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Flotilla Holidays for beginners

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iainh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iainh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 11 at 10:12am

The Ionian is a popular spot, but for that reason I'd personally not go. Certainly in-season as it has a reputation for being extremely busy (make sure you’re in harbour by 3pm to get any space!) and often very little wind...as in you needing to motor more than you sail. I've been through on deliveries, but not for holiday...I don't want to spend my time jostling for space in crowded harbours.

When I started, I by chance ended up going to the Argolic which is sheltered by the mainland, so no big winds or sea, interesting and quiet; very few flotillas and you can even go places and be the only yacht.

So for the past 5 years I've been back to Greek Sails in Poros. I started in 2007 doing a Comp Crew from Poros (with Poros Yachting Academy – the Greek Sails sailing school) around into the Argolic and having a wonderful time...great sailing, great sights and not busy. It was such a good trip and I came back with such stories and photos that my wife then wanted to take up sailing! As a result I did my DS and she did her Comp Crew and we went back the following summer and did a bareboat back around the Argolic. Had a great time, from the splendid isolation of Kipirissi to exploring the castle as Astros, the remains at Mycenae or the huge Palamidi fortress at Navplion.

That proved so good we went back the following year and did more of the Argolic, going down to Monemvasia which has to be one of the ‘must visit’ places on this earth, and on around other wonderful spots…too many to mention. Look at the Greek Sails ‘Sailing the eastern Peloponnese coast’ for some ideas of the area and what we would have seen.

We have also sailed in the Saronic…north of Poros and visited places like the ancient Greek theatre and Epidaurus and the temple of Aphaia on Aegina from which you can look north towards Athens and the Parthenon. Generally we’ve found the Saronic busier than the Argolic and often very light winds.

With all this, my wife’s appetite for sailing has grown and so last year we went out to the Cyclades and did a loop down the western isles and this year we sailed almost to Turkey and back. So my wife has gone from having never sailed, to this year doing long overnight passages well out of sight of land for hours on end and her saying she rather enjoyed these long passages and would quite like to try other night passages! That’s quite a long way to come and I guess says something about a good introduction around the Argolic.

So having found a good formula we have been loathed to break it. Greek Sails is a small family business and so you deal direct with them. Their boats are all well maintained and seem noticeably ‘nicer’ than many of the larger operators boats. They’re also not emblazoned in some charter company name. We have become good friends and so I’m probably biased, but I have pointed friends in the same direction and they have all come back with similar great experiences, so I feel I have some justification to be biased  Smile

Anyway, hope this helps. There’s quite a lot of info on the Greek Sails website about places you can visit which may give you some ideas.

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Contender443 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender443 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 11 at 9:56am
We also did our first flottilla in the Ionian and we did it with Seafarer Holidays. Perhaps combine a one week beach holiday with one week on a yacht. Seafarer can also add some pre-flotilla training to your first week on the beach holiday.
 
The scary thing is with a dayskippers ticket you could probably get a bareboat. But good on you for admitting that you may have the bit of paper but not all the experience.
 
Flottillas are great for support and also the social side. I felt Seafarer got the balance right in giving very good briefings then letting you do your own thing during the day.
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kevg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kevg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 11 at 4:51pm
The Ionian would be a good area to start.  Many beautiful places to visit. Often light winds, no tides and navigation is line of sight I've heard good reports about http://www.sailingholidays.com/ and their prices look very competitive.
 
Kevin
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devonsail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote devonsail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 11 at 2:42pm
Hi all,
 
I am thinking of taking a flotilla holiday next summer (2012) and am looking for some advice/feedback.
 
I have a fair amount of sailing experience, in fact the Sunsail online sailing CV questionaire classed me as "expert". I wouldn't go as far as that - I do have a Day Skipper cert but haven't sailed for about 7 years. Anyway, I wanted to take my partner, her daughter and daughter's boyfriend, none of whom have sailed before but are keen to give it a try.
 
So I am wondering what area (Greece/Turkey/Croatia preferably) would be best to ensure a good experience for the beginners, I don't want to scare them silly but, on the other hand it should be exhilerating enough for them to want to repeat the experience Wink and with good ashore activities (sightseeing etc).
 
Any feedback on the many companies that operate in this market would also be very much appreciated - I am looking for good support/backup and value-for-money as primary indicators and am not too worried about being in the latest all-singing-all-dancing vessel, just so long as they are safe and seaworthy (I suspect that would be a given anyway).
 
Thanks for your help Smile
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