Sea & Coast
Though in ancient times it was considered an integral part of the Adriatic, today the Ionian Sea
is a separate body of water within the Mediterranean
basin. In order to place it on the map, one has only to imagine the boot-shaped Italian peninsula and from there just go towards the heel. Yacht Charter sailors know it as the sea between Italy
to the west and Greece
and Albania to the east.
In fact, the Greek islands that border this sea are called the Ionian islands
and they include Corfu
, Zante, Ithaca and Lefkas
. This is one of the most active seismic regions in the world, which results in spectacular fault-type of relief, often with massive rock formations shooting out of the seabed in coastal regions, all the more reason for Yacht Charter crews to visit this region. The same is true for the Italian shores, like those in Calabria, which are rugged and steep, sheer cliffs dropping to the sea, with narrow beaches.
The vegetation is in accordance with the high, windswept relief and with the climatic condition, mostly shrub and coastal plains, but there are some forests in some of the mountainous regions. A great number of bird species migrate to this part of the Mediterranean during the cold season so Yacht Charter devotees can enjoy a visit on one of the many small islands that become bird sanctuaries.
The climate in the Ionian island is influenced by the continental winds from Europe but also from Africa. It follows through the Mediterranean type, with hot, dry summers and wet, mild winters, especially on the Greek part. Generally, it’s considered that the northern part is more affected by seasonal winds, something the Yacht Charter skippers should take into consideration.
Culture & History
The name is considered to come from the ancient Greek myth of Io, the priestess seduced by Zeus, but there are some later myths linked to the Ionian name, most of Greek origin. This particular myth was made famous by Aeschylus. The sea has been the site of many battles between the Romans and the Greeks as they strove for supremacy. The number of colonies that today have become Yacht Charter points of interests proves this.
Some of the most important Yacht Charter ports in the Ionian include Syracuse
, Catania, Prevenza, Corfu Town and Lefkada. All of these draw up considerable numbers of tourists each year, who come here to witness the charm of old civilizations but also to take advantage of the lovely beaches and weather.
Seamanship & Experience
Like much of the rest of the Mediterranean
, the Ionian Sea enjoys little to no tides, making the Yacht Charter sailor’s life that much easier. Apart from the windier northern side, there are really no climatic elements to pose problems. The shorelines are generally high and thus easy to spot and most harbors have deep waters. The only thing to remember is that these are very busy waters so extra care should be taken with large vessels and high speed ferries, especially around the Ionian islands. When entering a port, the Yacht Charter skipper should always take into considerationferry wash.