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Old 09-08-2013, 08:34   #1
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Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

Hi All,

New to the forum and looking for some help and advice planning an itinerary for sailing around Kefalonia and Ithica.

Background.

Last year my wife and i did a weeks learn to sail and loved it we but gained our ICC. I was keen to try my hand at Bareboating this year and managed to talk my wife and 3 family members all sailing newbies into joining me.

Sailing.

We are chartering a Bavaria 36 for a week out of Lixouri Kefalonia at the end of August and are looking for ideas/advice for sailing itineries. Due to the mix in the group i thought 4 to 5 hours sailing max each day. Hopefully this will keep us all happy.

I've bought a pilot book and charts so have done some reading up but looking for some advice from people who have been there and done it.

If possible we would like to do a full loop of kefalonia while taking in Ithica as well.

So over to you.

Recommendations of routes would be appreciated, advice on Ports / anchorages worth stopping at plus distances and time between ports / anchorages would be useful.

Do you have any recommendations of useful websites that would help us, plus any other hints / tips would be appreciated.

Many Thanks
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:16   #2
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

Take a look at the entries for Kefalonia and Ithaca on the World Cruising Wiki (see link at the top of the page). They are up to date as of July this year - a lot more so than any pilot books. Note if you plan to circumnavigate Kefalonia that you need settled weather to stop at Assos.

GORDON
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Old 09-08-2013, 15:29   #3
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

I just got done with a month in the Ionians and love them. If you have 7 days I'd suggest going north a little to Lefkas and Meganisi. There a row of bays on the East side of Meganisi to anchor in and take a line ashore. We stayed two nights in Port Atheni. The restaurant with green trim was good and they did some traditional greek dancing. Nidri is a great place for shopping, food and drink. If you get to the quay before 2:00pm you should be able to get in. Otherwise anchor in Vlicho bay. The small bay on the Southeast side of Skorpios is great for swimming but you can't go on the beach further than the high water mark.

Vathy on Ithaca is very nice also. Safe anchoring if you arrive late and plenty of space on the quay.

The wind generally blows in the afternoon to late evening. So, if you want to sail, you will probably need to anchor as the quays will be full. There's also no telling what direction the wind is going to come from so look for fairly well protected bays.

If you are going to stay one night in Fiskardo, make it your last then sail along the west coast of Kefalonia, stopping at some of the beaches. It's a long way so get an early start.

Another option is to go straight to Shipwreck beach on Zakinthos on your first day, then to Agios Nikolaos for the night. If you have a lot of chain or a good dingy you can stop at the blue caves while passing by. Shipwreck beach is not to be missed!! Yes, as I'm typing this I would suggest the tip of Zakinthos, head to Ithaca, Fiskardo, then back.
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Old 10-08-2013, 00:24   #4
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt44 View Post
Do you have any recommendations of useful websites that would help us, plus any other hints / tips would be appreciated.
is designed to answer this sort of question.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:05   #5
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Thanks for the advice. Do you think that we can make it as far as Lefkas and Meganisi and back to lixouri in 7 days? We want to take in some of kefalonia and Ithaca not sure if this would be abit ambitious for our first charter.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:29   #6
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

I would suggest you skip Meganisi after suggesting it earlier. You really need to go to shipwreck beach. I'd head there first, at dawn is best before the tripper boats arrive. Stay to the south of the bay and a little ways out. You can't believe the number of boats that descend on the beach during the day.

If you go to Agios Nikolaos for that night it will be a full day. Then the next day you can head to Vathi on Ithaca. From Vathi head to the small island east called Atokos. There are two bays there, we anchored in One House Bay for the day and it was great swimming. I don't know anything about the other. In the afternoon sail to Frikes on Ithaca.

Next head to Sivota on Lefkas. If you can, rent scooters and tour the island for 1/2 day. Lefkas in fantastic to scooter around. The next day head to Fiskardo. If you didn't scooter around the previous day, this is a good spot to also. Then head back to the marina via the west coast of Kefalonia.

These are all save harbors with good holding and have multiple Tavernas ashore.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:31   #7
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

Not that I wish to contradict any suggestions so far, but in view of your relative inexperience I wouldn't be tempted to bite off more than you can chew - there's no guarantee the weather is going to be perfect every day and the last thing you want is a worried and unhappy crew. With just a week, I think you'd be wise to stick to your original plan of cruising Kefalonia and Ithaca, winding up (early, before it gets too busy!) in Fiskardho before heading round the top of Kefalonia on the long haul back to Lixouri. You should have the wind behind you on the last leg except for the final beat up into the Gulf of Argostoli.

If you're planning to sail for 4-5 hours a day, this suggests an itinerary with stops at Poros (or Sami if you don't mind a longer first day), Vathi, Kioni and Fiskardho (see Wiki entries) plus 2-3 nights at anchor if the weather is settled (when Astakos is indeed a possible diversion, although it is a beat back in the prevailing winds). If you have a day over, you could even stop at Argostoli on the last night, then have a relaxing final day's sailing around the Gulf before handing the boat in.

Most days the mornings are windless until 11.00 or so, then the wind builds to F 4-5 from the NW or W and lasts into the evening, dying down as night falls. There are, of course, always exceptions to this when a weather system is passing! So you're often motoring the first 2-3 hours before getting the sails out. It's always windier around the top end of Ithaca and Kefalonia and also down the Ithaca channel between the two islands.

With your admitted lack of experience and a novice crew I'd suggest not being any more ambitious than this if you want everyone to enjoy themselves.

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Old 11-08-2013, 09:04   #8
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Cephalonia or Kefalonia (Κεφαλον ιά) is a great island and we spent a couple of weeks there earlier this summer. Fiscardo has funky holding - it's Med Mooring of course, but it is a very nice town. Ephemia was one of our favorite Ionian ports and is a great place to go with a group of people. There is a town quay and great Tavernas. A lively Ionian town.

Vathi on Ithaca is hard to beat....one of the worlds largest natural harbors, very peaceful anchoring or mooring and lots to do on the island and town. Nice beaches etc. You will love it.

Advice: Read Captain Correlli's Mandolin. It is about WWIi in Cephalonia - it is a really great novel based in historical facts, and it alone will do more to help you understand appreciate the recent history of Greece than anything else.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:40   #9
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Thanks all for the advice really useful. Agree Gordon with a mixed group I want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves and we all feel comfortably.
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:07   #10
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Thanks for all the help and advice.

Decided to play it safe on our first yacht charter the plan is as follows:

Lixouri to Poros
Poros to Vathi
Vathi to Kioni
Kioni to Fiscardo
Fiscardo to Assos
Assos to Lixouri

I put together a little itinerary for my group used daft logic for route map and added photos from google of the places we will be stopping.

It had the desired effect and we are all looking forward to it now. Amazing what a photo of blue sea and sun does.

Hopefully it all goes well and everyone enjoys it.
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:35   #11
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Re: Help! Advice for itinerary Kefalonia and Ithica

Sensible fellow! But do look at the Wiki pages for these harbours so that you're prepared - Fiskardho has quite limited berthing options at present with the pontoons removed and it's wise to arrive quite early. Also, you won't enjoy Assos if the prevailing NW winds are much above force 4-5, so it makes sense to consider the alternative of just a lunch stop before pushing on to Argostoli.

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