Greece is everything you have ever imagined, and more. When Haley and I visited Greece two years ago, we fell in love, and knew we had to go back. So when I started travel planning for 2019, I originally intended to JUST go to Greece for two weeks. I thought maybe I would pop up to Albania for a few days.
Next thing I knew, I had booked a series of round the world flights and I quit my job for 4.5 months. This is how I always end up going on such long trips, BUT no regrets cause it worked out pretty well.
Greece has endless islands to explore, a stunning mainland beyond anything I could picture, and possibly my favorite food in the world. We sailed the Saronic Islands in 2017, and the Ionian Islands in 2019, and I literally think you could do a different 2 week sailing trip every summer and still see different islands every time.
Our trip this time around started on an amazing note, at one of my new favourite hostels, Sunrock Corfu. This place is family run, and all the children are there helping out and working, and love to chat with guests. The drinks are wonderful, the nearby beaches perfect and not too far away, AND for 25 Euros, you get breakfast AND dinner included. The family dinners were so nice, with everyone gathering at night to indulge in some home-cooked Greek food and swap travel stories. I would die for that salad, and although some meals were better than others, I left happy every night.
As for getting there, I probably wouldn’t recommend what we did. We thought we’d save some time/money with an overnight bus from Athens – usually we sleep pretty well, so we didn’t think it would be a problem. However, you are only on the bus for like a 4 hour stretch and then you have to get off, walk on to a ferry, then do the reverse. I am honestly unsure how long the ferry takes because I passed out on the ferry chairs, sleeping so deeply that when I woke up I had no idea where I was and once I figured it out, thought that I had just been left on the ferry by everyone else.
Just go during the day, it will be much more pleasant. However, when you get to Corfu port it is quite easy to get to the hostel. Ideally, you would rent a car, but we didn’t want to drive so we scheduled the hostel to come pick us up. They charge 10 Eur – not for the car, per person, which is pretty reasonable. When we came back we opted for the bus, and the instructions on the website are really clear. However, the walk to/from the bus stop to the hostel is VERY steep and uncomfortable with big bags, so one time we hitch-hiked it, and that went fine!
Finally, for the boat! We spent another 6 nights of bliss, excessive binge drinking, and swimming in an unbelievably clear sea with Medsailors. Just like last time, it’s hard to write about this – I didn’t really take note of the names of each island, because it didn’t really matter.
We discussed which route in Greece we preferred (this was the Ionian, we did the Saronic two years ago) and it’s a hard tossup. There were many more people on the Saronic route, probably eight boats, versus the three boats we were travelling with this time. The islands/towns that we visited themselves, however, I much preferred this time. The towns were more scenic, with stunning views around every corner, and every swimming spot we stopped at was surrounded by sea caves and towering white cliffs. The water was clearer almost everywhere we went, and we saw fewer tourists. However, do I think you can have a BAD time on either of these routes? Nope!
Our skipper’s name was Charlie, and he was absolutely hilarious, as all the skippers seem to be. We bonded with almost everyone on all three of the boats, including the lead skipper – who just so happened to be the same lead skipper we had on the Saronic route! Highlights of the route were as follows:
This one town with really cool views
Hey I remember the name of this one!! Medsailors has a private beach where they organize a bonfire, watersports (for an extra charge) and it was so much fun! We even made them give us the aux cord, which I’m sure they regretted. We had a blast and it was so cool to have it all to ourselves.
Haley is one of my favourite travel buddies ever and we have so much fun together, even though we often hate eachother’s guts and make no secret of it!! I love spending so much time with her on these boat trips, specifically in our floating donuts that we purchased to avoid having to tread water. Solo travel is great, but I was thrilled to be reunited with my lil buddy.