The great thing about this two-week flotilla is that you get to experience the best of sailing both the south and north Ionian. You'll see for yourself how the sailing areas differ. Island hopping and sheltered waters in the south give way to exciting open water sailing, longer sailing legs and coastal cruising in the north.
It's a one-way route, so you'll really be covering the miles. Depending on your departure date you'll set sail from our base at the Retreat Beachclub in the north, or the marina at Vounaki Beachclub in the south. The fortnight is yours to enjoy as you wish, sailing independently or with the flotilla, you can even enjoy a few free sail days and pop back to your favourite spots or make some new discoveries of your own.
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 settled on your boat and listen to your briefing from the Neilson lead crew. Yachts are available from 5pm.
Starting out in the south Ionian, we head to the scenic harbour of Sivota. It's on the island on Lefkas in an enclosed bay.
Sailing south to Cephalonia and the village of Fiscardo. You might bump into a celebrity or two in this popular village, best known for the film, Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
The flotilla sails into the small and colourful port of Frikes on the northern shores of the island of Ithaka.
Sailing further south around the coast of Ithaka to Vathi, a bustling town with a vibrant, lively atmosphere.
Sailing to the island of Kalamos, we head for the sleepy port of Kalamos with a couple of great tavernas and a small pebble beach.
Saturday & Sunday
Enjoy a couple of free sail days to explore, visit places you've always wanted to see or go back to your favourite flotilla stops.
Heading away from the south to Preveza Town, it's the half way point of the flotilla.
Navigate the islands in the bay, moor up and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of this historic harbour town.
This is a small island set in stunning surroundings and joined to Paxos by a causeway. If you've ever wanted to try Greek dancing, this is the place to give it a go!
Lakka is an elegant little town framed by awe-inspiring mountains. You won't believe your eyes when you see the colour of the sea, the clearest of turquoise blue.
More opportunity to go your own way. The flotilla is close to Corfu at this point and a visit to Corfu Town comes highly recommended.
Retreat Beachclub, Sivota
The flotilla heads back towards the Neilson base at the Retreat Beachclub. Flotilla boats should be back at base before 6pm.
Yacht check out time is 9.30am. You're free to relax around the pool at the Retreat Beachclub (there's showers and changing facilities), or for a small supplement try some of the beachclub activities.
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, with the exception of Corfu which is approx. €25 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. Exclusive to Retreat and Vounaki Beachclubs, we can get you to the right level of experience or even a qualification during a week of yacht training at either the Retreat or Vounaki Beachclub in the Ionian. You can join the flotilla in the second week relaxed, fresh and with the right level of 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. 1 hour 15 minutes to Retreat Beachclub / 40 minutes to Vounaki Beachclub
First 7 night dept: Sun 21 May / Last 7 night dept: Sun 24 Sep
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.