A very warm welcome everyone to my first Dragon Drascombe Newsletter of 2020, a year in which I will be focused on providing an even greater spread of accommodation alternatives within the community of Geni and Vliho Bay.
The past year of 2019 has seen a lot of change which has impacted on my Drascombe Lugger charter company in the Ionian. After years of pronouncements by the Greek Government, they finally implemented last May a “Yachting Tax”. This has been ongoing for the past 6 years, possibly longer. It will be for the benefit of the economy and once all the wrinkles are ironed out, it should work. For myself with the Luggers it will not be relevant as they are under the length limit and are classed as day boats / dinghies. The Flotilla / Charter Companies however will be affected by the tax.
The other change that is just about complete, is that the business has been registered in Greece and the boats re-registered, now with Greek registry and insurance. Apart from the time it’s taken, it will not have any impact on my Lugger Holidays.
The summer of 2019 saw the demise of Thomas Cook Airlines who were frequent carriers from the UK to Greece, especially Preveza. However, with the emergence of Jet2, a new carrier, and the Thomas Cook flight slots going to Easy Jet and the low cost Norwegian Air, there are now only 2 days in each week when there are no flights to Preveza. Flight prices at present are respectable, they will never go back to the days of Monarch Airlines, so this is positive.
From last September when £1 Sterling only got you €1 , things are improving week by week, with the rate at €1.171, so again a move forward for those planning a visit to the Ionian.
The big news for ourselves as a family is that Stephanie my daughter, is making great strides in her recovery from surgery to eradicate her diagnosed Ovarian Cancer, this procedure took place in July 2019. She is now back running and just yesterday received her entry confirmation to participate in The Great North Run this coming late summer.
This year, as a company, Dragon Drascombe Ltd will support Target Ovarian Cancer and contribute from our income to this very worthwhile cause. Last year’s Great North Run by Andy, my son in law, raised well over £3000 for TOC.
So a lot has happened during 2019, let us all hope that 2020 will be a healthy and peaceful year. For those who aim to visit Dragon Drascombe, we look forward to giving you a great holiday in the sun.
Bengy is enjoying watching some of my Lugger sailors trying out canoeing and paddleboarding. These are just some of the activities offered by Horizon Watersports in Nidri, and you’ll be hearing more about this in the February newsletter.
You will I’m sure have followed the great review in the previous newsletter of getactivelefkas, the biking guys from Nidri who run road and off-road biking sessions around the hilly countryside. My past family groups have loved these evening sessions.
Whilst appreciating that you all have a great affection for the distinguished lines of the Drascombe Lugger and its easy sailing characteristics, especially out in this magnificent area of the South Ionian, there is now a great opportunity to explore this uniquely Greek countryside on foot or by cycle, and combine it with your day sailing. Your kids will just love it, take a look at the article on Cycle and Sail. So there is so much to look forward to in 2020.
I could even interest you in a 2-week adventure to explore the Island of Ithica by Lugger. They have Electric Bikes at Frikes to hire, as Richard and Cheri Crosley told us about in their visit last June. How about this for an itinerary?
You will arrive at Preveza on Sunday 23rd August, be collected by my taxi and following a Meze lunch will be taken to the Nidri ferry port for the 2-hour ferry to Frikes Bay, where your Lugger will be awaiting your arrival. For this first week you will stay at the splendid Frikes Bay Suite and be well looked after by Peter and his staff as you can read in Cheri’s review.
On the morning of Sunday 30th August I will arrive by Rib to collect your bags and transport them back to Geni where they will await your arrival at your apartment at Geni Garden. This will give you the chance to have a full day to sail north from Frikes to Vliho Bay, a great day out and achievement. Your apartment at Geni Garden is large and sea-facing, with full self-catering facilities and a delightful balcony, from which you can sail and explore the lovely harbours and islands around the Meganissi channel. Your return to Preveza on the 6th September will be arranged with my taxi company.