There are a number of possible bases for your Ionian cruise. The most commonly used are Lefkas, Corfu’s Gouvia Marina, and Preveza, but a number of smaller bases are used, often by single or small operators.
- Gouvia (Corfu)
The small village of Kondokali has been rather overtaken by Gouvia marina and it’s associated developments, with the number of yacht berths exceeding the population of the village.
You won’t go hungry or thirsty here with a wide range of options on offer, tailored to tourist rather than local tastes. You can buy an English paper to read over your English breakfast before shopping for brands you’ll recognise from home. There’s plenty of night life and you might even round off the evening with a English beer or three.
You’ll also finding banking and ATM facilities, chandlers and car and bike hire. There’s even the chance for a game of croquet or cricket (you’d never guess the British once occupied the place)!
Cultural sights are pretty limited, but there are some Venetian boat sheds dating from the early 18th century and now minus roofs at the north end of the marina so there’s no excuse for not getting in at least a little exercise whilst you’re in the marina.
Corfu town is only a couple of miles away and there are buses from the village. It’s well worth a visit if you’ve time.
Details coming soon
- Lefkas / Levkas
The capital of the island of the same name, Lefkas is separated from the mainland by a canal you will sail through when entering or leaving. The town is a maze of narrow streets and is the culturfal and commercial centre for the island, as well as a tourist town and yachting centre.
Many of Lefkas’s buildings were demolished by an earthquake in 1953 but what it lacks in history it makes up for with paint. The brightly painted buildings add to the general sense of chaos and suggest the rebuilding was not exactly over planned.
Not everything succumbed – the large fort of Santa Maura, a short walk out of town at the north end of the canal is well worth a visit. If you don’t fancy the walk you can hire a bike in town. There are beaches a short walk from town too, though a greater choice if you don’t mind going a little further.
If you are there in summer, there is a range of festivals covering literature, art, folklore and dance, but whenever you visit there’s plenty to do, with a good choice of restaurants and bars.
Both the marina and town quay are close to the town centre, which centres on two pedestrianised alleyways. The shopping experience is about as well organised as the rest of the place with fishmongers next to boutiques, next to hardware stores. But persevere and you’ll find most things you want and quite enough to provision well for your next weeks sail.
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There’s more to Preveza than an airport and down by the waterfront it’s becoming a place to be seen. There’s plenty of history too, most notably the ruins of Nikopolis a couple of miles to the north of the town.
This once unremarkable market town is still more of a working place than a holiday resort but if you’ve only glimpsed it from the airport road you should give it a chance. If you don’t fancy the more glitzy bars and restaurants on the front, head in to town and eat where the locals dine. Real Greece.
As well as a good choice of eateries, there is a range of shops providing all our likely to need, including banks, ATM’s, a post office and chandlers. If you need to go travelling, car hire is available as well as coach services to a variety of destinations. What more could you want.