Another overland drive from Wales to the Ionian Islands, with Lugger Katerina in tow, kick starts my 2022 summer season of ‘Sailing Luggers in the Sun’, with the first couple arriving on 6 May.
The drive through Europe now takes me six days, this with shorter driving days and regular overnight camping spots. For the last section on the Adriatic Coast heading south to the port of Ancona I now head into the hills west of Cessina, just a matter of 10 miles to an Agriocamping site.
I first stumbled upon the site 8 years ago. It was a terraced vineyard that Phillippe and his wife Celene transformed into a small camping site, along with the dining room as a part of their home where locals travel to for her wonderful pasta dishes. The area is 500m or so above sea level in rolling county side. The Parco Naturale, ‘Miniere di Formignano’, is well known by enthusiasts for its great cycling.
My work on the boats throughout the short season of 2021, given that we did not operate in 2020, has paid off. Within just a matter of 3 days, 4 Luggers and my day work boat were cleaned and launched ready for Gareth and Lisa to arrive for their 2 week stay at the George Studio.
I had been in discussion with Gareth throughout the winter about the possibilities of them flying into Corfu from Aberdeen with their tandem bike in bags, then getting the ferry to Igeomenitsa and cycling down the coast to Lefkada. Yes it is doable!
However, they chose to get to Preveza from Aberdeen via Gatwick and hire bikes midway through their stay at the George Studios. This small group of apartments on 3 levels is just 10 metres from the pontoon through a well cared for garden, and as you will note from the balcony view, one is looking over Vliho Bay with your Lugger moored below on the pontoon.
At the start of Gareth and Lisa’s stay the weather turned and improved daily, allowing them to walk to Desimi Bay in the early morning and swim. They used the Lugger to visit Nidri to shop at the local small supermarket, usually on their way out to swim, and were out most days and getting local walks done plus this second week of bike hire and riding south to overlook the port of Vassaliki. They never stopped and made use of every moment and opportunity over their stay. It was so good to meet them.
During the second week I had Marc and Linda visit for just 3 days from Holland. They are a part of the Dutch Drascombe enthusiast community and have a Dabber which they sail in the north of the country. They wanted to sail a Lugger in this environment and in particular in the sun with warm breezes rather than what one gets around the North Sea coast of Holland. They are now planning to return this September for 3 weeks or so and have become captivated by the area.
It is testament to what Dragon Drascombe has created over the past 9 years, starting with just one Lugger and now Katerina is number 9, and seeing familiar faces return year after year.
On 21 May Andy and Dave arrived, their third visit to sail Angie with my new rig. They are great company apart from being very competent and knowledgeable sailors with vast experience of boats. They chose this year to have an apartment at the Hotel Iris, just a short walk south out of Nidri and on the shore of the Vliho Bay inlet. A very nice twin-bedded room with a galley kitchen if required, but with all the outside pool, bar and eating facilities. It’s my first use of the Iris, but with the boat outside on a sandy beach it’s so convenient to have the freedom to sail when you want and have the hotel facilities thrown in. Yes, the Hotel Iris will remain on my website as an option for accommodation, especially with young families that want access to the town of Nidri.
So we have started our first full season since 2019 and will run through until mid October. Why not make a break and call for details and availability on our bookings for late June, July and September, or try a late break in early October. There are good packages available especially at Geni Garden, the Gialos Apartments and the George Studio. You’ll have a great time, sailing these great boats in the South Ionian Sea!
More Reviews Coming Soon
I will have reviews of our May sailing groups coming in the next week, and for those interested in the Hotel Iris, Andy and Dave will be posting a review this coming week.
The new Batten Roached Main and Mizen sail along with the full Genoa foresail have proved to be a great success. Andy will post his review of the great improvement this new rig has made to the sailing of their Lugger Angie. This is from a guy that has been around traditional boats for many, many years.
So, keep tuned into our website, it will have new reviews, good information and local knowledge weekly.
Remember, Dragon Drascombe Ltd are the people who have vast experience in Drascombes and based in the idyllic South Ionian Sea. You have to experience what we offer and these reviews tell the story.
Great News for Early Bookings for 2023
For any booking for 2023 made up to 1 September 2022, there is a 5% discount on the total package price, and only a £200 deposit to be paid now. The balance of the normal 50% will become payable on or before 1 November 2022, with the balance and final payment 10 weeks before the holiday.
In addition, Dragon Drascombe Ltd will pass on 5% of its profits to our HELP THE DISPLACED PEOPLE OF UKRAINE fund this summer. News of this will appear in our monthly Newsletters through this summer.