This trip was my very first time in a sea kayak. Why you ask? This spring my boyfriend came up with the idea of doing a sea kayaking trip to the Ionian Sea in Greece so I simply thought: Lets give it a try!
We drove the car to Venice mainly due to the fact that taking the car to Greece would have been quite expensive. We decided to leave the car in Venice and went on the ferry to Igoumenitsa traveling as pedestrians. We were allowed to take the kayaks as you would a bike for free.
As soon as we hit Igoumenitsa we started paddling heading southwards along the west coast. Every three days we went shopping in one of those picturesque coastal hamlets to fill up our water and food reserves and slept wherever we found a nice place along the coast. There were so many empty beaches, deserted bays and crystal clear water with all colours of blue, flying fishes, a giant turtle and few of the most beautiful sunsets.
We not only got to know the beauty of sea kayaking but we also had a few days with strong wind. On the day we paddled southward along the west coast of Zakinthos there were quite big waves. In fact, I think, they were biggest waves I have ever paddled, which was very impressive. Luckily, we had the waves coming from the back and so we got pushed forward about 50 km almost without any effort—except for my nerves.
Once we reached the island Lefkas we continued paddling southwards along the west coast and from the southern tip we jumped to the next island, Kefalonia. Again we paddled down south along the west coast. From the southern tip we jumped to the Ionian island of Zakinthos. From the northern tip of Zakinthos we paddled almost all around the island starting down the west coast and from the southern tip northwards along the east cost almost back to the town Zakinthos. From there we jumped to Peloponnese and continued along the coast to Patras.
Thirteen days and 470 km later we reached the town Patras from where we took the ferry back to Venice happy and wanting to maybe make this trip an annual trek. Thanks to Palm Equipment for getting us the Dagger Exodus boats and Kober Paddles for the touring blades!
—by Anne Huebner, photos by Michael Sommerauer