Ionian Sea Odyssey Adventure 3
PART 3 of 3 - Five more amazing places of the North Ionian Sea.
1. SIVOTA MOURTOS
Sivota is a beautiful coastal town located on mainland Greece directly east of the southern tip of Corfu Island. The Sivota Islands group are just offshore – comprising of Nisis Ay Nikolaos, Nisis Sivota and Nisis Mavros Notos. These rugged islands have long been popular as great places to cruise around.
The town quay we stopped at was called Mourtos & still features all the charm & ambience of a traditional Greek village, but you can find restaurants, taverners & bars.
Anyone travelling with children will enjoy taking them to the water park at Monastery Bay. The channel between Ay Nikolaos and the mainland is busy with water- and jet-skis. There are also many small, amazing beaches dotted along the coastlines. 2. KALAMI BEACH CORFU
The charming former fishing village, Kalami is located on the northeast coast of Corfu, with lush olive groves surrounding & scenic hilltops. This horseshoe-shaped bay abundant with rich beauty & its lively harbour town has something for everyone. Kalami’s pebble beach makes for an idyllic place to enjoy time relaxing on the beach. There is a great café right on the beach that was perfect for our morning refreshment.
The serene water of Kalami Beach is in wide protected bay & a perfect location to Kayak or paddle board – the natural surroundings allowing you ‘to relax, clear your mind & have some fun’ - the inspiration behind “Kalami Kayaks” ”The heart of the beach”.
We were very impressed that they had a program that us visitors could pick up rubbish that washed to shore & ”Kalami Kayaks” would dispose of it responsibly, it’s a sad fact of progress in tourism that programs such as this exist, but it’s important for awareness & as a visitor it’s great to contribute in a practical, meaningful way. Behind the beach there is a very pretty street with some charming shops selling fun souvenirs & artisan made gifts of the natural produce from the land such as olive wood, olive oil & honey.
3. SIVOTA IGOUMENITSA
Igoumenitsa, is a coastal city in north-western Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit of Thesprotia & the chief port of Thesprotia & Epirus. Today it’s a charming seaside port village that has a 1960’s Mediterranean seaside, retro chic look!
The bars on the beach promenade serve afternoon canapes with afternoon drinks, that holds you over till dinner. The back streets have great little souvenir shops, quirky fashion boutiques plus services like a post office & travel agencies. There are many delightful tavernas, cafés & bars on the harbour front.
We had our evening meal at a very popular place to eat good seafood & Greek cuisine called George’s Family Taverna, it was a busy restaurant, the food was delicious & the service was fantastic. 4. AGNI BAY
Agni Bay is located 30 km from the main town of Corfu &11 km of Kassiopi. This charming petite bay & it’s seaside hamlet has a little beach of shiny pebbles & a few patches of sand. It’s also home to Nikolas Taverna, one of the best loved tavernas in Corfu. It’s a family run taverna that have a special “Greek Night” for their guests every Thursday, it’s favourite for both locals & visitors.
On these evenings they aim to re-create the spirit & atmosphere of the traditional village Festival, with Greek food & dancing, it was lots of fun. As it’s so popular you do need a reservation for dinner & there is limited mooring at the secluded bay, ours was a step away from the Taverna. We were lucky to have our skipper secure a booking for both dinner & the overnight mooring.
The next morning we spent a very enjoyable time kayaking & swimming near our yacht at a sheltered part of the bay, it was busy with lots of yachts, but the end we were moored at was a quite little nook that had a rugged coast to explore underneath a beautiful looking estate jutting out of the cliff. 5. KASSIOPI HARBOUR
Kassiopi is a charming town situated at a small peninsula on the north-east corner of the island of Corfu, 36 km north of Corfu Town & Corfu airport.
Kassiopi harbour has a quaint little town square; this is a friendly seaside town with lots of cafes, bars, artisan stores, souvenir shops, boutiques & family activities.
When you walk up through the town you will discover the ruins of the Byzantine castle that used to protect the town & its port guarding the sea route from Corfu to the opposite coast. The view from the hilltop is spectacular. In the evening it becomes a lively buzzy happening place - when night falls it has a magical quality with the magnificent Mediterranean backdrop of Mount Pantokrator & hills covered with olive groves, vines & citrus plantations.
RETURN GOUVIA MARINA
Before returning to the Marina while our skipper re-fuelled the yacht we found a fabulous delicatessen, bakery & coffee shop for afternoon tea.
The last evening we decided to go into Corfu Old Town for one more last shop & special meal together, for the next day we would all part company. We found a beautiful traditional restaurant in one of the pretty historic squares. The food & company was wonderful, we enjoyed a nice glass of wine with our meal.
In the morning we just bagged up our rubbish & disposed of it at the Marina dock, it’s good to see the re-cycle bins encouraging people to be responsible with their trash. We did a last pack up of the yacht, bagged up our towels & linen for the cleaners, did a last check of the yacht to see none of our belongings were left behind. At the base we spent time at the pool & Olympia Mare Restaurant café, then one by one the travelling companions were collected for flights back to home, but as for me … I was off for my next adventure! Destination Rome!
As I flew out over the Gouvia Marina & the Ionian Sea, I looked back out of the plane window, it was an enchanting sight to see the islands bursting out of the azure blue waters & imagine if the Greek gods would take a holiday from the heavens it would be in this Ionian Sea & her islands!
Summary Reflection: A private charter is the most stunning way to experience such a sublime location, it’s the ultimate freedom. I would highly recommend anyone thinking of such a trip look at chartering with The Moorings or Sunsail, they will indeed make this one of your most memorable marine sojourns.
Sailing the Ionian Sea you will discover a magic palette of ever-changing azure, aquamarine & sapphire blues; emerald & jade greens, dotted with jewels of topaz & blue diamonds. A beautiful dream that will be with in your heart for evermore!