Crewed charters in the Ionian islands and the Aegean
s/y Velos, Ocean Star 56,
Our base is at the small village of Rio on the north-west coast of the Peloponnese (mainland Greece), but as we spend many months from March until November living on the yacht and sailing around the islands, 'Velos' is practically our home and our office as well.
Our sailing areas are the Ionian Islands (June to September) starting and finishing in Lefkas, and the Saronic Islands / Cyclades (April to June and September to November) starting and finishing in Athens.
A Sailing Holiday on board Velos
A yacht provides the best way to fully appreciate some of the most exotic and secluded places of the world. Onboard the yacht Velos, you will cruise around the Ionian Sea, where the choices are numerous. You can head for the big and busy islands or explore the small isolated ones. Visit the beautiful old historical towns like Corfu town with its amazing architecture and romantic atmosphere or the little fishing villages spread around the coasts. Take a walk at the countryside exploring the islands, or just stick by the water! And what's more, you can learn how to sail a yacht
Every afternoon Velos will drop anchor in a different bay which can be either quiet and secluded, or one containing an endless sandy beach busy with people lying in the sun. However, we normally avoid these busy places (usually accessed by road), and prefer to go to the secluded ones. There, you will be able to enjoy swimming in the warm clear waters, snorkeling, sunbathing on the deck with a cold beer in your hand, head for the beach or just relax and recover from the last night out!
When the time comes to move from one place to another, we hoist the sails and the magic starts! With 115 square meters of sail, Velos will run the relatively short distances between the islands in a few hours while you enjoy the scenery, the sun, the sound of the water running along the hull, or watch and feed the dolphins who quite often follow the yacht and play around it.
Thanos and Alicia are a couple with a great love for the sea, for the peaceful easy-going life of the islands which they really enjoy sharing with their guests. For them, it is more than a profession, it is also a way of life, as they spend most of the year onboard 'Velos'.
Their aim is to provide a relaxed and easy-going holiday, helping their guests to feel at home onboard 'Velos'. Alicia's delicious homemade dishes are made with fresh home grown vegetables, fruits and olive oil that Thanos' father sends every week.
Skipper / captain: Thanos is a very experienced sailor, licensed to command sailing vessels up to 200 tons. He holds the Yachtmaster Offshore license issued by the UK Department of Transport and endorsed to be used on charter vessels. With 20 years sailing experience and thousands of sea miles covered, he has worked as a captain on charter and private yachts in England, Greece, France and Spain. Additionally, he has delivered yachts across the Atlantic, the Caribbean, around Europe and through the Med.
Having worked extensively on charter yachts, he knows the qualities
of a good captain and host (not just navigating and sailing the boat!).
A very easy-going person, he will adapt the cruise to your own needs
and make sure everybody is happy. His good knowledge of the area is
very useful, as he will show you the best tavernas and bars as well
as the sites of interest.
In general, he is there to take care of everything and make sure you have a great time.
Thanos was born in Greece in 1974, but lived mostly in England for 10 years, until 2004 when he started organizing these cruises in the Greek islands with S/Y 'Alexandros'. Although he studied Civil Engineering, he decided to follow the skipper's career, as the sea has always been his great love. When in England, he was based in Plymouth but he spent a lot of time working around Europe on yachts, and having lived in various countries he speaks very fluent English, Greek, French and a bit of Spanish.
Thanos is a commercial SCUBA Diver HSE PART IV, as well as a PADI Rescue Diver, and if you are interested he can organize a bit of SCUBA diving for you. As safety is an important issue in this job, Thanos has been trained in First Aid and specialized in sailing and diving related accidents, as well as Fire Fighting & Sea Survival. Finally, as an RYA Sailing and Powerboating Instructor he can teach you the art of sailing during your holiday.
First Mate/Chef/hostess: Alicia born in Poland 1979 and has been working with Thanos since 2005.
Alicia has a great love for the sea and sailing and having worked in the tourism industry for many years, she knows exactly what their guests need on their holiday. She is there to make you feel relaxed and comfortable and take care of all those little things that you want to forget about, during your vacation.
She speaks very fluent English, French, Polish and her Greek has improved a lot during the last few years, and with her easy-going and friendly personality will make you feel at home straight away. What's more, she is an excellent cook who will prepare your breakfast and lunch every day, and for those who would like to have their dinner onboard as well, she will cook some delicious dishes! With her gourmet dishes she has turned lunchtime into one of the best moments of the day, and with her skills, nice character and her great smile, Alicia will help make your holiday an unforgettable one.
