Island Hopping & Greek Sailing – Dreams become a reality
After falling in love with tv show The Durrell’s, and subsequently reading My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, upon which the show is based, I had wanted to visit Corfu for years. After spending a hot sunny morning strolling the Liston, visiting Lawrence & Gerald Durrell’s park, and taking in the incredible St. Spyridon Church, built in the 1580’s, we caught a local bus out to Kalami Bay. This little hidden away bay was home to Lawrence Durrell, who wrote several books here, and hosted the likes of Henry V. Miller. His home is now The White House, as it was referred to by the family, and is both a guesthouse and restaurant. It sits right on the water, so between leisurely courses of fresh seafood you can dip your toes in the sparkling blue water. After our long lunch we swam in the bay and dried off in the sun with a book, a Lawrence Durrell novel of course. It is definitely worth the 30-minute trip out of Corfu to at least come here for lunch if you don’t have the time to stay overnight.
After a few days of eating our way around Corfu we caught the ferry to Preveza, then drove to the nearby town of Lefkada, where we boarded our home for the next week, a 38ft catamaran. This was my first time sailing and I was excited but also not completely sure what to expect. The following week was better than I could’ve imagined. The catamaran had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen/dining area inside, an outdoor dining area, and on the front a big net between the hulls to lay on with nothing but the ocean beneath you as you sail along. We were sailing the Ionian Islands, located to the west of mainland Greece, and in 8 days hopped the towns on Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca.
After sleeping onboard docked in an adorable town port, we would leave the boat in search of coffee and breakfast and a stroll through town before sailing to our first location of the day. Our skipper would anchor the boat about 100 metres from shore, most often at beaches with a handful of people or sometimes no one at all, as they were only reachable by others also sailing, then we would swim to the shoreline and lay on the sand or use the stand-up paddle board. After a morning of swimming we’d make lunch on the boat, SO much Greek salad, with fresh supplies from the small towns we’d visit, and have a few wines while lounging about on the net as we sailed to another stunning beach. By late afternoon we’d arrive in our next town and dress for dinner in a local restaurant and watch the sunset, afterwards often finding a small outdoor bar for drinks until we were sleepy enough to head back to our home. An incredible week full of local experiences thanks to our skipper’s intel, including dancing the zorba at a local festival in the tiny Greek hill town of Exogi. It really was a dream come true.
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