As soon as term ended, I headed to Greece to sail around the Ionian islands before coming ashore to stay in a hotel on Kefalonia. Our 40ft yacht, Avalon, provided the perfect way to explore the islands and to reach areas unaccessible by car or foot. Each day brought new coves and hidden beaches with azure waters to swim and snorkel in. By night, we moored at different ports on the islands of Kefalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada and Meganissi eating in little tavernas and exploring the little port towns. Our favourite port was Kioni on Ithaca, which was stunningly beautiful and a great place to potter around and relax in.
Sailing is perhaps a slight exaggeration of what we actually did. The waters in Greece were completely calm so most of the time we used the motor rather than the sails. We did have a few amazing afternoons of sailing (courtesy of our skipper) with the highlight being the afternoon when wild dolphins swam alongside the boat. I used to sail a little as a child and it was great to remember how exhilarating it can be – I think I’ll be getting the dingys out on our annual trip to the Lakes this summer! It was roasting hot throughout our stay, which was quite uncomfortable at night in our tiny cabin, but luckily there was often a breeze whilst we were sailing from beach to bay.
The food in Greece was delicious and as a veggie there was plenty of choice; from the obvious Greek salad to courguette balls and giant white beans, there was plenty to choose from and we ate like kings every night (for very little money, too.) We might have overdosed slightly on the feta cheese but it’s hard to say no when it’s served as a massive slab drizzled in olive oil! Everything was fresh and sourced from the local area which meant the flavours and quality were great- no watery salad tomatoes in sight! Although we ate in lots of traditional tavernas, we were surprised by the number of restaurants serving more high end food for very reasonable prices.
Although we had an incredible time on the yacht, the tiny sweltering cabin and lack of air conditioning during a scorching summer was quite tiring. It was quite hard to sleep and I must admit that one night we secretly abandoned ship and checked into a hotel – we felt very naughty but it was the best 100 euros we spent all holiday! Once our week on the boat had ended we stayed at Leivatho Hotel in Kefalonia, which was absolutely perfect! Amazing architecture, stunning views and great service made it the perfect antidote for our wobbly sea legs and we did nothing but lounge around, play card and swim for 5 days.
I would definitely go sailing again, but perhaps for a few days rather than a week next time. Greece was beautiful and was exactly what I needed after a very stressful end of term. Slightly suffering the post holiday blues now though!