This special tour combines the fascinating islands of the Ionian Sea with the Greek mainland. For one week, travelling by bike and on the two-masted motor sailer Panagiota, you experience first-hand the cultural and scenic diversity of Greece. Famous sites such as Delphi, where the ancient Greeks once consulted the oracle, or Aegina, where the white temple of Aphaia gleams high above the sea, are some of the highlights of the tour. The passage through the Corinth Canal, an artificial seaway connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Aegean, will surely become an unforgettable memory.
In the archipelago of the Ionian Islands, you see Greece at its greenest. An unspoiled landscape and centuries of Venetian influence characterize this still fairly unknown group of islands. The crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea glittering in all shades of blue, the small island of Paxos densely covered in olive groves, the mountainous landscape of Cephalonia, the bird-sanctuary island of Lefkas as well as enchanting Ithaca – alleged home of legendary Odysseus – all guarantee a wonderfully relaxing vacation.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
NOTE: This tour also operates in the opposite direction, from Corfu to Athens. Please refer to departure dates below.
Day 1: Athens (Piraeus) – embarkation
Individual journey to Athens airport and transfer to Marina Zeas, the yacht harbour of Piraeus close to Athens, only 25 km (15 mi.) from Athens airport.
Check-in from 2 p.m. on the Panagiota. Dinner on board. Overnight stay in Piraeus.
Day 2: Piraeus – Island Aegina – Palaia Epidauros (approx. 35 km by bicycle)
In the morning we sail to Aegina Island. The first cycle tour leads us to the very well preserved temple of Aphaia, enthroned high above the blue sea. Afterwards we return to the boat while cycling though the interior of the island and along Palaiochora and the monastery of Holy Nektarios. Back in Egina town lunch is served on board and the cruise continues with a cross over to Palaia Epidauros.
Day 3 Epidauros – Isthmus of Corinth (approx. 35 km / 22 mi. by bicycle)
From Palaia Epidauros today’s cycle tour takes us to the ancient sanctuary of the demi-god Asklepios. Here we visit the best-preserved theatre of Greece, and by dropping a coin we can convince ourselves of the phenomenal acoustics. In the afternoon we sail on the Panagiota through the Isthmus of Corinth, which was completed in 1893. Julius Caesar had already made plans for its construction. This
6.3 km long but only 24 m wide and 8 m deep canal connects the Aegean Sea with the Gulf of Corinth and saves travellers sailing from Athens to Corinth the approx. 400 km long trip around the whole Peloponnese. If weather conditions are fine, the cruise continues to Galaxidi, otherwise overnight stay in or near Corinth.
4th Day (Tue) Galaxidi – Delphi – Nafpaktos – Ithaca Island
In the morning a transfer picks us up at Galaxidi and takes us to the famous site of Delphi, which rests at the foot of the Parnassus mountain range. Apollo, the god of the light, was once worshipped here and the oracle consulted. Not only the many temples and treasuries, the well-preserved theatre and the stadium, but mainly the breath-taking hillside location of the sanctuary makes the visit to Delphi an unforgettable experience. In the afternoon, the bus takes us to the harbor of Nafpaktos. Our boat takes us on a longer crossing to Vathy on Ithaca Island.
5th Day (Wed) Ithaca Island (aprx. 12 or 17 mi./20 or 28 km)
In the morning we cycle on the Ithaca Island. The homeland of the mythical king Odysseus, is a hilly island with a beautiful landscape. On today’s cycle route we can enjoy the typical character of the Ionian Islands away from the beaten tourist track: gnarled olive trees, crystal clear water and friendly islanders – time appears to stand still on Ithaca. Depending on the weather conditions it is planned that the Panagiota takes us to Porto Katsiki after lunch. Porto Katsiki is one of the most famous beaches of Greece, directly below the Leukadian cliff. A longer bathing stop is a must. From there we cruise to Nidri and stay in the little port for the night.
