Sailing the Ionian Sea in Greece - Julia and Vincent's Experience | Modern Sailing

Sailing the Ionian Sea in Greece - Julia and Vincent's Experience

Julia Frink and Vincent Latour have been students and members of Modern Sailing since 2019. As very active and social members of the club, Julia and Vincent were our first-ever couple to be nominated and awarded our Ambassador Award for 2020. In March of 2022, Vincent went on to become a Club Skipper. Julia and Vincent have chartered in Greece twice and share in their own words about what they enjoyed and learned about chartering and sailing this area.

Best Time of Year to Sail the Ionian Sea in Greece

"In the Ionian in Greece, we chartered in late September/early October 2019 and then in 2021, the first week of June. The season starts to wind down on the Islands the first week of October and many tavernas and other concessions begin to close down.

"We did have a very intense rainstorm for a few days too. And the following year we heard the region had an October "Medicane," a Mediterranean hurricane that badly damaged many harbors and fishing boats.

"For the June trip, they had just opened up from COVID, so there weren't any crowds but I think it is usually REALLY busy in the summer. We just got lucky."

Best Aspects of Sailing the Ionian Sea in Greece

"In the Ionian in Greece, our favorite aspects were easy island hopping, welcome greetings from the friendly restaurant owners who offered free mooring, water and electricity and a shower all in exchange to eat at their fantastic and affordable restaurants. This was really special. And also the history. On our second trip we allowed some time to visit the Acropolis and Delphi. The scenery is cute villages, the people are friendly, the cuisine is awesome and very affordable. Good and affordable wines. AMAZING iced coffees. Great bakeries. We enjoyed long-lining and anchoring away from the busy harbors some nights.  We also enjoyed walking around the villages in the mornings before our sails and after dinners.

"We got lucky and saw a huge school of dolphins that played around our boat.

"We also took a week-long, private RYA sailing course on our first trip and on our second trip we hired a 'skipper assist' for the first day to help us review long lining, stern to mooring, etc which was the best money ever spent. We really liked Sail Ionian, the company and people we chartered with."

Challenges and Lessons Learned

  • In the Ionian, there was not a lot of variety of nationalities, mostly British people.
  • Having to get back to the harbors fairly early to secure a spot on the dock.
  • You need to get good at mooring stern-to, which isn't a negative but something to keep in mind.
  • The flights are long. There used to be more direct flights to Preveza but last time we had to fly into Athens and then leave our rental car parked for a week. We got a cheap one without air conditioning. Driving in Greece is CRAZY!! Everything is in Greek, often even on Google Maps. Be prepared for a hair-pulling-out adventure.

What Julia and Vincent Would Do Differently Next Time

"We wouldn't change anything. We've had amazing trips there. We would like to go with more people either in a flotilla, a larger monohull or a catamaran. We had a great time just the two of us but we'd love to share the fun with other sailors/friends."

Julia and Vincent's Advice for Other Modern Sailors

"Please don't tell anyone, we want to keep it a secret (except to MSC members)!"

Modern Sailing Members: Do you have any questions about sailing the Ionian See in Greece for Julia and Vincent? They are happy to help! You can connect with them via the members-only Facebook Crew List or send us an email and we'll forward it to them to put you in touch.

Have you sailed or chartered outside of San Francisco Bay? If you are willing to share your experiences with other Modern Sailing members, let us know!

Does the idea of a sailing vacation around Greece or another exciting destination appeal to you, but you need some guidance to get started? First, know that most international charter companies require sailors to possess an ASA 104, Basic Coastal Cruising certification and the International Proficiency Certificate. If you have questions about how to prepare for international chartering or any other kind of sailing adventure, give our friendly office team a call at (415) 331-8250 or send us an email. We're happy to help you plot your course towards making your sailing dream come true!

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  • Andrew Goble, San Francisco

    It has been wonderful sailing with MSC over the years. Please extend my thanks to the owners, management, and staff for unrequited professionalism and high standards in a charter fleet. I have sailed with several in my years and none nearly hold a candle to the quality of business and staff at Modern Sailing.

  • Casey Bishop, Corporate Regatta

    WE LOVED IT! The whole team was so honored and thankful. Thanks so much for all of your team's hard work and excellence in organizing our party. Of the 22 of us, only 4 had ever been sailing and not in the Bay. The guys had an incredible experience, the skippers were all really great, allowing each of us to be at the wheel. They were kind and empowering. Plus the weather and wind were perfect! It was definitely one of the top 3 experiences that we have shared as leaders in the past 5 + years. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

  • Esther C

    I took ASA 101 with them recently. They have the best customer service I've ever seen! I mistyped my address when I signed up online so didn't receive the textbook. I called and the lady immediately sent me another copy! Everyone at the club is super friendly.

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