Ever fancied sailing around on your own yacht, kicking back and relaxing with a nice book and clicking your fingers for a cocktail?
Well then this sailing holiday isn’t for you.
There are a number of sailing or flotilla holidays, but I went with Neilson on a Learn to Sail for one week.
It begins in the Southern Ionian town of Nidri. On arrival you will see lined up along the pontoon all the Neilson yachts one of which will be your home for a week, ready for your own voyage.
For four days you are accompanied by an instructor who will show you all the ropes from jibbing and tacking the sails, mooring, navigating and checking wind direction - luckily for me my biggest clue was which way is my hair blowing? Like a dog chasing it's own tail, I followed my hair around in a few circles until I was head on with the wind.
Once you are fully trained you are on your own, joining up with the rest of the flotilla en route to your final destination.
The views of secluded bays with balmy waves washing to the shore and gorgeous blue water are fantastic. Around you are various islands like the inhabited island of Skorpios, submerged in dense woods, it is owned by the late, great shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis and is reported to have had the top of the island blown off to make way for a heli-pad - my kinda guy.
From then on we moored up in different places for the remainder of the week – Sivota, a village in a mountainous area where trees can reach the waters edge. A few small restaurants are scattered around where you can sample delights of Souvlaki, kebabs with skewered peppers, onions and chicken or lamb or try baked aubergines immersed in olive oil, tomatoes and cheese.
Fiskardo was my personal favourite. As you may remember in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was virtually undamaged in the great earthquake of 1953 whereas the rest of Kefalonia was pretty much flattened. Nowadays you can enjoy earthquake free strolls along the harbour which is lined with stylish cafes and boutique shops. Up in the hills in the distance we saw what looked like a fort or castle, we took a route up following a practically hidden path, feeling like Indiana Jones we found some deserted ruins with views back down to the bay.
Taking charge of your own yacht is a great way to get to know somewhere, it is hard work and you have to take a lot in, but once you’re out there in the open waters, visiting amazing places...
It is well worth it!