It’s fair to say that of all the places I’ve been the Ionian Greek Islands have to be some of the most beautiful on earth. Mountainous islands that climb straight out of the Mediterranean Sea. A bright blue ocean that no picture can do justice to. Clear sunny days for weeks on end. Fresh seafood, lamb and vegetables served up from humble tavernas that rival the best restaurant food in the world. Oh, and the small matter of sailing a yacht from port to port with half a dozen close friends, sharing incredible memories and cold beers in equal measure every day. It’s just a stunning little part of the planet. If you’re looking for travel inspiration over the holiday period, these photos might help a bit…
The water in One House Bay was up to thirty metres deep, but you’d honestly have no idea. From the deck of the yacht it was easy to see the sea bottom and the schools of fish ducking and darting in the filtered sunlight. Apparently the house belongs to a local fisherman and isn’t used terribly often. I have a feeling that if the place was mine it’d be quite a struggle to leave…
Porto Spilia taverna, nestled at the bottom of the hill below Spatahori township, is owned by two brothers that between them manage to moor dozens of boats a week, serve up hundreds of meals and keep the supply of cold Mythos flowing to anyone that needs it. It’s perhaps no surprise that as a result I’ve been there three times. Other than the taverna, a few boats and a church or two there’s not much else around the bay other than great views and pebbled beaches – just the way we liked it.
Sailing past the small town of Vathy you can’t help but notice the dozens of brightly coloured buildings stacked seemingly one on top of the other all the way up the rugged cliff face. With yachts tacking backwards and forwards in the bay and the cooling breeze offsetting the heat of the midday sun, it was a beautifully idyllic scene.
I must admit that I’d never read the book ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ nor seen the movie before heading to the Greek Islands. As a result this little bay and pier didn’t have too much of an impact on me – it just seemed like a nice place to stop for lunch and enjoy the snorkelling. Apparently though this jetty was built specifically for the film and is quite recognisable from it. Who knew?
Tucked away at the tip of a peninsula on the island of Kefalonia, the village of Assos is dominated by the ruins of a 16th century Venetian castle that overlooks the town. The walk up the track to the castle entrance is hard work in the Greek summer heat, but the views from the top make it all worth while. The colourful buildings of a charming little village surround a sheltered bay, while sunseekers enjoy cocktails around the small slice of beach. There’s worse places to spend a day ashore.
After hiring scooters we headed for the hills of Ithaca. Zipping along the mountaintops, ducking and weaving between the random goats in the middle of the road, we came across this gorgeous vista. Picturesque villages, vibrant blue ocean, craggy mountains … and a rusted out car wreck. I guess that’s what happens when you take your eyes off the road to admire the view for too long.
These were just a few of the (far too) many photos that I took from land and sea in the Ionian. Just looking at them brings a happy smile to my face, so I hope you enjoyed them too!