If you have never been on a sailing holiday in Greece before, you may be wondering what actually happens on a flotilla.
The first thing to do after arriving is familiarise yourself with your yacht and its equipment. Your flotilla skipper and hostess will show you where everything is, and explain the workings of the fridge, echo-sounder, radio, and other fittings.
Then it's off to the local taverna, to sit in the sun with a cool drink and get to know the other crews. There's usually a maximum of 10 yachts on our flotillas, so you'll find plenty of people to meet without feeling swamped. You'll make new friends over a glass or two of wine - while the children are busy forging firm friendships with other young people from a host of different countries.
The flotilla skipper helps you get the feel of things, and teaches you about any unfamiliar aspects: operating the roller-furling sails, for example or using a kedge anchor.
Importantly, you will also learn where you should park your boat at the end of the day and top tips on where to eat and drink at your destination.
The amount of explanation is geared to your knowledge, but many less-experienced sailors appreciate both the security of having expert help at hand and the opportunity to learn a little more.
Then, we're off! For the first day or two the flotilla tends to sail as a group, as people accustomed to the yachts - and the relaxed atmosphere! Each morning begins with the skippers briefing, when the flotilla leader gives you comprehensive details of that day's destination, charts of the area, suggestions for good sailing on route, navigational hazards to watch out for, and any other points of information you may require. Your hostess can recommend a friendly restaurant, and give tips on good places to buy fruit, T-shirts, sandals and postcards.
Many of our clients work in high pressure jobs, and take a little while to slow down to the Greek pace of life! Soon, though, you'll feel quite accustomed to a lazy and prolonged breakfast, followed perhaps by a stroll round the village or a cup of coffee outside the quayside taverna, then finally getting under way.
In the afternoon or early evening you'll arrive at your next port of call, where you'll find your flotilla leader ready to guide you into the quay and help you tie up. Some navigate instantly towards a shady taverna table, while others disappear in search of sailboards. You'll swap the day's anecdotes with the crew of your neighboring yacht, have a shower, admire your newly-acquired suntan, be hopelessly tempted by the wares of the fruit-seller visiting the quay, photograph the passing peasant with his donkey or clamber around the ruins of an ancient castle.
Dinner in a beautiful harbour
Then it's time for the evening meal, and the day's biggest problem - do you have the calamari or the swordfish, the kebabs or the grilled chicken? And of course baklava is fattening, but never mind! As darkness falls, crews return to their yachts, or to impromptu parties on other yachts. If you're still feeling too hot, you can simply go for a midnight swim off the back of the boat, or stay on deck and study the stars.
Your hostess will arrange several social events during the cruise, and one of the highlights is usually the barbeque evening. We anchor in an uninhabited bay, build a great fire of driftwood, and cook ourselves an enormous feast. There are dinghy races and windsurfing competitions - and plenty of punch to lubricate proceedings! And finally, the farewell dinner forms a memorable climax to your holiday.
So, for the very best Greek flotilla and bareboat sailing holidays in the Ionian Islands including Lefkas, Cephalonia, Ithaka & Zakinthos choose Odysseus Sailing Holidays.