailors. You'll never be more than a few miles away from shore and distances between ports are relatively short – giving you plenty of time to explore hidden coves and anchor to enjoy the beauty of the area.
Keep a close eye out for dolphins, turtles and rays, as they all enjoy the Ionian waters at certain times throughout the summer. Bring or buy masks and snorkels, so you're able to explore life below the waterline too.
The one week south Ionian flotilla starts and ends from our yacht base at Vounaki Beachclub in Paleros. (Approx. half of the fleet departing on 21 May 2017 will join a south to north flotilla starting at Vounaki Beachclub and ending at Retreat Beachclub).
Your flotilla route
This flotilla route will give you a flavour of what to expect from your week on flotilla, it's not fixed however and may vary from that listed below (nm = nautical miles).
Arrive at Vounaki Beachclub yacht marina. Get used to your boat and listen to briefing from the Neilson lead crew. Yachts are available from 5pm.
Sail to this picturesque inlet with charming tavernas and restaurants amongst the whitewashed houses.
A pretty, cosmopolitan village on the southern coast of Lefkas, which is also big on windsurfing and mountain biking.
Mix it up with the super yachts of the rich and famous in Cephalonia's lovely harbour village.
On the island of Ithaka, this is a beautiful, secluded spot, home to some wonderful restaurants.
Tightly packed houses on the slopes down to the harbour give you some wonderful photo opportunities.
It's the last day of the flotilla, so you'll be heading back to Vounaki Beachclub and the Vounaki yacht marina.
Yacht check out time is 9.30am. If you have time before you catch your flight, you're free to make use of the facilities at Vounaki Beachclub and if you've the energy for more, try a few of the beachclub activities (small supplement, payable locally).
Arrival and departure info
Your flotilla boats will be ready from five pm on your arrival day. Once settled on board, the Neilson crew will give an individual boat briefing. If you arrive after 7.30pm the crew will give a short briefing on essentials such as lights, loos and gas with a full briefing the following morning.
The main flotilla briefing for all yachts is the following morning at 9 or 9.30am and boats are free to depart at any time after the briefing is over. Guests on bareboat charter are free to leave the following morning as soon as the boat is fuelled and the boat papers have been stamped (approx. 10.30am). All boats will need to be back at the Neilson base before 6pm on the final sailing day, and vacated by 9.30am on the day of departure.
Before you're let loose on one of our yachts, we need to know you can sail. You'll need at least two people who have sailed before and are over 18 years of age, and one will need a piece of paper to prove they can sail.
Our sailing holidays include damage waiver, marine insurance and fuel, plus we don't ask for a security deposit. There's a few bits we don't include in your holiday, such as mooring fees. If you do need to pay it's usually just a few Euros per night.
For £60 per week you can book inflatable stand up paddle boards (SUP) to take with you. This includes paddle, pump and buoyancy aid. Due to limited storage space, we recommend no more than two SUP per yacht.
Stay and sail
If you'd like to go on a sailing holiday but don't have the experience, our stay and sail holidays might be just the thing. Stay and sail holidays are exclusive to Retreat and Vounaki beachclubs, we can get you to the correct level of experience during a week of yacht training at either Vounaki or Retreat Beachclub. You can then join the flotilla in the second week relaxed, fresh and with the required experience.
Departure airports: London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester Departure days: Sunday Arrival airport: Preveza (PVK) Flight duration: approx. 3 hours 35 minutes Airlines: British Airways (BA) / Germania (ST) / Thomas Cook (TCX) Transfer time: approx. 40 minutes
First 7 night dept: Sun 30 Apr / Last 7 night dept: Sun 22 Oct
London Heathrow (BA)outbound dept: 11:20 / inbound arrival: 19:15
London Gatwick (ST) outbound dept time: 15:40 / inbound arrival: 23:40
London Gatwick (EZY) outbound dept: 09:10 / inbound arrival: 16:35
Manchester (TCX) outbound dept: 14:10 (08:00 on 7 May) / inbound arrival: 22:35
In-flight meals and drinks are not included with British Airways, Thomas Cook or Germania, all offer a buy on board service.Flight timings are provisional and will be submitted for approval by UK and overseas scheduling committees and are therefore given for guidance only are are subject to alteration and confirmation. Your ticket will show the final timings of your flight and your luggage allowances.
Find out more here