Experience flotilla sailing in style, where you sail your charter yacht at a leisurely pace, enjoying the company of other flotilla guests and the support and guidance of a professionally crewed flotilla lead yacht.
Many guests 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.
The cool thing about living on a yacht in a warm climate is that you can enjoy a quick swim before breakfast and then whenever you like.
No need to change into swimwear. The privacy of a moored yacht allows you to swim in whatever clothes you like, or none at all.
With sun safey in mind, you may be interested to learn that clothes don't wash off like sun lotion when you go swimming repeatedly.
Some wet clothes can help you keep cool for a while, yet others dry quickly in the warm breeze.
So get ready to soak them again and again.
The Ionian Islands of Greece remain the top spot for flotilla sailing and are just as beautiful as the first time we went there. The welcome is as warm as ever and the atmosphere totally unique. Where else in the world can you drift into a village harbour, tie up and walk a few paces to a taverna table?
The Ionian Islands is where you can enjoy some exhilarating sailing breezes.
The coastline here offers a breathtaking scenery,
with many historical places and fortified towns to explore.
Flotilla sailing holidays in the Greek Islands have become a classic way for dinghy sailors and windsurfers to have their first go at sailing keel boats. This has happened because flotilla yachts are designed to be operated essentially by one person. You sail in an area that has no tides, very stable weather, and lots of beautiful bays and harbours.
To be able to wander around the Ionian Islands of Greece under sail and in the sun is a rare privilege and flotillas offer a unique take on the area. You get to places that very few other people ever see and arrive every day at the most beautiful part of any village: the harbour. These local village harbours feature multi-coloured fishing boats, other yachts, and above all, wonderful tavernas.
Flotillas are not sailing schools,
but you will have the opportunity to experience boat handling and things like landfalls
under the guidance of our experienced lead crews during your week or fortnight.
If you have never been on a sailing holiday before, you may be wondering what actually happens on a flotilla. You'll be in good hands. Experienced crews swim from boat to boat and look after you.
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.
Next morning, we start with the main briefing. 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.
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.
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, swim shirts, beach pants, sandals and postcards.
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 neighbouring 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.
Then it's time for the evening meal, and the day's biggest problem: So many choices of vegan and vegetarian food.
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 barbecue 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, plenty of opportunities to get your clothes wet!
Finally, the farewell dinner forms a memorable climax to your holiday.