Day 6 Nidri – Mytikas – Lefkas town – Paxos Island (biking distance 27 km)
From Nidri we start a small round tour in the morning that leads us first to the hidden water falls and later on through beautiful olive groves, before we reach the ship yard where the Panagiota was built. Back to the harbour the boat awaits us to take us to Meganisi. On the way we pass the private island of the influential ship-owner Aristoteles Onassis. Meganisi is a tiny island with lots of charm, which we will explore afterwards in no time by bicycle. In the afternoon the boat takes us to Paxos Island. We spend the night in the lovely natural harbor of Gaios.
Day 7 Paxos Island – Corfu (biking distance ca. 23 km)
Paxos, the smallest of the seven Ionian Islands is covered in groves of olive trees, which gives the island its wonderful silver green colour. On our last cycle trip we will circle the whole island. We can also have a swim in the Mediterranean on one of the many beaches. In the afternoon the Panagiota takes us to Corfu. The tour guide will join us on a walk through the atmospheric old town, before this impressive cruise ends with a last dinner on board.
Day 8 (Sat) Disembark at Corfu
After breakfast, check-out and transfer to the airport or guests may extend their stay in Corfu.
Subject to weather and sea conditions route changes may occur!
RATING – Moderate to Hilly
The bike routes have a length of 20 to 50 km and lead through hilly or mountainous areas, so this tour requires a good level of fitness. Mostly asphalt roads with some steeper grades where you may wish to walk. There are no time constraints so you may cycle at your own pace. You can always choose to skip a bike tour and spend the time sunbathing on the ship instead.
Your 4**** Motor Sailer
The PANAGIOTA, our newest ship in Greece, is an affectionately restored two masted motor yacht, which is 23 ft. wide and 102 ft. long. It was built in 1990, modernized in 2001 in conformity with the requirements of cruises and completely renovated again in 2019.
6 cabins below deck and 4 cabins above deck are at the guests’ disposal. All cabins are air-conditioned and equipped with a French bed (4,6 ft. wide) , one single bed and private shower and toilet.
There is room for all guests in the spacious saloon to have the meals, to regenerate or to spend some time with new friends. When the weather conditions are fine the guests can have their meals outside on the shaded rear deck. The spacious sun deck, equipped with cosy mats, invites you to sun bath and to relax.
The on-board chef is a member of the crew and prepares the breakfast and one or two warm meals a day. A packed lunch instead of lunch on board is possible as well on our tour. The catering starts with the dinner on the arrival day and ends with the breakfast on the departure day.
The Panagiota does not offer a WiFi connection. If you need to connect to the internet during the tour, we recommend to take your portable electronic device to a cafe or bar somewhere in the harbour. Free WiFi is on offer almost everywhere. If you order something to eat or drink, then you are able to use the WiFi to your hearts content.
AIRPORT / TRANSFERS
As this tour starts from Athens and ends on Corfu you will need an open jaw flight with an outward flight to Athens and a return flight from Corfu.
Group transfer between Corfu airport and ship (only on day of embarkation/ disembarkation): 10 euro/person/way if booked until 30 days prior arrival; 15 euro/person/way if booked 29 – 8 days prior arrival; 20 euro/person/way if booked only within the last 7 days prior arrival; Group transfer between Athens airport and the ship (only on day of embarkation/ disembarkation): 20 euro/person/way if booked until 30 days prior arrival; 25 euro/person/way if booked 29 – 8 days prior arrival.
TOUR SCHEDULE & PRICE
2020 – Corfu to Athens: May 2, 30 Aug. 29 Sep. 26
2020 – Athens to Corfu: May 9 June 6 Sep. 5 Oct. 3
|Price per person, double occ. in a below deck cabin||CAD||$2495|
Singles on request.
|Single share cabins are also on request at no extra charge|
|Upgrade to above deck cabin||$180|
This tour includes:
Helmets are mandatory and will be available to rent for free aboard ship. We recommend you bring your own.
Not included in the tour price
* Meals and drinks ashore
* Drinks on board (tally sheet; to be paid to the captain); flat fee for drinking water: 20 Euro/adult; 10 Euro/children till age of 16
* Entrance fee for sights not included in the tour price
* Tips for tour guides and crew
Telephone: 705-949-1710 or 888-297-4786
Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Saturday: by appointment