In the north-west corner of mainland Greece lies EPIRUS, boasting nearly 100 km of wild and dramatic coast. The advantages of sailing along this mainland coast are many: fewer crowds, access to the majestic PINDOS Mountains of North-western Greece that offer fantastic scenery and hiking trails, and an authentic, rural life. The Epirus coastline is on the Ionian Sea and one can easily zigzag by boat between the islands and the mainland. Epirus encompasses both lively summer resorts and quieter, less crowded bays and beaches, even in summer.
The busy port of IGOUMENITSA has a full service marina and makes a good starting point for this region. North, almost in Albania, lies SAGIADA popular with day-trippers from Corfu. Busy PARGA, south of Igoumenitsa is an alluring place and Epirus’s top tourist resort. The bay is flanked by pine covered, rocky headlands and stretching below a Venetian fort is a long, pebbled beach. Close to the low-key seaside resort of SIVOTA there is a mini archipelago which is home to a number of beaches and coves to drop anchor in.
In the south of Epirus lies the Ambracian Gulf, a semi-enclosed gulf forming one of the major embayment’s of the Ionian Sea. It is an area of ecological importance; home to a RAMSAR protected wetland area. The gulf is quite shallow, and its shore is broken by numerous marshes, which form an estuary system and a haven for wild birds. It is an alternative destination for the nature lover, without the nightlife and excitement of the summer resorts. At the entrance of the gulf there is the large yacht harbour of PREVEZA, a modern, pleasant and popular town.
The conditions in the Ionian Sea are calm and predictable and cooler than other areas of Greece. Sheltered from the strong ‘meltemi’ summer winds, it is a perfect place for relaxed sailing. It is a popular area for flotillas. Wind speeds in summer are between Force 2-5 from the NW, usually in the middle of the day; much less in spring and autumn. Recommended for novice to competent sailors and family groups.