LOCATION
'ODYSSEY KAYAKING GREECE' operates out of the port town of Vasiliki on Lefkada Island- which lies just off the west coast of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea- between Greece and Italy.

 

 

IDEAL LOCATION: All our guided tours are conducted within the protected waters of the region which is bounded by the mainland to the east, and includes the large, mountainous and green Ionian islands of Lefkada, Kephalonia and Ithaki. Sprinkled in between are dozens of smaller, uninhabited or seasonably inhabited islets which remain unaffected by commercial development. Amongst them are Meganisi, Kastos & Kalamos -all within a few kilometres of each other. They present the ideal island hopping circuit for our ecological kayak tours, which begin and end in Vasiliki port, on the south coast of Lefkada Island.

The region's stable climate is also favourable for kayak touring. Almost year-round the central Ionian sea is characterised by calm seas, clear and still waters. Perfect for  sea kayaking.
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MOUNTAINS, BEACHES AND VILLAGES

The mountainous topography of islands in this region result in some of the most dramatic and diverse coastline in all of Greece. High mountains drop abruptly into the sea, where sheer white cliffs soar above fluorescent blue bays - reflecting clear skies above. Along this coastal cliff, are hidden lagoons, and dozens of sea caves, some big enough to swallow a yacht. Volcanic reef formations - like some aqauatic sculpture park, offer exceptional snorkelling where the variety of colourful fish is more what you would expect to find in tropical waters.

Where the coastline eases off to gentle green slopes, we find deep coves and still turquoise bays, with white shingle beaches surrounded by olive trees, or natural pine forest. Most of these secluded spots can only be reached by small boats and are perfect for our camping or rest stops.

Because the region receives more rain than the rest of Greece, the countryside is lush, green and fertile. Much of the land is cultivated, mainly with olive groves, fruit orchards, vineyards and Cyprus trees. Higher up on the mountainsides there are still large areas of dense original forests of maritime pine, fir trees, and small patches of endemic Black Pine. Dry shrubs as well Prickly Pear and other cactus species are abundant, while in spring, exotic flowers (orchids) and wild flowers bring a brief flush of colour to the mellow green mountainsides.

Fragrant herbs such as Thyme and Oregano, grow wild everywhere, and fill the air with perfume that wafts across the water into our nostrils when we're paddling. Locals use these herbs liberally in their cooking for the distinctively aromatic regional dishes.

Due to proximity, and a long history of Venetian occupation, the larger Ionian Isles more closely resemble their neighbour Italy, than the rest of Greece. A delight for paddlers is the photogenic variety of architectural styles amongst the towns we visit. On Kefalonia you can expect to see Venetian fortresses and distinctly Italianesque homes rendered in pastel colours with ornate balconies, most striking in Assos village and stylish Fiscardo harbour. Stately seaside villas along Ithaki's Vathy harbour reflect its former wealthy trading history. On the smaller island of Kalamos, rustic stone houses maintain their traditional Greek heritage. While Meganisi features villages of narrow cobbled lanes and stark limewashed houses with brightly painted doors- the quintissential Greek Islands architecture of the Cycladian Isles.

 

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