She is also a qualified skipper (RYA Dayskipper), with great sailing experience and could take over the command of the yacht if she had to. Alicia was born in Poland in 1979 and as a licensed horse-riding instructor she has been taking people Pony-trekking in the Polish mountains for many years. Although she graduated from university with a degree in French Literature, her love for traveling and the outdoors and her dream to work on sailing yachts has taken her to Greece onboard S/Y "Velos".
Before 2005 when she joined Thanos organizing these cruises on S/Y 'Velos', she spent a few years living and working both in France and the UK, spent a few summers grape picking at Beaujolais and 2 years working as an au-pair with a family in Scotland. She is great with kids, and has experience looking after three of them ranging from a baby to a 13 year old.
A typical day on board
A typical day onboard Velos, starts in the marina of a little village where you spent the previous night (or anchored in a remote bay if you decided to stay there!). When you feel like getting out of bed you help yourself with breakfast on deck which normally includes freshly baked bread, home-made jam or honey from the mountains of mainland Greece, coffee, tea, milk and cereal, orange juice, and of course fresh fruits and yogurt. There, you can take your time waking up while watching the village life in front of you and the breathtaking scenery of hills and mountains all around.
Alternatively, you can have breakfast at one of the numerous cafe's and tavernas that are always situated around the harbor. If you feel more active, you can go sightseeing, wonder around the village and the surrounding countryside, or just do some shopping. Normally, sometime around 9:30, and after a short discussion over the chart about where would be nice to go for a swim and where you would like to be for the next night, we set sail. With the gentle northwesterly breeze that normally prevails in the Ionian Sea during the summer months, and which rarely exceeds Force 5, you will have a comfortable sail to a bay of your choice either on the same island or another one.
After we drop anchor, you can stay onboard, go for a bit of swimming and snorkeling, or head for the shore. Around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, lunch is served at the cockpit. Although Alicia always says that she doesn't cook anything special, her delicious dishes made with local fresh products have become one of the attractions of our cruises. Many of our guests have even suggested that we should advertise them as 'gourmet cruises'! And of course lunch is accompanied with local wine or beer and fresh fruit as a desert.
In late afternoon it's a good time to weigh anchor, hoist the sails again and head for a picturesque little village on another island. We'll be there around 5 o'clock which will give you plenty of time to explore the place and experience the local culture. Later you can head for dinner to one of the tavernas, where you will have the opportunity to taste the Greek cuisine, famous for its delicious plates. A fascinating selection of local tavernas is available for you to sample and Thanos and Alicia with their good knowledge of the area, will suggest some of the places with the best food.
As we said earlier, at the beginning of your holiday you only draw
a general itinerary for the duration of your stay.
So, every day some time during the evening, we will discuss the options for the following day. A more detailed plan will then be made about where to go and what to do. And then you can go for a walk around the place, taste the local wine, then end up back at the yacht for a few drinks with your friends or just head for a bar, socialize, make new friends and even have fun till the sun rises again the next morning!
Whole Yacht Charter and Shared Yacht charter options possible.
You have the choice of booking the whole yacht for a group of up to 9 people or if you don't have enough people in your group, you can go for the 'Share a Yacht' option, in which case you will have a double en suite cabin (solo travellers are welcome for a 50% supplement on the price).
On the 'Share a yacht' cruises there is a maximum number of 8 guests on board plus our captain and hostess, and you are most likely to be sharing the boat with small groups of friends and couples. The most important thing is that you are going to be on a yacht with like minded people who want to go off the beaten track, have a little taste of adventure and meet the locals.
Informal sailing lessons offered free of charge. Scuba diving (for the day) can be arranged on request with local PADI diving clubs. (extra cost)
Special Interests Cruises
After many requests from people with special interests, we decided to organize weekly Share a Yacht cruises with the following subjects:
* a big mad island hopping pub crawl
* families with kids
If you are interested in any of them, please contact us for dates and availability.
|Odyssey Sailing is registered and bonded with the Greek National Tourist Organisation (GNTO - EOT) and is a member of the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA).||© Odyssey Sailing|
Antonopoulou 158D, Volos, 38221, Greece
Tel: +30 24280 94128 | Tel / fax: +30 24210 36676
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